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Simple Past | Tips

Simple Past|Tips

Note: "-ar" and "-er" verbs that change their stem in the Present tense do not change in the Preterite. They are conjugated just like other regular Preterite verbs.


e.g.  entender (to understand)

Subject-Present-Preterite

yo-entiendo-entendí

-entiendes-entendiste

usted/él/ella-entiende-entend

nosotros(as)-entendemos-entendimos

vosotros(as)-entendéis-entendisteis

ustedes/ellos(as)-entienden-entendieron

 

Note: "- ir" verbs that change their stem in the Present tense do change in the Preterite, but in a different way. They change "e:i" and "o:u" in the third person, singular and plural.

e.g.   preferir (to prefer)

Subject-Present-Preterite

yo-prefiero-preferí

-prefieres-preferiste

usted/él/ella-prefiere-prefirió

nosotros(as) -preferimos-preferimos

vosotros(as)-preferís-preferisteis

ustedes/ellos(as)-prefieren-prefirieron

 

e.g. dormir (to sleep)

Subject-Present-Preterite

yo-duermo-dormí

-duermes-dormiste

usted/él/ella-duerme- durmió

nosotros(as)-dormimos-dormimos

vosotros(as)-dormís-dormisteis

ustedes/ellos(as)-duermen-durmieron

 

Note: In order to preserve the sound of the infinitive, a number of verbs change orthographically (spelling) in the Preterite Tense. The following changes occur in the “yo” form only:

Verbs that end in -gar change to gu
Verbs that end in -car change c to qu
Verbs that end in -zar change z to c

e.g.

yo jugué (jugar) (to play)
yo busqué (buscar) (to search)
yo empecé (empezar) (to start)

Note: Most common orthographic changing verbs for the Preterite Tense in these categories are:

-gar-car-zar

cegar-aparcar-almorzar

colgar-buscar-autorizar

jugar-clarificar-cazar

llegar-clasificar-comenzar

pagar-destacar-cruzar

plegar-empacar-empezar

regar-justificar-forzar

rogar-practicar-organizar

tragar-sacar-simbolizar

vagar-tocar-tropezarse


Note: For verbs that end in "- aer""- eer""- oír", and "- oer", the él/ella/usted forms use the ending “yó” (rather than ) and the ellos/ellas/ustedes forms uses the ending “yeron” (rather than ieron). The remaining forms gain a written accent over the letter “i”

creer (to believe)

yo creí
 creíste
él/ella/usted cre
nosotros creímos
vosotros creísteis
ellos/ellas/ustedes creyeron


Here is the list of verbs similar to  "creer":

caer-to fall

leer-to read

oír-to hear

poseer-to own

proveer-to provide

roer-to gnaw


Exceptions to this rule include:

traer-to bring

atraer-to attract

distraer-to distract


Note: Verbs that end in "- uir" change in the same way, but the written accent over the letter "i" only occurs in the "yo form".

huir (to run away)

yo - huí
 - huiste
él/ella/usted - huyó
nosotros(a) - huimos
vosotros(a) - huisteis
ustedes, ellos(as)  - huyeron


Here is the list of verbs similar to  "huir":

construir-to build

contribuir-to contribute

destruir-to destroy

fluir-to flow

incluir-to include

influir-to influence

 

Note: The following verbs are irregular in the Preterite and must be memorized:


Subject-decir (to say)-traer(to bring)-ver(to see)

yo-dije-traje-vi

-dijiste-trajiste-viste

usted-dijo-trajo-vio

él/ella-dijo-trajo-vio

nosotros(as)-dijimos-trajimos-vimos

vosotros(as)-dijisteis-trajisteis-visteis

ustedes/ellos(as)-dijeron-trajeron-vieron

 

Here is the list of verbs similar to  "traer":

atraer-to attract

detraer-to detract

distraer-to distract

extraer-to extract

maltraer-to mistreat

retraer-to retract

sustraer-to subtract


Note: Verbs that end in "-ucir" are irregular and conjugated as follows:

producir (to produce)

yo produje
 produjiste
usted produjo

él/ella produjo
nosotros (as) produjimos
vosotros (as)  produjisteis
ustedes/ ellos(as)   produjeron


Other verbs in this category include:

aducir-to adduce

conducir-to drive

coproducir-to coproduce

deducir-to deduct

inducir-to induce

introducir-to introduce

reducir-to reduce

traducir-to translate


Note: A number of verbs that are irregular in the Preterite follow a particular pattern. While their stems change, they all take the following endings:

-e
-iste
-o

-o
-imos
-isteis
-ieron

 

Here are the verbs, along with their corresponding stem changes:

Infinitive - Stem Change English Verbs

andar-anduv-to walk

estar-estuv-to be

tener-tuv-to have

caber-cup-to fit

haber-hub-to have

poder-pud-to power

poner-pus-to place

saber-sup-to know

hacer-hic-to do

querer-quis-to want

venir-vin-to come

 

Here are two examples of how this pattern is applied:

Subject-estar (estuv-) / saber (sup-)

yo-estuve-supe

-estuviste-supiste

usted-estuvo-supo

él/ella-estuvo-supo

nosotros(as)-estuvimos-supimos

vosotros(as)-estuvisteis-supisteis

ustedes/ellos(as)-estuvieron-supieron


Note: The one exception is the third person singular of "hacer". As you learned in a previous lesson, the "c" changes to "z" to form “hizo”

 


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