Preterite: Part IV

Notes:

  1. The written lesson is below.
  2. Links to quizzes, tests, etc. are to the left.

In order to preserve the sound of the infinitive, a number of verbs change orthographically (spelling) in the preterite tense. The following changes occur in the “yo” form only:

Verbs that end in -gar change g to gu
Verbs that end in -car change c to qu
Verbs that end in -zar change z to c

Here are three examples:

yo jugué (jugar)
yo busqué (buscar)
yo almorcé (almorzar)

Some common orthographic changing verbs for the preterite tense in these categories are:

-gar-car-zar
cegaraparcaralmorzar
colgarbuscarautorizar
jugarclarificarcazar
llegarclasificarcomenzar
pagardestacarcruzar
plegarempacarempezar
regarjustificarforzar
rogarpracticarorganizar
tragarsacarsimbolizar
vagartocartropezarse

For verbs that end in -aer, -eer, -oír, and -oer, the él/ella/usted forms use the ending “yó” (rather than ió) and the third person plural uses the ending “yeron” (rather than ieron). The remaining forms gain a written accent over the letter “i.”

creer

creí
creíste
cre
creímos
creísteis
creyeron

Other verbs like creer include:

caer
leer
oír
poseer
proveer
roer

Exceptions to this rule include:

traer
atraer
distraer

Verbs that end in -uir change in the same way, but the written accent over the letter “i” only occurs in the yo form.

huir

huí
huiste
hu
huimos
huisteis
huyeron

Other verbs like huir include:

construir
contribuir
destruir
fluir
incluir
influir

The preterite has quite a few irregular verbs, so flashcards can really help you to master them:

Verb Flashcards
Complete List

preterite: creer, caer, leer, oír

creí
creíste
creyó
creímos
creísteis
creyeron

preterite: huir, construir, contribuir, incluir

huí
huiste
huyó
huimos
huisteis
huyeron