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Verbos con cambio ortográfico
Spelling Changing Verbs


As we already know, Spanish is almost pure in terms of it being a phonetic language.  Almost every single word in the language is spelled the way it sounds, and sounds the way it is spelled.  Therefore, sometimes words have spelling changes in order to maintain the integrity of the intended/original pronunciation.  Without the spelling change either the word would be mispronounced, or the rules of pronunciation would be broken.  In the present tense there are a few types of these words.  Write them down in your notebook in the same categories that follow.

"JO" verbs

Verbs that end in "-ger" or "-gir" must change the G to J in the YO form (ONLY!!!) in order to keep the "h" sound.  Without the change, these verbs would end with the sound "GO!"


Some common verbs like this:  coger (to catch); corregir [e>i] (to correct);  elegir [e>i] (to elect, to choose);  escoger (to choose);  fingir (to pretend);   recoger (to gather, pick up)

Answer the following, being careful to change the spelling in order to maintain the correct pronunciation.

Now let's look at the next spelling change...

"GO" verbs

Verbs that end in "-guir" drop the "u" (to become "go") in ONLY the YO.  Otherwise, the pronunciation would be "GWO".


The following are some of the more common verbs ending in "-guir":
  • conseguir [e>i] (to get or obtain); 
  • distinguir (to distinguish); 
  • extinguir (to extinguish); 
  • perseguir [e>i] (to follow, pursue, persecute).

Contesta las preguntas siguientes en buen español.

"ZO" verbs

The last group of spelling-changing verbs are those that end in a consonant+ cer/cir.  These verbs change the "C" to "Z" ONLY in YO.  Otherwise the pronunciation would be "KO".


verbs like vencerconvencer (to convince), ejercer (to exercise [as in someone's rights]).

Also these verbs take this change (as opposed to being part of the "zco" set):  mecer (to rock), cocer [o>ue] (to cook); tocer (to sew)

Now that you have looked at irregular YO form verbs, as well as these spelling changing verbs, you are ready to go to  While there, make a note of any new verbs on their lists, do the activities (oral and quiz) and, of course, take the test.

¡Buena suerte!  Hasta luego.