Back arrow for previous Spanish language lesson
 BACK TO ALL LESSONS
Back arrow for previous Spanish language lesson
LESSON 14
LESSON 16
Next arrow for next Spanish language lesson
Back arrow for previous Spanish language lesson

Lesson 15: Stem-Changing Verbs in the Preterite Tense

lesson on Spanish stem-changing verbs in the preterite tense

15.1

Pause button to pause voices when listening to Spanish verb lessonsVoice symbol to read Spanish verb lesson aloud

Stem-Changers

Next up we’ll tackle another group of very irregular sounding verbs. You’ll really notice the difference here, but, again, these are high-frequency verbs and VerbMaster has lots of examples for you to practice.

So just like before with querer we broke it in half, QUER+ER, then made some changes to the stem, we’re going to do the same here. QUER‑ will become QUIS‑ in the preterite. The stems of hacer (to do), tener (to have), and decir (to say) will become, respectively, HIC, TUV, and DIJ.

These verbs all have their own endings, unique from the rest of the preterite. Watch out, though, for a few spelling changes in certain forms. See below:

hacer preterite tense Spanish conjugation tabletener preterite tense Spanish conjugation tabledecir preterite tense Spanish conjugation table

The stem-change verb endings, just to set them apart for you, are the following. Note that there are no written accents.

table of stem changing preterite conjugation endings

Check out all hacer conjugations, tener conjugations, or decir conjugations in the VerbMaster Dictionary!

15.2

Pause button to pause voices when listening to Spanish verb lessonsVoice symbol to read Spanish verb lesson aloud

More Stem-Change Verbs

Let’s take a look at our last group of irregular preterite tense verbs:

  1. estar (to be): estuv-
  2. haber (to have): hub-
  3. poder (to be able to): pud-
  4. querer: quis- (in the preterite, querer means 'to try, to intend to')
  5. saber: sup- (in the preterite, saber means 'to find out')
  6. poner (to put, to set): pus-
  7. venir (to come): vin-
  8. mantener (to maintain): mantuv-*
  9. obtener (to obtain): obtuv-*
  10. suponer (to suppose): supus-*
  11. traer (to bring): traj-
  12. andar (to walk): anduv-

* Just like in Lesson 10, you might have noticed that prefixed forms of some of these verbs (tener and mantener) follow the same pattern. Keep your eyes out for little tricks like that!

Practice Time!

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 hacer, tener, decir, estar, haber, poder, querer, saber, poner, venir, traer, and andar in the preterite tense. So what are you waiting for? Get to studying, you’re on your way to becoming a VerbMaster!

Border for all practice cards leading to the Verbmaster app Spanish verb practice

Don't just read the lesson, practice conjugating in the app!

Download VerbMaster now for iOS or Android!

Try for FreeVerbMaster Spanish Lesson end decorative icon