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stem-changing verbs o to ue in Spanish made easier

A complete guide to stem changing verbs o to ue in Spanish: A stem-changing verb is a verb that has a change in the stem.  When it comes to stem-changing verbs we change the ending according to who is performing the action but we also have to change the stem.

Types of stem-changing verbs

There are three types of stem changing verbs

  1. Stem changing verbs: E to IE change
  2. Stem changing verbs: O to UE change
  3. Stem changing verbs: E to I change

In this guide we will explore the stem changing verbs o to ue. Before we learn how to make all of those changes, we need to be clear about a very important rule i.e. stem changing verbs conjugated with the nosotros and vosotros are treated as an exception to the below guidelines, and instead should be conjugated as regular verbs.

o to ue video lesson




Stem changing verbs: O to UE change

The rule for this type of stem changing verb is that if there is an o in the last stressed syllable of the stem, it will be automatically replaced by ue.

Following is the O to UE stem changing verbs chart:

 encontrar (to find)volver (to return)dormir (to sleep)
yoencuentrovuelvoduermo
encuentrasvuelvesduermes
él/ella/ustedencuentravuelveduerme
nosotros/nosotrasencontramosvolvemosdormimos
vosotros/vosotrasencontráisvolvéisdormís
ellos/ellas/ustedesencuentranvuelvenduermen

As you can see, in these verbs the -o changes to an –ue in the yo/tú/él/ellos forms.

Now that you know the rule of changing -o to –ue, let’s look at some common o to ue stem changing verbs:

almorzarto eat lunch
aprobarto approve
colgarto hang (up)
contarto count
costarto cost
devolverto return (an object)
dormirto sleep
encontrarto find
envolverto wrap (up)
morderto bite
morirto die
mostrarto show
moverto move (an object)
probarto prove, test, sample, taste
recordarto remember
resolverto solve
rogarto beg, pray
sonarto sound, ring
soñar (con)to dream (about)
tostarto toast
volverto return
volarto fly




Some example sentences with O to UE stem changing verbs

This section of the o to ue stem-changing verbs present tense conjugation lesson is all about seeing the verbs in action. This is useful because examples can help you better understand the o to ue stem-changing verbs conjugation.

  • encontrar

Yo no encuentro mi billete (I can’t find my ticket).

  • recordar

Yo recuerdo tu rostro pero no recuerdo tu nombre (I remember your face, but I don’t remember your name).

  • almorzar

¿A qué hora almuerzas tú? (At what time do you have lunch?)

  • volver

Ese pájaro no vuela (That bird doesn’t fly).

  • almorzar

Nosotros almorzamos al mediodía (We have lunch at midday/noon).

  • encontrar

Enviadme un mensaje si vosotros encontráis algo (Send me a message if you find something).

  • volar

Yo vuelvo en una hora (I’ll be back within one hour).

  • dormir

¿Tú no duermes bien por la noche? (Don’t you sleep well at night?).

  • dormir

¿Dónde duermo yo? (Where do I sleep?)

  • dormir

Leeré un libro mientras vosotros dormís. (I’ll read a book while you sleep).

  • morir

El protagonista muere al final del libro. (The protagonist dies at the end of the book).




Strategies to learn stem changing verbs

You should put your knowledge to the test to see if you truly understood everything. Getting a command of these stem-changing verbs takes time. You need to practice them on a daily basis so that you memorize the changing rules and apply them without any errors.

When it comes to learning a language, using flashcards is an absolute must. It is the best way to remember what you learn because it adapts to your actions, and all flashcards have audio to improve your hearing and pronunciation.

You can also refer to Spanish textbooks to look for examples of these stem-changing verbs. Consulting textbook is a great strategy to understand the Spanish writing rules. 

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