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Spanish Irregular Present Tense Verbs

Learn about the Spanish verbs that have irregular yo forms or have an irregular form in every person and number in the Present Tense

A great number of Spanish verbs do not conform to the general rules of conjugation in the Present Tense. Some change their spelling; others have Present Tense forms built via changing the stem, etc. In this article, we are going to learn about the verbs that have irregular yo forms or have an irregular form in every person and number.

Spanish Verbs that Have Irregular Yo Forms

Some of the Spanish verbs have irregular yo forms in the Present Tense. In all other person and number forms of the Present Tense, they are conjugated in the same way regular verbs should be.

In order to ease the process of memorization, we’ll formulate a little rule within this exception to the regular Present Tense conjugation rule.

Learn how to conjugate the Spanish verbs with irregular yo forms in the present tense

So, this is basically it. Look at the final letters of the Spanish infinitive to decide whether it should be conjugated according to the general rule or not. Below you will find lists of the most common verbs grouped by the final letters.

Spanish Verbs that End in –CER or –CIR

The present tense yo form ending of the verbs that end in -cir or -cer is -zco. It can also be just -zo if in the infinitive form the –cir or –cer is preceded by a consonant.

  • agradecer - to be grateful for
  • aparecer - to appear
  • conducir - to drive
  • conocer - to know
  • ejercer - to exercise (yo ejerzo)
  • ofrecer - to offer
  • obedecer - to obey
  • parecer - to seem, look like
  • producir - to produce
  • traducir - to translate
  • vencer – to defeat (yo venzo)

Spanish Verbs that End in –GER or –GIR

The present tense yo form of the verbs ending in -gir or -ger is -jo.

  • afligir - to distress
  • coger - to take hold of
  • corregir* - to correct
  • dirigir - to direct, address
  • elegir* - to choose, select
  • escoger - to choose
  • exigir - to demand, require
  • fingir - to feign, simulate
  • proteger - to protect
  • recoger - to collect

* Please note that the verbs marked with an asterisk also undergo a root vowel change in the process of conjugation. We will explain everything about this kind of irregularities in our next week’s article.

Spanish Verbs that End in –GUIR

The present tense yo form ending of the verbs that end in -guir is -go.

  • conseguir*  - to get, obtain
  •  dinstinguir - to distinguish
  • erseguir* - to pursue
  • proseguir* - to proceed, carry on with
  • seguir* - to follow

* Please note that the verbs marked with an asterisk also undergo a root vowel change in the process of conjugation. We will explain everything about this kind of irregularities in our next week’s article.

More Spanish Verbs with Irregular Yo Forms

The present tense yo forms of the following verbs do not conform to any rule or logical sequence. Fortunately, there are only ten* of them, and you can very effectively memorize them with the help of this table:

Learn the present tense conjugation of irregular Spanish verbs

*Please note: verbs that have been derived from the ten verbs above with the help of various prefixes also have irregular yo forms, e.g.: deshacer, componer, distraer, etc.

Completely Irregular Present Tense Verbs

There are four verbs in the Spanish language that have completely irregular Present Tense forms. They are the most basic one can imagine: to be (ser for permanent states and estar for transient states), to have (haber), and to go (ir). Below you will find some tables you can rely on to learn the four naughty verbs.

Learn the present tense conjugation of the verb ser

Learn the present tense conjugation of the verb estar

Learn the present tense conjugation of the verb haberLearn the present tense conjugation of the Spanish verb ir

So, next time we will continue with more irregular verbs, the stem-changing ones. And now, let’s see if you have memorized everything from today’s article! It’s time for a quiz!

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