30 Stem-changing verbs 3
E:i stem-changing verbs
For the third type of stem-changing verbs, the “e” in the stem simply changes to “i”. All e:i stem-changing verbs happen to be -ir ending verbs. There are fewer e:i stem-changing verbs than e:ie and o:ue types, but the pattern that we saw before remains the same: the “nosotros / vosotros” forms do not have changes in their stems while all other forms do.
Stem-changing verb pattern
|yo (yes)||nosotros (no)|
|tú (yes)||vosotros (no)|
|él (yes)||ellos (yes)|
|ella (yes)||ellas (yes)|
|Ud. (yes)||Uds. (yes)|
Stem-changing verbs: e:i
The verb “pedir” (to ask for, to order) is a common e:i stem-changing verb; notice that the preposition “for” is “built-in” to the meaning of the verb and so it’s not necessary to use an equivalent of “for” after this verb. Also, keep in mind this verb means to ask for or to request something; however, it’s meaning is not to ask a question (which would be the verb “preguntar”).
Pedir: to ask for, to order
|Subject pronouns||singular||basic meaning||Subject pronouns||plural||basic meaning|
|yo||pido||I ask for||nosotros/as||pedimos||we ask for|
|tú||pides||you ask for||vosotros/as||pedís||you ask for (Sp.)|
|él||pide||he asks for||ellos||piden||they ask for|
|ella||pide||she asks for||ellas||piden||they ask for (f)|
|Ud.||pide||you ask for||Uds.||piden||you ask for|
|Diego pide dinero a sus padres.||Diego asks his parents for money.|
|¿Cuánto piden ellos?||How much are they asking for?|
|¿Pedimos tacos de pollo o de carne?||Should we order chicken or beef tacos?|
|Camila pide demasiado.||Camila is asking for too much.|
|Tú pides mucho.||You’re asking for a lot.|
Common e:i stem-changing verbs
|competir||to compete||medir||to measure|
|conseguir||to get, to obtain||pedir||to ask for, to order|
|corregir||to correct||repetir||to repeat|
|decir||to say, to tell||seguir||to follow, to be next|
|impedir||to impede||servir||to serve|
OJO 1: while the verb “decir” (to say, to tell) is an e:i stem-changing verb, it is also somewhat irregular in that the “yo” form is “digo”. The rest of the conjugations of “decir” follow the pattern of other e:i stem-changers. Likewise, “sigo” (without the “u”) is the “yo” form for seguir, but the other forms keep the “u”.
OJO 2: the verb “conseguir” means “to get”, but it should be avoided to express “to get mad” or “to get sick” and other physical and mental states of being. The use of “conseguir” is limited to mean “to get = to obtain” something.
¿Cómo se dice…?:
Now you try out some sentences: use the verbs from the e:i stem-changing verb list above to translate the sentences below.
Some vocabulary you might need: instrucciones = instructions; ganar = to win; niño = boy; what = lo que; comida = food; hasta = until; la verdad = the truth
- Professor Ibáñez doesn’t correct her students much.
- The boy repeats what his dad says.
- They follow the instructions.
- We compete but we don’t win much.
- ¿What do you say? (tú)
- Do I serve the food?
- They serve food until 9:00pm.
- Nothing impedes their progress.
- We always tell the truth.
- Who is next?
- La profesora Ibánez no corrige a sus estudiantes mucho.
- El niño repite lo que su papá dice.
- Ellos siguen las instrucciones.
- Nosotros competimos pero no ganamos mucho.
- ¿Qué dices tú?
- ¿Sirvo yo la comida?
- Sirven comida hasta las nueve de la noche.
- Nada impide su progreso.
- Siempre decimos la verdad.
- ¿Quién sigue?
#1 from above: La profesora Ibánez no corrige a sus estudiantes mucho.
Did you remember to insert the personal “a” before “sus estudiantes”? When you have a “subject-verb-object” sentence and the “object” is a person or reference to a person, “a” comes right before mention of the person.
#2 from above: El niño repite lo que su papá dice.
The question word “¿qué?” in Spanish does mean “what?”. But when the word “what” in English can be replaced with “the thing that”, then Spanish uses “lo que”. For example: I don’t understand what (the thing that) he says = No entiendo lo que dice.
#10 from above: ¿Quién sigue?
“Seguir” (to follow, to continue) has another meaning: “to be next”. This latter meaning can be used to express “What’s next?” (¿Qué sigue?), or Gabriel is next (Gabriel sigue), as in “he’s next in line”.