Irregular verbs

Identifying a few deviating forms means understanding all irregular verbal forms at a glance

Addressees: Learners and teachers

The case of nous sommes from the infinitive être, quiso derived from Espagnol querer, tuviste from tener, Portuguese tivermos from ter (to have), Italian sono from essere…

Verb economy

All Romance target languages follow the same formation:  ‘word stem plus personal sign’ (i.e. fr. aim-ons, pt. pul-o), often combined with a tense or mood indicator (fr.  aim-i-ez, it. lava-v-o, pt. chama-v-am,…). In Italian, an extended form -sc- is possible: finisco, finisci…; capisco, capisci, capisce, but 5. capiamo). Regular verbs maintain the same root in all persons, tenses, and modes; “irregular” verbs, on the other hand, change the radical (essere: sono, sei, siamo, fummo, sarà).

What does this mean in terms of learning economy? The following listing of Spanish forms makes clear that – to decipher all 36, you only need to know three forms in addition to the infinitive: QUERER,quiero, queres, quer, queremos, quereis, querem, queria, quisera, quis, quererei, queira, quisesse, querer, quer, querido, querendo.

Complete lists of verb forms can be found and downloaded for free. The highlighted forms signalize transfer bases whose knowledge allows the identification of all forms of the affected verb: