In the present tense, certain verbs have spelling changes. These are determined by Spanish rules of pronunciation to preserve the sound appearing in the infinitive. The following groups of verbs have spelling changes before the verb ending -o, in the “yo” form only.
◆ Verbs ending in -ger or -gir change “g” to “j” before the -o ending.
coger (to catch, grab) cojo cogemos coges cogéis coge cogen
exigir (to demand) exijo exigimos exiges exigís exige exigen
VERBS LIKE “coger”
encoger – to shrink -> encojo
escoger – to choose -> escojo
proteger – to protect -> protejo
recoger – to pick up -> recojo
VERBS LIKE “exigir”
dirigir – to direct -> dirijo
fingir – to pretend -> finjo
PS: Other -gir verbs have stem changes as well.
◆ Verbs ending in -guir change “gu” to “g” before the -o ending.
distinguir (to distinguish)
VERBS LIKE “distinguir”
extinguir – to extinguish
PS: Other -guir verbs have stem changes as well.
◆ Verbs ending in -cer and -cir change “c” to “z” before the -o ending.
convencer (to convince)
VERBS LIKE “convencer”
ejercer – to practice (a profession) -> ejerzo
vencer – to overcome -> venzo
Some -cer and -cir verbs may have stem changes as well: “e” changes to “i” and “o” to “ue”.
elegir – to choose -> elijo
torcer – to twist -> tuerzo