Root and ending concept definition and examples

The root and ending

The root and the ending are those elements by which the verbs are composed . The root or lexeme is the part of the verb that expresses its meaning and is generally invariable. The ending of the verb is called the ending or morpheme, which always varies and indicates: person, time and number. Root and ending concept definition

Both parts are always present in verbs. We see them in both regular and irregular verbs, although we can find small differences when identifying them. Although the ending is the final part of the verb, we should not confuse it with some verb suffixes such as: gerund, infinitive or participle.

Recognizing the composition of verbs is something that is extremely necessary on a day-to-day basis. This is because we can communicate better and understand verbs more clearly and effectively. Next, everything you need to know about the root and ending will be explained in more depth. Root and ending concept definition

The root

The stem or lexeme is the main part of the verb. This tells us the action that occurs. In most cases there are no variations. We always place it at the beginning of the verb and its meaning does not change. To obtain the root of the verb we only have to separate the endings ar , er or ir .


– Running: corr er .

– Drink: drink er .

– Eating: com er .

Root in regular verbs

The root of a regular verb is maintained in each and every one of its conjugations, only its ending changes.


– Running: corr eríamos, corr y, corr IMOS.

– Studying: I studied , we studied , we would study .

Root in irregular verbs

The root of an irregular verb allows certain modifications in some of its conjugations.


– Make: hac emos, hic IMOS, hic ieron.

– Sleep: dur mieron, dor me dor mimes.

The ending

The ending, also known as a morpheme, is the ending that completes the meaning of the verb. It does so by complementing the root. This part always changes and is distinguished in verbs by granting the following characteristics:

– Number (singular or plural).

– Person (first, second or third person).

– Time (past, present, future, etc.).

Endings are easy to identify, as they always contain the previously mentioned traits. To identify them we only have to separate it from the root of the verb. Root and ending concept definition


– I run: corr or (first person singular in present tense).

– Bebiste: beb iste (second person singular in the past tense).

– They ate: com ian (third person plural past tense).

Exceptions to the ending rule

Although endings are endings, not all endings in verbs are endings. We must not confuse them with some verb suffixes. These, unlike morphemes, do not vary or express the aforementioned qualities . Among the suffixes that directly affect the verb and are not considered endings, we have:

– The infinitive (ar-er-ir). Walk, run, die.

– The gerund (walking-going). Walking, running.

– The participle (ado-ido-so-to-cho). Walked, run, done.

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