Chapter 2

Irregular verbs in the Preterit Tense

We have learned some common verbs that have irregular preterit forms.

Some Irregular Verbs in the Preterit Tense

 

 

A table that displays a subject pronoun, and four irregular verbs that coincide with the subject pronoun in the preterit tense.
Pronoun Estar (to be) Tener (to have) Ser (to be) Ir (to go)
Yo estuve tuve fui fui
estuviste tuviste fuiste fuiste
Ud./El/ella estuvo tuvo fue fue
Nosotros estuvimos tuvimos fuimos fuimos
Uds./ellos/as estuvieron tuvieron fueron fueron

 

 

 

 

Ser (to be) and Ir (to go)  are irregular verbs that are identical when conjugated in the preterit tense. Context will help decide which of the two, to be or to go, is used.

 

A table that displays irregular verbs of Ser (to be) conjugated in the preterit tense.
Subject Pronoun Ser (to be)
Yo fui cuidadosa
I was careful.
fuiste buena amiga
You were a good friend.

VS

A table that displays irregular verbs of Ir (to go) conjugated in the preterit tense.
Ir (to go)
Fui a la cafeteria
I went to the cafeteria.
Fuiste a lay pays
You went to the beach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dar (to give) and Ver (to see) have similar irregular conjugations in the preterit.

A table that displays subject pronouns and the irregular verb conjugation similarities of Dar(to give) and Ver(to see).
Pronoun Dar (to give) Ver (to see)
Yo di vi
diste viste
Ud./El/ella dio vio
Nosotros dimos vimos
Uds./ellos/as dieron vieron

 

 

 

Other common irregular verbs in the preterit

  • hacer (to do, make)      yo hice, hiciste, hizo, hicimos, hicieron
    • querer (to want), venir (to come to) follow the same stem pattern

 

  • poner (to put)               yo puse, pusiste, puso, pusimos, pusieron
    • poder (to be able), poner (to put, to place) follow the same stem pattern

 

  • traer (to bring)              yo traje, trajiste, trajo, traimos, trajeron
    • decir (to say, to tell), tradcuir (to translate) have a “j” in the stem

 

  • buscar (to look)            yo busqué, buscaste, buscó buscamos buscaron
  • llegar (to arrive)           yo llegué, llegaste, llegó, llegamos, llegaron
  • comenzar (to start)       yo comencé, comenzaste, comenzó, comenzamos comenzaron

 

Spell-change only affects the third person singular, (usted, él, ella) and third person plural (ustedes, ellos, ellas) forms.
  • caer (t0 fall)    caí, caíste, cayó, caímos, cayeron
  • leer (to read)   leí, leíste, leyó, leímos, leyeron
  • oír (to hear)    oí, oíste, oyó, oímos, oyeron

 

 

 

 

Stem Changing Verbs

 

From “e” to “ie” in the present tense change from “e” to “i” in the third person singular and plural forms of the preterit.
  • preferir (to prefer)    preferí, preferiste, prefirió, preferimos, prefirieron

 

 

From “o” to “ue” in the present tense change from “o” to “us” in the third person singular and plural forms of the preterit.
  • dormir (to sleep)      dormí, dormiste, durmió, dormimos, durmieron

 

 

From “e” to “i” in the present tense change from “e” to “i” in the third person singular and plural of the preterit.

  • pedir (to ask)            pedí, pediste, pidió pedimos, pidieron
  • repetir (to repeat)    repetí, repetiste, repitió, repetimos, repitieron

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Spanish 002 by Ana Serrano is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.