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Learn elegir conjugation in Pretérito

elegir means: to choose, to elect, to vote
Click to see all conjugation charts of elegir in every tense

In this conjugation lesson we will see how to conjugate the verb elegir in the Pretérito tense of the Indicativo mood. It means we will see step by step how to create and translate forms of each grammatical person.

This lesson is specifically about the elegir verb conjugation. For an overview of Simple Tenses conjugation have a look at our Simple Tenses Conjugation Chart.

We also have a Video Presentation on how to conjugate verbs in Pretérito. It’s embedded below, but using the above link you will get more detailed information on conjugation in this tense as well as explanation of exceptions and special cases.

How to translate Pretérito to English

Note that the phrases in English provided below next to each conjugation are not direct translations from Spanish to English. They are usually the closest general equivalents. The example differences are:
  • In Spanish conjugation, there is the form usted in the third person singular. But this person does not translate to the English third person singular. It translates to the so called formal you and uses the inflected form which is most often represented as he/she/it in English conjugation charts.
  • Similar situation happens in the third person plural, where ustedes translates to the English plural formal you but uses the form which corresponds to the they form in English.
  • Tenses are used differently in Spanish and English, so the actual translation should always take into account the context and focus on translating the meaning, not just words.
  • In both languages each verb may have multiple meanings and not every meaning translates directly to the other language. Here also, the context and focusing on the particular meaning helps to create the most accurate translation.

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Note the timeline

The ability to accurately locate the desired position on the timeline is an important skill for the right choice of tenses. So pay attention to the timeline in our lessons and visualize it while listening, speaking, writing and reading. After a bit practice you’ll be able to select the right tense to use much easier.timeline preterito perfecto simple how to conjugate spanish verbs

Step by step instructions

Pretérito belongs to the simple tenses group, which means that all of its inflected forms are one word long. There are also compound (compuesto) tenses in the Spanish language, where each conjugated verb form consists of two words.
The verb elegir has an irregular conjugation in the Pretérito tense of the Indicativo mood.
The first person singular has a regular stem. So we need to use eleg- at the beginning of this form.
Add the regular ending for this person to get elegí:
  • yo elegí – I chose
And again the second person singular has a regular stem. So we need to use eleg- as the basis for this form.
And again add the regular ending -iste for this person to get elegiste:
  • tú elegiste – you chose
The third person singular has an irregular stem in this tense.

This verb belongs to the group which gets a change of the last e in the stem into an i.

It’s convenient to think about this change as happening only in:
  • persons 1st, 2nd, 3rd singular and 3rd plural of Presente Indicativo
  • 3rd person singular & plural of Pretérito Perfecto Simple
  • Gerundio
but influencing all the grammatical persons of all the Imperative and simple Subjunctive tenses. That’s because their forms are created based on either the 3rd person singular of Presente de Indicativo or the 3rd person plural of Pretérito Perfecto Simple de Indicativo.

Note: the above is true when the 1st person singular of Presente is not completely irregular. If it is, tenses which normally use the 3rd person’s form as the basis of their conjugation, use the 1st person’s form of Presente instead.

So in the regular stem eleg change e to i to get elig.
But at least the ending is regular for this person. It is -ió as normally in the -ir verb group. Add it to the stem to get:
  • él eligió – he chose
  • ella eligió – she chose
  • usted eligió – (formal) you chose
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And the first person plural has a regular stem. So simply use eleg- as the basis for this form.
And as before add the regular ending -imos for this person to get elegimos:
  • nosotros elegimos – we chose
  • nosotras elegimos – (feminine) we chose
And as before the second person plural has a regular stem. So simply use eleg- as the basis for this form.
And again add the regular ending -isteis for this person to get elegisteis:
  • vosotros elegisteis – (plural) you chose
  • vosotras elegisteis – (feminine, plural) you chose
The third person plural also has an irregular stem in this tense.

So as explained previously we need to change e to i in the regular stem eleg to get elig.
And the ending is regular for this person. It is -ieron as normally in the -ir verb group. Add it to the stem to get:
  • ellos eligieron – they chose
  • ellas eligieron – (feminine) they chose
  • ustedes eligieron – (formal, plural) you chose

Hurray! The conjugation is now complete. Put together, the conjugation chart looks like this:

yoelegíI chose
elegisteyou chose
él/ella/ustedelighe/she/it chose
nosotros/nosotraselegimoswe chose
vosotros/vosotraselegisteisyou chose
ellos/ellas/ustedeseligieronthey chose
Click to see all conjugation charts of elegir in every tense

But do not end your session yet – it’s important to repeat and practice the material in order to remember it. Check below for example phrases and suggestions.

Example sentences

Lo único malo es que no los gobernará la persona que eligieron.
The only bad thing is that the person they elected will not govern them.

Next Steps to Perfection

  • To practice this conjugation and test yourself check this Conjugation Exercise or the Memory Game
  • To see other conjugation lessons for this verb choose another tense:  
  • For exercises and examples related to elegir visit our Exercise section
  • To see conjugation charts in all tenses for elegir visit the Conjugator
  • To explore other learning materials visit the Study section

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