6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
El tiempo pasado
The past tense
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
 Acabar de + [infinitive] is used to say that something
has just occurred. It is used for the very recent past.
 Note that acabar is in the present tense in this
construction.
Acabo de comprar una falda.
I just bought a skirt.
Acabas de ir de compras.
You just went shopping.
6.3
Preterite
tense
of
regular
verbs
Acabar + de+ infinitive: Tell what the subjects “just
did” in the recent past:
Yo (comer)
Tú (estudiar)
Ud. (escribir)
Él (trabajar)
Ella (llegar)
Nosotros (volver)
Vosotros (salir)
Uds. (pagar)
Ellos (ir)
Ellas (llamar)
Acabo de comer.
Acabas de estudiar.
Acaba de escribir.
Acaba de trabajar.
Acaba de llegar.
Acabamos de volver.
Acabáis de salir.
Acaban de pagar.
Acaban de ir.
Acaban de llamar.
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
ANTE TODO
 In order to talk about events in the past that did not just
occur, Spanish uses two simple tenses: the preterite and
the imperfect.
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
 The imperfect tense is used to express circumstances,
descriptions, and uncountable actions in the past:
– to describe in the past
• The car was red.
– to describe emotional or mental states in the past
• I was (feeling) angry.
– to state on-going (progressive) actions in the past
• They were studying and I was playing.
– to state uncountable, repeated actions in the past
• I used to go to the beach every summer.
• We frequently visited our grandparents.
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
 In contrast, the preterite tense is used to express actions
or reactions completed in the past that can be
counted, including one time implied and the
summary of a series of completed actions.
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
 The preterite answers the questions:
What happened or ocurred?
It rained. (Completed, countable action.)
It was fun. (Summary statement)
What did the subject do?
I left the house. (1x implied)
She saw the movie three times. (Action countable times)
How did the subject react?
We got angry. (reaction)
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
 How does the preterite tense translate into English?
In questions:
¿Qué compraste tú? = What did you buy?
¿Compraste tú una camisa? = Did you buy a shirt?
In statements:
Yo compré una camisa. =
I bought a shirt.
I did buy a shirt.
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
Words commonly used with the past tense and often with
preterite (The ones with * absolutely indicate preterite.)
anoche last night
anteayer the day before yesterday
ayer yesterday
de repente suddenly *
desde… from…*
hasta… until…*
pasado/a (adj.) last; past
el año pasado last year
la semana pasada last week
una vez once; one time *
dos veces
twice; two times
*
ya already
Ayer llegué a Santiago de Cuba.
Anoche oí un ruido extraño.
Yesterday I arrived in Santiago de Cuba.
Last night I heard a strange noise.
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
Preterite of regular –ar, –er, and –ir verbs
-ar verbs
comprar
-er verbs
vender
-ir verbs
escribir
compré
compraste
compró
vendí
vendiste
vendió
escribí
escribiste
escribió
compramos
comprasteis
compraron
vendimos
vendisteis
vendieron
escribimos
escribisteis
escribieron
SINGULAR FORMS
yo
tú
Ud. / él / ella
PLURAL FORMS
nosotros/as
vosotros/as
Uds. / ellos / ellas
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
¡ATENCIÓN!
 The yo and Ud. / él / ella forms of all three
conjugations have written accents on the last
syllable to show that it is stressed.
 As the preceding chart shows, the endings for
regular –er and –ir verbs are identical in the
preterite.
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
 The –ar and –er verbs that have a stem change in the
present tense are regular in the preterite. They do not
have a stem change. (no boot changes for –ar/-er
preterite)
cerrar (e:ie)
PRESENT
PRETERITE
La tienda cierra a las seis.
La tienda cerró a las seis.
volver (o:ue) Carlitos vuelve tarde.
Carlitos volvió tarde.
jugar (u:ue)
Él jugó al fútbol.
Él juega al fútbol.
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
 Note that the nosotros/as forms of regular –ar and –ir
verbs in the preterite are identical to the present tense
forms. Context will help you determine which tense is
being used.
En invierno compramos la ropa en la tienda de la universidad.
In the winter, we buy clothing at the university store.
Anoche compramos unos zapatos de tenis y unas sandalias.
Last night we bought a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of sandals.
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
 Verbs that end in –car, –gar, and –zar have a spelling
change in the first person singular (yo
the preterite.
buscar
llegar
empezar



busc- 
lleg
empez- 
qu- 
gu- 
c- 
form only) in
yo busqué
yo llegué
yo empecé
 Except for the yo form, all other forms of –car, –gar,
and –zar verbs are regular in the preterite.
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
 Three other verbs — creer, leer, and oír — have spelling
changes in the preterite.
 The i of the verb endings of creer, leer, and oír carries an
accent in the yo, tú, nosotros/as, and vosotros/as forms, and
changes to y in the Ud. / él / ella and Uds. / ellos / ellas forms.
creer  cre-  creí, creíste, creyó, creímos, creísteis, creyeron
leer  le-  leí, leíste, leyó, leímos, leísteis, leyeron
oír  o-  oí, oíste, oyó, oímos, oísteis, oyeron
 Ver is regular in the preterite, but none of its forms has an
accent.
ver
 vi, viste, vio, vimos, visteis, vieron
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
¡INTÉNTALO! Provide the appropriate preterite forms of the verbs.
celebrar
1.
Elena _____.
celebró
2. Yo _____.
celebré
3. Los chicos _____.
celebraron
4. Emilio y yo _____.
celebramos
5. Tú _____.
celebraste
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
comer
1. Los niños _____.
comieron
2. Tú _____.
comiste
3. Usted _____.
comió
4. Nosotros _____.
comimos
5. Yo _____.
comí
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
salir
1. Tú y yo _____.
salimos
2. Ella _____.
salió
3. Pablo y Elena _____.
salieron
4. Nosotros _____.
salimos
5. Yo _____.
salí
6.3 Preterite tense of regular verbs
 comenzar
 1. Ustedes _____.
comenzaron
 2. Nosotros _____.
comenzamos
 3. Yo _____.
comencé
 4. Marcos _____.
comenzó
 5. Tú _____.
comenzaste
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6.2 Indirect object pronouns