-IR Verbs

Quick Answer

All Spanish infinitives end in either -ar, -er, or -ir, as in hablar, leer, and escribir.

In this article we'll cover regular -ir verbs and the most common irregulars.

Regular -ir Verbs

Many -ir verbs follow the same conjugation pattern. To conjugate a regular -ir verb, follow these steps:

  • First, decide your tense. Every tense in Spanish has a different set of endings.
  • Next, remove the infinitive ending (-ir).
  • Lastly, add the ending that matches the subject of the sentence.

Click here for a conjugation chart for the regular Spanish verb escribir. You can follow the same pattern to conjugate all other -ir verbs, unless they are irregular.

Here is a list of the most common regular -ir verbs. These verbs are regular in all forms and tenses.

SpanishEnglish
abrir
to open
cumplir
to achieve
descubrir
to discover
escribir
to write
existir
to exist
ocurrir
to occur/happen
partir
to leave
permitir
to permit/allow
producir
to produce
recibir
to receive
vivir
to live

Let’s take a look at some examples using these regular -ir verbs.

examples
Hoy cumplo 30 años.
I turn 30 today.
Los niños abrieron sus regalos.
The children opened their gifts.
Vivía en Noruega cuando era joven.
I used to live in Norway when I was young.
Necesito que escribas tu nombre aquí.
I need you to write your name here.

Irregular -ir Verbs in the Present Tense

-ir Stem Changers

Many common -ir verbs have a stem change when conjugated in the present tense. These verbs use the same endings as regular -ir verbs, but undergo a vowel change in the last syllable of the stem.

Present tense stem changes do not apply to nosotrosand vosotrosforms. These two forms maintain the form of the infinitive stem.

e > ie

For verbs in this group, the e in the last syllable of the stem changes to ie. Some common -ir verbs that undergo this change are:

SpanishEnglish
convertir
to convert/change
mentir
to lie
preferir
to prefer
sentir
to feel
sugerir
to suggest
venir
to come

The yoform of venir is vengo. It does not have a stem change.

e > i

For verbs in this group, the e in the last syllable of the stem changes to i. Some common -ir verbs that undergo this change are:

SpanishEnglish
conseguir
to get
corregir
to correct
decir
to say/tell
despedir
to say goodbye
impedir
to impede
medir
to measure
pedir
to order
perseguir
to pursue
reírse
to laugh
repetir
to repeat
seguir
to follow
servir
to serve
vestirse
to get dressed

o > ue

For verbs in this group, the o in the last syllable of the stem changes to ue. Some common -ir verbs that undergo this change are dormir(to die) and morir(to die).

Examples

Take a look at the conjugations of three stem-changing -ir verbs.

subjectMentir (e > ie)Pedir (e > i)Dormir (o > ue)
yo
miento
pido
duermo
mientes
pides
duermes
él, ella, usted
miente
pide
duerme
nosotros
mentimos
pedimos
dormimos
vosotros
mentís
pedís
dormís
ellos, ellas, ustedes
mienten
piden
duermen
Mentir (e > ie)
yomiento
mientes
él, ella, ustedmiente
nosotrosmentimos
vosotrosmentís
ellos, ellas, ustedesmienten
Pedir (e > i)
yopido
pides
él, ella, ustedpide
nosotrospedimos
vosotrospedís
ellos, ellas, ustedespiden
Dormir (o > ue)
yoduermo
duermes
él, ella, ustedduerme
nosotrosdormimos
vosotrosdormís
ellos, ellas, ustedesduermen

Irregular Yo

-guir/-gir Verbs

Verbs that end in -guir or -gir undergo a spelling change in their present tense yo forms.

  • For verbs that end in -guir, the yo form ends in go.
  • For verbs that end in -ger or -gir, the g in the yo form changes to a j.

Here are some examples of verbs that undergo these changes in the yo form.

Spanish InfinitiveEnglish InfinitiveYo Form
extinguir
to extinguish
extingo
corregir
to correct
corrijo
conseguir
to get
consigo
dirigir
to direct
dirijo
exigir
to demand
exijo
perseguir
to pursue
persigo
seguir
to follow
sigo

More Irregular Yo Verbs

Here are more examples of verbs with irregular yo spelling changes.

Spanish InfinitiveEnglish InfinitiveYo Form
conducir
to drive
conduzco
decir
to say/tell
digo
salir
to leave/to go out
salgo
traducir
to translate
traduzco
venir
to come
vengo

-uir Verbs

Verbs that end in ‐uir (except for those that end in ‐guir) add a y before the normal ending in all forms except nosotros and vosotros.

Spanish InfinitiveEnglish Infinitive
concluir
to conclude
construir
to build
destruir
to destroy
fluir
to flow
huir
to flee
incluir
to include

Oírfollows the same pattern, but ends in go in the yo form.

Let’s take a look at some examples!

subjectOírConstruir
yo
oigo
construyo
oyes
construyes
él, ella, usted
oye
construye
nosotros
oímos
construimos
vosotros
oís
construís
ellos, ellas, ustedes
oyen
construyen
Oír
yooigo
oyes
él, ella, ustedoye
nosotrosoímos
vosotrosoís
ellos, ellas, ustedesoyen
Construir
yoconstruyo
construyes
él, ella, ustedconstruye
nosotrosconstruimos
vosotrosconstruís
ellos, ellas, ustedesconstruyen

Click here to learn more about irregular present tense verbs.

Irregular -ir Verbs in the Preterite Tense

Many of the must-know -ir verbs are irregular in the preterite tense. Let's take a look!

-ir Verbs with j and i Preterite Stems

Subjectdecir(to say/tell)conducir(to drive)traducir(to translate)venir(come)
yo
dije
conduje
traduje
vine
dijiste
condujiste
tradujiste
viniste
él, ella, usted
dijo
condujo
tradujo
vino
nosotros
dijimos
condujimos
tradujimos
vinimos
vosotros
dijisteis
condujisteis
tradujisteis
vinisteis
ellos, ellas, ustedes
dijeron
condujeron
tradujeron
vinieron
decir(to say/tell)
yodije
dijiste
él, ella, usteddijo
nosotrosdijimos
vosotrosdijisteis
ellos, ellas, ustedesdijeron
conducir(to drive)
yoconduje
condujiste
él, ella, ustedcondujo
nosotroscondujimos
vosotroscondujisteis
ellos, ellas, ustedescondujeron
traducir(to translate)
yotraduje
tradujiste
él, ella, ustedtradujo
nosotrostradujimos
vosotrostradujisteis
ellos, ellas, ustedestradujeron
venir(come)
yovine
viniste
él, ella, ustedvino
nosotrosvinimos
vosotrosvinisteis
ellos, ellas, ustedesvinieron

Preterite “y” Verbs

Verbs that have stems ending in a vowel + -ir take a y in the él, ella, usted and ellos, ellas, ustedes forms.

Let’s take a look at an example!

Subjectoír (to hear)
yo
oíste
él, ella, usted
oyó
nosotros
oímos
vosotros
oísteis
ellos, ellas, ustedes
oyeron

Click here to learn more about irregular verbs in the preterite tense.

-ir Verbs with Irregular Future/Conditional Stems

Some -ir verbs have irregular stems when conjugating in the future and conditional.

VerbIrregular Future StemExampleEnglish Translation
decir
dir-
diré
I’ll say
salir
saldr-
saldré
I’ll go out
venir
vendr-
vendré
I’ll come
Irregular Future Stem
decirdir-
salirsaldr-
venirvendr-
Example
decirdiré
salirsaldré
venirvendré
English Translation
decirI’ll say
salirI’ll go out
venirI’ll come

Ir

The essential Spanish verb iris irregular in most forms and tenses. To review ir in all tenses, click here.