Lesson 4

Stem Changing Verbs

In Spanish, some verbs change their stems when they are conjugated. These verbs are known as stem-changing verbs. Many of these verbs are important and often used. There are three different types of stem changing verbs in Spanish:

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Cambios de los Verbos
Los verbos

Types of Stem-Changing Verbs
e → ie
e → i
o → ue

The stem changes for all conjugations, excepting nosotros/as and vosotros/as. The endings are the same as for regular verbs (-o for yo, -as/-es for , …).
Entender
To Understand

I understandyo entiendo
You understandtú entiendes
He understandsél entiende
She understandsella entiende
You understandUsted entiende
We understandnosotros entendemos
You (pl.) understandvosotros entendeis
They understandellos entienden
You (pl form) understandUstedes entienden

Note that the stem change is done for the second ‘e’ (not the first one) – in general the stem always changes for the last vowel before the -ar/-er/-ir ending.

Example: pedir (e->i) to ask for, to order

Pedir
To Ask For, Order

I ask foryo pido
You ask fortú pides
He asks forél pide
She asks forella pide
You (form) ask forUsted pide
We ask fornosotros pedimos
You (plural) ask forvosotros pedís
They ask forellos piden
You (pl form) ask forUstedes piden

Note: all e->i stem changing verbs are -ir verbs.
Dormir
To Sleep

I sleepyo duermo
You sleeptú duermes
He sleepsél duerme
She sleepsella duerme
You (formal) sleepUsted duerme
We sleepnosotros dormimos
You (plural) sleepvosotros dormís
They sleepellos duermen
You (plural formal) sleepUstedes duermen

Here is a list of some other common stem changing verbs:

e -> iee -> io -> ue
cerrar (to close)competir (to compete)almorzar (to eat lunch)
comenzar (to begin)conseguir (to get, obtain)costar (to cost)
defender (to defend)pedir (to ask for, order)encontrar (to find)
empezar (to start, begin)reir (to laugh)morir (to die)
mentir (to lie)repetir (to repeat)mostrar (to show)
pensar (to think)seguir (to follow, continue)mover (to move)
perder (to lose)servir (to serve)recordar (to remember)
preferir (to prefer)sonreír (to smile)volver (to return)


Present Participle

The present participle in Spanish is used either for continuous tenses (with estar, e.g. I am running.) and can also be used as an adjective. The Spanish present participle corresponds to the English -ing form of the verb.To form the present participle for regular -ar verbs, add -ando to the stem. For -er and -ir verbs add -iendo:

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El Participio Presente
Los Verbos

-ing
hablar → hablando
comer → comiendo
vivir → viviendo
speaking
eating
living

However, not all present participles are that regular. Some verbs add a “y,” or change the spelling, to adhere to Spanish orthography (spelling) rules. Here is a list of some common verbs that have an irregular present participle:

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Participios Irregulares
Los Verbos

-ing
caer
decir
dormir
ir
leer
oir
pedir
repetir
reír
seguir
traer
cayendo
diciendo
durmiendo
yendo
leyendo
oyendo
pidiendo
repitiendo
riendo
siguiendo
trayendo

Present Progressive

Like in English, the Spanish present progressive is used to describe an action in progress. It is formed by conjugating the verb estar and then adding the present participle:

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El Presente Progresivo
Los Verbos

Talking about actions occurring right now
Yo estoy hablando
Tú estás hablando
Él/ella/usted está hablando
Nosotros estamos hablando
Vosotros estáis hablando
Ellos/ellas/ustedes están hablando
I am talking
You are talking
He/She/You is/are talking
We are talking
You are talking
They/You are talking

Vocabulary

Spanish Flag

El Vocabulario
La Familia

Vocabulary for the family
los padres
el padre, papá
la madre, mamá
los hijos
el hijo
la hija
los hermanos
el hermano
la hermana
los abuelos
el abuelo
la abuela
los nietos
el nieto
la nieta
los tíos
el tío
la tía
los sobrinos
el sobrino
la sobrina
los primos
el primo
la prima
los cónyuges, marido y mujer
el esposo, el marido
la esposa, la mujer
los suegros
la suegra, la nuera
el suegro, el yerno
los cuñados
el cuñado
la cuñada
los consuegros
el consuegro
la consuegra
parents
father
mother
children
son
daughter
siblings
brother
sister
grandparents
grandfather
grandmother
grandchildren
grandson
granddaughter
uncles and aunts
uncle
aunt
nephews and nieces
nephew
niece
cousins
cousin (male)
cousin (female)
spouses
husband
wife
parents-in-law
mother-in-law
father-in-law
siblings-in-law
brother-in-law
sister-in-law
your child’s parents-in-law
your child’s father-in-law
your child’s mother-in-law

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