El Imperfecto: la conjugación, los
usos, y una comparación con el
pretérito
ESPAÑOL 3
SEÑORITA ALDEMIR
La conjugación del imperfecto
REGULARES Y IRREGULARES
La conjugación regular
 Regular –AR ending verbs
have the following endings:





-aba
-abas
-aba
- ábamos
-aban
 Tomar (to drink, to take):
tomaba, tomabas, tomaba,
tomábamos, tomaban
 Regular –ER and –IR
ending verbs have these
endings:





-ía
-ías
-ía
-íamos
-ían
 Leer (to read): leía, leías,
leía, leíamos, leían
 Subir (to climb): subía,
subías, subía, subíamos,
subían
La conjugación de los verbos irregulares
 ¡Solo hay tres irregulares
en el imperfecto!
 IR (to go): iba, ibas, iba,
íbamos, iban
 SER (to be): era, eras,
era, éramos, eran
 VER (to see): veía, veías,
veía, veíamos, veían
Los usos del imperfecto
CONTINUACIÓN DEL EVENTO EN EL PASADO
The biggest use…
 The imperfect tense is
used to indicate the
continuance of a past
action or event, or to
describe a situation in
past time.
 Neither the beginning
nor the end of the event
or situation is indicated.
Debajo del paraguas…
1.
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




The imperfect is used
to express what was
happening, used to
happen, or happened
repeatedly in the past.
Los pájaros cantaban.
The birds were singing.
Vivíamos en esta calle.
We used to live on this
street.
Miguel a menudo llegaba
tarde.
Miguel often would arrive
late.
Debajo del paraguas…
2. To describe persons
or things in the past.
 Pedro era rubio y tenía
los ojos azules.
 Pedro was blonde and
had blue eyes.
 La sala estaba llena de
gente.
 The living room was full
of people.
Debajo del paraguas…
3. To describe a state of
mind in the past, with
verbs such as creer,
pensar, querer, and
saber.
 Creíamos que era
importante.
 We believed it was
important.
 Querían comprar un coche
nuevo.
 They wanted to buy a new
car.
Debajo del paraguas…
4. To express a time of
day in the past.
 Eran las ocho.
 It was 8 o’clock.
Hacía + expression of time + que + imperfect
tense
 Use this construction to
 Hacía un mes que viajaban.
describe an action or
event that began in the
past and continued in
the past.
 If the action is STILL
continuing today, use the
present tense, not the
imperfect tense!
 “How long…?” = “¿Cuánto
tiempo hacía que…? + the
imperfect tense.
 They had been traveling
for a month.
 ¿Cuánto tiempo hace que
dormían?
 How long had they been
sleeping?
The imperfect tense + desde hacía + an
expression of time
 This construction is
also used to describe an
event that began in the
past and continued in
the past.
 Again—this is for events
that started, continued,
and ended in the past, not
ones that are still
happening today.
 “How long…?” = “¿Desde
cuándo…?” + the imperfect
tense.
 Viajaban desde hacía un
mes.
 They had been traveling
for a month.
 ¿Desde cuándo dormían?
 How long had they been
sleeping?
El uso del imperfecto CON el pretérito
 Use the imperfect with
the preterite to
describe a situation
that was going on (the
imperfect) when an
action or event
occurred—that is,was
begun or completed (the
preterite).
 Comíamos cuando nos
llamó.
 We were eating when he
called us.
La comparación con el pretérito
CUANDO SE USA UNO U OTRO PARA HABLAR
DEL PASADO
Preterite and Imperfect Compared: Concept
El Pretérito
El Imperfecto
 Narrates a series of
 Describes a situation
completed actions or
events.
 Indicates a limit of the
action or event (either
the beginning or the
end).
 Indicates the
continuance of an
action or event (neither
the beginning or the
end).
Preterite and Imperfect Compared
El Pretérito
 Actions that started in the
past and ended in the past.
 Actions that happened once
or a specific number of
times in the past.
 Onset of a feeling in the
past.
 2 or more actions in the same
sentence: Series of
consecutive events in the
past or the Interruption of
an (imperfect) action in
progress
El Imperfecto
Repetitive action in past
Ongoing action in past
Age in the past
Time in the past
Descriptions/Setting the
scene; (weather, time, etc.)
 2 actions in the same sentence:
Going on at the same time
(imperfect – mientras in
between) or being
interrupted by the preterite.
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Refer to…
 These notes.
 Your preterite and imperfect cheat sheet.
 Tell me why the sentences on the following slides use
either the preterite or the imperfect.
Preterite and Imperfect Compared
 Yo fui al supermercado.
 De repente, ocurrió un accidente.
 Hacía sol todo el día.
 Yo bailaba mientras mi hermana cantaba.
 Una vez comimos en este restaurante.
A Practicar
Complete the following story by filling in the blanks
with the imperfect or the preterite of the verbs in the
parentheses.
Ayer mientras yo (1)______(esperar) a mi amiga vi a
Matt Damon. Yo ______ (estar) en un restaurante
en Hollywood cuando un
hombre(2)_______(entrar). El se sentó con otro
hombre en una mesa cerca de mí. Luego, cuando
Matt Damon se levantó para salir, de repente
(3)______(levantarme). Yo le
(4)___________(pedir) su autógrafo. El me lo (5)
______(dar). (6)_________(ser) un día excelente.
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El Imperfecto.97