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Published on: Grammar

Ver Preterite Conjugation: Simple Patterns to Master This Tricky Verb

You might have noticed that Spanish conjugations tend to be difficult, especially in the preterite tense. The irregular verb Ver is one of the most difficult verbs to memorize.

It’s one of those irregular verbs that doesn’t seem to follow any Spanish grammar rules at all. Whether it’s the imperfect tense, present indicative, present subjunctive, the past participle, or the preterite tense, the verb Ver takes some getting used to. 

While this is true, the verb Ver is also one of the most important verbs to know because it’s so common. This means that if you want to master Spanish, at some point or another you’re going to need to get used to using the irregular verb Ver

That’s why today, we’re going to figure out how to conjugate the Spanish verb in the preterite tense. Afterward, you’ll learn some ways to use this Spanish verb in context, this way you will know exactly what the verb Ver means and you can focus just on the structure, rather than the meaning. 

Present Tense Conjugation

Before getting into the past tense, let’s review how to conjugate Ver in the present tense. It’s one of the irregular verbs that change in the yo form of the present tense and since the preterite tense can be a bit tricky, it’s worth starting from the easiest tense conjugation before moving on to more difficult parts 

Subject  Verb Ver (To see) 
Yo Veo
Él / Ella / Usted Ve
Vos* Ves
Nosotros Vemos
Vosotros* Veis
Ellos / Ellas / Ustedes Ven


The present indicative tense conjugation can be just a little tricky since you need to make some changes to make up for the fact that it’s such a short word. Instead of “Vo” for the first person, we’ll be saying “Veo”, adding an extra E to the regular conjugation rules.

For the Vos and Vosotros forms, you also don’t need to add any accent marks like you normally would conjugate the present tense, so keep that in mind depending on the region you’re in!

 Did you know…?  

Vos is typically only used in parts of South America and Vosotros is typically only used in parts of Spain.

Verb Ver: Almost Always Irregular

Before we move on to the preterite tense conjugation, it’s important to point out that Ver is almost always an irregular verb. This is incredibly common with very short verbs. Oír, Dar, Ser, etc., 

Normally these short 3-letter verbs tend to have some changes to their conjugation forms because the Spanish language has made changes to adapt to the irregularity.

In these cases, the best thing to do is just memorize them. Use flashcards, read often, and pay attention to them in context – do whatever best works for you to memorize all the irregular forms. 

The Ver conjugation, specifically, is irregular in the present indicative, present subjunctive, imperfect, preterite, past participle, and imperative forms. That means that it’s only regular in the future, the conditional, and the imperfect subjunctive

The good news is that Ver conjugation is actually one of the easier irregular verb conjugations. So let’s get to it!

Verb Ver In The Preterite Tense

The conjugation for the preterite tense is one of the most difficult ones to remember. Many times, you just have to memorize the conjugation.

But on the plus side, since it’s such a common word, you’ll definitely have a lot of opportunities to practice it! 

Ver conjugation in the preterite tense

Subject  Verb Ver (To see) 
Yo Vi
Él / Ella / Usted Vió
Vos Viste
Nosotros Vimos
Vosotros Visteis
Ellos / Ellas / Ustedes Vieron


As you can see from the chart, there are only two forms that are irregular for the Ver conjugation in the preterite. The yo form and the él / ella form are a little different from regular -IR verbs

Everything else is going to be just like normal: viste, Nosotros vimos, Ellos / Ellas vieron. So let’s go over the irregular forms:

No Accent Marks

The only change in the Ver conjugation is the lack of accent marks. This is pretty different from most other verbs since you usually need an accent mark to conjugate correctly. 

Usually, regular verbs have an accent mark in the yo form and the él / ella form in order to maintain the stress pattern. However, since Ver in these tenses is a monosyllabic word, there’s no need for an accent mark! 

  • Yo vi a Juan ayer. – I saw Juan yesterday 
  • Él / Ella vio el partido de fútbol. – She  / He watched the soccer game 

Accent marks are only used on very specific occasions, and since you don’t meet any of the requirements for them when you conjugate Ver, you don’t need them!

In this case, they are both one-syllable words, and there is no other word “vi” or “vio” that has a different meaning, so there’s no need for an accent mark. 

This might actually be one of the only times where an irregular verb is actually easier to conjugate than its regular verb counterparts. 

Image by Lucia Gherra via Unsplash

Ver vs Mirar

One other important aspect to remember is the difference between Ver and Mirar. The biggest difference here is that Mirar is usually used for paying attention to something or to look at. Ver, on the other hand, is used for “to see” and “to watch” something. 

Here are some examples to help you remember:

  • ¿Tú viste la nueva película de Marvel, verdad? – You watched the new Marvel movie, right?
  • Ella no vio el partido. – She didn’t see the game.  
  • Mira ese bebé, ¡qué precioso!Look at that baby, how cute! 
  • Mira lo que vi anoche.Look at what I saw last night. 

Uses of the Verb Ver in Preterite Tense

Going off of those previous examples, usually the word Ver is used to express that you saw or watched something. 

Most of the time, it expresses an unconscious use of your sense of sight, rather than a deliberate use. For example:

  • Él / Ella vio la tele. – He / She watched TV. 
  • Ellos / Ellas vieron las noticias de ayer. – They watched yesterday’s news on TV.

In both of those examples, they saw or watched something, but they weren’t necessarily focused and carefully watching (which would be mirar). 

You can also use Ver in a lot of expressions, such as,  “A ver qué pasa”. In this case, you would always use Ver in the present tense, so no need to remember its conjugation in that context.

Image by Kyle Gregory Devaras via Unsplash

That’s All for Today!

Whether you need to work on the present tense, the imperfect tense, the subjunctive, or the preterite, Ver tends to be a tricky one to get conjugated correctly. The best thing to do is to keep practicing! So go ahead and sign up for a free private class or a 7-day free trial of our group classes so you can practice what you learned!

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