Imperfecto y Pretérito

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EL IMPERFECTO DE LOS VERBOS

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IMPERFECT TENSE IS ANOTHER PAST TENSE IN SPANISH. TO FORM THE IMPERFECT TENSE, YOU DROP THE –AR, -ER OR –IR ENDING FROM THE VERB INFINITIVE AND ADD ONE OF THE GROUPS OF ENDINGS FROM BELOW: FOR –AR VERBS FOR –ER/IR VERBS ________ -ABA -ÁBAMOS - ĺA - ĺAMOS -ABAS -ABAIS - ĺAS - ĺAIS -ABA -ABAN - ĺA - - ĺAIS Yo hablaba con mis amigos. Ellos comían hamburguesas . Mis amigos vivían cerca de mi casa.

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THERE ARE ONLY THREE IRREGULAR VERBS IN THE IMPERFECT; THEY ARE SER, IR, AND VER _____SER-TO BE_____ ________IR-TO GO___ ERA ÉRAMOS IBA ĺBAMOS ERAS ERAIS IBAS IBAIS ERA ERAN IBA IBAN _____VER – TO SEE___ VEĺA VEĺAMOS VEĺAS VEĺAIS VEĺA VEĺAN

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IMPERFECT TENSE IN SPANISH HAS THREE DIFFERENT TRANSLATION POSSIBILITIES IN ENGLISH. FOR EXAMPLE, JUAN HABLABA COULD BE TRANSLATED AS JUAN WAS SPEAKING, JUAN USED TO SPEAK, OR JUAN SPOKE . EXAMPLES: YO VIVĺA EN RALEIGH PERO YA NO. ( I USED TO LIVE IN RALEIGH, BUT NOT ANYMORE) CUANDO YO ENTRÉ EN LA CLASE LOS ESTUDIANTES HABLABAN CON SUS AMIGOS. (WHEN I WENT IN CLASS THE STUDENTS WERE SPEAKING WITH THEIR FRIENDS.) ELENA SIEMPRE HABLABA ESPAÑOL CON SUS ABUELAS. (ELENA ALWAYS SPOKE SPANISH WITH HER GRANDPARENTS.)

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THE HARDEST PART ABOUT THE PRETERIT AND IMPERFECT IN SPANISH IS THAT THEY ARE BOTH PAST TENSES, AND IT IS DIFFICULT TO DECIDE WHICH ONE TO USE. SO, HERE ARE SOME GUIDELINES TO HELP YOU. FIRST, PRETERIT IS USED FOR COMPLETED ACTIONS IN THE PAST, THINGS THAT ARE OVER AND DONE. ANOCHE YO FUI A LA IGLESIA.(LAST NIGHT I WENT TO CHURCH) POR FIN TERMINASTE LA TAREA. (YOU FINALLY FINISHED THE HOMEWORK) MI NOVIO ME LLAMÓ 5 VECES AYER.(MY BOYFRIEND CALLED ME 5 TIMES YESTERDAY.)

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IMPERFECT IS FOR ACTIONS IN THE PAST THAT ARE PROCESSES, ARE CONTINUOUS, OR HAPPEN OVER A PERIOD OF TIME. WITH IMPERFECT, IT’S THE PROCESS THAT IS EMPHASIZED, NOT THE COMPLETION OF THE ACTION. I ALWAYS TELL MY STUDENTS THAT PRETERIT IS LIKE A STROKE OF THE AX, WHEREAS IMPERFECT IS LIKE THE PROCESS OF CUTTING DOWN THE TREE. EXAMPLES: ELLOS VIVĺAN EN ASHEBORO POR MUCHOS AÑOS. (THEY LIVED IN ASHEBORO FOR MANY YEARS.) VS. ELLOS VIVIERON EN ASHEBORO POR UN AÑO. (THEY LIVED IN ASHEBORO FOR 1 YEAR.) MIS PADRES SIEMPRE COMĺAN EN EL K & W. (MY PARENTS ALWAYS ATE AT THE K&W) VS. MIS PADRES COMIERON EN EL K & W ANOCHE.(MY PARENTS ATE AT THE K&W LAST NIGHT.) LOS PERROS CORRĺAN POR EL PARQUE.(THE DOGS WERE RUNNING THROUGH THE PARK.) VS. LOS PERROS CORRIERON A LA PUERTA. (THE DOGS RAN TO THE DOOR.)

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HERE ARE SOME GUIDELINES TO HELP YOU. USE IMPERFECT TO TELL WHAT USED TO BE OR WHAT WOULD HAPPEN OVER A PERIOD OF TIME IN THE PAST. CUANDO YO ERA JOVEN ME GUSTABA JUGAR AFUERA.(WHEN I WAS YOUNG I LIKED TO PLAY OUTSIDE.) SRA. LEWIS FUMABA CUANDO ERA JOVEN PERO YA NO. (MRS. LEWIS SMOKED WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG BUT NOT ANYMORE.)

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2.USE IMPERFECT TO TELL AN ACTION THAT WAS IN PROGRESS IN THE PAST OR THAT WAS HAPPENING AT A PARTICULAR POINT IN TIME. SOMETIMES, YOU WILL HAVE ONE ACTION IN PROGRESS WHEN ANOTHER ACTION OCCURED, AND ALWAYS USE IMPERFECT FOR THE ACTION THAT WAS IN PROGRESS. JOSÉ CAMINABA POR LA CALLE. (JOSE WAS WALKING DOWN THE ROAD. ELLOS SALĺAN CUANDO YO ENTRABA. (THEY WERE LEAVING WHEN I WAS ENTERING) MIENTRAS ELLOS PREPARABAN LA COMIDA, YO LLAMÉ A MI ESPOSO. (WHILE THEY WERE PREPARING THE FOOD, I CALLED MY HUSBAND.)

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3. USE IMPERFECT TO DESCRIBE, SET THE STAGE, OR PAINT A PICTURE IN THE PAST. ESA MAÑANA LAS NUBES ERAN GORDAS Y BLANCAS, Y EL SOL BRILLABA. (THAT MORNING THE CLOUDS WERE FAT AND WHITE AND THE SUN SHONE BRIGHT) LA SEÑORA ENTRÓ. ERA ALTA, FLACA, RUBIA Y MUY BONITA.(THE LADY ENTERED. SHE WAS TALL, SLIM, BLOND AND VERY PRETTY.) LA CASA ESPERABA, ABANDONADA Y FEA. (THE HOUSE SAT WAITING, ABANDONED AND UGLY.)

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4. USE IMPERFECT TO DESCRIBE EMOTIONS, MENTAL ACTIVITIES AND HEALTH IN THE PAST. ELLOS NO LO CREĺAN . (THEY DIDN’T BELIEVE IT) ME SENTĺA ENFERMA. ( I WAS FEELING SICK) ESTABAS MUY CANSADA. (YOU WERE VERY TIRED) MARTA NO ESTABA NERVIOSA.(MARTA WASN’T NERVOUS) YO NO LA COMPRENDĺA . ( I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND HER)

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5. USE IMPERFECT FOR TELLING TIME, DATES, AND AGE IN THE PAST. ERAN LAS ONCE DE LA NOCHE. (IT WAS 11:00 PM) ERA EL 13 DE OCTUBRE DE 2001. (IT WAS OCT. 13, 2001) YO TENĺA DOCE AÑOS EN 1990. (I WAS 12 YRS. OLD IN 1990.)

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All images courtesy of Microsoft Office MUCHAS GRACIAS

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