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Conjugate stem-changing-ir verbs (e > i) in the preterite tense in Spanish (El Pretérito Indefinido)

There are some -ir Spanish verbs that are stem-changing verbs in El Pretérito Indefinido in Spanish. They have a vowel change (e>i) in the third person singular and third person plural.

Two verbs of this type are competir and servir, for example.

Conjugation of "competir" in  El Pretérito Indefinido in Spanish

  COMPETIR
to compete
 yo competí
  competiste

él / ella / usted  

compitió
nosotros  / nosotras 
competimos
vosotros  / vosotras 
competisteis
ellos / ellas/ ustedes  
compitieron

Conjugation of "servir" in El Pretérito Indefinido in Spanish

  SERVIR
to serve
 yo serví
  serviste

él / ella / usted  

sirvió
nosotros  / nosotras 
servimos
vosotros  / vosotras 
servisteis
ellos / ellas/ ustedes  

sirvieron

 

Notice that in the 3rd person singular and 3rd person plural the -e- changes to -i-.

Read and listen to these examples:

Yo competí en las OlimpiadasI competed in the Olympics

Tu conseguiste lo que querías.You got what you wanted.

Amalia pidió paella para comer.Amalia ordered paella for lunch.

Usted prefirió quedarse en el hotel.You preferred to stay at the hotel.

Nosotros repetimos la coreografia.We rehearsed the choreography.

Vosotros seguisteis al coche misterioso.You followed the mysterious car.

Mis amigos sintieron una gran alegría al verme.My friends felt great joy at seeing me.

Ustedes no sirvieron para el papel de la obra.You did not suit the role in the play.

Verbs that follow this pattern are:

  • competir  (to compete)
  • conseguir  (to achieve)
  • pedir (to ask for)
  • preferir  (to prefer)
  • repetir (to repeat/rehearse)
  • seguir (to follow)
  • sentir (to feel)
  • servir (to serve/to be good at something/ be useful)

See also Conjugate stem-changing verb pedir in the preterite tense in Spanish (El Pretérito Indefinido)

See also Conjugate regular -er and -ir verbs in the preterite tense in Spanish (El Pretérito Indefinido)

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Examples and resources

Ustedes no sirvieron para el papel de la obra.You did not suit the role in the play.
Vosotros seguisteis al coche misterioso.You followed the mysterious car.
Yo competí en las OlimpiadasI competed in the Olympics
Mis padres prefirieron quedarse en casa.My parents preferred to stay home.
Tu conseguiste lo que querías.You got what you wanted.
Tu excusa no sirvió para nada.Your excuse was pointless.
Usted prefirió quedarse en el hotel.You preferred to stay at the hotel.
Yo preferí ir al teatro que al cine.I preferred going to the theater than the cinema.
Antonio repitió el examen.Antonio took the exam again. [lit: Antonio repeated the exam]
Nosotros repetimos la coreografia.We rehearsed the choreography.
Mis amigos sintieron una gran alegría al verme.My friends felt great joy at seeing me.
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