Spanish 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

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.

í imos
iste isteis

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”.


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 Prometió
(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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