How many distinct classes of irregular verbs are there in the subjunctive present tense?If it is possible to say, how many distinct irregular verbs that do not belong to a class, such as ir, are there in the subjunctive present tense? Knowing the answers to these questions could help me form a strategy to learn them most effectively and efficiently. I would love to simplify the learning of this topic.
Thank you, James
As a general rule, a verb is irregular in the present subjunctive if it has an irregularity in the 1st person singular of the present indicative, because we use this as the stem of their conjugation in the present subjunctive. For example, take the verb tener; Tener is irregular in the present indicative:
Tengo, tienes, tiene, tenemos, tenéis, tienen.
Then to conjugate it in the present subjunctive, you take the stem of the 1st person singular (yo) and add the endings:
This is as I said, a general rule. There are other verbs that are still irregular in the present indicative and subjunctive but their stem is slightly different:
Voy, vas, va, vamos, vais, van.
Subj: yo vaya, tú vayas, él vaya, nosotros vayamos, vosotros vayáis, ellos vayan
Unfortunately there is no way to apply one single simple rule to conjugate a verb in the present subjunctive; it needs to be seen in blocks.
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