Verbs:Past Imperfect is the sixtieth skill (assuming read left to right) in the Spanish language tree. It has five lessons and teaches the imperfect tense, another past tense form.

Grammar NotesEdit

Imperfect TenseEdit

The imperfect tense in Spanish is separate from the preterite tense. The endings for this tense are:

Subject -ar verbs Example: hablar -ir or -er verbs Example: beber
yo -aba hablaba -ía bebía
-abas hablabas -ías bebías
usted, él, ella -aba hablaba -ía bebía
nosotros/nosotras -ábamos hablábamos -íamos bebíamos
vosotros/vosotras -abais hablabais -íais bebíais
ustedes, ellos, ellas -aban hablaban -ían bebían

Imperfect vs. Preterite vs. Present PerfectEdit

Now you know all three past tenses in Spanish, but when do you use which?

  • Imperfect: written form, think of it like "used to". It is a general action that occurred in the past.
  • Preterite: written form, specific actions that have a clear start and finish.
  • Present Perfect: both of these situations, but most commonly used in speaking rather than in writing.


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