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what is the difference between regular and irregular verbs

  • Posted Jun 16, 2011
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Hola. Good question.

All verb tenses have "patterns", so to say. Let me give you examples in the present tense.

-AR verbs have this pattern:

  • Yo form ends in "o"
  • Tú form ends in "as"
  • Ella, él, usted form ends in "a"
  • Nosotros/as form ends in "amos"
  • Ellos/ellas/ustedes form ends in "an"

However, there are always irregulars. These are the verbs that do not follow the pattern. So, for example, an -AR verb that is irregular in the present is "estar". This verb does not follow the -AR pattern I listed above.

  • Yo estoy
  • estás
  • Ella/él/usted está
  • Nosotros/as estamos
  • Ellos/ellas/ustedes están

There are irregulars in essentially every verb tense in Spanish.

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Additional help

Good question...I hope I helped. smile

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Like the previous answer said, regular verbs have the patterns you've probably learned in at least the present tense. Irregular verbs deviate from the normal pattern, but the good thing is that MOST follow a different pattern!


Stem-changing verbs like entender

change their last vowel in the stem. In this case from e to ie

Entender=> entienda (she finds)

There are several different patterns for some different groups of irregular/stem changing verbs and in different tenses.

Unfortunately, for most verbs, the only way to know whether it's regular or irregular is to memorize it...but it will come pretty quickly to the ones you use most often. =)

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