Preterit Vs. Imperfect
This is different than English
because we consider past as
one tense.
Preterit Rules
Red Light
Preterit
• For Actions that
can be viewed as
single events
• Example: La
gallina murió
ayer.
Preterit
• For actions that
were repeated a
specific number
of times.
• Example: La
rana caminó
a la tienda
tres veces.
Preterit
• For actions that
occurred during a
specific period of
time.
• Example: Yo
estudié por
diez
minutos.
Preterit
• For actions that
were part of a
chain of events.
• Example: Yo
asusté el
alce
americano y
huyó.
Preterit
• To state the
beginning or the
end of an action.
• Example:
Nosotros
empezamos
el partido de
fútbol.
Imperfect Rules
Green Light
Imperfect
• For actions that
were repeated
habitually.
• Example: Yo
iba al
colegio
todos los
días.
Imperfect
• For actions that
set the stage for
other past
actions.
• Example:
Hacía calor
por la playa.
Imperfect
• For telling time.
• Example:
Eran las dos
de la
mañana.
Imperfect
• For stating one’s
age
• Example: Yo
tenía seis
años.
Imperfect
• For mental states
• Example: El
profesor
estaba
enojado.
Imperfect
• For physical
sensations.
• Example: La
estufa era
calor.
Imperfect
• To describe the
characteristics of
people, things, or
conditions.
• Example: La
chica era
muy fea.
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Preterit Vs. Imperfect