Practice distinguishing between the
preterite and imperfect tenses.
Read the sentences and conjugate
the verbs in the preterite or
imperfect.
Cuando yo _____ (ser) joven,
yo siempre ______ (visitar) a
mis abuelos en la costa oeste
de Puerto Rico.
Imperfect is used in both because it means used to be, and used to visit.
Cuando yo era joven, yo
siempre visitaba a mis abuelos
en la costa oeste de Puerto
Rico.
Una vez yo _____ (ir) a Puerto
Rico.
Preterite is used to mean I went. The phrase one time implies that it is a
completed action in the past.
Una vez yo __fui___ (ir) a
Puerto Rico.
Mis abuelos ______ (vivir) en
una pequeña casa que ______
(estar) enfrente de una de las
playas más bonitas en la isla.
Imperfect is used in both because it is description in the past with no specific
time period.
Mis abuelos vivían en una
pequeña casa que estaba
enfrente de una de las playas
más bonitas en la isla.
Cada vez que yo _______
(llegar) mis abuelos ______
(hacer) lo mismo: _______
(preparar) una comida grande
y me ______ (preguntar)
como las cosas me ____ (ir) en
la escuela.
Imperfect is used in all verbs because the verbs mean used to do. The phrase
cada (each) implies habitual past action.
Cada vez que yo llegaba mis
abuelos hacían lo mismo:
preparaban una comida grande
y me preguntaban como las
cosas me iban en la escuela.
Ayer yo_____ (acostarse) a
las diez.
Preterite is used because the verb mean I went to bed and it is a completed
action in the past. The word ayer (yesterday) implies a completed action.
Ayer yo__me acosté___
(acostarse) a las diez.
Las olas generalmente ____
(ser) grandes.
Imperfect is used for past description. It means the waves were generally big.
There is no time period. Also, the word generally hints at habitual past action.
Las olas generalmente
_eran___ (ser) grandes.
Tú _____ (empezar) la tarea a
las once el sábado pasado.
Preterite is used because the verb mean I went to bed and it is a completed
action in the past. The phrase a las once el sábado pasado (at eleven last Sat.)
implies a completed action. Also, starting and ending actions are usually
preterite.
Tú _empezaste__ (empezar) la
tarea a las once el sábado
pasado.
___ (ser) las tres.
Imperfect is used to tell time in the past.
_Eran___ (ser) las tres.
Cuando yo ____ (tener) ocho
años, siempre ___ (jugar)
afuera.
Age in the past is imperfect. Think of it as description in the past. The second
verb is in the imperfect because it implies habitual past action. Siempre means
always and is a signal word for imperfect.
Cuando yo _tenía___ (tener)
ocho años, siempre _jugaba__
(jugar) afuera.
Anoche yo_____ (leer) un
libro.
The verb is in the preterite because the action happened one time and the
action is completed in the past. The word anoche (last night) is a signal word
for preterite.
Anoche yo__leí___ (leer) un
libro.
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Practice distinguishing between the preterite and