Spanish Verbs: Preterite Stem Changing

Not all Spanish verbs act the same in the preterite tense. Below we'll explore several irregular Spanish verbs whose stem changes in the preterite tense.
Some irregular verbs in the preterite tense follow a similiar pattern. While their stems change, they all adopt the following endings:

  • -e
  • -iste
  • -o
  • -imos
  • -isteis
  • ieron

The following is a list of the Spanish irregular verbs whose stem changes in the preterite past tense form, along with their corresponding stem changes.
Infinitive
Stem Change
estar
estuv-
andar
anduv-
haber
hub-
tener
tuv-
caber
cup-
poner
pus-
poder
pud-
hacer
hic-
saber
sup-
venir
vin-
querer
quis-


Read and listen to the following examples of how this pattern is applied, then repeat each example out loud.
English
Spanish estar (estuv-)
I was
estuve
you were (familiar)
estuviste
you were (formal)
he was
she was
estuvo
we were
estuvimos
you were (familiar plural)
estuvisteis
you were (formal plural)
they were
estuvieron


English
Spanish caber (cup-)
I fit
cupe
you fit (familiar)
cupiste
you fit (formal)
he fit
she fit
cupo
we fit
cupimos
you fit (familiar plural)
cupisteis
you fit (formal plural)
they fit
cupieron


English
Spanish tener (tuv-)
I had
tuve
you had (familiar)
tuviste
you had (formal)
he had
she had
tuvo
we had
tuvimos
you had (familiar plural)
tuvisteis
you had (formal plural)
they had
tuvieron