Capítulo 4A
El Imperfecto –
Conjugación
There are 2 past tenses in
Spanish:
 Preterite
Ayer caminé al mercado.
 Imperfect
Cada día caminaba al mercado.
 Preterite – expresses completed past
actions:
Ayer caminé al mercado.
 Imperfect – expresses the past, but does
not indicate specifically when the event
or condition began or ended:
Cada día caminaba al mercado.
Los verbos regulares
-ar verbs
 -aba
 -abas
 -aba
 -ábamos
 -abais
 -aban
•The first and third person are alike. Subject pronouns can be used
for clarification.
llevar – to carry, wear
 llevaba – I wore, was wearing,
used to / would wear
 llevábamos – we wore, were
wearing / used to wear
 llevabas – you wore, were
wearing, used to wear
 llevabais – you wore, were
wearing / used to wear
 llevaba – he, she, you polite
wore, was or were wearing /
used to wear
 llevaban – they or you wore,
were wearing / used to wear.
El chico llevaba una chaqueta.
-er and –ir verbs
 - ía
 - ías
 - ía
 - íamos
 - íais
 - ían
The first and third person are alike. Subject pronouns can be used
for clarification.
volver- to return
 volvía – I returned,
was returning, used
to / would return
 volvías
 volvía
 volvíamos
 volvíais
 volvían
Los vecinos volvían
tarde.
* Notice that the “o” in volver does not stem–change.
dormirse – to fall asleep
 me dormía – I fell
asleep, was falling
asleep, used
to/would fall asleep
 te dormías
 se dormía
•The verbs that are reflexive
will continue to be reflexive in
the imperfect tense.
 nos dormíamos
 os dormíais
 se dormían
 Yo siempre me
dormía antes de las
nueve.
The imperfect tense is
used to express:
1. Ongoing past action
2. Repeated, habitual action
3. Long standing situation
The imperfect tense is used to express:
1. ongoing past action
 Miraban la televisión cuando Paco llamó.
 They were watching TV when Paco
called.
 Escribía una carta cuando saliste.
 I was writing a letter when you left.
2. repeated or habitual
action
 Siempre comíamos en esa restaurante.
 We always ate / used to eat / would eat
at that restaurant.
 Tomaba café todos los días.
 I drank / used to drink / would drink
coffee every day.
3. long-standing situation
 Vivía en Costa Rica.
 I lived, used to, was living in Costa Rica.
 Estudiaba en ese colegio.
 I studied, used to, was studying at that
school.
The imperfect verb había
(haber) is the past tense of
hay and equivalent to:
 There was
 There were
 Había un mexicano en la clase.
 Había dos montañas rusas en el parque.
Does not change for the plural.
Ahora clase, vamos
a practicar.
Ciao.
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El Imperfecto