8.2 Irregular Verbs in the Preterite Tense: Part 2

More irregular verbs in Spanish include those that take a j in the stem. It is a regular feature of Spanish that the combination jie never occurs. Therefore only –eron, not ieron follows for the third-person plural forms:

decir traer Traducir*
yo dije traje  traduje
dijiste trajiste tradujiste
él, Ella, Ud. dijo trajo tradujo
Nosotros dijimos trajimos  tradujimos
Vosotros dijisteis  trajisteis  tradujisteis
ellos, ellas, Uds. dijeron trajeron  tradujeron

*All verbs ending in –ucir have the same preterite ending. These include such common verbs as producir (“to produce”), conducir (“to drive), reducir (“to reduce”) and almost all other verbs ending in “-duce” in English.

The verb dar is irregular only because it is an –ar verb that takes the endings for a regular –er or –ir verb.

Dar
YO di
diste
ÉL, ELLA, UD. dio
NOSOTROS dimos
VOSOTROS disteis 
ELLOS, ELLAS, UDS. dieron

Pay special attention so as not to confuse the preterite tense forms of poner and poder.
These forms should be distinguishable, as poder retains the d of the infinitive. In the preterite of poner, e.g, puse, one can see that the cognate “to position” or “to posit” becomes more evident.

poner poder
yo puse pude 
pusiste pudiste
él, Ella, Ud. puso pudo   
Nosotros pusimos pudimos 
Vosotros pusisteis  pudisteis 
ellos, ellas, Uds. pusieron pudieron 

Additional verbs that change the stem to a u are:

saber haber
yo supe
supiste
él, Ella, Ud. supo hubo   
Nosotros supimos
Vosotros supisteis   
ellos, ellas, Uds. supieron

Hubo is the preterite tense of the impersonal hay (“there is/there are”), but often denotes an action or event and may have a different translation:

Hubo un golpe de estado en Chile en 1973.

There was a coup d’état in Chile in 1973.
A coup d’état occurred (happened) in Chile in 1973.

 

Last revised on June 16, 2021.