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Imperfect Subjunctive III


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In the Imperfect Subjunctive II, you learned how to conjugate verbs in the Imperfect Subjunctive, using both types of conjugations, the -A type and the -SE type.

In this lesson we will be covering the imperfect subjunctive of stem-changing verbs.

We know that in Spanish there are three kinds of verbs according to their ending:

1. -ar verbs
2. -er verbs
3. -ir verbs

-ar and -er verbs do not change the stem in the preterit. Therefore, there is no change in the stem of the imperfect subjunctive:

repasar (to review) repasaron (preterite) repasara, repasaras, repasara, repasáramos, repasarais, repasaran

barrer (to sweep) barrieron (preterite) barriera, barrieras, barriera, barriéramos, barrierais, barrieran

-ir verbs, however, change the stem in the preterit in both the third person singular and plural. Therefore, the spelling of the imperfect subjunctive is affected.

There are three different stem-changing groups within the -ir verbs:

1. e>ie stem-changing -ir verbs: the e of the stem changes into i in the third person plural of the preterit.

sentir (to feel) sintieron (preterite) sintiera, sintieras, sintiera, sintiéramos, sintierais, sintieran (imperfect subjunctive)

If there are two “e”s in the stem, it is the second one “e” that changes:

preferir (to prefer) prefirieron (preterite) prefiriera, prefirieras, prefiriera, prefiriéramos, prefirierais, prefirieran (imperfect subjunctive)

2. e>i stem-changing -ir verbs: the e of the stem changes into an i.

pedir (to ask for) pidieron (preterite) pidiera, pidieras, pidiera, pidiéramos, pidierais, pidieran (imperfect subjunctive)

If there are two es in the stem, it is the second e that changes:

repetir (to repeat) repitieron (preterite) repitiera, repitieras, repitiera, repitiéramos, repitierais, repitieran

3. o>u stem-changing -ir verbs: the o of the stem changes to u.

dormir (to sleep) durmieron (preterite) durmiera, durmieras, durmiera, durmiéramos, durmierais, durmieran (imperfect subjunctive)

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