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Preterite ER IR Verbs — Spanish Verb Conjugation

Now let’s learn how to conjugate “er/ir” spine or preterite Spanish verbs. The endings are exactly the same for both “er” as well as “ir” verbs.

Spanish Mini Course - Preterite Er Ir Verbs



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We’ll use the verb “comer” as an example”.

I ate would be

(Yo) comí


We ate would be

(Nosotros) comimos
As you can see, for Nosotros, the ending for “er” and “ir” verbs is the same – “imos”. However, it’s important to note that the “er” verb ending changes from present to past, for example, “we eat” would be “nosotros comemos” and “we ate” in the past would be “nosotros comimos”. On the other hand, the “ir” verb endings are the same in the present and the past. The only way to tell the difference is by the context. For example, “salimos ayer” would be “we left yesterday”. And “Siempre salimos temprano” would be “We always leave early”.

Juan or María, You ate would be

(Tú) comiste


(tú plural – used only in Spain) would be

(Vosotros) comisteis

He ate would be
She ate would be
You ate would be

(El) com
(Ella) com
(Ud.) com


They ate would be
They (women) ate would be
All of you ate would be

(Ellos) comieron
(Ellas) comieron
(Uds.) comieron

Now take a look at the endings one more time.






Even though the endings for “ir” verbs are the same as “er” verbs, we’ll still take a look at an “ir” verb to give you an example: We’ll use the verb “vivir”.

Yo viví

Nosotros vivimos

Tú viviste

Vosotros vivisteis

El, Ella, or Ud. vivió

Ellos, ellas, or Uds. vivieron

Now we’ll practice the “er” “ir” endings with a few different verbs. Are you ready?

I promised

(Yo) prometí

You sold – using “tú”

(Tú) vendiste

He ran

(Él) corrió

She decided

(Ella) decidió

You lived – using “usted”

(Ud.) vivió

We opened

(Nosotros) abrimos

They learned

(Ellos) aprendieron

All of you wrote

(Uds.) escribieron

Now that you’ve learned the “er/ir” verb endings, you need to know that there is a lone “ar” verb that didn’t like his friends in the “ar” group and has chosen to use the “er/ir” endings for past tense. It is the verb “dar” which means “to give”. Take a look at the spine, or preterite, endings for “dar”.

I gave is


We gave is


You gave, with “tú” is



All of you gave (using vosotros in Spain) is


He, she, or you gave (using Ud.) is



They or all of you gave is


Before we start practicing, let’s learn a few new Spanish expressions. Are you ready?

For three days – Por tres días
For five years - Por cinco años
For ten months - Por diez meses
For fifteen minutes - Por quince minutos
For eight hours - Por ocho horas
Three days ago - Hace tres días 
Four weeks ago – Hace cuatro meses
Ten months ago - Hace diez meses
Five years ago - Hace cinco años
Fifteen minutes ago - Hace quince minutos
Eight hours ago - Hace ocho horas.  

Spine Spanish Practice Session #2/3

Now, let’s go ahead and practice the “er/ir” spine verb endings. Here we go.

I drank it (starts with ‘b’)

Lo bebí

(Marta) Did you eat it?

¿Lo comiste?

He learned it

Lo aprendió

She promised


(Sra. Benites) You didn’t see it (el edificio)

No lo vio

We sold it 3 days ago

Lo vendimos hace tres días

They surprised us six days ago

Nos sorprendieron hace seis días

All of you attended for four months

Asistieron por cuatro meses

I didn’t understand (starts with ‘c’)

No comprendí

She gave it to Juan

Lo dio a Juan

(Martín) You decided three years ago

Decidiste hace tres años

He lived there for two years

Vivió por dos años

She opened it (la puerta) five minutes ago

La abrió hace cinco minutos

(Sr. Mendes) You received it three weeks ago

Lo recibió hace tres semanas

We wrote it (la carta) two days ago

La escribimos hace dos días

I gave it to María

Lo di a María

They lost it (la llave) two months ago

La perdieron hace dos meses

I didn’t understand it (starts with ‘e’)

No lo entendí

It rained for three weeks

Llovió por tres semanas

(Marta) You chose them two years ago

Los escogiste hace dos años

He left one month  ago

Salió hace un mes

Remember to go over this lesson a few times to help tune your ear to hearing the Spanish endings. When you feel comfortable with it, go ahead and check it off.

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