Spanish E to IE Irregular Spanish Verb Conjugation

In Spanish, there are irregular verbs you need to learn about. They’re usually conjugated with the same endings you’ve learned, but the main part of the verb (called the stem) changes a little. We’ll take an in-depth look at the irregular verbs so you can learn how to use them correctly. Once you learn these irregular verbs in present tense, the irregular verbs in other tenses are a piece of cake in comparison since there are a lot fewer. One of the keys to learning the irregulars is to hear them enough that you’re familiar with them and they sound natural to you.

Spanish mini-course

Let’s start with verbs whose stems change from “e” to “ie”.  As I mentioned, the “stem” is the main part of the verb. Let’s take a look at the verb “pensar” which means “to think”. The “stem” is “p-e-n-s” and the “ending” is the “ar”. With stem changing verbs, the stem changes from “e” to “ie”. In verb conjugation, the “nosotros” form almost always likes to stay regular. In other words, instead of changing from “e” to “ie”, it stays as an “e”. Let’s take a look at the conjugation of “pensar”.

The phrase I think would be [piens][o] we think would be

(Remember, the stem stays regular for “nosotros”.)
The phrase (Juana) you think would be

Remember when you’re on a first-name basis with someone, you add the friendly “s”
[piens][as] you (plural/informal) or all of you think

(remember, this is only used in Spain)
He, she, or Mrs. Vasquez, you think would be – [piens][a] they or all of you think would be [piens][an]

Let’s take a look at the “e” to “ie” stem changing verbs so you can become familiar with them. We’ll conjugate each one in the “yo” form so you can see how the stem changes work. The only exception will be “it snows” instead of “I snow” since people usually don’t snow.

The verb Changes to
[cerr][ar] cierro (cierras, cierra, etc.)
[quer][er] quiero (quieres, quiere, etc.)
[comenz][ar] comienzo (comienzas, comienza, etc.)
[pens][ar] pienso (piensas, piensa, etc.)
[perd][er] pierdo (pierdes, pierde, etc.)
[empez][ar] empiezo (empiezas, empieza, etc.)
[prefer][ir] prefiero (prefieres, prefiere, etc.)
[nev][ar] nieva
[recommend][ar] recomiendo (recomiendas, recomienda, etc.)
[requer][ir] requiero (requires, require, etc.)
[entend][er] entiendo (entiendes, entiende, etc.)
[sent][ir] siento (sientes, siente, etc.)

The next lesson will let you practice this concept to get a better idea of how it works. Just a last reminder that all of the stems change from “e” to “ie” except “nosotros” which likes to stay regular (and “vosotros” which is used in Spain).

Spanish Practice “e” to “ie”

Let’s begin the quiz:

I close Cierro
She closes Cierra
We close Cerramos
I want Quiero
He wants Quiere
We want Queremos
(Juan) You start (starts with ‘c’) Comienza
They start (starts with ‘c’) Comeinzan
We start (starts with ‘c’) Comenzamos
(Juana) You think Piensas
(All of you) think Peinsan
We think Pensamos
(Mrs. Méndez) You lose Pierde
They lose Pierden
We lose Perdemos
(Mr. Garcia) you start (starts with ‘e’) Empieza
(Juanita) You start (starts with ‘e’) Empiezas
We start (starts with ‘e’) Empezamos
They prefer Prefieren
I prefer Prefiero
We Prefer Preferimos
They recommend Recomiendan
(José) You recommend Recomiendas
We recommend Recomendamos
It snows Nieva
(All of you) require Requieren
She requires Require
We require Requerimos
I understand (starts with ‘e’) Entiendo
He understands (starts with ‘e’) Entiende
We understand Entendemos
She feels Siente
They feel Sienten
We feel Sentimos

How’d you do? Did you remember that some of verbs were “ar”, “er” and “ir”-ending verbs? If you’d like, here you can either review what you just learned. Or, if you feel comfortable with it, you can continue on to the next lesson.