Pret©rito imperfecto

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  • The imperfect tense(El tiempo imperfecto)Antes, siempre haca mis compras en las mejores boutiques.S, pero con las rebajas que ofrecen en este almacn . . .qu ganga!

  • hablabaThe conjugation of -ar verbshablhablhablhablhablabasababamosabaisabanThere are no irregular -ar verbs in the imperfect!only on the nosotros formJust as with other tenses, we always start with the stem of the verb.hablar

  • comacomcomcomcomcomasaamosaisanAll forms have a written accent over the .The conjugation of -er verbscomer

  • escribaescribescribescribescribescribasaamosaisanThe conjugation of -ir verbsAll forms have a written accent over the .escribirNotice that the conjugation of -ir verbs is identical to that of -er verbs.

  • eraeraseraramoseraiseranThere are only three irregular verbs!seronly on the nosotros form

  • ibaibasibabamosibaisibanThere are only three irregular verbs!ironly on the nosotros form

  • veaveasveaveamosveaisveanThere are only three irregular verbs!All forms have a written accent over the .ver

  • The imperfect is always used to express age and time of day in the past:Yo tena quince aos cuando aprend a manejar.Eran las diez cuando el tren lleg a la estacin.The use of the imperfectI was fifteen years old when I learned to drive.It was ten oclock when the train arrived at the station.

  • While the preterit tense is used to describe actions viewed as completed, the imperfect is used to . . .Express ongoing actions and states in the past, without reference to their beginning or ending

    Express mental, physical, and emotional states in the past

    Describe scenarios and situations in the past

    Express indirect statements

    Express that which happened habitually

    The use of the imperfect

  • One of the classic uses of the imperfect is to describe our childhood habits and activities:Expressing the habitual (used to, would)Cuando yo era nio, yo . . .. . . siempre estudiaba solo en mi cuarto.. . . jugaba con mis amiguitos todos los das.The use of the imperfectWhen I was a child, I . . .. . . always studied (used to study) alone in my room.. . . would play with my friends every day.

  • Expressing the habitual (used to, would). . . coma cereal cada maana.. . . lea tebeos todo el tiempo.. . . iba todos los veranos a Disneylandia con mis padres.The use of the imperfectCuando yo era nio, yo . . .When I was a child, I . . .. . . used to eat cereal every morning.. . . read comic books all the time.. . . would go to Disneyland every summer with my parents.

  • Expressing the habitual (used to, would)Pedro coma en ese restaurante todos los sbados.The use of the imperfectPedro used to eat at that restaurant every Saturday.Of course, the imperfect is not limited to discussing childhood activities. Any habitual activities are expressed in the imperfect.Ana iba de compras todo el tiempo.Ana used to go shopping all the time.

  • While the preterit tense is used to describe actions viewed as completed, the imperfect is used to . . .Express ongoing actions and states in the past, without reference to their beginning or ending

    Express mental, physical, and emotional states in the past

    Describe scenarios and situations in the past

    Express indirect statements

    Express that which happened habitually

    The use of the imperfect

  • The imperfect expresses something that was happening at a given time, without reference to its beginning or ending:Expressing the ongoing (was . . . ing)Roberto estudiaba en su cuarto.Elena lavaba los platos en la cocina.Ayer a eso de las cuatro yo lea el peridico mientras mi esposa miraba la tele.The use of the imperfectRoberto was studying in his room.Elena was washing the dishes in the kitchen.Yesterday around four oclock I was reading the newspaper while my wife was watching TV.

  • Frequently the ongoing action is interrupted by another abrupt or completed action that is expressed, of course, in the preterit:Roberto estudiaba en su cuarto cuando el telfono son.Elena lavaba los platos en la cocina cuando alguien toc a la puerta.The use of the imperfectExpressing the ongoing (was . . . ing)Roberto was studying in his room when the phone rang.Elena was washing the dishes in the kitchen when someone knocked at the door.

  • Frequently the ongoing action is interrupted by another abrupt or completed action that is expressed, of course, in the preterit:Conversbamos con el dependiente cuando Lourdes entr en la joyera.Las chicas salan de la tienda cuando Jorge las vio.The use of the imperfectExpressing the ongoing (was . . . ing)We were talking with the clerk when Lourdes entered the jewelry store.The girls were leaving the store when Jorge saw them.

  • While the preterit tense is used to describe actions viewed as completed, the imperfect is used to . . .Express ongoing actions and states in the past, without reference to their beginning or ending

    Express mental, physical, and emotional states in the past

    Describe scenarios and situations in the past

    Express indirect statements

    Express that which happened habitually

    The use of the imperfect

  • Expressing mental, physical and emotional statesAlicia estaba contenta durante el concierto.Nos sentamos mal despus de comer all.The use of the imperfectAlicia was happy during the concert.We felt sick after eating there.De nio yo siempre crea en Santa Claus.As a child I always believed in Santa Claus.Los estudiantes no queran estudiar aunque saban que era necesario.The students didnt want to study even though they knew that it was necessary.

  • While the preterit tense is used to describe actions viewed as completed, the imperfect is used to . . .Express ongoing actions and states in the past, without reference to their beginning or ending

    Express mental, physical, and emotional states in the past

    Describe scenarios and situations in the past

    Express indirect statements

    Express that which happened habitually

    The use of the imperfect

  • Describing scenarios and situationsEra un da triste. Haca muy mal tiempo y llova. Yo lea en mi cuarto y esperaba una llamada telefnica. Anita practicaba el piano en la sala y los nios jugaban a la pata coja en el garaje.The use of the imperfectIt was a sad day. The weather was very bad and it was raining. I was reading in my room and waiting for a telephone call. Anita was practicing the piano in the living room and the children were playing hopscotch in the garage.

  • While the preterit tense is used to describe actions viewed as completed, the imperfect is used to . . .Express ongoing actions and states in the past, without reference to their beginning or ending

    Express mental, physical, and emotional states in the past

    Describe scenarios and situations in the past

    Express indirect statements

    Express that which happened habitually

    The use of the imperfect

  • Expressing indirect statementsCarlos dijo que Juan vena a mi casa a las ocho.Los agentes afirmaron que los espas hablaban muy bien el ingls.El volante policaco representa que el delincuente era bajo y cojeaba un poco.The use of the imperfectCarlos said that Juan was coming to my house at eight oclock.The agents affirmed that the spies spoke English very well.The police flyer states that the criminal was short and limped somewhat.

  • 2.Habitual action1.Age and time of day in the pastYo tena treinta aos cuando me cas.Overview of the use of the imperfectI was thirty years old when I got married.Eran las tres cuando Hugo lleg.It was three oclock when Hugo arrived.De nio, yo siempre coma cereal.As a child, I always used to eat cereal.bamos al parque con frecuencia.We would go to the park frequently.Hablbamos espaol en nuestra casa.We spoke Spanish in our house.

  • 3.Ongoing action4.Descriptionsetting the sceneOverview of the use of the imperfectCarlos lea el peridico mientras su hijo cortaba el csped.Carlos was reading the newspaper while his son was mowing the lawn.Era un da muy lgubre. El cielo estaba nublado y llova a cntaros.It was a very gloomy day. The sky was cloudy and it was raining cats and dogs.

  • 5.Mental, physical, and emotional states6.Indirect statementsOverview of the use of the imperfectJuan pensaba que necesitaba ms dinero del que tena para el viaje.Juan thought that he needed more money than he had for the trip.Pancho dijo que su hermano venda su coche.Pancho said that his brother was selling his car.

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