Unit 8: Preterit (Part 2), “to be” verbs, present participle and progressive tenses

8.2 Irregular Verbs in the Preterit Tense: Part 2

More irregular verbs in Spanish include those that take a j in the stem. It is a regular feature of Spanish that the combination jie never occurs. Therefore only –eron, not ieron follows for the third-person plural forms:

decir traer traducir*
yo dije traje  traduje
dijiste trajiste tradujiste
él, ella, Ud. dijo trajo tradujo
nosotros dijimos trajimos  tradujimos
vosotros dijisteis  trajisteis  tradujisteis
ellos, ellas, Uds. dijeron trajeron  tradujeron

*All verbs ending in –ucir have the same preterit ending. These include such common verbs as producir (“to produce”), conducir (“to drive), reducir (“to reduce”) and almost all other verbs ending in “-duce” in English.

The verb dar is irregular only because it is an –ar verb that takes the endings for a regular –er or –ir verb.

YO di
ÉL, ELLA, UD. dio
VOSOTROS disteis 

Pay special attention so as not to confuse the preterit tense forms of poner and poder.
These forms should be distinguishable, as poder retains the d of the infinitive. In the preterit of poner, e.g, puse, one can see that the cognate “to position” or “to posit” becomes more evident.

poner poder
yo puse pude 
pusiste pudiste
él, ella, Ud. puso pudo   
nosotros pusimos pudimos 
vosotros pusisteis  pudisteis 
ellos, ellas, Uds. pusieron pudieron 

Additional verbs that change the stem to a u are:

saber haber
yo supe
él, ella, Ud. supo hubo   
nosotros supimos
vosotros supisteis   
ellos, ellas, Uds. supieron

Hubo is the preterit tense of the impersonal hay (“there is/there are”). Note that it is only conjugated in the 3rd person singular form because it is impersonal. Hubo often denotes an action or event in the past and may have a different translation:

Hubo un golpe de estado en Chile en 1973.

There was a coup d’état in Chile in 1973.
A coup d’état occurred (happened) in Chile in 1973.



Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Spanish for Reading and Translation Copyright © by Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book