Spanish Resources vocabulary

Ver vs. prever vs. proveer

Ver vs. prever vs. proveer

Here are three cool verbs in Spanish:

Ver - to see

Prever - to foresee

Proveer - to provide

The meaning of these verbs is pretty straightforward: you probably already knew ver;prever is just ver with the prefix pre, which means "before" (it comes from Latin, and it’s all over the place in English). And then, proveer also exists in English (to provide). The cool thing is the different conjugations for these verbs. Let’s first take a look at the present tense conjugation for leer, which is a regular verb you already know:

Leer

Leo

Lees

Lee

Leemos

(Leéis)

Leen

So, yes, leer is just a good old regular verb. We drop the “er” part and substitute it for the standard present tense endings for -er verbs: -o -es -e -emos (-éis) -en.

Ver, however, is irregular, as its first person singular is not conjugated in the present tense by dropping the “er” part and adding the standard regular ending. Interestingly, ver used to be veer, and guess what, it used to be a regular verb, and it used to be conjugated just like leer:

"Veer"

Veo

Vees

Vee

Veemos

(Veéis)

Veen

This would probably make a modern-day Spanish native speaker’s eyes bleed. But really, it used to be veer and it used to be conjugated like that. Eventually, it lost the extra “e” (but kept it in the first person, which makes it irregular):

Ver

Veo

Ves

Ve

Vemos

(Veis)

Ven

Since prever comes from ver, it’s conjugated in the same way:

Prever

Preveo

Prevés

Prevé

Prevemos

(Prevéis)

Preven

Now, here goes the crazy part: we could think of proveer as ver preceded by pro instead of pre, but it’s really “veer” preceded by pro; this verb kept the original double "e" of veer (which doesn't make any sense!). Here is its present tense conjugation:

Proveer

Proveo

Provees

Provee

Proveemos

(Proveéis)

Proveen

It’s interesting, isn’t it?

Spanish learning meme about verbs proveer and prever


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