El pretrito e imperfecto
El Pretrito y El Imperfecto
The Formula - Preterit When dealing with verbs that end in ar,
-er, and ir, they each look slightly different.
Ejemplo: cantar pretrito (yo): cante
The Formula - ImperfectLike the preterite, -ar, -er, and ir
verbs conjugate slightly differently.
Imperfecto (yo): cantaba
The Tense Depends on TIMEIf the an action does not have a
defined time period or is vague then it is imperfecto I used to
watch movies with my family. Yo miraba pelculas con mi familia.
If an action has a defined time period, then you should use the
preterite. Yesterday I watched a movie. Ayer mire una pelcula.
Knowing When to Use EachWhen speaking in the past, there are
typically two tenses that are used the preterite and the
imperfect.. Ejemplo 1: Last week I worked at the grocery store.
(PRETERITE) La semana pasada yo trabaje en el sper mercado.Ejemplo
1: I worked at the grocery store when I was young.(IMPERFECT) Yo
trabajaba en el sper mercado cuando era joven.
Questions When might you use these tenses in the real world?Can
these tenses be used interchangeably?Does every verb follow the
exact formula when dealing with the imperfect?
They can be used together too!I was cleaning my car when
suddenly came the rain.Yo limpiaba mi carro cuando de repente llego
la lluvia.The beginning of the rain happened DURING the cleaning of
the car. C l e a n i n g t h e c a r The beginning of rain
Other Uses for the ImperfectSetting up a situationJohn was
walking across the street when John caminaba a travs de la calle
cuando Speaking in the past about stuff that used to happen I used
to walk to school every day.Yo caminaba a mi escuela cada
da.Conveying emotion while specific events are happening I was
happy when John won the gameEstaba (estar) alegre cuando John gano
QuestionsWhat would a heavy use of the imperfect by a speaker
mean?If you were asked about when you were a baby, what tense would
you use?If you were writing a fairy tale, would you start by using
a lot of imperfect or preterit to set the story up?
The Preterite and Imperfect in Conversation Pt.1Besides telling
a story, it is good to know how to respond to questions and to be
able to give your listener the proper context you want to convey.If
you were asked, What did you have for dinner last night?Qu comiste
de cena la noche pasada?You could answer by saying eitherCom
empanadas la noche pasada. Coma empanadas la noche pasada Both are
not wrong, but the first example simply answers the question, while
the second example implies another action happened WHILE you were
As a speaker, you could also ASK questions using these tenses,
but remember that the tenses do change what you are askingTe gust
la comida? (Did you like the food?)... This simply is a simple
questionTe gustaba la comida? (Did you enjoy food) This now implies
a non specific non singular time. Conversations Pt. 2
Questions How many specific events can fit into an ongoing
event?Are there multiple ways to answer a question?How would you as
a lawyer, questioning a witness, ask about his whereabouts while a