Unit 2.1

Irregularities of the Present Tense of the Indicative in the 1st Person Singular



The present indicative tense [presente del indicativo] is a verb tense that expresses actions that occur at the moment of speaking, general things, habitual actions, and future actions.

There are vowel [vocalicas], consonant [consonanticas], proper (mixed) [propias (mixta)] and orthographic [ortograficas] irregularities in the 1st person singular of the present indicative.


Verbs conjugated in the present indicative have vowel, consonant, proper (mixed) and orthographic irregularities in the 1st person singular:

Vowel irregularities

Vowel irregularities are characterised by the change, diphthongation, loss or addition of a vowel:

Persona Pedir Entender
Yo pido entiendo
pides entiendes
Él/Ella/Usted pide entiende
Nosotros/-as pedimos entendemos
Vosotros/-as pedís entendéis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes piden entienden

NOTE: In this case, the irregularity is maintained in all the other verb persons, except for the first and second plural.

Consonant irregularities

Consonant irregularities are characterised by the change or addition of a consonant.

The most common are the following:

  • we replace -c- with –g-;
Persona Hacer Salir Decir
Yo hago salgo digo
haces sales dices
Él/Ella/Usted hace sale dice
Nosotros/-as hacemos salimos decimos
Vosotros/-as hacéis salís decís
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes hacen salen dicen
  • the -g- is added before the ending -o;
Persona Poner Salir Venir
Yo pongo salgo vengo
pones sales vienes
Él/Ella/Usted pone sale viene
Nosotros/-as ponemos salimos venimos
Vosotros/-as ponéis salís venís
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes ponen salen vienen
  • is added -z- before -c-;
Persona Conocer Parecer
Yo conozco parezco
conoces pareces
Él/Ella/Usted conoce parece
Nosotros/-as conocemos parecemos
Vosotros/-as conocéis parecéis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes conocen parecen

Other verbs with this irregularity are: agradecer, conducir, ofrecer, reducir

  • we replace -ae- with –ig-.
Persona Traer Caer
Yo traigo caigo
traes caes
Él/Ella/Usted trae cae
Nosotros/-as traemos caemos
Vosotros/-as traéis caéis
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes traen caen

Proper (mixed) irregularities

Proper (mixed) irregularities are characterised by a vowel change and a consonant change at the same time, which are not typical for other verbs:

Persona Saber Dar
Yo doy
sabes das
Él/Ella/Usted sabe da
Nosotros/-as sabemos damos
Vosotros/-as sabéis dais
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes saben dan

Orthographic irregularities

Orthographic irregularities are characterised by a spelling change necessary for the 1st person to respect the pronunciation of the infinitive.

One of the frequent spelling irregularities is the substitution of -g- for -j-:

Persona Coger Dirigir
Yo cojo dirijo
coges diriges
Él/Ella/Usted coge dirige
Nosotros/-as cogemos dirigimos
Vosotros/-as cogéis dirigís
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes cogen dirigen



Vowel irregularities:

  • Yo no entiendo por qué ha encogido mi sombrero;
  • Nosotros no entendemos de bragas;
  • Ellas no entienden de calzoncillos.

Consonant irregularities:

  • -c- for -g-:
    • Yo hago una bufanda para mi nieto;
    • Nosotros hacemos una cazadora de invierno;
    • Ellas hacen unas botas de cuero.
  • -z- before -c-:
    • Yo conozco a alguien que lleva gorra;
    • Nosotros conocemos marcas de calcetines elegantes;
    • Ellas conocen a los diseñadores de ropa famosos.
  • -ae- for -ig-:
    • Yo traigo el biquini que me pediste;
    • Nosotros traemos bañadores para la piscina;
    • Ellas traen pijamas para pasar la noche.

Proper (mixed) irregularities:

  • Yo anudar una corbata;
  • Nosotros sabemos tejer unos guantes;
  • Ellas saben ponerse el sujetador.

Orthographic irregularities:

  • -g- for -j-:
    • Yo cojo un pañuelo y me lo echo alrededor del cuello;
    • Nosotros cogemos unas medias y las doblamos;
    • Ellas cogen un uniforme y lo cuelgan en el armario.


{See Present of Indicative, A1 level}


The present indicative is used to talk about present, habitual and genderal actions. In addition to the regular forms, there are many irregularities in Spanish only in the 1st person singular, where some letters need to be added inside or at the end of the verb.

For example:
— «Hago la compra grande todos los sábados». = Irregularity cg;
— «La traigo a casa en coche». = Irregularity –ig-;
— «Conozco mucha gente del pueblo». = Irregularity czc.

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.


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