This Spanish Easy Review grammar quiz takes a look at conjugating irregular verbs. At this point in time you should have learned that there are three different kinds of Spanish verbs, ar, er and ir verbs. You should have also learned how to conjugate each type of verb in the present tense. If you have not already done so, please check out the quizzes on conjugating these three types of verbs.
The ar, er and ir verbs follow specific rules when it comes to conjugating them. As you may recall, the endings for ar verbs include o, as, a, amos, áis, an - the er verb endings include o, es, e, emos, éis, en - and the ir present tense verbs end in o, es, e, imos, ís, en.
These endings are added to the base verb once the ar, er or ir have been dropped. For example, 'hablar' becomes 'habl' plus the corresponding ending dependent upon the pronoun. This type of conjugating works out fine when the base form of the verb remains constant. However, in Spanish, for many verbs, the base verb does not remain constant. In fact, it changes its spelling. When the base verb changes its spelling, it is referred to as an irregular verb. This rather throws a wrench into learning a new language because a great deal of learning that new language is based solely on memorization rather than on any rules. You are, however, not unfamiliar with this concept as English is filled with words that are contrary to any rules.
Let’s look at some interesting English words as follows.
- comb - How is this word phonetically pronounced? - kōm
- tomb - How is this word phonetically pronounced? - toom
- bomb - How is this word phonetically pronounced? - baum
The only constant pronunciation is that the last 'b' sound is silent but in comb the 'o' has a long sound while in tomb the 'o' sounds more like a long u. Finally, in bomb the 'o' has a short sound or like the sound of 'au'. There is no rule to follow that explains why a word that is spelled so very much alike except for the beginning letter should have three different sounds. That means that each of these words simply has to be memorized.
When first learning these crazy words in English it can cause you to pull your hair out but in time, the three different sounds are so natural to you that you don’t even think about them. This too happens in Spanish. You are at the beginning of Spanish so there’ll be some hair pulling but, eventually, with practice, the changing of Spanish verbs (and words) will become so natural to you that you won’t even think about it. For now, however, you will need to start the memorization process.
As you will be in the memorization process, this quiz will only cover four irregular verbs so that you can get comfortable with them. You will learn a few more irregular verbs in a separate quiz, as well as when you get to Spanish Medium Review. For now, the four irregular verbs you will focus on are tener (to have); hacer (to make); ver (to see); and ir (to go).
When conjugating you learned that you drop the ending er so that the base verb here would be ten. To say 'I have' you would think that the verb would become teno but in this case a 'g' is added to the base verb before the pronoun ending so 'I have' in Spanish is tengo [phonetically pronounced as tān-gō]. Now the 'g' goes away with all of the other pronoun endings but an 'i' is added to the base verb so that 'ten' becomes 'tien' [phonetically pronounced as tān-gō]. Now let’s see how that looks with the pronoun endings: tú tienes, usted tiene, él tiene and ella tiene. Now you would think this continues on but it doesn’t for the pronouns 'we' and 'you' plural, familiar. For those the verb goes back to the base form 'ten' and you then have nosotros/nosotras tenemos and vosotros/vosotras tenéis. For the plural formal 'you' and for 'they' the base goes back to 'tien' so that you then have ustedes tienen and ellos/ellas tienen. Did you get all of that? Let’s look at it this way.
|Pronoun ||Present Tense ||English Meaning|
|yo ||tengo ||I have|
|tú ||tienes ||you have (familiar)|
|usted ||tiene ||you have (formal)|
|él ||tiene ||he has|
|ella ||tiene ||she has|
|nosotros/as ||tenemos ||we have (note the masculine and feminine forms)|
|vosotros/as ||tenéis ||you have (plural - familiar)|
|ustedes ||tienen ||you have (plural - formal)|
|ellos/ellas ||tienen ||they have (note the masculine and feminine forms)|
This one is a little easier in that only the present tense with the pronoun 'I' is affected. With this verb the base after dropping the er becomes hac but for the pronoun 'I' the 'c' is changed to a 'g' so that 'I make' in Spanish is hago [phonetically pronounced as ă-gō; - the h is silent]. After that, the regular verb tense endings are used to the base verb so that you have: tú haces, usted hace, él hace, ella hace, nosotros/nosotras hacemos, vosotros/vosotras hacéis and usted/ellos/ellas hacen.
The basic rule when conjugating is to drop the ending er and then add the present tense endings. With this verb, when you drop the er the base verb is simply v. You would then think that 'I see' would be vo. However, rather than just add an 'o' the 'e' is returned so that 'I see' in Spanish is veo [phonetically pronounced as vāy-ō]. The 'e' is then dropped again. There is one other change, however, and that is when you get to the you, plural, familiar verb. Rather than being éis, only eis is added. The accent mark is dropped. Therefore, the conjugation for ver is as follows: tú ves, usted ve, él ve, ella ve, nosotros/nosotras vemos, vosotros/vosotras veis, usted/ellos/ellas ven.
This is an interesting verb because when you drop the ir you have nothing left for a base verb. Because there is nothing left - the entire conjugation of this verb becomes irregular. In addition, the pronoun verb endings then become the endings of an ar verb. Again, this verb will totally have to be memorized. Below is how this irregular verb is then conjugated.
|Pronoun ||Present Tense ||English Meaning|
|yo ||voy ||I go|
|tú ||vas ||you go (familiar)|
|usted ||va ||you go (formal)|
|él ||va ||he goes|
|ella ||va ||she goes|
|nosotros/as ||vamos ||we go (note the masculine and feminine forms)|
|vosotros/as ||vais ||you go (plural - familiar) (accent mark is dropped)|
|ustedes ||van ||you go (plural - formal)|
|ellos/ellas ||van ||they go (note the masculine and feminine forms)|
Because these irregular verbs will take some time to get used to, spend as much time as you need to read through them, say them, and recognize them with their corresponding pronouns. When you believe you have a good handle on them, move on to the quiz. The quiz contains ten English verbs with a pronoun. From the answers given, locate the Spanish verb and pronoun that will match. Pay close attention to the spelling of the words to make certain you get the right answer.