Imperfect Past Tense Verbs Explanation and conjugations
Imperfect Tense Notes 3. Imperfect tense How to form regular verbs: 1: drop the infinitive ending (-ar, -er, -ir) 2: add the appropriate Imperfect tense endings to match the subject. -ar verb endings-er /-ir endings aba abas aba ábamos aban abais ía ías ía íamos íais ían Note: There are only 3 irregular verbs: Ver, ser, and Ir Ver- Veía, veías, veía, veíamos, veíais, veían Ser – era, eras, era, éramos, erais, eran Ir – iba, ibas, iba, íbamos, ibais, iban
Continuation of notes When to use it In general, The Imperfect tense is used for used for actions in the past that are not seen as completed. It implies that the past action did not have a definite beginning or a definite end. Translate the Imperfect tense as was/were...ing, used to..., would (meaning used to) …
Continuation of notes The imperfect is used for actions that were repeated habitually. – Almorzábamos juntos todos los días. We would lunch together every day. – Las señoras siempre charlaban por las mañanas. The ladies would always chat in the mornings.
Continuation of notes The imperfect is used for actions that "set the stage" for another action. – Yo leía cuando entró mi papá. I was reading when my papa entered. (note that "entered" is preterite) The imperfect is used for telling time, describing weather, and stating one's age. – Eran las siete de la noche. It was seven o'clock at night. – La niña tenía cinco años. The little girl was five years old.
Continuation of notes One does not normally think of a general mental state or physical sensations as having a definite beginning or end, and so they are usually expressed in the imperfect. – Ramón tenía miedo de hablar en público. Ramón was afraid to speak in public. – Yo creía que Juan podía hacerlo. I thought that Juan could do it. – Me gustaba el coche. I liked the car. (The car was pleasing to me.)
Continuation of notes The imperfect is used to describe how things were or what things were like. Use the imperfect when describing the characteristics of people, things or conditions. – Era un muchacho muy inteligente. He was a very intelligent boy. – Era una señorita muy guapa. She was a beautiful young lady. – Las ventanas estaban abiertas. The windows were open. – La casa era blanca. The house was white.
Continuation of notes Preterite vs. Imperfect Some verbs actually change meaning, depending upon whether they are used in the preterite or the imperfect. Pret.Imperfect – ConocermetUsed to know/knew – Querertried wanted – no querer refused did not want – Saberfound out Used to know, knew – Podersucceeded in was able to – Tenerreceived used to have
Continuation of notes Spanish has two past tenses: preterite and imperfect. Most verbs can be put into either tense, depending upon the meaning. Some words and phrases indicate specific time frames, and therefore signal the use of the preterite. Other words and phrases indicate repetitive, vague or non-specific time frames, and therefore signal the use of the imperfect.
Continuation of notes Expressions that signal use of preterite Ayer (yesterday) la semana pasada (last week) anoche (last night) el mes pasado (last month) el otro día (the other day) el año pasado (last year) entonces (then) hace dos días, años (two days, years ago) esta mañana(this morning) ayer por la mañana (yesterday morning) Expressions that signal use of imperfect a menudo (often) generalmente (usually) a veces (sometimes) muchas veces (many times) cada día (every day) siempre (always) cada año (every year) todo el tiempo (all the time) de vez en cuando (from time to time) varias veces (several times)
Continuation of notes REPEATED, HABITUAL ACTION (imperfect) Ellos iban al cine todos los sábados. They went (used to go) to the movies every Saturday. Siempre se sentaban en la primera fila. They always sat (would sit) in the first row. Todas las noches se acostaban tarde. Every night they went (would go) to bed late. COMPLETED ACTION (Preterite) Ellos fueron al cine el sábado pasado. They went to the movies last Saturday. Ayer se sentaron en la última fila. Yesterday they sat in the last row. Anoche se acostaron temprano. Last night they went to bed early. Compare the following sentences.
Continuation of notes Two actions in one sentence Narrating a sequence of events 1.Often a sentence may have two or more verbs in the past. The verbs may be in the same tense or in different tenses. In the sentence below, both verbs are in the preterite. Both describe simple actions that began and ended at a specific time in the past. Laura llegó ayer y Pepe la vio. Laura arrived yesterday and Pepe saw her. 2. In the sentence below, the two verbs are in the imperfect because they both describe habitual or continuous actions. The moment when the actions began or ended is unimportant. Durante los inviernos, Adela iba a las montañas a esquiar, pero yo trabajaba. During the winters, Adela went(would go) to the mountains to ski, but I would work. 3. In the sentence below, the verb estudiaba is in the imperfect; it describes the backgroundwhat was going on. The verb in the preterite, entró, expresses the action or event that interrupted the ongoing action. Yo estudiaba cuando Julia entró. I was studing when Julia entered.
Imperfect Tense Conjugations
1 To talk, to speak Hablar 2. hablé hablaste habló hablamos hablasteis hablaron 3. hablaba hablabas hablaban Hablábamos hablabais
24 To know, to be familiar with conocer 2. conocí conociste conoció conocisteis conocieron conocimos 3. conocía conocías conocía conocíamos conocían conocíais
25 To wash ones self Lavarse 2. me lavé te lavaste se lavó os lavasteis se lavaron nos lavamos 3. me Lavaba se Lavaba te Lavabas se Lavaban nos Lavábamos os Lavabais
26 To go to bedacostarse 2. me acosté te acostaste se acostó os acostasteis se acostaron nos acostamos 3. me acostaba se acostaba te acostabas se acostaban nos acostábamos os acostabais
27 To enjoy ones self, To have a good time divertirse 2. me divertí te divertiste se divirtió os divertisteis se divirtieron nos divertimos 3. me divertía te divertías se divertía nos divertíamos se divertían os divertíais