Phew. We covered ser, estar, and ir, three messy irregular verbs, but they taught us a lot. Thankfully, not all irregular verbs are quite as irregular as those three. We can learn these next ones in big batches and find patterns. The first group we’ll look at are what we call stem‑changers.
In Lesson 4 we learned to find the stem of the verb by simply dropping the ending:
With stem changing verbs, the stem…changes. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
Like we established before, we can find patterns. Each of these three verbs represents a different stem-changer subgroup. Let’s take a look at each of them.
The first is the O → UE subgroup, illustrated below with the verb recordar (to remember, recall). You will also see that the stem only changes in certain forms. Note the color-coding below.
Tip: If the stem has multiple vowels, the last vowel in the stem is the one that changes.
The second is the E → IE subgroup, illustrated below with the verb querer (to want). Again, the stem only changes in certain forms.
The third and final present tense stem-changer subgroup is the E → I subgroup, illustrated below with the verb pedir (to ask for). Once again, the stem only changes in certain forms.
That covers stem changing verbs in the present tense. Below is a table of frequently used verbs that follow the same patterns.
It’s a lot to keep track of! But with practice, conjugating these types of verbs will become easier and easier.
The only way to master these verbs is through targeted practice. Fortunately for you, VerbMaster’s intelligent tutoring system makes conjugation practice a breeze!
In this session, you’ll practice conjugating recordar, querer, and pedir in the present tense. So what are you waiting for? Get to studying, you’re on your way to becoming a VerbMaster!
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