Stem-Changing Verbs in the Present Tense

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This presentation explains how stem-changing verbs are conjugated in the present tense.


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Stem-Changing Verbs:

Stem-Changing Verbs Present Tense

Review of Verb Basics:

Review of Verb Basics Remember that in Spanish verbs have two parts: a stem and an ending. For example, the verb cantar has the stem cant- which carries the meaning “sing” while the ending – ar identifies the verb form as an infinitive.

Review—Conjugating regular verbs:

To change contar from its infinitive form to a conjugated form such as I sing, we remove the infinitive marker, - ar , and add the yo form ending –o. Review—Conjugating regular verbs When we conjugate regular verbs we follow a specific pattern. The verb cantar would be conjugated as follows: - amos -as - áis -a -an Regular – ar verb endings Cant ar -o o

Similarities Between Stem-changing and Regular Verbs:

Similarities Between Stem-changing and Regular Verbs Stem changing verbs are like regular verbs in that they use the same endings. -o - amos -o - emos -o - imos -as - áis - es - éis - es - ís -a -an -e -en -e -en -AR verbs -ER verbs -IR verbs

The Conjugation Process:

The Conjugation Process When conjugating a stem-changing verb one still removes the infinitive marker, the – ar , - er , or – ir and adds the appropriate ending. However most, but not all present tense conjugated forms, require a spelling change in the stem.

The Spelling Change:

The Spelling Change Our text book typically identifies stem-changing verbs by including a parenthetical notation on the vocabulary list. poder (o → ue ) This notation lets us know that in the forms with spelling changes, the o will become a ue .

Where do the spelling changes occur?:

Where do the spelling changes occur? If we were to look at the conjugation chart for the verb poder , it would look like this. puedo podemos puedes podéis puede pueden You will notice that all of the forms except the nosotros form and the vosotros form contain the spelling change.

Making Stem-changing Verbs Memorable.:

Making Stem-changing Verbs Memorable. Puedo Podemos Puedes Podéis Puede pueden The easiest way to remember where these verbs will change is to draw a line around the forms that change. The design will look like a boot or a Christmas stocking.

An Example:

An Example -o - emos - es - éis -e -en Quer er Quer Quier Quiero Queremos Quieres Queréis Quiere Quieren ( e → ie )

How do we know when and how to change these stems?:

How do we know when and how to change these stems? We memorize

(o → ue) stem-changing verbs:

(o → ue ) stem-changing verbs Poder –can or to be able to Almorzar – to eat lunch Dormir – to sleep Costar – to cost Jugar (u → ue ) – to play

(e → ie) stem-changing verbs:

(e → ie ) stem-changing verbs Empezar – to begin or to start Pensar – to think or to plan to Preferir – to prefer Querer – to want Tener – to have (the yo form is irregular) Venir – to come (the yo form is irregular)

(e → i) stem-changing verbs:

(e → i ) stem-changing verbs Pedir – to ask for Servir – to serve Repetir – to repeat

A few additional thoughts:

A few additional thoughts If the stem contains two of the letter that is to change as in preferir (e → ie ) we change the second letter: ie prefiero . This is not a complete list of stem-changing verbs. You will want to memorize these and then add each new verb as you are introduced to it.

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