The over and done
with past tense!
The preterite tense is used to talk about COMPLETED ACTIONS IN THE
PAST in a SPECIFIC TIME FRAME.
Examples:
•I ate an apple.
Did I finish eating the apple?
YES, therefore it is preterite.
•He studied for the test.
Did he finish studying?
YES, therefore it is preterite.
(There is nothing to suggest that he didn’t finish studying.)
•I was studying.
Did I finish studying?
We don’t know. We know it’s in the past, but we don’t if the
action is finished. This is NOT preterite.
One more (a bit more tricky….)
•My friend was studying when I called him.
There are TWO verbs here: “was studying” and “called”.
Are they:
A) both preterite
B) only “was studying” is preterite
C) only “called” is preterite
The answer is C!!! The first verb, “was studying” was not completed. It
was interrupted by “called”.
Remember!! A preterite is an action we
know is COMPLETED in the past!
Some practice….
Which of the following are examples of a preterite verb?
1. I eat fish every day.
NO…This is present tense
2. He played soccer yesterday.
YES…He COMPLETED the action of playing soccer.
3. I was talking on the phone when my brother entered into the
room.
NO and YES
“was talking on the phone” is an INTERRUPTED
action in the past.
“entered” is a COMPLETED action
4. I dropped the book when my friend scared me.
YES and YES
“dropped” is a COMPLETED action
“scared” is a COMPLETED action
How to form the preterite
in Spanish (regular verbs)
-AR
hablAR
-ER
-IR
comER
vivIR
yo hablé
comí
viví
tú hablaste
comiste
viviste
comió
vivió
nosotros hablamos
comimos
vivimos
vosotros hablasteis
comisteis
vivisteis
comieron
vivieron
él,ella, Ud. habló
ellos, ellas, hablaron
Uds.
SAME ENDINGS!!
With the preterite, you don’t incorporate the
present tense stem-changes. There are no
“boot verbs” in the preterite.
Verbo
Presente
Pretérito
dormir (yo)
acostarse (tú)
volver (él)
duermo
te acuestas
vuelve
dormí
te acostaste
volvió
Ejemplo:
Translation:
Normalmente me acuesto a las 10,
pero anoche me acosté a medianoche.
Normally I go to bed a 10, but last
night I went to bed at midnight.
To put a reflexive verb in the past tense, just
conjugate the verb into the preterite and put the
reflexive pronoun where it should go according to
the sentence structure.
Verbo
Bañarse
(yo)
ducharse
(tú)
Presente
Pretérito
me baño
me bañé
te duchas
te duchaste
Ejemplo: Anoche, mis hijos tuvieron que
(had to) bañarse.
-car,-gar and –zar verbs have the same spelling
changes in the yo form that you used for
negative tu commands (except no “s”)
-gar—gué
-car—qué
-zar—cé
Pagar
Yo pagué $5.00 para comer el almuerzo.
¿Cuánto pagaste tú?
Sacar
Mi hermano no sacó la basura, así que yo la
saqué.
Comenzar
Mis amigos no comenzaron la tarea, pero yo sí la
comencé.
Some practice….
1. comer (tú):
comiste
2. bailar (yo):
bailé
3. cantar (nosotros):cantamos
4. cubrir (vosotros): cubristeis
5. escapar (él): escapó
6. empezar (ellos): empezaron
7. cruzar (yo):
crucé
8. empezar (yo):empecé
9. limpiar (yo): limpié
10.escuchar (tú): escuchaste
A couple of irregulars that you’ll use a lot….
IR (to go)
HACER (to make/do)
yo
fui
hice
tú
fuiste
hiciste
fue
hizo
nosotros
fuimos
hicimos
vosotros
fuisteis
hicisteis
fueron
hicieron
él,ella, Ud.
ellos, ellas, Uds.
Some more practice….
1. hacer (tú):
hiciste
2. irse (yo):
me fui
3. asistir (nosotros): asistimos
4. ir (vosotros): fuisteis
5. entregar (yo): entregué
6. ir:(ellos):
fueron
7. hacer (yo y tú):hicimos
8. hacer (ellas): hicieron
9. pegar (él):
pegó
10.hacer (tú):
hiciste
Here are some words that will clue you in that you are
dealing with a preterite tense verb.
ayer
yesterday
después
afterwards
en ese momento
at that moment
ayer por la
mañana
yesterday morning
durante dos
siglos
for two centuries
entonces
then
ayer por la tarde
yesterday
afternoon
el año pasado
last year
anteayer
the day before
yesterday
anoche
last night
desde el primer
momento
from the first
moment
el lunes por la
noche
Monday night
el mes pasado
last month
el otro día
the other day
esta mañana
this morning
esta tarde
this afternoon
hace dos días,
años
two days, years
ago
la semana
pasada
last week
La canción del pretérito
•“-é” con acento, “-aste”, “-ó”,
• “-ó” has an accent too you know,
•“-amos” is the same as the present
tense,
•“-asteis” and “-aron” just make sense.
•pretérito –ar, pretérito –ar, pretérito –ar,
•and that’s the way it goes!
•“-í” con acento, “-iste”, “-ió”,
• “-ó” has an accent too you know,
•“-imos” is close to the present
tense,
•“-isteis” and “-ieron” just make
sense.
•Pretérito –ir, Pretérito -er,
Pretérito -ir,
•And that’s the way it goes ¡Olé!
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