50 Irregular Verbs in Spanish

Here are must-know irregular verbs that you can lear and use in your daily Spanish conversations.

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Did you know there are hundreds of irregular Spanish verbs?

Verb conjugations can be tricky, especially when they don’t follow a standard pattern, which is the case with irregular verbs in Spanish.

In this guide, we’ll explain what the Spanish irregular verbs are and give you a list of 50 that are worth remembering, to help you express yourself in Spanish, and improve your spoken language skills.

Master using Spanish irregular verbs in your conversations!

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You will learn a lot of Spanish irregular verbs like “tener” (“to have” in English) and know when and how to use them in your day-to-day conversations via Busuu’s free online courses and learning resources!

What are irregular Spanish verbs?

Irregular Spanish verbs don’t follow a regular Spanish verb conjugation.

Let's think about the English verb “to tell”. In the present tense, you simply write a pronoun before the verb. The only exception is the third-person singular form that has an “s” at the end.

But in Spanish verb conjugation, this happens differently as decir (to tell) is an irregular verb.


Irregular verb

Pronoun Verb
First person singular I – yo tell – digo
Second person singular You - tú tell – dices
Third person singular he/she/it – él, ella tells – dice
First person plural We – nosotros tell – decimos
Second person plural You – ustedes tell – dicen
Third person plural They – ellos/ellas tell – dicen

Irregular Spanish verbs don’t respect the stem of the infinitive and, in some verbs, amar (to love), temer (to fear) and partir (to leave), they don’t take the endings either. Irregular Spanish verbs can show differences in the stem, the ending or in both elements of the word, when they’re conjugated in verb tenses.

How does this work?

Let’s conjugate the irregular verb amar (to love) and compare it to the example verb jugar (to play) in the third person singular of the simple past perfect indicative mood (perfect preterite simple). The stem of the verb is in bold.

Irregular vs. regular verb conjugation

Example verb Irregular verb
Verb in infinitive amar jugar
Él/ella (he/she) amó juego

As you can see, the stem of the verb jugar has changed. This is a stem-changing verb from “u” to “ue.”

But irregular Spanish verbs don’t necessarily change in all tenses and moods.

How many irregular verbs are there in Spanish?

There are more than 250 irregular verbs in Spanish, but they vary in the intensity of their irregularity.

To start with, there are different types of irregularities. Let's take a look at some examples:

Stem changing verbs

  • Stem changing verb from “u” to “ue”

  • To fit - caber: yo quepo, tú cabes, él cabe

  • Stem changing from “e” to “ie”

  • To understand - entender: yo entiendo, tú entiendes, él entiende

  • Stem changing from “o” to “ue” and “hue”

  • To eat lunch - almorzar: yo almuerzo, tú almuerzas, él almuerza

  • To smell - oler: you huelo, tú hueles, él huele

Note: an “h” in Spanish is always silent so it doesn't have any effect on pronunciation.

  • Stem changing from “e” to “i”

  • To say/to tell - decir: yo digo, tú dices, él dice

Spanish verbs with an irregular “yo” form with no stem change

  • To fit - caber: yo quepo, tú cabes, él cabe

Spanish verbs with an irregular “yo” form with a stem change

  • To say/to tell - decir: yo digo, tú dices, él dice

50 irregular Spanish verbs you need to know

Spanish irregular verbs list

  1. Acertar – to get it right
  2. Adquirir – to acquire
  3. Advertir – to advise, warn
  4. Agradecer – to thank
  5. Almorzar – to eat lunch
  6. Andar – to walk, have (existence),
  7. Asir – to seize
  8. Atender – to attend to
  9. Caber – to fit
  10. Caer – to fall
  11. Ceñir – to surround
  12. Comenzar – to begin, start
  13. Conducir – to drive
  14. Construir – to build
  15. Contar – to count, relate, tell
  16. Dar – to give
  17. Decir – to tell, say
  18. Discernir – to discern, understand
  19. Dormir – to sleep
  20. Encontrar – to find
  21. Entender – to understand
  22. Erguir – to build, sit or stand up very straight
  23. Errar – to miss
  24. Estar – to be (location, health, state)
  25. Haber – to have (to do something, auxiliary verb)
  26. Hacer – to do, make
  27. Ir – to go
  28. Jugar – to play
  29. Leer – to read
  30. Lucir – to shine
  31. Mover – to move
  32. Oír – to hear
  33. Oler – to smell (to smell an object, to emit an odour)
  34. Pedir – to ask
  35. Poder – to be able, can
  36. Poner – to put
  37. Pudrir / Podrir – to rotten
  38. Querer – to want
  39. Roer – to gnaw, bite, chew repeatedly
  40. Saber – to know (information)
  41. Salir – to leave, go out
  42. Sentir – to feel, regret
  43. Ser – to be (permanent quality)
  44. Sonreír – to smile
  45. Tener – to have
  46. Traer – to bring
  47. Valer – be worth
  48. Venir – to come
  49. Ver – to see
  50. Yacer – to lay down

Ready to learn more irregular verbs in Spanish?

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Now you know irregular verbs like “vinimos” which is the preterite (past simple) tense form of the verb "venir," which means "to come, you can start putting them into practice to better express yourself via Busuu’s free online Spanish courses and learning resources!

Irregular verb conjugation and irregular preterite verbs

Here’s a list of Spanish irregular verb conjugation and irregular preterite verbs.

The pronoun ustedes is used in Latin America, compared to Spain where vosotros is used.

1. Decir – to tell

Present tense:

  • Yo digo – I tell
  • Tú dices (vos decís)– you tell
  • Él/ella/usted dice – he/she tells
  • Nosotros decimos – we tell
  • Vosotros decís – you (pl.) tell
  • Ellos/ellas/ustedes dicen – they tell

Simple past tense (decir preterite): yo dije - I told

2. Ir – to go

Present tense:

  • Yo voy – I go
  • Tú/vos vas – you go
  • Él/ella/usted va – he/she goes
  • Nosotros vamos – we go
  • Vosotros vais – you (pl.) go
  • Ellos/ellas/ustedes van – they go

Simple past tense (ir preterite): yo fui - I went

3. Oler – to smell

Present tense:

  • Yo huelo – I smell
  • Tú hueles (vos olés) – you smell
  • Él/ella/usted huele – he/she smells
  • Nosotros olemos – we smell
  • Vosotros oléis – you (pl.) smell
  • Ellos/ellas/ustedes huelen – they smell

Simple past tense (oler preterite): yo olí - I smelled

4. Poner – to put

Present tense:

  • Yo pongo – I put
  • Tú pones (vos ponés) – you put
  • Él/ella/usted pone – he/she puts
  • Nosotros ponemos – we put
  • Vosotros ponéis – you (pl.) put
  • Ellos/ellas/ustedes ponen – they put

Simple past tense (poner preterite): yo puse - I put

5. Ser – to be

Present tense:

  • Yo soy – I am
  • Tú eres (vos sos) – you are
  • Él/ella/usted es – he/she is
  • Nosotros somos – we are
  • Vosotros sóis – you (pl.) are
  • Ellos/ellas/ustedes son – they are

Simple past tense (ser preterite): yo fui - I was

We highly recommend you to learn these conjugations by heart since the verb “to be” is constantly used in Spanish conversations, reading and writing.

This verb is used to tell the time in Spanish.

  • Es la una de la tarde. (It´s one in the afternoon)
  • Son las siete de la mañana. (It 's seven in the morning).

6. Tener – to have

Present tense:

  • Yo tengo – I have
  • Tú tienes (vos tenés) – you have
  • Él/ella/usted tiene – he/she has
  • Nosotros tenemos – we have
  • Vosotros tenéis – you (pl.) have
  • Ellos/ellas/ustedes tienen – they have

Simple past tense (tener preterite): yo tuve - I had

7. Venir – to come

Present tense:

  • Yo vengo – I come
  • Tú vienes (vos venís) – you come
  • Él/ella/usted viene – he/she comes
  • Nosotros venimos – we come
  • Vosotros venís – you (pl.) come
  • Ellos/ellas/ustedes vienen – they come

Simple past tense (venir preterite): yo vine - I came

These 50 irregular Spanish verbs are just the beginning, there’s so much more to learn with Busuu

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