Stem Changing Verbs

In Spanish many verbs have an unexpected spelling change when they are conjugated. For example the verb “pensar” (to think), when conjugated, goes to “(yo)pienso”. One would think that it would go to “(yo) penso”, but since it is an irregular stem changing verb, it is spelled differently. There are three categories of verbs that we will look at in this lesson. These verbs make the following stem changes:

e > ie
o > ue
e > i

Spanish E > IE Verbs

Here is a list of some of the verbs that follow this pattern:

pensar
perder
empezar
cerrar
entender
preferir
mentir

In all of these verbs the “e” goes to “ie” when conjugated, except for the nosotros form

Empezar = To begin

(yo)empiezo = I begin
(tú)empiezas = You begin
(él)empieza = He begins
(ella)empieza = She begins
(usted)empieza = You (formal) begin
(nosotros/nosotras)empezamos = We begin
(ellos/ellas)empiezan = They begin
(ustedes)empiezan = All of you begin

Perder = To lose

(yo)pierdo = I lose
(tú)pierdes = You lose
(él)pierde = He loses
(ella)pierde = She loses
(usted)pierde = You (formal) lose
(nosotros/nosotras)perdemos = We lose
(ellos/ellas)pierden = They lose
(ustedes)pierden = All of you lose

Mentir = To lie

(yo)miento = I lie
(tú)mientes = You lie
(él)miente = He lies
(ella)miente = She lies
(usted)miente = You (formal) lie
(nosotros/nosotras)mentimos = We lie
(ellos/ellas)mienten = They lie
(ustedes)mienten = All of you lie

Spanish O > UE Verbs

These verbs follow this pattern:

contar
almorzar
volver
mover
morir
dormir

In all of these verbs the “o” goes to “ue” when conjugated, except for the nosotros form

Contar = To count or tell

(yo)cuento = I count
(tú)cuentas = You count
(él)cuenta = He counts
(ella)cuenta = She counts
(usted)cuenta = You (formal) count
(nosotros/nosotras)contamos = We count
(ellos/ellas)cuentan = They count
(ustedes)cuentan = All of you count

Volver = To return

(yo)vuelvo = I return
(tú)vuelves = You return
(él)vuelve = He returns
(ella)vuelve = She returns
(usted)vuelve = You (formal) return
(nosotros/nosotras)volvimos = We return
(ellos/ellas)vuelven = They return
(ustedes)vuelven = All of you return

Dormir = To sleep

(yo)duermo = I sleep
(tú)duermes = You sleep
(él)duerme = He sleeps
(ella)duerme = She sleeps
(usted)duerme = You (formal) sleep
(nosotros/nosotras)dormimos = We sleep
(ellos/ellas)duermen = They sleep
(ustedes)duermen = All of you sleep

Spanish E >I Verbs

Example Verbs:

servir
pedir
repetir

In all of these verbs the “e” goes to “i” when conjugated, except for the nosotros form

Repetir = To repeat

(yo)repito = I repeat
(tú)repites = You repeat
(él)repite = He repeats
(ella)repite = She repeats
(usted)repite = You (formal) repeat
(nosotros/nosotras)repetimos = We repeat
(ellos/ellas)repiten = They repeat
(ustedes)repiten = All of you repeat



More Exercises

  • E to IE Verbs Conversation Activity
  • E to I Verbs Sentence Making Activity
  • E to IE Sentence Making Activity
  • E to I Stem Changing Verbs Quiz
  • U to UE Stem Changing Verbs Quiz
  • E to IE Verbs Quiz
  • Conjugation Exercise for E > I Irregular Verbs
  • U to UE Verbs Conjugation Activity
  • E to IE Verbs Conjugation Exercise
  • E to IE Verbs Matching Activity