difficult spanish verbs

33 Very Common Yet Difficult-to-conjugate Spanish Verbs

Yes, no es un mito (it’s not a myth)!

Spanish is one of the most popular languages spoken today, but its grammar has stopped too many learners in their tracks.

Just looking at the 15 tenses and moods alone is usually enough to give any Spanish student un dolor de cabeza (a headache).

But here’s the thing: Verbs are like the spinal cord of any sentence in Spanish. There are many different types of verbs in Spanish, ranging from simple verbs with regular conjugations to intricate stem-changes. Sounds fun, right?

Well, this is exactly why this article was written. We are going to look into 33 difficult Spanish verbs which will help you sound a lot more like proficient Spanish speaker and writer.

But first let’s give you a couple of great resources to improve your Spanish grammar knowledge base
 


 

Resources for Tackling Difficult Spanish Verbs

“Practice Makes Perfect: Spanish Verb Tenses” by Dorothy Richmond

difficult spanish verbs

This “Practice Makes Perfect” edition is ideally suited for beginner to intermediate level students and will help you finally understand how and when use the appropriate tense and mood through everyday examples covering a wide variety of topics and about 250 engaging exercises.

“501 Spanish Verbs” by Christopher Kendris

The principal behind this book is simple: Giving you an in-depth analysis of the 501 most commondifficult spanish verbsly used verbs in Spanish and how to use them all in the 15 tenses and moods.

The new seventh edition includes brand new content covering passive and active voice formation, an additional list of 2200 regular verbs to improve your learning, sentences demonstrating Spanish verb usage in all tenses, a CD-ROM which includes language learning aids and an audio CD that reviews the formation and usage of Spanish verb forms.

“A Frequency Dictionary of Spanish: Core Vocabulary for Learners” by Mark Davies

difficult spanish verbs

This extremely complete and up-to-date Spanish frequency dictionary provides you with a list of the 5,000 most commonly used words in the language.

There’s a special section which provides a comprehensive list of the most used verbs (which is quite different from the list of the preceding book) along with their English equivalents and sample sentences.

“Spanish Verb Workbook” by Frank R. Neussel, Ph.D.

difficult spanish verbs

Lastly, this Spanish workbook will have you actually put into practice everything you’ll come to learn about la gramática española (Spanish grammar). Each chapter will present you with exercises covering fundamental conjugation information and illustrative dialogues for you to master every tense and mood over a period of time.

After this brief intro, let’s get right to the meat of this article!

33 Difficult Yet Super Useful Spanish Verbs and How to Use Them

1. Caber (to fit)

Difficulty

  • The first-person singular (the yo form) is irregular in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to u in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tensequepo, cabes, cabe, cabemos, cabéis, caben

Preterit tensecupe, cupiste, cupo, cupimos, cupisteis, cupieron

2. Caer (to fall)

Difficulty

  • The first-person singular (the yo form) is irregular in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to i in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: caigo, caes, cae, caemos, caéis, caen

Preterit tense: caí, caíste, cayó, caímos, caísteis, cayeron

3. Dar (to give)

Difficulty

  • The first-person singular (the yo form) is irregular in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to i in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tensedoy, das, da, damos, dais, dan

Preterit tense: di, diste, dio, dimos, disteis, dieron

4. Estar (to be)

Difficulty

  • The first-person singular (the yo form) is irregular in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to uv in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: estoy, estás, está, estamos, estáis, están

Preterit tense: estuve, estuviste, estuvo, estuvimos, estuvisteis, estuvieron

5. Ver (to see)

Difficulty

  • The first-person singular (the yo form) is irregular in the present tense.

Irregular conjugation

Present tense: veo, ves, ve, vemos, veis, ven

6. Valer (to be worth)

Difficulty

  • The first-person singular (the yo form) is irregular in the present tense.

Irregular conjugation

Present tense: valgo, vales, valemos, valéis, valen

7. Traer (to bring)

Difficulty

  • The first-person singular (the yo form) is irregular in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: traigo, traes, trae, treamos, traéis, traen

Preterit tense: traje, trajiste, trajo, trajimos, trajisteis, trajeron

8. Salir (to leave)

Difficulty

  • The first-person singular (the yo form) is irregular in the present tense.

Irregular conjugation

Present tense: salgo, sales, sale, salimos, salís, salen

9. Poner (to put)

Difficulty

  • The first-person singular (the yo form) is irregular in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to u in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: pongo, pones, pone, ponemos,ponéis, ponen

Preterit tense: puse, pusiste, puso, pusimos, pusisteis, pusieron

10. Componer (to compose)

Difficulty

This verb is a compound form of poner. It follows the same pattern.

Note that the compound forms of these verbs are also irregular in the yo form. Compound forms are pretty easy to spot because they show a prefix (des-, dis-, com-, con-, etc.) preceding the radical.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: compongo, compones, compone, componemos componéis, componen

Preterit tensecompuse, compusiste, compuso, compusimos, compusisteis, compusieron

11. Disponer (to arrange)

Difficulty

This verb is a compound form of poner. It follows the same pattern.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: dispongo, dispones, dispone, disponemos, disponéis, disponen

Preterit tense: dispuse, dispusiste,dispuso, dispusimos, dispusisteis, dispusieron

12. Proponer (to propose)

Difficulty

This verb is a compound form of poner. It follows the same pattern.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: propongo, propones, propone, proponemos, proponéis, proponen

Preterit tense: propuse, propusiste,propuso, propusimos, propusisteis, propusieron

13. Reponer (to replace)

Difficulty

This verb is a compound form of poner. It follows the same pattern.

Irregular conjugation

Present tense: repongo, repones, repone, reponemos, reponéis, reponen

Preterit tense: repuse, repusiste, repuso, repusimos, repusisteis, repusieron

14. Hacer (to do)

Difficulty

  • The first-person singular (the yo form) is irregular in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to i in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tensehago, haces, hace, hacemos, hacéis, hacen

Preterit tense: hice, hiciste, hizo, hicimos, hicisteis, hicieron

15. Deshacer (to undo)

Difficulty

This verb is a compound form of hacer. It follows the same pattern.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: deshago, deshaces, deshace, deshacemos, deshacéis, deshacen

Preterit tense: deshice, deshiciste, deshizo, deshicimos, deshicisteis, deshicieron

16. Rehacer (to remake)

Difficulty

This verb is a compound form of hacer. It follows the same pattern.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: rehago, rehaces, rehace, rehacemos, rehacéis, rehacen

Preterit tenserehice, rehiciste, rehizo, rehicimos, rehicisteis, rehicieron

17. Saber (to know)

Difficulty

  • The first-person singular (the yo form) is irregular in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to u in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: , sabes, sabe, sabemos, sabéis, saben

Preterit tense: supe, supiste, supo, supimos, supisteis, supieron

18. Conocer (to know)

Difficulty

This verb changes from c to zc in the first-person singular only.

Irregular conjugation

Present tense: conozco, conoces, conoce, conocemos, conocéis, conocen

19. Agradecer (to thank, to be grateful)

Difficulty

This verb changes from c to zc in the first-person singular only.

Irregular conjugation

Present tense: agradezco, agradeces, agradece, agradecemos, agradecéis, agradecen

20. Aparecer (to appear)

Difficulty

This verb changes from c to zc in the first-person singular only.

Irregular conjugation

Present tense: aparezco, apareces, aparece, aparecemos, aparecéis, aparecen

21. Ofrecer (to offer)

Difficulty

This verb changes from c to zc in the first-person singular only.

Irregular conjugation

Present tense: ofrezco, ofreces, ofrece, ofrecemos, ofrecéis, ofrecen

22. Permanecer (to remain)

Difficulty

This verb changes from c to zc in the first-person singular only.

Irregular conjugation

Present tense: permanezco, permaneces, permanece, permanecemos, permanecéis, permanecen

23. Pertenecer (to belong to)

Difficulty

This verb changes from c to zc in the first-person singular only.

Irregular conjugation

Present tensepertenezco, perteneces, pertenece, pertenecemos, pertenecéis, pertenecen

24. Traducir (to translate)

Difficulty

  • This verb changes from c to zc in the first-person singular only in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: traduzco, traduces, traduce, traducimos, traducis, traducen

Preterit tensetraduje, tradujiste, tradujo, tradujimos, tradujisteis, tradujeron

25. Conducir (to drive)

Difficulty

  • This verb changes from c to zc in the first-person singular only in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: conduzco, conduces, conduce, conducimos, conducis, conducen

Preterit tenseconduje, condujiste, condujo, condujimos, condujisteis, condujeron

26. Producir (to produce)

Difficulty

  • This verb changes from c to zc in the first-person singular only in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: produzco, produces, produce, producimos, producís, producen

Preterit tenseproduje, produjiste, produjo, produjimos, produjisteis, produjeron

27. Tener (to have)

Difficulty

  • Irregular form in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to uv in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tensetengo, tienes, tiene, tenemos, tenéis, tienen

Preterit tense: tuve, tuviste, tuvo, tuvimos, tuvisteis, tuvieron

28. Andar (to walk)

Difficulty

  • The stem changes to uv in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Preterit tense: anduve, anduviste, anduvo, anduvimos, anduvisteis, anduvieron

29. Poder (to be able to)

Difficulty

  • The stem changes to ue in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to u in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: puedo, puedes, puede, podemos, podéis, pueden

Preterit tense: pude, pudiste, pudo, pudimos, pudisteis, pudieron

30. Venir (to come)

Difficulty

  • Irregular first-person singular form (the yo form) in the present tense, and stem change in other present tense forms.
  • The stem changes to i in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tensevengo, vienes, viene, venimos, venís, vienen

Preterit tense: vine, viniste, vino, vinimos, vinisteis, vinieron

31. Querer (to want)

Difficulty

  • Irregular form with stem change in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to i in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: quiero, quieres, quiere, queremos, queréis, quieren

Preterit tense: quise, quisiste, quiso, quisimos, quisisteis, quisieron

32. Traducir (to translate)

Difficulty

  • This verb changes from c to zc in the first-person singular only in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to j in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tense: traduzco, traduces, traduce, traducimos, traducis, traducen

Preterit tense: traduje, tradujiste, tradujo, tradujimos, tradujisteis tradujeron

33. Producir (to produce)

Difficulty

  • This verb changes from c to zc in the first-person singular only in the present tense.
  • The stem changes to j in the preterit tense.

Irregular conjugations

Present tenseproduzco, produces, produce, producimos, producís, producen

Preterit tense: produje, produjiste, produjo, produjimos, produjisteis, produjeron

 

So, there you have it! There was muchísima (a lot of) information in this post and you might want to bookmark this page so you can come back to it often and refresh your mind when you need to.

The more you use these difficult Spanish verbs, the easier it will become for you to use and understand them when spoken out loud or in your reading materials.

If you want to expand on this particular subject, feel free to refer to the recommended list of books included in the first section of this article. It’ll go a long way.

Good luck!
 


 
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