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1.13: Los pretéritos irregulares

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    158559
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    Irregular preterites

    By now we have learned the preterite past tense, including the conjugation of regular verbs, verbs with a spelling change to preserve their pronunciation, and stem-changing verbs. All of those groups of verbs use the same sets of endings (for -AR verbs or for -ER/-IR verbs) in the preterite, but may change a stem vowel or consonant. Now we’ll learn the irregular preterite verbs, which have irregular stems and irregular endings. You’ll note that none of the irregular preterite verbs have accent marks on their endings.

    There are a lot of irregular verbs in the preterite, and you’ll need to pay close attention to small details that may change, for example sometimes the 3rd person plural ending is “-eron” instead of “-ieron”. It may help to remember them in sub-groups that have similar (not always identical!) irregularities:

    • The -u- stem
    • The -i- stem
    • The -j- stem

    Irregular stems in the preterit tense

    In the chart below, the irregular stems are in bold.

    -u- stem

    Verb Irregular stem

    andar

    anduv-

    caber cup-

    estar

    estuv-

    haber

    hub-

    poder

    pud-

    poner, suponer, proponer

    pus-, supus-, propus-

    saber

    sup-

    tener

    tuv-

    -i- stem

    Verb Irregular stem
    hacer hic- , hiz- (Use "z", instead of "c", in the conjugations of "usted", "él", and "ella".)
    querer quis-
    venir vin-

    -j- stem

    Verb Irregular stem
    conducir conduj-
    decir dij-
    producir produj-
    reducir reduj-
    traducir traduj-
    traer traj-

    Irregular endings in the preterite tense

    All verbs with irregular stems in the preterite, have the same set of endings when conjugated. Moreover, none of them need an accent mark. The verb conjugation for -u- stem and the -i- stem differs from the -j- stem in the 3rd person plural: "ustedes", "ellos", and "ellas" form, since verbs with -j- stem do not have an "i" in their ending. This spelling change is noted in bold in the chart below. Let’s review the chart below:

    Subject

    The -u- and -i- stem

    The -j- stem

    Examples of verb conjugations

    Yo

    e

    e

    Yo: pude, hice, traje (poder, hacer, traer)

    iste

    iste

    Tú: supiste, hiciste, condujiste (saber, hacer, conducir)

    Él/Ella/Usted

    o

    o

    Ud., Él, Ella: *hubo (pretérite for “hay”), (haber)

    hizo (hacer), condujo (conducir)

    Nosotros/as

    imos

    imos

    Nosotros/as: tuvimos, vinimos, produjimos (tener, venir, producir)

    Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes

    ieron

    eron

    Ellos/Ellas/Uds.: pusieron, hicieron (poner, hacer)

    Ellos/Ellas/Uds.: trajeron, condujeron, produjeron, tradujeron, redujeron, dijeron (traer, conducir, producir, traducir, reducer, decir)

    Ejemplos

    Hubo una fiesta de cumpleaños en la casa de Mariela.

    Mi amiga Gabriela quiso ir pero no pudo. Ella tuvo que trabajar.

    Anoche Mateo hizo ejercicio en el gimnasio.

    Los amigos de Mariela le trajeron regalos para ella.

    This page adapted from 7.2: Los pretéritos irregulares, parte 2 by M. Barrio De Mendoza, K Gutiérrez, H.Ho, C. Lin, & A Stere Lugo through ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative, licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0 / Slight rephrasing, reformatting and correction of typographical errors, incorporation of introductory paragraph from 5.7: Los verbos irregulares en el pretérito by Erica Brown, Alejandra Escudero, María Cristina Montoya, & Elizabeth Small (OER SUNY), which is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

    Videolección

    By clicking the icon below, you can hear a video lesson about irregular preterite forms and tricks to remember them.

    102clapper.png

    ¡A practicar!

    Actividad \(\PageIndex{1}\)
    Actividad \(\PageIndex{2}\)
    Actividad \(\PageIndex{3}\)
    Actividad \(\PageIndex{4}\)

    Exercises adapted from 7.2.1: Práctica- Pretéritos irregulares, parte 2 by M. Barrio De Mendoza, K Gutiérrez, H.Ho, C. Lin, & A Stere Lugo (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative), licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.


    1.13: Los pretéritos irregulares is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by E. Aldea, A. Anderson, K. Armstrong, J.Liu, and A. Stachura.