The preterite
(past) tense
in Spanish
What is the preterite tense?
• The preterite tense in Spanish is one of
two past tenses. We will learn the other
past tense (the imperfect) in a few weeks.
• The preterite tense is like past tense
English verbs ending in –ed: (loved,
walked, cleaned, liked)
Are there going to be irregular
verbs in the preterite tense?
• Sí. But we can learn most of them later. Right now we
are going to concentrate mostly on the regular verbs.
• There are a lot of irregular past tense verbs in English
(brought, put, came, went, saw, drank, ate.)
• There are irregular verbs in the preterite past tense in
Spanish too but they are not always the same verbs that
are irregular in English.
How do you make the preterite
tense in Spanish?
• You add endings to the stem of the verb
just like you did with the present
tense…only the endings are different.
….That’s how everyone knows you are
talking about the past and not the present.
So, how do you change
(conjugate) a verb like trabajar?
• First, take the –ar off of limpiar. This will leave us
with the stem of the verb (limp..)
• Use a verb chart like we did with the present tense.
yo
nosotros
tú
Vosotros
(only in Spain)
él, ella,
Ud.
ellos, ellas,
Uds.
So, how do you change (conjugate)
a verb like trabajar ?
• First, take the –ar off of limpiar. This will leave us
with the stem of the verb (trabaj..)
• Use a verb chart like we did with the present tense.
yo
trabaj
nosotros
trabaj
tú
trabaj
vosotros
trabaj
(only in Spain)
él, ella, trabaj
ellos, ellas, trabaj
Ud.
Uds.
Now what?
• Now we add preterite tense endings to
the stem.
(trabajar = to work)
yo
trabaj
nosotros
trabaj
tú
trabaj
vosotros
trabaj
(only in Spain)
él, ella, trabaj
ellos, ellas, trabaj
Ud.
Uds.
Trabajar = to work
Preterite tense = worked
yo
nosotros
trabajé
tú
trabaj
vosotros
trabaj
trabaj
(only in Spain)
él, ella, Ud.
trabaj
ellos, ellas, Uds.
trabaj
Trabajar = to work
Preterite tense = worked
yo
nosotros
trabajé
tú
trabaj
vosotros
trabajaste
él, ella, Ud.
trabaj
trabaj
(only in Spain)
ellos, ellas, Uds.
trabaj
Trabajar = to work
Preterite tense = worked
yo
nosotros
trabajé
tú
trabaj
vosotros
trabajaste
él, ella, Ud.
trabajó
trabaj
(only in Spain)
ellos, ellas, Uds.
trabaj
Trabajar = to work
Preterite tense = worked
yo
nosotros
trabajé
tú
trabajamos
vosotros
trabajaste
él, ella, Ud.
trabajó
trabaj
(only in Spain)
ellos, ellas, Uds.
trabaj
Trabajar = to work
Preterite tense = worked
yo
nosotros
trabajé
tú
trabajamos
vosotros
trabajaste
trabajasteis
(only in Spain)
él, ella, Ud.
trabajó
ellos, ellas, Uds.
trabaj
Trabajar = to work
Preterite tense = worked
yo
nosotros
trabajé
tú
trabajamos
vosotros
trabajaste
trabajasteis
(only in Spain)
él, ella, Ud.
trabajó
ellos, ellas, Uds.
trabajaron
Here are the endings for –AR
preterite tense verbs?
yo
nosotros
-é
tú
-amos
vosotros
-aste
-asteis
(only in Spain)
él, ella, Ud.
ellos, ellas, Uds.
-ó
-aron
Are there any tricks to help me
remember these endings?
yo
nosotros
-é
tú
-amos
vosotros
-aste
-asteis
(only in Spain)
él, ella, Ud.
ellos, ellas, Uds.
-ó
-aron
Are there any tricks to help me
remember these endings? Yes!
yo
nosotros
é
Little Miss Muff
tú
vosotros
(only in Spain)
él, ella, Ud.
ellos, ellas, Uds.
Are there any tricks to help me
remember these endings? Yes!
yo
nosotros
é
Little Miss Muff
tú
Sat on her
él, ella, Ud.
vosotros
aste
(only in Spain)
ellos, ellas, Uds.
Are there any tricks to help me
remember these endings? Yes!
yo
nosotros
é
Little Miss Muff
tú
Sat on her
vosotros
aste
él, ella, Ud.
Eating her curds
and
-ó
(only in Spain)
ellos, ellas, Uds.
Are there any tricks to help me
remember these endings? Yes!
yo
nosotros
é
Little Miss Muff
Along came
tú
vosotros
Sat on her
aste
él, ella, Ud.
Eating her curds
and
-ó
amos
(only in Spain)
ellos, ellas, Uds.
Are there any tricks to help me
remember these endings? Yes!
yo
nosotros
é
Little Miss Muff
Along came
tú
vosotros
Sat on her
aste
amos
Followed by …
asteis
(only in Spain)
él, ella, Ud.
Eating her curds
and
-ó
ellos, ellas, Uds.
Are there any tricks to help me
remember these endings? Yes!
yo
nosotros
é
Little Miss Muff
Along came
tú
vosotros
Sat on her
aste
amos
Followed by …
asteis
(only in Spain)
él, ella, Ud.
Eating her curds
and
-ó
ellos, ellas, Uds.
And so she was not
all –aron
Now that we know this, is there any
way we can practice using it now?
• Why yes! What a great idea. Write these
sentences in Spanish and conjugate the
verbs in the preterite tense.
¿Qué hicieron?
What did they do?
1. Ellos________________
___________ en una fábrica.
¿Qué hicieron?
What did they do?
1. Ellos trabajaron en una fábrica.
¿Qué hizo?
What did he do?
2. El maestro
___________
en la escuela.
¿Qué hizo?
What did he do?
2. El maestro
trabajó
en la escuela.
¿Qué hicimos?
What did we do?
3. Nosotros __________ en el jardín.
¿Qué hicimos?
What did we do?
3. Nosotros
trabajamos en el jardín.
¿Dónde trabajaste?
4. Yo _________ en el garaje.
¿Dónde trabajaste?
4. Yo
trabajé
en el garaje.
(Mi
hermano)
pasar la
aspiradora
(Mi
hermano)
pasó la
aspiradora
(ellos) sacar la basura
Ellos sacaron la
basura
(Tú) lavar el carro
Tú lavaste el carro
Las niñas arreglar el
cuarto.
Las niñas arreglaron
el cuarto.
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trabaj