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The Present Tense of Stem-Changing
Verbs: e  ie, e  i, o  ue, u ue
(El tiempo presente de los verbos de cambio
radical)
• Stem changing infinitives are named for
what they do– change in the stem.
• There are some mixed verbs : “Go” verbs
and “stem changing” in the same time
• We always change the vowel that is the
closest to the ending
• The ending terminations depend on the
ending or each verb : AR, ER or IR
terminations
There is a fairly large group of verbs in Spanish that undergo
changes in their stem when conjugated in the present tense.
These changes occur only in the first and second persons
singular and third persons singular and plural.
When a line is drawn around the forms that change, the resulting
shape vaguely resembles a boot or high-top shoe; thus, these verbs
are sometimes informally called “boot” or “shoe” verbs.
There are four types or classes of “boot” verbs.
Type 1: e  ie
We’ll use entender, to understand, as an example of this type.
entender
entiendo
entiendes
entiende
entendemos
entendéis
entienden
The stem undergoes the change only when stressed.
Here are some other common e  ie verbs:
empezar, comenzar
to begin
pensar
to think
perder
to lose
preferir
to prefer
querer
to want, to love
entender
to understand
Tener (to have), venir (to come)
The verbs tener and venir are what might be called partial
stem-changing verbs; the yo forms do not have the stem
change, but they do have an irregularity.
tengo
tienes
tiene
Tengo exámenes mañana.
vengo
vienes
viene
Vengo de la biblioteca.
tenemos
tenéis
tienen
I have exams tomorrow.
venimos
venís
vienen
I’m coming from the library.
Type 2: e  i
We’ll use servir, to serve, as an example of this type.
servir
sirvo
sirves
sirve
servimos
servís
sirven
Note: All e  i verbs are -ir verbs.
Here are some other common e  i verbs:
repetir
pedir
To repeat
To ask for, to order
reir
To laugh
sonreir
To smile
seguir
To follow
decir
To say, to tell
Type 3: o  ue
We’ll use almorzar, to have lunch, as an example of this type.
almorzar
almuerzo
almuerzas
almuerza
almorzamos
almorzáis
almuerzan
Here are some other common o  ue verbs:
almorzar
dormir
encontrar
poder
recordar
soñar (con)
To have lunch
volver
to return (to a place)
To return (something)
devolver
to sleep
to find
to be able; can
to remember
to dream (about)
Type 4: u  ue
The verb jugar, to play (games or sports), follows the
same pattern as o  ue verbs, but the change is u  ue.
jugar
juego
juegas
juega
jugamos
jugáis
juegan
FIN
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