Past Perfect Tense in Spanish

Past Perfect Tense in Spanish

Past Perfect Tense in Spanish

It’s time to learn how to conjugate the Past Perfect Tense in Spanish. Study Spanish verb conjugations with online lessons. Read about the Spanish grammar rules.

ar, er, ir

The Past Perfect (Pluscuamperfecto) is used to talk about a past action that happened prior to another action in the past. The Past Perfect is often used to talk about what a person had done before something else happened in the past.


Past Perfect Spanish Formula:

“haber” in the Imperfect Past Participle

Verbs that End in -ar

Subject-ar Endings

Yo (I)-había + …ado

 (You)(Informal)-habías + …ado

Usted (You)(Formal)-había + …ado

Él/Ella(He/She)-había + …ado

Nosotros(as)(We)-habíamos + …ado

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-habíais + …ado

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-habían+ …ado

Ellos(as)(They)-habían+ …ado

 

SubjecthablarEnglish translation

Yo (I)Había habladoI had spoken

 (You)(Informal)Habías habladoYou had spoken

Usted (You)(Formal)Había habladoYou had spoken

Él/Ella(He/She)Había habladoHe/She had spoken

Nosotros(as)(We)Habíamos habladoWe had spoken

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)Habíais habladoYou had spoken

Ustedes(You)(Formal)Habían habladoYou had spoken

Ellos(as)(They)Habían habladoThey had spoken

 

Verbs that End in -er

Subject-er Endings

Yo (I)-había + …ido

 (You)(Informal)-habías + …ido

Usted (You)(Formal)-había + …ido

Él/Ella(He/She)-había + …ido

Nosotros(as)(We)-habíamos + …ido

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-habíais + …ido

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-habían+ …ido

Ellos(as)(They)-habían + …ido

 

SubjectcomerEnglish translation

Yo (I)Había comidoI had eaten

 (You)(Informal)Habías comidoYou had eaten

Usted (You)(Formal)Había comidoYou had eaten

Él/Ella(He/She)Había comidoHe/She had eaten

Nosotros(as)(We)Habíamos comidoWe had eaten

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)Habíais comidoYou had eaten

Ustedes(You)(Formal)Habían comidoYou had eaten

Ellos(as)(They)Habían comidoThey had eaten

 

 Verbs that End in -ir

Subject-ir Endings

Yo (I)-había + …ido

 (You)(Informal)-habías + …ido

Usted (You)(Formal)-había + …ido

Él/Ella(He/She)-había + …ido

Nosotros(as)(We)-habíamos + …ido

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-habíais + …ido

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-habían+ …ido

Ellos(as)(They)-habían+ …ido

 

 

SubjectvivirEnglish translation

Yo (I)Había vividoI had lived

 (You)(Informal)Habías vividoYou had lived

Usted (You)(Formal)Había vividoYou had lived

Él/Ella(He/She)Había vividoHe/She had lived

Nosotros(as)(We)Habíamos vividoWe had lived

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)Habíais vividoYou had lived

Ustedes(You)(Formal)Habían vividoYou had lived

Ellos(as)(They)Habían vividoThey had lived

 

Past Perfect tense- Examples

Había visto ya a mi primo.-  I had already seen my cousin.

Habías cantado en la fiesta cuando llegué. – You had already sung at the party when I arrived.

Usted había leído el libro antes que él. – You had read the book before him.

Él se había quitado su gorro cuando entró en mi casa.-  He had removed his hat when he entered my house.

Ella había comido antes de ir al cine. – She had eaten before going to the movies.

Nos habíamos sentado cuando el tren salió. – We had sat down when the train left.

No habíais oído la canción antes de ahora. – You had not heard the song before now.

Ustedes habían vuelto cuando ellos salieron.-  You had returned when they left.

Ellos habían puesto los pasteles en la mesa. – They had put the cakes on the table.

Ellas habían hablado mucho cuando la fiesta terminó. – They had talked a lot when the party ended.

Past Progressive Tense in Spanish

Past Progressive Tense in Spanish

Past Progressive Tense in Spanish | Conjugation

It’s time to learn how to conjugate the Past Progressive in Spanish. Study Spanish verb conjugations with online lessons. Read about the Spanish grammar rules.

 ar, er, ir

The Past Progressive is used to speak of an action that was occurring at some point in the past.


The Past Progressive formula:

“To Be” Verb in the Past Tense + Present Participle (ending “- ing”)

 

Verbs that End in -ar

Subject-ar Endings

Yo (I)-estuve +…ando

 (You)(Informal)-estuviste + …ando

Usted (You)(Formal)-estuvo+ …ando

Él/Ella(He/She)-estuvo + …ando

Nosotros(as)(We)-estuvimos + …ando

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-estuvisteis + …ando

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-estuvieron + …ando

Ellos(as)(They)-estuvieron + …ando

 

SubjecthablarEnglish translation

Yo (I)Estuve hablandoI was speaking

 (You)(Informal)Estuviste hablandoYou were speaking

Usted (You)(Formal)Estuvo hablandoYou were speaking

Él /Ella(He/She)Estuvo hablandoHe/She was speaking

Nosotros(as)(We)Estuvimos hablandoWe were speaking

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)Estuvisteis hablandoYou were speaking

Ustedes(You)(Formal)Estuvieron hablandoYou were speaking

Ellos(as)(They)Estuvieron hablandoThey were speaking

 

Verbs that End in -er

Subject-er Endings

Yo (I)-estuve+…iendo

 (You)(Informal)-estuviste + … iendo

Usted (You)(Formal)-estuvo + … iendo

Él/Ella(He/She)-estuvo + … iendo

Nosotros(as)(We)-estuvimos + … iendo

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-estuvisteis + … iendo

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-estuvieron + … iendo

Ellos(as)(They)-estuvieron + … iendo

 

 

SubjectcomerEnglish translation

Yo (I)Estuve comiendoI was eating

 (You)(Informal)Estuviste comiendoYou were eating

Usted (You)(Formal)Estuvo comiendoYou were eating

Él/Ella(He/She)Estuvo comiendoHe/She was eating

Nosotros(as)(We)Estuvimos comiendoWe were eating

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)Estuvisteis comiendoYou were eating

Ustedes(You)(Formal)Estuvieron comiendoYou were eating

Ellos(as)(They)Estuvieron comiendoThey were eating

 

Verbs that End in -ir

Subject-ir Endings

Yo (I)-estuve +…iendo

 (You)(Informal)-estuviste + … iendo

Usted (You)(Formal)-estuvo + … iendo

Él/Ella(He/She)-estuvo + … iendo

Nosotros(as)(We)-estuvimos + … iendo

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-estuvisteis + … iendo

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-estuvieron + … iendo

Ellos(as)(They)-estuvieron + … iendo

 

 

SubjectvivirEnglish translation

Yo (I)Estuve viviendoI was living

 (You)(Informal)Estuviste viviendoYou were living

Usted (You)(Formal)Estuvo viviendoYou were living

Él/Ella(He/She)Estuvo viviendoHe/She was living

Nosotros(as)(We)Estuvimos viviendoWe were living

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)Estuvisteis viviendoYou were living

Ustedes(You)(Formal)Estuvieron viviendoYou were living

Ellos(as)(They)Estuvieron viviendoThey were living

 

Spanish Preterite Progressive – Examples

Let’s look at some e.g. of phrases that use the Progressive Past:


Estuve estudiando hasta que llamaste. – I was studying until you called.

Lo vi cuando estuvimos caminando.- I saw him when we were walking (and then we stopped walking).

¿Estuviste leyendo ahora mismo?  – Were you reading just now?

Él estuvo trabajando hasta las siete. – He was working until seven o’clock.

Learn more about the Spanish verb tenses

Past Perfect Progressive Tense

Past Perfect Progressive tense

How do you use Past Perfect Progressive?

It’s time to learn how to conjugate the Past Perfect Progressive tense in Spanish. Study Spanish verb conjugations with online lessons. Read about the Spanish grammar rules.


ar, er, ir

The Past Perfect Progressive is used to talk about an action that began in the past, continued for a while and then ended in the past.

 

Past Perfect Progressive formula:

“had” + “Been “ + Present Participle (ending -ing)

 

Verbs that End in -ar

Subject-ar Endings

Yo (I)-había estado +…ando

 (You)(Informal)-habías estado + …ando

Usted (You)(Formal)-había estado + …ando

Él/Ella(He/She)-había estado + …ando

Nosotros(as)(We)-habíamos estado + …ando

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-habíais estado + …ando

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-habían estado + …ando

Ellos(as)(They)-habían estado + …ando

 

SubjecthablarEnglish translation

Yo (I)Había estado hablandoI had been speaking

 (You)(Informal)Habías estado hablandoYou had been speaking

Usted (You)(Formal)Había estado hablandoYou had been speaking

Él/Ella(He/She)Había estado hablandoHe/She had been speaking

Nosotros(as)(We)Habíamos estado hablandoWe had been speaking

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)Habíais estado hablandoYou had been speaking

Ustedes(You)(Formal)Habían estado hablandoYou had been speaking

Ellos(as)(They)Habían estado hablandoThey had been speaking

 

Verbs that End in -er

Subject-er Endings

Yo (I)-había estado +…iendo

 (You)(Informal)-habías estado + … iendo

Usted (You)(Formal)-había estado + … iendo

Él/Ella(He/She)-había estado + … iendo

Nosotros(as)(We)-habíamos estado +… iendo

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-habíais estado + … iendo

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-habían estado + … iendo

Ellos(as)(They)-habían estado + … iendo

 

SubjectcomerEnglish translation

Yo (I)Había estado  comiendoI had been eating

 (You)(Informal)Habías estado comiendoYou had been eating

Usted (You)(Formal)Había estado comiendoYou had been eating

Él/Ella(He/She)Había estado comiendoHe/She had been eating

Nosotros(as)(We)Habíamos estado comiendoWe had been eating

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)Habíais estado comiendoYou had been eating

Ustedes(You)(Formal)Habían estado comiendoYou had been eating

Ellos(as)(They)Habían estado comiendoThey had been eating

 

Verbs that End in –ir

Subject-ir Endings

Yo (I)-había estado +…iendo

 (You)(Informal)-habías estado + … iendo

Usted (You)(Formal)-había estado + … iendo

Él/Ella(He/She)-había estado + … iendo

Nosotros(as)(We)-habíamos estado +… iendo

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-habíais estado + … iendo

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-habían estado + … iendo

Ellos(as)(They)-habían estado + … iendo

 

 

SubjectvivirEnglish translation

Yo (I)Había estado  viviendoI had been living

 (You)(Informal)Habías estado viviendoYou had been living

Usted (You)(Formal)Había estado viviendoYou had been living

Él/Ella(He/She)Había estado viviendoHe/She had been living

Nosotros(as)(We)Habíamos estado viviendoWe had been living

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)Habíais estado viviendoYou had been living

Ustedes(You)(Formal)Habían estado viviendoYou had been living

Ellos(as)(They)Habían estado viviendoThey had been living

 

Past Perfect Progressive – Examples

Now, let’s look at some e.g.s with the Past Perfect Progressive:

1- No estaba durmiendo mucho. – I hadn’t been sleeping much.

2- No nos habíamos hablado desde que rompimos. – We hadn’t been talking since we broke up.

3- Llevaba un mes viviendo en Londres cuando la conocí. – I had been living in London for one month when I met her.

Other option: Había estado viviendo en Londres cuando lo conocí

4- Llevabas dos horas corriendo cuando te desmayaste. – You had been running for two hours when you fainted.

Other option: Habías estado corriendo dos horas cuando te desmayaste

5- Llevaba cinco horas trabajando. – I’d been working for five hours.

Other option: Había estado trabajando por cinco horas

6- Llevabas todo el día dormida. -You’d been sleeping all day.

Other option: Había estado durmiendo todo el día

7- Llevaba horas roncando. – He’d been snoring for hours.

Other option: Había estado roncando por horas

8- Llevaba corriendo desde las siete de la mañana. – She’d been running since seven in the morning.

Other option: Había estado corriendo desde las siete de la mañana

9- Llevaba una hora lloviendo en Puebla. – It’d been raining for an hour in Puebla.

Other option: Había estado lloviendo por una hora en Puebla

10- Últimamente, llevábamos hablando mucho por teléfono. – Lately, we’d been talking on the phone a lot.

Other option: Últimamente, nosotros habíamos estado hablando mucho  por teléfono

11- Llevaban dos horas jugando fútbol. – They’d been playing soccer for two hours.

Other option:  Habían estado jugando fútbol por dos horas

Learn more about the Spanish verb tenses

 

Imperfect Tense in Spanish

Imperfect Tense in Spanish

How do you use the Imperfect tense in Spanish?

It’s time to learn how to conjugate the Imperfect tense in Spanish. Study Spanish verb conjugations with online lessons. Read about the Spanish grammar rules.

Past Perfect Progressive in Spanish x
Past Perfect Progressive in Spanish

ar, er, ir

The Spanish Imperfect Tense is used to describe past habitual actions or to talk about what someone was doing when they were interrupted by something else.

Regular Imperfect Forms

There are only two sets of endings for regular Imperfect verbs in Spanish, one for -ar” verbs
and one for both 
“-er” and “-ir” verbs.


Note: To conjugate a regular verb in the Imperfect Tense in Spanish, simply remove the infinitive ending (-ar, -er, or -ir) and add the imperfect ending that matches the subject.

Verbs ending in -ar

Subject-ar Endings

Yo (I)-aba

 (You)(Informal)-abas

Usted (You)(Formal)-aba

Él/Ella(He/She)-aba

Nosotros(as)(We)-ábamos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-abais

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-aban

Ellos(as)(They)-aban

 

SubjecthablarEnglish translation

Yo (I)Hablaba-I used to speak

 (You)(Informal)Hablabas-You used to speak

Usted (You)(Formal)Hablaba-You used to speak

Él/Ella(He/She)Hablaba- He/She used to speak

Nosotros(as)(We)Hablábamos- We used to speak

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)Hablabais-You used to speak

Ustedes(You)(Formal)Hablaban-You used to speak

Ellos(as)(They)Hablaban-They used to speak

 

Verbs ending  in -er

Subject-er Endings

Yo (I)-ía

 (You)(Informal)-ías

Usted (You)(Formal)-ía

Él/Ella(He/She)-ía

Nosotros(as)(We)-íamos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-íais

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-ían

Ellos(as)(They)-ían

 

SubjectcomerEnglish translation

Yo (I)ComíaI used to eat

 (You)(Informal)ComíasYou used to eat

Usted (You)(Formal)ComíaYou used to eat

Él/Ella(He/She)ComíaHe/She used to eat

Nosotros(as)(We)ComíamosWe used to eat

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)ComíaisYou used to eat

Ustedes(You)(Formal)ComíanYou used to eat

Ellos(as)(They)ComíanThey used to eat

 

Verbs ending in -ir

Subject-ir Endings

Yo (I)-ía

 (You)(Informal)-ías

Usted (You)(Formal)-ía

Él/Ella(He/She)-ía

Nosotros(as)(We)-íamos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-íais

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-ían

Ellos(as)(They)-ían

 

SubjectvivirEnglish translation

Yo (I)VivíaI used to live

 (You)(Informal)VivíasYou used to live

Usted (You)(Formal)VivíaYou used to live

Él/Ella(He/She)VivíaHe/She used to live

Nosotros(as)(We)VivíamosWe used to live

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)VivíaisYou used to live

Ustedes(You)(Formal)VivíanYou used to live

Ellos(as)(They)VivíanThey used to live

Examples. Uses of the Imperfect Tense

In general, the Imperfect is used to talk about past actions, conditions, or events that occurred habitually or repeatedly or that were in progress at a point in the past. It is also used to tell time, talk about dates, give a person’s age, and describe characteristics, conditions, and feelings in the past. 

Habitual or Repeated Actions

Habitual or repeated actions are those that were done over and over in the past. These are often things a person used to or would do.

e.g.
Almorzábamos
 cada día. – We used to eat lunch together every day.
Todos los sábados las mujeres iban de compras.- Every Saturday the ladies would go shopping.

 

Actions that Were in Progress in the Past

It’s quite common to see the Imperfect used to talk about something that was happening when something else occurred. It’s also used for actions that continued in the past for an unspecified period of time. When talking about a past action in progress that was interrupted, the action in progress is in the Imperfect, while the interrupting action is in the Preterite

e.g.

Iba a clase cuando sonó el teléfono. – I was going to class when the telephone rang.
Mi papá cocinaba cuando entré a casa. – My dad cooked when I went house. 
A veces le dolían
 las manos y las piernas. – Sometimes her hands and feet ached

Times and Dates

The Imperfect is used to talk about times and dates in the past.

e.g.
Eran las tres de la tarde.- It was three o’clock in the afternoon.
Era el 5 de mayo. – It was May 5th

Age

The Imperfect is commonly used to talk about age in the past.

e.g.
La niña tenía 4 años. – The little girl was 4 years old.
Los perros tenían dos años cuando los adopté. – The dogs were two years old when I adopted them.

 

Descriptions of Characteristics, Conditions, and Feelings

The Imperfect is used to give descriptions in the past, especially those that set the scene in terms of the senses.

e.g.
Mi profesor era alto y tenía el pelo ondulado.- My professor was tall and had wavy hair.   
El campo era bello.- The countryside was beautiful.   
Hacía calor esa noche.- It was hot that night.
Me sentía feliz con mi trabajo nuevo.- I was happy with my new job.  
Quería mudarme a otro país. – I wanted to move to another country.

 

How/What things were…

The Imperfect is used to describe how things were or what things were like.

e.g.

Era un señor muy alto – He was a very tall gentleman.

Era una señora muy rica. – She was a very rich lady

Las puertas estaban cerradas. – The doors were close.

La casa era grande – The house was big

Learn more about the Spanish verb tenses

 

 

Imperfect Progressive Tense in Spanish

Imperfect Progressive Tense in Spanish

What is the Imperfect Progressive tense in Spanish?

It’s time to learn how to conjugate the Imperfect Progressive tense in Spanish. Study Spanish verb conjugations with online lessons. Read about the Spanish grammar rules.

 ar, er, ir

The Imperfect Progressive expresses an action that was in progress in the past when it was interrupted by another event.

The Imperfect Progressive formula:

Imperfect Indicative of the verb “estar” + the Present Participle of the verb​.

“To Be” Imperfect Indicative + Present Participle (ending “-ing”)

 

Verbs that End in -ar

Subject-ar Endings

Yo (I)-estaba +…ando

 (You)(Informal)-estabas + …ando

Usted (You)(Formal)-estaba + …ando

Él/Ella(He/She)-estaba + …ando

Nosotros(as)(We)-estábamos + …ando

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-estábais + …ando

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-estaban + …ando

Ellos(as)(They)-estaban + …ando

 

SubjecthablarEnglish translation

Yo (I)Estaba hablandoI was speaking

 (You)(Informal)Estabas hablandoYou were speaking

Usted (You)(Formal)Estaba hablandoYou were speaking

Él/Ella(He/She)Estaba hablandoHe/She was speaking

Nosotros(as)(We)Estábamos hablandoWe were speaking

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)Estábais hablandoYou were speaking

Ustedes(You)(Formal)Estaban hablandoYou were speaking

Ellos(as)(They)Estaban hablandoThey were speaking

 

Verbs that End in -er

Subject-er Endings

Yo (I)-estaba +…iendo

 (You)(Informal)-estabas + … iendo

Usted (You)(Formal)-estaba + … iendo

Él/Ella(He/She)-estaba + … iendo

Nosotros(as)(We)-estábamos + … iendo

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-estábais + … iendo

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-estaban + … iendo

Ellos(as)(They)-estaban + … iendo

 

 

SubjectcomerEnglish translation

Yo (I)Estaba comiendoI was eating

 (You)(Informal)Estabas comiendoYou were eating

Usted (You)(Formal)Estaba comiendoYou were eating

Él/Ella(He/She)Estaba comiendoHe/She was eating

Nosotros(as)(We)Estábamos comiendoWe were eating

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)Estábais comiendoYou were eating

Ustedes(You)(Formal)Estaban comiendoYou were eating

Ellos(as)(They)Estaban comiendoThey were eating

 

Verbs that End in -ir

Subject-ir Endings

Yo (I)-estaba +…iendo

 (You)(Informal)-estabas + … iendo

Usted (You)(Formal)-estaba + … iendo

Él/Ella(He/She)-estaba + … iendo

Nosotros(as)(We)-estábamos + … iendo

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-estábais + … iendo

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-estaban + … iendo

Ellos(as)(They)-estaban + … iendo

 

 

SubjectvivirEnglish translation

Yo (I)Estaba viviendoI was living

 (You)(Informal)Estabas viviendoYou were living

Usted (You)(Formal)Estaba viviendoYou were living

Él/Ella(He/She)Estaba viviendoHe/She was living

Nosotros(as)(We)Estábamos viviendoWe were living

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)Estábais viviendoYou were living

Ustedes(You)(Formal)Estaban viviendoYou were living

Ellos(as)(They)Estaban viviendoThey were living

 

Let’s look at some examples of sentences that use the Imperfect Progressive:
 
Estaba comiendo un sándwich.- I was eating a sandwich.
Los niños 
estaban jugando.- The kids were playing.
Estábamos viendo una película. – We were watching a movie.
 

Learn more about the Spanish verb tenses

Irregular Imperfect Verbs

Irregular Imperfect Verbs

What are the 3 irregular Imperfect verbs?

It’s time to learn how to conjugate the irregular Imperfect verbs in Spanish. Study Spanish verb conjugations with online lessons. Read about the Spanish grammar rules.

There are only three verbs with irregular conjugations: “ir, ser, and ver“. 


Irregular Imperfect Conjugations


Subject – Ir (to go) – Ser (to be) – Ver (to see)

Yo (I)  iba era veía

Tú (You)(Informal) –  ibas eras veías

Usted (You)(Formal)  iba era veía

Él/Ella(He/She)  iba era veía 

Nosotros(as)(We)  íbamos éramos veíamos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)  ibais erais veíais

Ustedes(You)(Formal) iban eran veían

Ellos(as)(They)  iban eran veían

Learn more about the Spanish verb tenses

Past Progressive Words

Past Progressive words

Past Progressive Words

It’s time to learn about some words and phrases used in the Past Progressive in Spanish. Study Spanish verb conjugations with online lessons. Read about the Spanish grammar rules.

Words and phrases that indicate the Past Progressive :

Spanish  English

entonces – then

ayer  – yesterday

anoche – last night

la semana pasada – last week

el mes pasado – last month

hace unos días – a few days ago

Learn more about the Spanish verb tenses

Simple Past Tense in Spanish

Simple Past Tense in Spanish

How do you do Simple Past tense in Spanish?

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

ar, er, ir

The Spanish Preterite Tense is used to describe actions completed at a point in the past.

Tip: The Spanish Preterite is not used to describe habitual or continuous actions in the past with no specific beginning or end. In such cases, the Imperfect Tense is used.

Note: There are only two sets of endings for regular Preterite verbs, one for “- ar” verbs and one for both “- er” and “– ir” verbs. To conjugate a regular verb in the Preterite Tense, simply remove the infinitive ending (-ar, -er, or -ir)
and add the Preterite ending that matches the subject.

Simple Past Tense Conjugation in Spanish

Regular Preterite Verb Endings

 Verbs ending in -ar

Subject-ar Endings

Yo (I)

 (You)(Informal)-aste

Usted (You)(Formal)

Él/Ella(He/She)

Nosotros(as)(We)-amos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-asteis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-aron

Ellos(as)(They)-aron

 

Subject-hablarEnglish translation

Yo (I)habléI spoke

 (You)(Informal)hablasteYou spoke

Usted (You)(Formal)hablóYou spoke

Él/Ella(He/She)hablóHe/She spoke

Nosotros(as)(We)hablamosWe spoke

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)hablasteisYou spoke

Ustedes(You)(Formal)hablaronYou spoke

Ellos(as)(They)hablaronThey spoke

 

 Verbs ending in -er

Subject-er Endings

Yo (I)

 (You)(Informal)-iste

Usted (You)(Formal)-ió

Él/Ella(He/She)-ió

Nosotros(as)(We)-imos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-isteis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-ieron

Ellos(as)(They)-ieron

 

SubjectcomerEnglish translation

Yo (I)ComíI ate

 (You)(Informal)ComisteYou ate

Usted (You)(Formal)ComYou ate

Él/Ella(He/She)ComHe/She ate

Nosotros(as)(We)ComimosWe ate

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)ComisteisYou ate

Ustedes(You)(Formal)ComieronYou ate

Ellos(as)(They)ComieronThey ate

 

 Verbs ending in -ir

Subject-ir Endings

Yo (I)

 (You)(Informal)-iste

Usted (You)(Formal)-ió

Él/Ella(He/She)

Nosotros(as)(We)-imos

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)-isteis

Ustedes(You)(Formal)-ieron

Ellos(as)(They)-ieron

 

 

SubjectvivirEnglish translation

Yo (I)vivíI lived

 (You)(Informal)vivisteYou lived

Usted (You)(Formal)vivYou lived

Él/Ella(He/She)vivHe/She lived

Nosotros(as)(We)vivimosWe lived

Vosotros(as)(You)(Informal)vivisteisYou lived

Ustedes(You)(Formal)vivieronYou lived

Ellos(as)(They)vivieronThey lived

 

Simple Past – Examples. Uses of the Preterite

The Preterite is used to talk about completed actions in the past. More specifically, it is used to talk about beginnings and ends, things that took place on specific days or dates, at specific times or during specific time periods, and events in a sequence.


Completed Events

The Preterite is used to talk about completed events, especially those with very clear beginnings and ends.

e.g.

 

Compré un coche nuevo. – I bought a new car.

Humberto y Reina se casaron. – Humbert and Reina got married.

Roberto nac en Costa Rica. –  Roberto was born in Costa Rica.

Beginnings and Ends

Beginnings and ends themselves are also talked about using the Preterite. Key verbs you’ll see used to talk about beginnings and ends in the past are empezar(to begin),comenzar(to begin), terminar(to finish), and acabar (to end).

 

e.g.

Empezóa nevar. – It began to snow.

La película terminó con una sorpresa. – The movie ended with a surprise.

Specific Times and Dates

The Preterite is used to talk about past events or actions that occurred on specific days or dates, at specific times, and during specific time periods.

 

e.g.

Regresé anoche a las diez. – I got back last night at ten.

 

Viven Perú por tres meses. – He lived in Peru for three months.

Leíste este libro el mes pasado. – You read this book last month.

Nacho nació el tres de Agosto. – Nacho was born on August third.

Events in a Sequence

The Preterite is used for listing past events that took place in a sequence.

 

e.g.

Me levanté, me vestí, y salípara la fiesta. – I got up, got dressed, and left for the party.

 

Tú entraste, bebiste un vaso de agua y comisteuna hamburguesa.- You came in, drank a glass of water, and ate a hamburger.

Learn more about the Spanish verb tenses