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6.2: Lesson 14: Changing Stem Verbs

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    23197
  • Spanish Grammar  (See webpage for complete content)

    Libro digital Herramientas de español
    Spanish Tools
     Online Grammar Book

    18. Stem-Changing Verbs / Verbos que cambian de raíz

    All Spanish verbs have a stem (la raíz) and an ending (-ar, -er, -ir): pensar, volver, pedir. There is a large group of verbs that change their stem in the present tense when the stem vowel is stressed. There are three types: those that change -e to -ie-, those that change -o- to -ue- and those that change -e- to -i-:

    to think: to come back: to ask (for):
    pensar (ie)
    pienso
    piensas
    piensa
    pensamos
    pensáis
    piensan
    volver (ue)
    vuelvo
    vuelves
    vuelve
    volvemos
    volvéis
    vuelven
    pedir (i)
    pido
    pides
    pide
    pedimos
    pedís
    piden

    Common verbs following these patterns in the present tense:
    e > ie: cerrar, comenzar, empezar, entender, pensar, perder, preferir, querer, sentir
    e > i: elegir, (im)pedir, seguir, servir, (son)reír
    o > ue: contar, dormir, encontrar, morir, mostrar, poder, resolver, volar, volver

    Jugar has a different stem change, from u to ue in the same places:
    juego, juegas, juega, jugamos, jugáis, juegan.

    Note: All -ir stem-changing verbs change their stems in other tenses (see appendix A).

     

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