Preterite - Irregular Verbs - (e) changes to (i)  

Spanish Grammar Preterite Tense Irregular - (e) changes to (i)

If a verb is a stem changer in the present tense, it will not stem-change in the preterit unless it is an - ir verb. No - ar or - er verbs will stem-change in the preterit.

The verbs mentir (to lie) and pedir (to request) undergo a stem change from (e) to (i) in the "Ud./él/ella" and the "Uds./ellos/ellas" forms only. The conjugation of the verbs are shown below.

mentir (conjugation)

yo mentí (I told a lie)
mentiste (you told a lie)
Ud./él/ella mintió (he told a lie)
nosotros as mentimos (we told a lie)
vosotros as mentisteis (you guys told a lie)
Uds./ellos/ellas mintieron (you all/they told a lie)

pedir (conjugation)

yo pedí (I requested)
pediste (you requested)
Ud./él/ella pidió (you/he/she requested)
nosotros as pedimos (we requested)
vosotros as pedisteis (you guys requested)
Uds./ellos/ellas pidieron (they requested)

Let's look at a few sentences to understand proper use:

Pedí un vaso de agua.
I asked for a glass of water.

Tú pediste zapatos negros.
You asked for black shoes.

Juan pidió un vaso de agua.
John asked for a glass of water.

Nosotros pedimos carros nuevos.
We asked for new cars.

José y Carmen pidieron una soda al mesero.
José and Carmen ordered a Soda from the server.

Other verbs that follow this pattern are:

hervir (to boil)
preferir (to prefer)
sentir (to feel)
convertir (to convert)
divertirse (to enjoy yourself)
seguir (to follow)
medir (to measure)
repetir (to repeat)
impedir (to prevent)
reñir (to argue).

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