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Spanish Verb Conjugation: Indicative Mood: Present Tense
Present Tense: E -> IE Stem-Changers

©RCAguilar

OBJECTIVE:
Figure out the pattern for stem-changing verbs and develop a sense of readiness to just do it when it's supposed to happen.
TASK:
Check out the different pages of stem-changing verbs, and compare what forms do what.
PERPLEXED?

Don't worry. There's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Why is it called a stem-changing verb?
Stem-changing verbs are verbs that have some letter changes in their stems when being conjugated, just like I wrote on the previous page. The endings are the same as for regular verb conjugations.
The ending gets dropped off (in these cases the -ar, -er, & -ir), ... and endings get added on (see below), ... and off you go! Done! Finito! Ahem. But keep an eye on what happens to the stem!
Remember: when you view the "meanings" of each Spanish verb form, try to mix it all up in a bucket and realize that it's English that gives you multiple methods of stating the verb form. It's all the same in Spanish!

 
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VERB CONJUGATION
Indicative Mood
Present Tense
Regular -ar Verbs
Regular -er Verbs
Regular -ir Verbs
Stem e -> ie
Stem o -> ue
Stem e -> i
Stem iar: i ->
Stem uar: u ->
Stem uir: i -> y
Stem ger/gir: g -> j
Yo form -oy
Yo form -zco
Yo form -go
Imperfect Tense
AR Verbs
ER & IR Verbs
Preterite Tense
Regular AR Verbs
Ending -car
Ending -gar
Ending -zar
ER/IR Verbs
ER/IR Verbs vowel Stem
IR Stem-changers
Irregular Stems
Future Tense
Regular Verbs
Irregular Stems
Conditional Tense
Regular Verbs
Irregular Stems
Progressive Tenses
Perfect Tenses

Start using 'em!
With Interrogatives
¿Cuándo?
¿Cuándo cierras?
When do you close?
When are you closing?
 
¿Cuándo comienza ella?
When does she start?
When is she starting?
 
¿Cuándo pienso?
When do I think?
When am I thinking?
 
¿Por qué?
 
¿Por qué convierto?
Why do I convert?
Why am I converting?
 
¿Por qué cerramos?
Why are we closing?
Why do we close?
 
¿Por qué entiende él ?
Why is he understanding?
Why does he understand?
 
 

Reference
Subject Pronouns
yo
nosotros
nosotras
tú*
vosotros
vosotras
él
ella
Usted
ellos
ellas
Ustedes
*In some countries in Central & South America vos is used instead of .

Reflexive Pronouns
me nos
te os
se  se

Direct Object Pronouns
me nos
te os
lo
la
lo/la
los
las
los/las

Indirect Object Pronouns
me nos
te os
le les
These are irregular verbs because they entail a stem change: E -> IE
AR cerrar to close schließen, zumachen
comenzar to begin, commence beginnen, anfangen
pensar to think denken
ER defender to defend schützen, verteidigen
entender to understand, comprehend verstehen, kapieren
tender to spread, extend, stretch out ausbreiten
IR convertir to convert umwandeln, bekehren
hervir to boil kochen
preferir to prefer vorziehen, bevorzugen
In some forms the -e nearest the end of the stem becomes an -ie.
Drop the -ar, the -er, or the -ir: That's the stem !!
To see the present tense conjugated forms of these verbs, click on a pronoun below:
The nosotros & vosotros forms do not require the stem change in the present tense.
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES

Present tense: Stem-changing verbs: E -> IE
Yo form
To make this form, drop the -ar, -er, or -ir.
Look for the E nearest the end of the stem, and change it to IE.
Add the normal ending for present tense conjugation.
This is important to realize, because the present tense yo form is the basis for forming present subjunctive forms.
AR
deutsch
cerrar cierro I close I do close I'm closing
ich schließe
comenzar comienzo I start, begin I do start, begin I'm starting, beginning
ich fange an
pensar pienso I think I do think I'm thinking
ich denke
ER
defender defiendo I defend I do defend I'm defending
ich verteidige
entender entiendo I understand I do understand I'm understanding
ich kapiere
tender tiendo I spread out I do spread out I'm spreading out
ich breite aus
IR
convertir convierto I convert I do convert I'm converting
ich bekehre
hervir hiervo I boil I do boil I'm boiling
ich koche
preferir prefiero I prefer I do prefer I'm preferring
ich ziehe vor
What do they have in common now ?
The stem (verb minus AR, ER or IR) tells you the action.
Using the -o ending says I am doing this action, and it's going on NOW.
Each verb form in Spanish matches a specific pronoun, so Spanish doesn't need to use the pronoun.
That means: each of the conjugated forms you see says ALL of the given "meaning."
The YO is understood, because of the ending.
You don't need to say YO. If you do add the YO, it usually adds emphasis, saying I dooo ...
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
Back to Top

Present tense: Stem-changing verbs: E -> IE
form
To make this form, drop the -ar, -er, or -ir.
Look for the E nearest the end of the stem, and change it to IE.
Add the normal ending for present tense conjugation.
This is important to realize, because the present tense yo form is the basis for forming present subjunctive forms.
AR
deutsch
cerrar cierras you close you do close you're closing
du schließt
comenzar comienzas you start, begin you do start, begin you're starting, beginning
du fängst an
pensar piensas you think you do think you're thinking
du denkst
ER
defender defiendes you defend you do defend you're defending
du verteidigst
entender entiendes you understand you do understand you're understanding
du kapierst
tender tiendes you spread out you do spread out you're spreading out
du breitest aus
IR
convertir conviertes you convert you do convert you're converting
du bekehrst
hervir hierves you boil you do boil you're boiling
du kochst
preferir prefieres you prefer you do prefer you're preferring
du ziehst vor
What do they have in common now ?
The stem (verb minus AR, ER or IR) tells you the action.
Using the -as or -es ending says you are doing this action, and it's going on NOW.
Each verb form in Spanish matches a specific pronoun, so Spanish doesn't need to use the pronoun.
That means: each of the conjugated forms you see says ALL of the given "meaning."
The is understood, because of the ending.
You don't need to say . If you do add the , it usually adds emphasis, saying you dooo ...
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
Back to Top

Present tense: Stem-changing verbs: E -> IE
Él form
To make this form, drop the -ar, -er, or -ir.
Look for the E nearest the end of the stem, and change it to IE.
Add the normal ending for present tense conjugation.
This is important to realize, because the present tense yo form is the basis for forming present subjunctive forms.
AR
deutsch
cerrar cierra he closes he does close he's closing
er schließt
comenzar comienza he starts, begins he does start, begin he's starting, beginning
er fängt an
pensar piensa he thinks he does think he's thinking
er denkt
ER
defender defiende he defends he does defend he's defending
er verteidigt
entender entiende he understands he does understand he's understanding
er kapiert
tender tiende he spreads out he does spread out he's spreading out
er breitet aus
IR
convertir convierte he converts he does convert he's converting
er bekehrt
hervir hierve he boils he does boil he's boiling
er kocht
preferir prefiere he prefers he does prefer he's preferring
er zieht vor
What do they have in common now ?
The stem (verb minus AR, ER or IR) tells the action.
Using the -a or -e ending says he is doing this action, and it's going on NOW.
Each verb form in Spanish matches a specific pronoun, so Spanish doesn't need to use the pronoun.
That means: each of the conjugated forms you see says ALL of the given "meaning."
The ÉL is understood, because of the ending.
You don't need to say ÉL. If you do add the ÉL, it usually adds emphasis, saying he doooes ...
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
Back to Top

Present tense: Stem-changing verbs: E -> IE
Ella form
To make this form, drop the -ar, -er, or -ir.
Look for the E nearest the end of the stem, and change it to IE.
Add the normal ending for present tense conjugation.
This is important to realize, because the present tense yo form is the basis for forming present subjunctive forms.
AR
deutsch
cerrar cierra she closes she does close she's closing
sie schließt
comenzar comienza she starts, begins she does start, begin she's starting, beginning
sie fängt an
pensar piensa she thinks she does think she's thinking
sie denkt
ER
defender defiende she defends she does defend she's defending
sie verteidigt
entender entiende she understands she does understand she's understanding
sie kapiert
tender tiende she spreads out she does spread out she's spreading out
sie breitet aus
IR
convertir convierte she converts she does convert she's converting
sie bekehrt
hervir hierve she boils she does boil she's boiling
sie kocht
preferir prefiere she prefers she does prefer she's preferring
sie zieht vor
What do they have in common now ?
The stem (verb minus AR, ER or IR) tells the action.
Using the -a or -e ending says she is doing this action, and it's going on NOW.
Each verb form in Spanish matches a specific pronoun, so Spanish doesn't need to use the pronoun.
That means: each of the conjugated forms you see says ALL of the given "meaning."
The ELLA is understood, because of the ending.
You don't need to say ELLA. If you do add the ELLA, it usually adds emphasis, saying she doooes ...
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
Back to Top

Present tense: Stem-changing verbs: E -> IE
Usted form
To make this form, drop the -ar, -er, or -ir.
Look for the E nearest the end of the stem, and change it to IE.
Add the normal ending for present tense conjugation.
This is important to realize, because the present tense yo form is the basis for forming present subjunctive forms.
AR
deutsch
cerrar cierra you close you do close you´re closing
Sie schließen
comenzar comienza you start, begin you do start, begin you´re starting, beginning
Sie fangen an
pensar piensa you think you do think you´re thinking
Sie denken
ER
defender defiende you defend you do defend you´re defending
Sie verteidigen
entender entiende you understand you do understand you´re understanding
Sie kapieren
tender tiende you spread out you do spread out you´re spreading out
Sie breiten aus
IR
convertir convierte you convert you do convert you´re converting
Sie bekehren
yourvir hierve you boil you do boil you´re boiling
Sie kochen
preferir prefiere you prefer you do prefer you´re preferring
Sie ziehen vor
What do they have in common now ?
The stem (verb minus AR, ER or IR) tells the action.
Using the -a or -e ending says a You is doing this action, and it's going on NOW.
Each verb form in Spanish matches a specific pronoun, so Spanish doesn't need to use the pronoun.
That means: each of the conjugated forms you see says ALL of the given "meaning."
The USTED is understood, because of the ending.
You don't need to say USTED. If you do add the USTED, it usually adds emphasis, saying You dooo ...
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
Back to Top

Present tense: Stem-changing verbs: E -> IE
Nosotros & Nosotras form
To make this form, drop the -ar, -er, or -ir.
This is important to realize, because the present tense form is the basis for forming present subjunctive forms.
The nosotros form of these verbs is not affected, and follows the normal pattern for -ar verb conjugation.
AR
deutsch
cerrar cerramos we close we do close we're closing
wir schließen
comenzar comenzamos we start, begin we do start, begin we're starting, beginning
wir fangen an
pensar pensamos we think we do think we're thinking
wir denken
The nosotros form of these verbs is not affected, and follows the normal pattern for -er verb conjugation.
ER
defender defendemos we defend we do defend we're defending
wir verteidigen
entender entendemos we understand we do understand we're understanding
wir kapieren
tender tendemos we spread out we do spread out we're spreading out
wir breiten aus
The nosotros form of these verbs is not affected, and follows the normal pattern for -ir verb conjugation.
IR
convertir convertimos we convert we do convert we're converting
wir bekehren
hervir hervimos we boil we do boil we're boiling
wir kochen
preferir preferimos we prefer we do prefer we're preferring
wir ziehen vor
The stem (verb minus AR, ER or IR) tells you the action.
Using the -mos ending says we are doing this action, and it's going on NOW.
Each verb form in Spanish matches a specific pronoun, so Spanish doesn't need to use the pronoun.
That means: each of the conjugated forms you see says ALL of the given "meaning."
The NOSOTROS is understood, because of the ending.
You don't need to say NOSOTROS. If you do add the NOSOTROS, it usually adds emphasis, saying we dooo ...
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
Back to Top

Present tense: Stem-changing verbs: E -> IE
Vosotros & Vosotras form
To make this form, drop the -ar, -er, or -ir.
This is important to realize, because the present tense form is the basis for forming present subjunctive forms.
AR
deutsch
cerrar cerráis y'all close y'all do close y'all are closing
ihr schließt
comenzar comenzáis y'all start, begin y'all do start, begin y'all are starting, beginning
ihr fangt an
pensar pensáis y'all think y'all do think y'all are thinking
ihr denkt
The vosotros form of these verbs is not affected, and follows the normal pattern for -ar verb conjugation.
ER
defender defendéis y'all defend y'all do defend y'all are defending
ihr verteidigt
entender entendéis y'all understand y'all do understand y'all are understanding
ihr kapiert
tender tendéis y'all spread out y'all do spread out y'all are spreading out
ihr breitet aus
The vosotros form of these verbs is not affected, and follows the normal pattern for -er verb conjugation.
IR
convertir convertís y'all convert y'all do convert y'all are converting
ihr bekehrt
hervir hervís y'all boil y'all do boil y'all are boiling
ihr kocht
preferir preferís y'all prefer y'all do prefer y'all are preferring
ihr zieht vor
The vosotros form of these verbs is not affected, and follows the normal pattern for -ir verb conjugation.
The stem (verb minus AR, ER or IR) tells you the action.
Using the -áis, -éis, or -ís ending says y'all are doing this action, and it's going on NOW.
Each verb form in Spanish matches a specific pronoun, so Spanish doesn't need to use the pronoun.
That means: each of the conjugated forms you see says ALL of the given "meaning."
The VOSOTROS is understood, because of the ending.
You don't need to say VOSOTROS. If you do add the VOSOTROS, it usually adds emphasis, saying y'all dooo ...
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
Back to Top

Present tense: Stem-changing verbs: E -> IE
Ellos form
To make this form, drop the -ar, -er, or -ir.
Look for the E nearest the end of the stem, and change it to IE.
Add the normal ending for present tense conjugation.
This is important to realize, because the present tense yo form is the basis for forming present subjunctive forms.
AR
deutsch
cerrar cierran they close they do close they're closing
sie schließen
comenzar comienzan they start, begin they do start, begin they're starting, beginning
sie fangen an
pensar piensan they think they do think they're thinking
sie denken
ER
defender defienden they defend they do defend they're defending
sie verteidigen
entender entienden they understand they do understand they're understanding
sie kapieren
tender tienden they spread out they do spread out they're spreading out
sie breiten aus
IR
convertir convierten they convert they do convert they're converting
sie bekehren
hervir hierven they boil they do boil they're boiling
sie kochen
preferir prefieren they prefer they do prefer they're preferring
sie ziehen vor
What do they have in common now ?
The stem (verb minus AR, ER or IR) tells the action.
Using the -an or -en ending says they are doing this action, and it's going on NOW.
This form of the verb is valid for Ellos, Ellas, and Ustedes.
That means: You should probably cover your bases and include the Ellos to communicate concerning a mixed-gender or specifically masculine group.
The Ellos is then understood in your continued conversation, because of the ending.
You don't need to say ellos over and over again. If you do add the ellos, it usually adds emphasis, saying they dooo ...
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
Back to Top

Present tense: Stem-changing verbs: E -> IE
Ellas form
To make this form, drop the -ar, -er, or -ir.
Look for the E nearest the end of the stem, and change it to IE.
Add the normal ending for present tense conjugation.
This is important to realize, because the present tense yo form is the basis for forming present subjunctive forms.
AR
deutsch
cerrar cierran they close they do close they're closing
sie schließen
comenzar comienzan they start, begin they do start, begin they're starting, beginning
sie fangen an
pensar piensan they think they do think they're thinking
sie denken
ER
defender defienden they defend they do defend they're defending
sie verteidigen
entender entienden they understand they do understand they're understanding
sie kapieren
tender tienden they spread out they do spread out they're spreading out
sie breiten aus
IR
convertir convierten they convert they do convert they're converting
sie bekehren
hervir hierven they boil they do boil they're boiling
sie kochen
preferir prefieren they prefer they do prefer they're preferring
sie ziehen vor
What do they have in common now ?
The stem (verb minus AR, ER or IR) tells the action.
Using the -an or -en ending says they are doing this action, and it's going on NOW.
This form of the verb is valid for Ellos, Ellas, and Ustedes.
That means: You should probably cover your bases and include the Ellas to communicate concerning a specifically feminine group.
The Ellas is then understood in your continued conversation, because of the ending.
You don't need to say ellas over and over again. If you do add the ellas, it usually adds emphasis, saying they dooo ...
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
Back to Top

Present tense: Stem-changing verbs: E -> IE
Ustedes form
To make this form, drop the -ar, -er, or -ir.
Look for the E nearest the end of the stem, and change it to IE.
Add the normal ending for present tense conjugation.
This is important to realize, because the present tense yo form is the basis for forming present subjunctive forms.
AR
deutsch
cerrar cierran y'all close y'all do close y'all are closing
Sie schließen
comenzar comienzan y'all start, begin y'all do start, begin y'all are starting, beginning
Sie fangen an
pensar piensan y'all think y'all do think y'all are thinking
Sie denken
ER
defender defienden y'all defend y'all do defend y'all are defending
Sie verteidigen
entender entienden y'all understand y'all do understand y'all are understanding
Sie kapieren
tender tienden y'all spread out y'all do spread out y'all are spreading out
Sie breiten aus
IR
convertir convierten y'all convert y'all do convert y'all are converting
Sie bekehren
hervir hierven y'all boil y'all do boil y'all are boiling
Sie kochen
preferir prefieren y'all prefer y'all do prefer y'all are preferring
Sie ziehen vor
What do they have in common now ?
The stem (verb minus AR, ER or IR) tells the action.
Using the -an or -en ending says you are doing this action, and it's going on NOW.
This form of the verb is valid for Ellos, Ellas, and Ustedes.
That means: You should probably cover your bases and include the Ustedes to address a group of "Y'all," - and when you've got their attention, just leave the pronoun off.
The USTEDES is then understood in your continued conversation, because of the ending.
You don't need to say USTEDES over and over again. If you do add the USTEDES, it usually adds emphasis, saying Y'ALL dooo ...
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
Back to Top