Some irregular verbs in the simple past

Many verbs ending in -eer, -oír, -uir and -oer change the i to a y in the ending of the third person singular and plural.

Leer → Él leyó

To read He read

Oír → Ellas oyeron

To hear They heard

These are the full conjugations of the verbs that follow this pattern in the simple past:

Leer en
Yo leí
Tú leíste
Él/ella/usted le
Nosotros/as leímos
Vosotros/as leísteis
Ellos/ellas/ustedes leyeron
Yo contribuí
Tú contribuiste
Él/ella/usted contribu
Nosotros/as contribuimos
Vosotros/as contribuisteis
Ellos/ellas/ustedes contribuyeron
Oír en
Yo oí
Tú oíste
Él/ella/usted o
Nosotros/as oímos
Vosotros/as oísteis
Ellos/ellas/ustedes oyeron

Other verbs that follow this pattern are creer (to think, to believe), poseer (to possess), roer (to gnaw), distribuir (to distribute), huir (to flee) and excluir (to exclude).

Ella creyó que vendrías.

She thought that you would come.

Los ladrones huyeron.

The thieves fled.

Note: despite not sharing any of the endings cited above, the verb caer (to fall) and its derivatives recaer (to relapse) and decaer (to decline) follow the same pattern in this tense.

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