SPANISH STEM-CHANGING VERB SUMMARY

All Spanish verbs have a stem (la raíz) and an ending (-ar, -er, -ir): pensar, volver, pedir.
There is a large group of verbs that change their stem in the present (indicative and subjunctive) tenses when the stem vowel is stressed. There are three types: -e to -ie-, -o- to -ue-, and -e- to -i-:

pensar (ie)piensopiensaspiensapensamospensáispiensan(to think)
volver (ue)vuelvovuelvesvuelvevolvemosvolvéisvuelven(to come back)
pedir (i)pidopidespidepedimospedíspiden(to ask [for])

Common verbs following these patterns in the present tense:
e > ie: cerrar, comenzar, empezar, entender, invertir, mentir, pensar, perder, preferir, querer, sentir
e > i: elegir, (im)pedir, repetir, seguir, sentir, servir, (son)reír, vestir
o > ue: contar, dormir, encontrar, morir, mostrar, poder, resolver, volar, volver

Jugar has a different stem change, from u to ue in the same places:
juego, juegas, juega, jugamos, jugáis, juegan.

-ir verbs of this kind also change their stem from -o to -u and -e to -i in the following forms:
• Gerundio (-iendo): > sintiendo, durmiendo, pidiendo
• present subjunctive "nosotros" and "vosotros" forms: > sintamos, sintáis; durmamos, durmáis; pidamos, pidáis.
• preterite "él" and "ellos"forms: > sintió, sintieron; durmió, durmieron; pidió, pidieron
• all the past subjunctive: > sintiera; durmiéramos; pidieran

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