Preterit vs. Imperfect

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Preterit vs. Imperfect
Uses of the preterit:
S-P-I-C-Y
S=specific, sudden occurrence, completed actions
in the past, –ed endings (what happened/occurred)
P=past actions that were part of a series of distinct
instances, or actions repeated a series of times. (not
to be confused with habitual)
I=interrupting actions of an ongoing action in the
imperfect.
C=completed actions in the past. Beginning or end
of an action. (time limit)
Y="yesterday” (anoche y ayer)
Preterit
KEY WORDS
ayer
anoche
el año/mes pasado
la semana pasada
The imperfect
T-O-A-D- S-T-E-W
T=thoughts or feelings (mental, emotional, physical states,
attitudes, and beliefs)
O=other past actions that where (used to/habitual)
A=age
D=descriptions of people, places, situations and the
physical state of an object.
S= setting or scene description (background information,
such as thetime, the weather, and the location)
T=time/date
E=existing continuous action or circumstance in the past
with no reference to its beginning or end. (was/were +
-ing form of verb.
W=weather
The imperfect
KEY WORDS
Siempre
todos los días
cada semana/mes/año/verano
los sábados
a menudo
muchas veces
generalmente
mientras
Conjugation forms for the preterit
• To conjugate verbs in the preterit, simply drop
the (-ar,-er,or -ir) ending and add one of the
following:
-AR
-ER/-IR
é
í
aste
iste
ó
ió
amos
imos
aron
ieron
Conjugation Forms for The
imperfect
To conjugate verbs in the imperfect, simply drop
the (-ar, -er, or –ir) ending and add the following:
-AR
aba
abas
aba
ábamos
aban
-ER /-IR
ía
ías
ía
Íamos
ían

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