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Simple Past Tips in Spanish

Simple Past Tips in Spanish

Simple Past Tips in Spanish

It’s time to learn about some Simple Past tips in Spanish. Study Spanish verb conjugations with online lessons. Read about the Spanish grammar rules.

What are some Simple Past Tips in Spanish?

Note: “-ar” and “-er” verbs that change their stem in the Present tense do not change in the Preterite. They are conjugated just like other regular Preterite verbs.

 

e.g. 
entender
 (to understand)

Subject-PresentPreterite

yoentiendoentendí

entiendesentendiste

usted/él/ellaentiendeentend

nosotros(as)entendemosentendimos

vosotros(as)entendéisentendisteis

ustedes/ellos(as)entiendenentendieron

 

Note: “- ir” verbs that change their stem in the Present tense do change in the Preterite, but in a different way. They change “e:i” and “o:u” in the third person, singular and plural.

e.g.   preferir (to prefer)

Subject-PresentPreterite

yoprefieropreferí

prefierespreferiste

usted/él/ellaprefiereprefirió

nosotros(as) preferimospreferimos

vosotros(as)preferíspreferisteis

ustedes/ellos(as)prefierenprefirieron

 

e.g. dormir (to sleep)

Subject-PresentPreterite

yoduermodormí

duermesdormiste

usted/él/elladuerme durmió

nosotros(as)dormimosdormimos

vosotros(as)dormísdormisteis

ustedes/ellos(as)duermendurmieron

 

Note: In order to preserve the sound of the infinitive, a number of verbs change orthographically (spelling) in the Preterite Tense. The following changes occur in the “yo” form only:

Verbs that end in -gar change to gu
Verbs that end in -car change c to qu
Verbs that end in -zar change z to c

e.g.

yo jugué (jugar) (to play)
yo busqué (buscar) (to search)
yo empecé (empezar) (to start)

Note: Most common orthographic changing verbs for the Preterite Tense in these categories are:

-gar-car-zar

cegaraparcaralmorzar

colgarbuscarautorizar

jugarclarificarcazar

llegarclasificarcomenzar

pagardestacarcruzar

plegarempacarempezar

regarjustificarforzar

rogarpracticarorganizar

tragarsacarsimbolizar

vagartocartropezarse

Read more about Simple Past Tips in Spanish

Note: For verbs that end in “- aer”“- eer”“- oír”, and “- oer”, the él/ella/usted forms use the ending “yó” (rather than ) and the ellos/ellas/ustedes forms uses the ending “yeron” (rather than ieron). The remaining forms gain a written accent over the letter “i”

creer (to believe)

yo creí
 creíste
él/ella/usted cre
nosotros creímos
vosotros creísteis
ellos/ellas/ustedes creyeron

 

Here is the list of verbs similar to  “creer”:

caer-to fall

leerto read

oírto hear

poseerto own

proveerto provide

roerto gnaw

 

Exceptions to this rule include:

traer-to bring

atraerto attract

distraerto distract

 

Note: Verbs that end in “- uir” change in the same way, but the written accent over the letter “i” only occurs in the “yo form”.

huir (to run away)

yo – huí
 – huiste
él/ella/usted – huyó
nosotros(a) – huimos
vosotros(a) – huisteis
ustedes, ellos(as)  – huyeron

 

Here is the list of verbs similar to  “huir”:

construir-to build

contribuirto contribute

destruirto destroy

fluirto flow

incluirto include

influirto influence

 

Note: The following verbs are irregular in the Preterite and must be memorized:

 

Subject-decir (to say)traer(to bring)ver(to see)

yodijetrajevi

dijistetrajisteviste

usteddijotrajovio

él/elladijotrajovio

nosotros(as)dijimostrajimosvimos

vosotros(as)dijisteistrajisteisvisteis

ustedes/ellos(as)dijerontrajeronvieron

 

Here is the list of verbs similar to  “traer”:

atraer-to attract

detraerto detract

distraerto distract

extraerto extract

maltraerto mistreat

retraerto retract

sustraerto subtract

 

Note: Verbs that end in “-ucir” are irregular and conjugated as follows:

producir (to produce)

yo produje
 produjiste
usted produjo

él/ella produjo
nosotros (as) produjimos
vosotros (as)  produjisteis
ustedes/ ellos(as)   produjeron

 

Other verbs in this category include:

aducir-to adduce

conducirto drive

coproducirto coproduce

deducirto deduct

inducirto induce

introducirto introduce

reducirto reduce

traducirto translate

 

Note: A number of verbs that are irregular in the Preterite follow a particular pattern. While their stems change, they all take the following endings:

-e
-iste
-o

-o
-imos
-isteis
-ieron

 

Here are the verbs, along with their corresponding stem changes:

Infinitive – Stem Change – English Verbs

andaranduvto walk

estarestuvto be

tenertuvto have

cabercupto fit

haberhubto have

poderpudto power

ponerpusto place

sabersupto know

hacerhicto do

quererquisto want

venirvinto come

 

Here are two examples of how this pattern is applied:

Subject-estar (estuv-) / saber (sup-)

yoestuvesupe

estuvistesupiste

ustedestuvosupo

él/ellaestuvosupo

nosotros(as)estuvimossupimos

vosotros(as)estuvisteissupisteis

ustedes/ellos(as)estuvieronsupieron

 

Note: The one exception is the third person singular of “hacer”. As you learned in a previous lesson, the “c” changes to “z” to form “hizo”

Learn more about the Spanish verb tenses

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