Stem changing e to ie in Spanish Made Easier

Table of Contents

What is a stem changing verb

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.

Before we learn how to make all of those changes, let’s review the parts of a verb to make sure we are making changes where they belong. 

e to ie stem changers explained 

e to ie stem-changing verbs all have an e in the stem and that e is going to change to ie in all forms except for nosotros and vosotros.

Ir conjugation video lesson

Examples of e to ie stem-changing verbs 

The verb empezar? To start, to begin.

Empezar is a stem-changing verb. 
Not only are we changing the –ar according to who is performing the action, but we also have to change the stem and that’s going to be this specific e. The one I highlighted for you.

empezar chart

That highlighted e changes to ie in all forms except for nosotros and vosotros. Let me show you how this works.

Now, since empezar is an -ar verb, we need to remember the endings for -ar verbs which are:
o, as, a, amos, áis and an

Remember, the highlighted e changes to ie in all forms except for nosotros and vosotros.

yo → empiezo – I begin/Istart

tú → empiezas – you begin/you start

él/ella/Ud → empieza – he/she/You (f.) begin/start

nosotros → empezamos (remember no stem change in the nosotros form) – We begin/start

vosotros → empezáis (remember no stem change in the vosotros form) – You(pl.) Spain begin/start
ellos/ellas/Uds. → empiezan – They/You (pl) begin/start

Ellos empiezan la clase de español. 

They begin the Spanish class. 

Yo empiezo mi día a las 6:00 a.m.

I begin my day at 6:00 a.m.

Nosotros empezamos la clase de matemáticas a las 2 de la tarde. 

We start math class at 2 in the afternoon.

The verb querere → ie

Querer = to want … by the way, that u is silent. Querer

We know querer it’s an -er verb … so we need to use -er verb endings.
o, es, e, emos, éis, en

Querer Chart

Guerer Chart Guerer Chart

And … we know querer is a stem changer. The highlighted e changes to ie in all forms except for nosotros and vosotros

yo → quiero  – I want

tú → quieres – you want 

él/ella/Ud. → quiere  – he/she/You (f.) want

nosotros → queremos (remember no stem change in the nosotros form) – We want.

vosotros → queréis (remember no stem change in the vosotros form) – You(pl.) want

ellos/ellas/Uds. → quieren – – They/You (pl) want

Did you notice how we conjugated this verb? We changed the ending like a regular -er verb and in addition, we change the e in the stem to ie in all forms except for nosotros and vosotros

Examples:

Él quiere hablar español. 

He wants to speak Spanish.

Tú quieres hablar francés. 

You want to speak French.

Nosotros queremos comer pizza.

We want to eat pizza.

Here is a list of common stem-changing verbs eie.

  • Pensar – To think
  • Preferir- To Prefer
  • Entender – To understand
  • Empezar -to Begin
  • Querer – to want
  • Cerrar – To close 

list of stem changing verbs e - ie

Table of Contents

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