Beginner Lessons
Most Important Irregular Spanish Verbs

Most Important Irregular Spanish Verbs

In addition to the web version, you can download the lesson as a PDF, found at the bottom of the page.

Most Important Irregular Spanish Verbs

In the last Beginner Grammar lesson we looked at the process for conjugating regular verbs.

Now we’re going to go through irregular verbs and revise that process.

Let’s take an example in English to start.

Compare the two regular verbs, ‘to eat’ and ‘to like’, with the irregular verb ‘to be’.

WHAT HAPPENED?! The conjugated verb ‘to be’ doesn’t follow the patterns of regular verbs like ‘to eat’ or ‘to like’.

Spanish has irregulars as well and dealing with them just comes down to good old-fashioned memorization.

FYI: The irregulars in Spanish are the most used verbs and therefore, the most useful, so don’t neglect them.

Look at some of the most commonly used irregular verbs in Spanish.

estar

to be

Estoy en el mercado.

I’m in the market.

¿Estás cansada?

Are you tired?

ser

Soy de francia

Eres abogada.

to be

I’m from France.

Your are a lawyer.

ir

to be

Voy a la tienda.

I’m going to the store.

¿Vas a la fiesta?

Are you going to the party?

haber

Lo he visto.

¿Has comido?

to have*

I’ve seen it, him.

Have you eaten?

All the above verbs are irregular in the present tense in most of their forms. That is to say that the verb charts from the Lesson 16 and below can’t be followed in this case.

irregular verbs in spanish

Instead, this is what they look like, conjugated in the present tense.

irregular spanish verbs

irregular spanish verbs

Funky, no?

The next verbs are also irregular, but only because they change their stems. Often though, the endings are the same as regular verbs. Not surprisingly they’re referred to as stem-changing verbs.

Stems refer to all the letters before the last two. Below are some of the most common stem-changing verbs.

tener

Tengo dos hermanos.

Tienes los boletos.

to have

I have to brothers

You have the tickets.

decir

Te digo todo.

¿Qué dices?

to say, to tell

I’m telling you everything.

What are you saying?

venir

Vengo pronto.

Vienes para comprarlo.

to come

I want to buy a house.

Do you want ice cream?

poder

Puedo pasar mañana.

Puedes ayudar.

can, to be able to

I can come by tomorrow.

You can help.

volver

Ya vuelvo.

¿Vuelves más tarde?

to return, to come back

I’ll be back soon.

Are you coming back later?

dar

Te doy la plata.

¿Le das todo a ella?

to give

I give you the money.

You’re giving everything to her?

Look at the regularar, –er and –ir verb endings directly below.

regular spanish verbs

Compare the irregulars below with the regulars above.

irregular spanish verbs

None of the forms of the verb ir follow the rules of regular –ir verbs in present tense.

The bolded forms of the verb tener are the only ones that follow the rules.

In the case of hacer, 5/6 forms follow the rules.

The purpose is to show you that because there’s so many exceptions for these irregular verbs, they should just be memorized straight away.

Since they are some of the most frequently used, it’s for your benefit to learn them as soon as possible.

Speaking of the most frequently used words, I have a lesson about Spanish’s most commonly used words and why you should memorize them all and SKYROCKET your understanding.

No. It’s not a gimmick.

The most frequently used 1,000 words in Spanish make up about 87% of ALL oral speech.

And oh, by the way, 1,000 isn’t that much. Most estimates put the average 3-year-old’s vocabulary around 1,000 words.

I know you know more words than you think you know in Spanish.

And I also know you don’t know you know them. 😉

I’m going to show you 99 words that I’m 100% sure you know in the next lesson.