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Duolingo and imperfect tense (Spanish)

Hi all,

I've found that in the standard Duolingo lessons, when referring to the past the imperfect tense is almost never used even when it should be (excepting of course the lesson on imperfect). Many lessons include references to past events that could be ongoing or occur at an imprecise time, yet preterite is used. Has anyone else found this?


3 years ago



I think I don't really get your point.

Preterite is always used for things that happened in the past. At least in Spanish. Imperfect preterite is for actions that were not totally finished. "Estudiaba en la universidad, pero abandoné."

3 years ago


The preterit and the imperfect are two different tenses, the way most of us have been taught. The preterit is 'over and done with, action completed" and the imperfect is 'action in progress, background information, description"

3 years ago


Language Transfer (languagetransfer.org) teaches these past tenses in a simple, yet descriptive way: Think of the preterite as a "dot" in the past and the imperfect as a "line" in the past.

3 years ago


I think my post wasn't perfectly clear, so I changed the wording a bit. I've never heard the imperfect called the "imperfect preterite" before.

3 years ago


I agree with you! I just visited my sister who lives in Spain and I was she told me people use the preterite tense much less frequently than the imperfect.

When I was asking her about some irregular such as "querer" she was like - it literally doesn't matter, you would never use that verb in the preterite

1 year ago