El imperfecto the imperfect tense
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El imperfecto The imperfect tense - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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El imperfecto The imperfect tense. There is more than one past tense in Spanish. The preterite tense is for completed, simple actions in the past (I ate). The imperfect tense is for continuous actions in the past (I was eating). Meanings.

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El imperfecto The imperfect tense

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El imperfectoThe imperfect tense

There is more than one past tense in Spanish.

The preteritetense is for completed, simple actions in the past (I ate).

The imperfect tense is for continuous actions in the past (I was eating).


  • A) Was/were..ing (While I was/we were working in the factory)

  • B) Used to ( Every day I used to …)

  • C) Would- when would means used to (Every morning I would visit my grandpa)


  • I worked/I visited seems like the simple past…

  • Apply this test: If A/B/C from the previous slide can be inserted then use the imperfecttense.

  • While I worked in the factory – really means while I was working in the factory

  • Every day I visited my grandpa - really means every day I used to visit my grandpa

Examples of the Imperfect

  • 1. Description or state

    Llevaba un vestido azul.

    I was wearing a blue dress.

  • 2. Repetition or habit

    Todos los días me levantaba a las 7.

    I used to get up at 7 every day.

  • 3. Interrupted action

  • We were eating when they arrived

  • While he was acting he fell down

  • While we were waitinghe spoke

  • 4. Simultaneous, incomplete actions

  • While I was speakinghe was reading a book.

    Durante que hablaba, leía

Formation - Regular

  • Knock ar/er/ir off the infinitive.

  • Add the imperfect ending:

    ar verbs

    aba, abas, aba, ábamos, abais, aban

    er/ir verbs

    ía, ías,ía, íamos, íais, ían

ar verbs.

  • hablar

  • habl

  • hablabahablábamos

  • hablabashablabais

  • hablabahablaban

er/ir verbs.

  • comer

  • com

  • comíacomíamos

  • comíascomíais

  • comíacomían

There are only 3 Irregulars!






erais ibais veíais


Es el preterito o el imperfecto?

Agrupa las frases en dos columnas.

I jumped

She left

You used to listen

We were talking

He went

She was singing

They used to study

I watched TV.

Escribe las frases en inglés

1. Tenía un estilo masculino - llevaba pantalones militares y botas.

2. Le encantaba ir al teatro.

3. Jennifer Aniston estaba casada con Brad Pitt, sin embargo ahora es soltera.

4. Mientras era embarazada con su primer hijo, comía helado con vinagre.

Un poco de práctica

  • Copy the English sentences.

  • Underline the preterite verbs in one colour and the imperfect verbs in another colour.

  • Translate the sentences into Spanish.

a. I was talking when she arrived.

b. They were listening to music and singing.

c. I went to the bank last week.

d. While she was watching TV she was eating a sandwich.

e. She used to be a singer, but now she is an actor.

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