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Conjugate stem-changing (e > ie) -er verbs in the present tense in Spanish (El Presente)

There are some common Spanish verbs that are stem-changing where the -e becomes -ie in some forms in the present tense.

Learn how to conjugate -er stem-changing verbs in El Presente in Spanish

A number of common Spanish verbs (perder, defender, encender) ending in -er are stem-changing semi-regular in El Presente because the stem changes for some forms:

  PERDER
to lose
DEFENDER
to defend
ENCENDER
to switch on
 yo pierdo defiendo enciendo
  pierdes defiendes enciendes

él / ella / usted

pierde defiende enciende
nosotros / nosotras perdemos
defendemos encendemos
vosotros / vosotras perdéis defendéis encendéis
ellos / ellas / ustedes pierden defienden encienden

Notice how the vowel -e- in the stem that is closer to the end of the word becomes-ie- except for the nosotros and vosotros forms.

Look at and listen to these examples:

Yo nunca pierdo la paciencia.I never lose my patience.

defiendes a tu hermana de todos los peligros.You defend your sister from anything dangererous.

Ella enciende la radio todas las mañanas.She turns on the radio every morning.

Nosotros defendemos nuestras ideas.We defend our ideas.

Vosotros a veces perdéis el autobús.You sometimes miss the bus.

Ellos encienden las velas de la tarta.They light the candles on the cake.

Ustedes defienden su teoría muy bien.You defend your theory very well.

Useful verbs that also follow this pattern are querer (to want) and entender (to understand).  You can practise them here:
For more verbs that follow this pattern, see:

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Examples and resources

Ustedes defienden su teoría muy bien.You defend your theory very well.
Yo nunca pierdo la paciencia.I never lose my patience.
Vosotros a veces perdéis el autobús.You sometimes miss the bus.
Nosotros defendemos nuestras ideas.We defend our ideas.
Ella enciende la radio todas las mañanas.She turns on the radio every morning.
Ellos encienden las velas de la tarta.They light the candles on the cake.
defiendes a tu hermana de todos los peligros.You defend your sister from anything dangererous.
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