El Pretérito

In Spanish, there are two past tenses – the
PRETERITE and the IMPERFECT.

The PRETERITE tense is used to show a
completed past action.

The IMPERFECT tense is used to show
habitual or descriptive past actions.
I.
AR VERBS
A. The endings for REGULAR –AR verbs are:
yo
é
nosotros (as)
tú
aste
vosotros (as)
él, ella, Ud.
ó
amos
asteis
ellos, ellas, Uds.
aron
Conjugate the verb BAILAR
in the preterite tense
yo
nosotros (as)
bailé
tú
bailamos
vosotros (as)
bailaste
él, ella, Ud.
bailó
bailasteis
ellos, ellas, Uds.
bailaron
Translations of the preterite tense

Bailé con María anoche.

I danced with Maria last night.
OR

I did dance with Maria last night.
B. Spelling changes in –AR verbs
•
Certain –AR verbs will have a SPELLING change
in the YO form ONLY.
•
The rest of the conjugation follows the
pattern for the preterite tense.
•
The following -AR verbs will change in YO.
 -CAR
(buscar, sacar,….)
 -GAR
(llegar, jugar,…)
 -ZAR
(empezar, almorzar, …)
-CAR verbs change to –qué.
Conjugate the verb BUSCAR.
yo
nosotros (as)
busqué
tú
buscamos
vosotros (as)
buscaste
él, ella, Ud.
buscó
buscasteis
ellos, ellas, Uds.
buscaron
-GAR verbs change to –gué.
Conjugate the verb JUGAR.
yo
nosotros (as)
jugué
jugamos
vosotros (as)
tú
jugaste
él,ella,Ud.
jugó
jugasteis
ellos,ellas,Uds.
jugaron
ZAR verbs change to –cé.
Conjugate the verb EMPEZAR.
yo
nosotros (as)
empecé
tú
empezamos
vosotros (as)
empezaste
él, ella, Ud.
empezó
empezasteis
ellos, ellas, Uds.
empezaron
C. Stem changes in –AR verbs

There are NO stem changes for –AR verbs
in the preterite tense.
II.
-ER & -IR VERBS
A. The endings for REGULAR –ER & -IR verbs are:
yo
í
nosotros (as)
tú
iste
vosotros (as)
él, ella, Ud.
ió
imos
isteis
ellos, ellas, Uds.
ieron
Conjugate the verb COMER.
yo
nosotros (as)
comí
comimos
vosotros (as)
tú
comiste
él,ella,Ud.
comió
comisteis
ellos,ellas,Uds.
comieron
Conjugate the verb SALIR.
yo
nosotros (as)
salí
salimos
vosotros (as)
tú
saliste
él,ella,Ud.
salió
salisteis
ellos,ellas,Uds.
salieron
B. Spelling changes in –ER & IR verbs
•
Certain –ER & -IR verbs will have a SPELLING
change
in the 3rd person singular & plural
forms ONLY.
The spelling change is I to Y (generally
when the I is between two vowels)
•
The rest of the conjugation follows the
pattern for the preterite tense.
•
The following -ER & -IR verbs will change:
• leer, creer, caer, oír.
Conjugate the verb LEER.
yo
nosotros (as)
leí
leímos
vosotros (as)
tú
leíste
él,ella,Ud.
leyó
leísteis
ellos,ellas,Uds.
leyeron
Conjugate the verb oír.
yo
nosotros (as)
oí
oímos
vosotros (as)
tú
oíste
él,ella,Ud.
oyó
oísteis
ellos,ellas,Uds.
oyeron
Note the additional accent marks placed on
the tú, nosotros, and vosotros forms over the
vowel I. The accent mark is needed in
order to divide the diphthong and to
emphasize that letter.
C. Stem changes in –ER & -IR verbs
There are NO stem changes in –ER verbs but,
certain -IR verbs DO have stem changes if the
verb stem changes in the present indicative.
The stem change ONLY occurs in the 3rd person singular and
plural forms.
The stem changes are:
E to I
O to U
Conjugate the verb PEDIR.
yo
nosotros (as)
pedí
pedimos
vosotros (as)
tú
pediste
él,ella,Ud.
pidió
pedisteis
ellos,ellas,Uds.
pidieron
Conjugate the verb DORMIR.
yo
nosotros (as)
dormí
dormimos
vosotros (as)
tú
dormiste
él,ella,Ud.
durmió
dormisteis
ellos,ellas,Uds.
durmieron

The requirements to have a stem change in
the preterite tense are:
1. Must be an –IR infinitive.
 2. Must have a stem change in the present
indicative.

Significados diferentes

Conocer
–Met (for the 1st time)

Saber
–Found out

Poder
–Managed

Querer
–Tried (+) / Refused (-)
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El Preterito