https://www.duolingo.com/andreapabbott

Preterite vs. Imperfect

-aba -aba -aba -ía -ía -ía flows like a river, continuing in the past. Preterite is direct -i! -iste! -ó! -amos! -esteís! -aron!

Imperfect and preterite are often used together, preterite interrupting imperfect. Caminaba por la ciudad cuando un hombre me agarró (I was walking through city when a man grabbed me)

6 years ago

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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You use imperfect for things that continue in the past. Like an action you WERE doing. It also ends in the past. So you are not currently doing it. A way I always remind myself is, "Cuando era nino." This phrase helps me think wow that was a long time ago so it ended in the past.

Preterite is used for things that might have happened last night, last year, and have a specified occurrence.

Look for key words!

If you see: a veces, mientras, los lunes (or other day of the week), etc. ----> use imperfect tense

If you see: anoche, ayer pasado, lunes pasado, esta manana, etc. ----> use preterite tense

Hope this helps clarify this some more :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arthurva
Arthurva
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The above is not quite right!

IMPERFECT endings are different for -ar verbs to -er and -ir:

-ar verbs:

eg hablar (habl-ar):
habl-aba; habl-abas; habl-aba / habl-abamos; habl-abies; habl-aban

ie -aba; -abas; -aba / -abamos; -abais; -aban

-er and -ir verbs:

eg comer (com-er) and vivir (viv-ir)

com-ía; com-ías; com-ía / com-íamos; com-íais; com-ían

viv-ía; viv-ías; viv-ía / viv-íamos; viv-íais; viv-ían

ie -ía; -ías; -ía / -íamos; -íais; -ían

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joeyshere
Joeyshere
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This is correct. :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeanine
Jeanine
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thank you for this comment. Now please do the same for subjunctive, conditional, modal, etc.

5 years ago
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