They say that it takes all kinds to make the world go round. It is a bit of a stretch but that principle also seems to apply to the present tense in Spanish. In fact, a somewhat large group of Spanish verbs feature an irregular termination when it comes to yo, the first person singular pronoun, in the present tense. As it often happens with grammatical exceptions in Romance languages such as Spanish, these irregularities concern high frequency verbs. Therefore, this urges us to learn them promptly, especially since they affect that verbal form that we use when talking about ourselves -or more precisely, myself– in the present.
Firstly, there is a group of verbs that takes an ending -y after the termination -o.
|VOSOTROS/AS||dais||you (plur.) give|
Other common verbs that observe the same pattern are:
ser = to be → soy estar = to be → estoy ir = to go → voy
Secondly, another group of frequent Spanish verbs add a -g before the termination -o.
|VOSOTROS/AS||ponéis||you (plur.) put|
Other verbs that belong to the same exceptional group are:
caer = to fall → caigo decir = to tell/say → digo hacer = to do/make → hago
oír = to hear → oigo salir = to leave → salgo tener = to have → tengo
traer = to bring → traigo valer = to be worth/cost → valgo
Thirdly, all those verbs whose infinitive form ends in -ger or -gir present a -j replacing the -g before the -o to maintain the same phonetic sound.
|VOSOTROS/AS||cogéis||you (plur.) take|
Among many others, some verbs terminating in -ger or –gir are:
elegir= to choose → elijo proteger= to protect → protejo recoger= to collect → recojo
Finally, all those verbs ending in –acer, –ecer, –ocer or -ucir present the first person singular form changing the -c into –zc.
|VOSOTROS/AS||conducís||you (plur.) drive|
Other verbs falling into the same category are:
conocer= to meet/know → conozco desaparecer= to desappear → desaparezco
ofrecer= to offer → ofrezco nacer= to be born → nazco
parecer= to seem/look like → parezco reconocer= to recognize → conozco
Here are some example:
Soy italiano y estoy en Londres.→ I am Italian and I live in London.
Cada vez que salgo de casa tengo frío. →Every time I leave my house I feel cold.
¡Exijo hablar con el director! →I demand to speak with the manager!
No conozco a nadie en la fiesta. →I do not know anyone at the party.