Verbs That Change I to Y in the Preterite [+14 Examples & Quiz]

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In this Spanish grammar lesson you will learn about verbs that change i to y in the preterite

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • verbs that change i to y in the preterite
  • how verbs that change i to y in the preterite are used in sentences in Spanish
  • how you can quiz yourself on verbs that change i to y in the preterite
  • how to practice with flashcard on verbs that change i to y in the preterite
  • how and why you should use the courses of Language Atlas to learn Spanish

By the end of the lesson you will know all about verbs that change i to y in the preterite!

Table of Contents

Introduction to Verbs that Change I to Y in the Preterite

There are certain –er and –ir verbs that have a vowel right before the infinitive ending.

These verbs conjugate a bit differently in the preterite.

Those verbs change –i to –y in the preterite. However, this only happens in the él/ella/usted form and in the ellos/ellas/ustedes form.

Also, in all other forms in the preterite, the –i turns into an –í (with an accent). Normally you would only see this in the yo form.

Verbs That Change I to Y in the Preterite Conjugation Table

leer (to read)
yoleí
leíste
él/ella/ustedleyó
nosotros/nosotrasleímos
vosotros/vosotrasleísteis
ellos/ellas/ustedesleyeron

Here are some examples of verbs that change –i to –y in the preterite:

creer

Yo creí que vendrías el sábado.

I thought you were coming on Saturday.

leer

¿Leíste el libro que te regalaron por tu cumpleaños?

Did you read the book you got for your birthday? [=tú]

creer

Juan creyó que nos habíamos ido sin él.

Juan thought we had left without him.

leer

Mi hija leyó el nuevo libro de Harry Potter en solo dos días.

My daughter read the new Harry Potter book in just two days.

creer

Nosotros creímos que ellos se habían divorciado.

We thought they had divorced.

leer

¿Vosotros leísteis el comunicado de la empresa?

Did you read the company’s press release?

proveer

Ustedes proveyeron a este colegio con mucho material escolar.

You provided this school with a lot of school supplies.

Verbs Ending with Uir not Preceded by G

There are some verbs that end with –uir and that are not preceded by a –g. (e.g. construir).

These verbs only change –i to –y in the él/ella/usted form and in the ellos/ellas/ustedes form.

This also means that you will only see the –í in to yo form.

Verbs Ending with Uir not Preceded by G Conjugation Table

construir (to build)
yoconstruí
construiste
él/ella/ustedconstruyó
nosotros/nosotrasconstruimos
vosotros/vosotrasconstruisteis
ellos/ellas/ustedesconstruyeron

Here are some examples of –uir verbs that change –i to –y in the preterite:

construir

Yo construí esta casa con mis propias manos.

I built this house with my own hands.

huir

huiste cuando la tormenta empezó

You fled when the storm started.

destruir

El perro destruyó los papeles que había encima de la mesa.

The dog destroyed the papers on the table.

distribuir

Nosotros distribuimos la comida entre todos los alumnos.

We distributed the food among all the students.

construir

Vosotros construisteis esta familia.

You built this family.

huir

Los gatos huyeron al escuchar el portazo.

The cats ran away when they heard the door slam.

distribuir

Ustedes distribuyeron su sabiduría por todo el mundo.

You distributed your wisdom all over the world.

List of Verbs That Change I to Y in the Preterite

caerto fall
caer(se)to fall down
creerto believe
leerto read
oírto hear
poseerto possess
proveerto provide
construirto build, construct
contribuirto contribute
destruirto destroy
fluirto flow, run
huirto flee, run away
incluirto include
influirto influence

Quiz Yourself on Verbs That Change I to Y in the Preterite

At the end of every lesson you can do a small quiz.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want!

Fill in the Blank!Yo que vendrías el sábado. [creer]

I thought you were coming on Saturday.
Fill in the Blank!
¿ el libro que te regalaron por tu cumpleaños? [leer]

Did you read the book you got for your birthday? [=tú]
Fill in the Blank!
Ustedes a este colegio con mucho material escolar. [proveer]

You provided this school with a lot of school supplies.

How to Practice With Flashcards for This Lesson

Using flashcards is an absolute necessity when it comes to learning a language!

It is the best way to memorize what you learn, you can personalize your progression because it adapts to your actions, and all flashcards have audio to improve your hearing and pronunciation.

Please read our article on how to learn a new language for more information on flashcards and the best way to learn a new language.

There are two ways to practice with Flashcards for this lesson.

  1. Anki
  2. The Flashcards in our Courses

Anki is a free software with which you can create and practice flashcards.

After you have downloaded Anki for free, you can get our Spanish A2 Anki Deck.

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All the flashcards have text, images, explanations, and audio.

You can also use our courses that have flashcards integrated alongside lessons with audio, quizzes and much more!

However, I am sure you are wondering, what are your courses, and why should I take them?

The Courses of Language Atlas

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