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

8.6 The Preterit Tense: -Ir Stem-Changing Verbs and other Spelling Changes

Unlike –ar and –er stem-changing verbs, –ir verbs show a one-letter stem change (the first letter if the verb has a two-letter change in the present tense) in the third persons of the preterite, as they do in the present participle.

Pedir (i) Dormir (ue)
yo pedí dormí
pediste dormiste
él, ella, Ud. pidió durmió
nosotros pedimos dormimos
vosotros pedisteis dormisteis
ellos, ellas, Uds. pidieron durmieron

Present participles: pidiendo, durmiendo

Other verbs have orthographic changes that appear in the first-person singular of the present tense. All verbs ending in –car, –gar and –zar undergo this change.

sacar saqué
llegar llegué
comenzar comencé

Once you recognize the infinitive and the tense, none of the above changes should present comprehension difficulties.

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