Stem Changes

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Can someone explain stem changing verbs for me i don't understand it.

8258 views
updated OCT 11, 2008
posted by The-Man

17 Answers

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Spanish has dozens of verbs that might be called "regular irregular" verbs ? verbs that are irregular but are irregular in a consistent way.
These verbs are known as stem-changing or radical-changing verbs, because what makes them irregular is that only the stem (the part of the verb that comes before -ar, -er or -ir) changes.

Copied this from a grammar web site. Stem changing verbs are regular irregular verbs. hehe

Natasha said:

lazarus1907 said:

According to that point of view, only ser, ir and hacer are irregular verbs, because all others can be grouped with similar verbs sharing the same irreg... I mean, stem changes; that's nice! That, to me, is an euphemism to refer to a large set of verbs whose conjugations are unpredictable... unless you are told what special pattern they must follow. No changes are completely random, but if you can't tell just by looking at the verb, it is irregular.

I was in no way questioning your expertise, Lazarus. --Just pointing out that the terminology used in some textbooks & English-based classrooms doesn't match yours. The textbooks should probably be corrected, but that's beside the point.

>

updated OCT 11, 2008
posted by 0074b507
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I don't know if any of you have listened to the courses of Michel Thomas -I know he has a few critics, but I liked them. One of his bugbears is emphasizing the importance of stress within Spanish, especially for the present tense verbs, he emphasizes the penultimate syllable so strongly (for the purposes of teaching) that it becomes apparent that certain vowels 'collapse' under the strain e.g. the 'o' of poder is stressed so strongly that it collapses under the strain to become puede. It's difficult to explain without hearing -what it does give you is an intuitive feel for which verbs will change stem without having to learn them by rote.

updated OCT 11, 2008
posted by tad
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It is also intresting that the related verb llorar, whose relationship with llover parallels that of, for example, French pleurer with pleuvoir, has the shifted o with NO change.

Stuart Simon said:

It is interesting that the o in has changed to a u in what is now jugar, for the infinitive llover seems to have undergone the opposite vowel shift from Latin pluvere. Only the noun form, lluvia, preserves the original vowel. Yes, I know that llover is a stem-changing verb, but most o-to-ue verbs are formed from o prototypes. I am not a linguist, but I have a working knowledge of several Indo-European languages, and I know this from cross-comparison of cognates.

Gus said:

I was unable to find anything about stem verbs in my "Spanish , Sn essenial Grammar " by Peter T. Bradley and Ian Mackenzie last pub. date 2004

I guess I'll have to wait until I get to the more advance Spanish level

>

updated OCT 11, 2008
posted by Stuart-Simon
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It is interesting that the o in has changed to a u in what is now jugar, for the infinitive llover seems to have undergone the opposite vowel shift from Latin pluvere. Only the noun form, lluvia, preserves the original vowel. Yes, I know that llover is a stem-changing verb, but most o-to-ue verbs are formed from o prototypes. I am not a linguist, but I have a working knowledge of several Indo-European languages, and I know this from cross-comparison of cognates.

Gus said:

I was unable to find anything about stem verbs in my "Spanish , Sn essenial Grammar " by Peter T. Bradley and Ian Mackenzie

last pub. date 2004

I guess I'll have to wait until I get to the more advance Spanish level

>

updated OCT 11, 2008
posted by Stuart-Simon
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I was unable to find anything about stem verbs in my "Spanish , Sn essenial Grammar "
by Peter T. Bradley and Ian Mackenzie
last pub. date 2004
I guess I'll have to wait until I get to the more advance Spanish level

updated OCT 1, 2008
posted by 00769608
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Natasha said:

I was in no way questioning your expertise, Lazarus. --Just pointing out that the terminology used in some textbooks & English-based classrooms doesn't match yours. The textbooks should probably be corrected, but that's beside the point.

I know what you meant, don't worry. I was just moaning about the terminology, not you.

updated OCT 1, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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updated OCT 1, 2008
posted by motley
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lazarus1907 said:

According to that point of view, only ser, ir and hacer are irregular verbs, because all others can be grouped with similar verbs sharing the same irreg... I mean, stem changes; that's nice! That, to me, is an euphemism to refer to a large set of verbs whose conjugations are unpredictable... unless you are told what special pattern they must follow. No changes are completely random, but if you can't tell just by looking at the verb, it is irregular.

I was in no way questioning your expertise, Lazarus. --Just pointing out that the terminology used in some textbooks & English-based classrooms doesn't match yours. The textbooks should probably be corrected, but that's beside the point.

updated SEP 30, 2008
posted by Natasha
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According to that point of view, only ser, ir and hacer are irregular verbs, because all others can be grouped with similar verbs sharing the same irreg... I mean, stem changes; that's nice! That, to me, is an euphemism to refer to a large set of verbs whose conjugations are unpredictable... unless you are told what special pattern they must follow. No changes are completely random, but if you can't tell just by looking at the verb, it is irregular.

updated SEP 30, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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I, too, was once taught to distinguish between irregular verbs and "stem-changing verbs" (although I do not recollect that they were called "regular stem-changing verbs). The main point being that the irregularities of stem-changing verbs are relatively systematic (as opposed to ser, ir, hacer, etc. which are really irregular). My sense is that Lazarus was objecting to the phrase "regular stem changing verbs" since they are certainly in contrast to the real "regular verbs".

updated SEP 30, 2008
posted by samdie
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I agree with látigo: there are no general rules for stem-changing verbs, but patterns common to certain verbs.

There are a few tricks to know whether a verb ending in -ar is regular (with very few exceptions), as well as some verbs ending in -ir, and other "rules" to know what kind of change to expect depending on their vowels, but the most effective way to learn them is to practice them over and over.

updated SEP 30, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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The way I teach the stem changers is to explain that only "con experiencia" will you know. Mostrar= Muestro, but comprar is not cuempro. They have to keep a running list and then I check it often.
Heidita used "jugar' as an example, but maybe another o to ue verb might be better, even though
"jugar was "jogar" in old Spanish. The stem changing is a stress related rule, if the syllable is stressed then it has the possibility to change, but only with experience will one know if it is truly a stem changing verb. Example: Mostr->Muestro because of stress while mostramos is not stressed on the "antepenúltima"; therefore, no stem changing is needed or allowed. Repetir- Which "e" do I change? I think that one must know the stress rules to explain more clearly. Since "repet" ends in a consonant, last syllable is automatically stressed, thus, repito is correct, not "ripeto". How do you all teach stem changers?

Natasha said:

lazarus1907 said:

Natasha said:

From an English-speaker's perspective: there is a pattern to stem-changing verbs (the "regular" ones), and the pattern depends on whether the verb infinitive ends in -ar, -er, or -ir. Heidita's second link shows the pattern quite well.

If they are regular, the stem doesn't change unless you need to make a regular alteration to maintain the phonetic value of a consonant. (Irregular) Stem changes only happen with irregular verbs, and they can be vocalic, consonantic, mixed, or something else (i.e. strong, complete change,...).If anyone has any specific question about any stem changes, or any other conjugation irregularity, please ask, and I'll give you as much detail as you want.

The reason that I said "an English speaker's perspective" is that I was taught that there are regular (non-stem changing), regular (stem-changing), and irregular verbs. I am not in any way implying that this is the "right" or best way to categorize the verbs, but some teachers present them this way.

>

updated SEP 30, 2008
posted by ltigo
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Here is a typical example, where "stem-changing" is used to mean those verbs which change the stem in a predictable pattern.

[url=http://www.outerspanish.com/grammar/stem%20changing%20verbs.htm]http://www.outerspanish.com/grammar/stem%20changing%20verbs.htm[/url]

updated SEP 30, 2008
posted by Natasha
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lazarus1907 said:

Natasha said:

From an English-speaker's perspective: there is a pattern to stem-changing verbs (the "regular" ones), and the pattern depends on whether the verb infinitive ends in -ar, -er, or -ir. Heidita's second link shows the pattern quite well.

If they are regular, the stem doesn't change unless you need to make a regular alteration to maintain the phonetic value of a consonant. (Irregular) Stem changes only happen with irregular verbs, and they can be vocalic, consonantic, mixed, or something else (i.e. strong, complete change,...).If anyone has any specific question about any stem changes, or any other conjugation irregularity, please ask, and I'll give you as much detail as you want.

The reason that I said "an English speaker's perspective" is that I was taught that there are regular (non-stem changing), regular (stem-changing), and irregular verbs. I am not in any way implying that this is the "right" or best way to categorize the verbs, but some teachers present them this way.

updated SEP 30, 2008
posted by Natasha
0
votes

Natasha said:

From an English-speaker's perspective: there is a pattern to stem-changing verbs (the "regular" ones), and the pattern depends on whether the verb infinitive ends in -ar, -er, or -ir. Heidita's second link shows the pattern quite well.

If they are regular, the stem doesn't change unless you need to make a regular alteration to maintain the phonetic value of a consonant. (Irregular) Stem changes only happen with irregular verbs, and they can be vocalic, consonantic, mixed, or something else (i.e. strong, complete change,...).

If anyone has any specific question about any stem changes, or any other conjugation irregularity, please ask, and I'll give you as much detail as you want.

updated SEP 30, 2008
posted by lazarus1907