Studying Spanish Grammar On-line and the Preterite Tense

The Preterite Tense

The preterite tense is yet another subject that appears to confuse English speakers of Spanish. English speakers finding out Spanish have a tendency to confuse the preterite with the imperfect and vice versa. Both tenses describe actions that took location in the past. But I believe English speakers just learning Spanish have a tendency to confuse the two simply because in English in specific situations we occasionally use the exact same kind of a verb to describe an action that took place in the previous. But in Spanish, in the identical instance, you can’t use both the preterite or the imperfect. Only one would be right.

For example, in English , we can use the past tense of the verb to go (i.e. went) to describe two different actions that took spot in the previous.

1. I went to the buying mall three times.

two. When I was young, I went to the shopping mall.

(Note: In English, for number two you could also say When I was young, I utilized to go to the buying mall.)

Both sentences use the identical verb went to describe the action that took location in the previous. But in Spanish, you can’t use the exact same verb tense. In the very first sentence, you need to use the preterite of ir (fui), and the imperfect verb tense (iba) in the latter.

Yo fui al almacn tres veces.

Cuando yo era joven, yo iba al almacn.

We will cover the imperfect verb tense in higher detail in a future lesson. But for now, consider of the imperfect as a verb tense utilized to describe how factors utilised to be or to describe an action that was continuous or habitual in the previous.

The preterite verb tense is generally utilised to inform what happened (1) throughout a fixed period of time (either stated or implied), (2) a particular quantity of occasions, (three) or throughout an enclosed period of time. Here are some examples.

(1) For the duration of a fixed period of time:

Ayer compr un martillo.

Yesterday, I bought a hammer.

(two) A particular quantity of occasions (either state or implied)

l perdi mi destornillador dos veces.

He lost my screwdriver two instances.

I went to the hardware retailer.

Yo fui a la ferretera.

(It is implied that you went to the hardware shop 1 time).

(3) For the duration of an enclosed period of time.

You hammered the nail for an hour.

T martillaste el clavo por una hora.

The following are some standard verbs in the preterite tense.

AR Verbs (hablar)

Yo habl

T hablaste

l/ella/usted habl

Nosotros/nosotras hablamos

Ellos/ellas/ustedes hablaron

ER Verbs (beber)

Yo beb

T bebiste

l/ella/usted bebi

Nosotros/nosotras bebimos

Ellos/ellas/ustedes bebieron

IR Verbs Vivir

Yo viv

T viviste

l/ella/usted vivi

Nosotros/nosotras vivimos

Ellos/ellas/ustedes vivieron

Right here are some examples.

1. Last week you bought a saw.

La semana pasada, t compraste una sierra.

two. Yesterday, the man required a hammer.

Ayer, el hombre necesit un martillo.

three. They utilised the rake nine times.

Ellos usaron el rastrillo nueve veces.

four. The brother-in-law put the leaves in the bag.

El cuado meti las hojas en la bolsa.

5. This morning the ladies sewed the clothing.

Esta maana las mujeres cosieron la ropa.

6. Final night, I covered the dessert.

Anoche yo cubr el postre.

Now lets attempt some on your personal. The answers stick to.

1. The son-in law ate shrimp two times.

2. Nowadays they decided to inform the truth.

3. Did you use the hoe in the yard these days? (Familiar)

four. The daughter-in-law turned on the oven a two oclock.

5. Last summer time, the soldiers marched in the parade.

six. He suffered a lot in the war this year.


1. To read additional information, consider having a look at: ibcbet. El yerno comi camarones dos veces.

two. Hoy ellos decidieron a decir la verdad.

three. ?Usaste tu el azadon en el jardin hoy?

4. La nuera encendi el horno a las dos.

five. El verano pasado los soldados marcharon en el desfile.

six. El sufri mucho en la guerra este ano.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s