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Preterite vs. Imperfect. Both the preterite and imperfect explain past actions, but they are used in different situations to mean different things.

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Presentation on theme: "Preterite vs. Imperfect. Both the preterite and imperfect explain past actions, but they are used in different situations to mean different things."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preterite vs. Imperfect

2 Both the preterite and imperfect explain past actions, but they are used in different situations to mean different things.

3 Arregla tus apuntes así: Preterite Imperfect:

4 MAIN uses: Preterite: completed action: Fui a la fiesta contigo. I went (once) to the party with you.

5 MAIN uses: Imperfect: Ongoing, repeated past action (no defined beginning or end) or “used to…” Yo iba a las fiestas contigo. I used to go to the parties with you. (No given time period.)

6 Preterite 1. Completed Action Imperfect: 1. Ongoing/repeated action

7 Interrupting action Preterite: The action that interrupts Imperfect: The background action (getting interrupted).. Cenábamos cuando me llamó. We were eating dinner when he called me.

8 Preterite 1. Completed Action 2. Interrupting action Imperfect: 1. Ongoing/repeated action 2. Background action

9 Preterite: Beginning or end of an action. Empezó a llover. It began to rain. Teminaste tu tarea. You finished your assignment.

10 Preterite 1. Completed Action 2. Interrupting 3. Beginning or End of an action Imperfect: 1. Ongoing/repeated action 2. Background action

11 Preterite: Something done a specific number of times or for a specific duration. Desayunamos en el hotel cinco veces. We ate breakfast in the hotel five times. Comimos en el restaurante por dos horas. We ate at the restaurant for 2 hours.

12 Preterite 1. Completed Action 2. Interruptor 3. Beginning or End of an action 4. # of times 5. Imperfect: 1. Ongoing/repeated action 2. Background action

13 Preterite: A chain or sequence of events. (They’re all completed actions one after the other) Me desperté, me duché y fui a la escuela. I woke up, I showered, and I went to school.

14 Imperfect: 1. Ongoing/repeated action 2. Interrupted Preterite 1. Completed Action 2. Interrupting 3. Beginning or End of an action 4. # of times/ duration 5. Chain of events

15 Imperfect: Setting the scene or describing the background for other events. Hacía calor y los pájaros cantaban. It was hot and the birds were singing.

16 Imperfect: 1. Ongoing/repeated action 2. Interrupted 3. Setting the scene Preterite 1. Completed Action 2. Interrupting 3. Beginning or End of an action 4. # of times/ duration 5. Chain of events

17 Imperfect: Time (use era/eran where you would have used es/son) Era la una y media. It was one thirty. Eran las tres y veinte. It was three twenty.

18 Imperfect: Date Era lunes, el catorce de mayo. It was Monday, May 14 th.

19 Imperfect: Weather (use “hacía” instead of “hace.”) Hacía mucho viento. It was very windy.

20 Imperfect: 1. Ongoing/repeated action 2. Background action 3. Setting the scene 4. Time, date, weather Preterite 1. Completed Action 2. Interrupting 3. Beginning or End of an action 4. # of times/ duration 5. Chain of events

21 Imperfect: Physical descriptions and states, including AGE. El hombre tenía cuarenta años. The man was 40 years old. Yo estaba cansada. I was tired.

22 Imperfect: 1. Ongoing/repeated action 2. Background action 3. Setting the scene 4. Time, date, weather 5. Physical description, age Preterite 1. Completed Action 2. Interrupting 3. Beginning or End of an action 4. # of times 5. Chain of events

23 Imperfect: Emotional conditions, mental processes, and attitudes. Siempre me encantaba nadar. I always loved to swim. Creías que hacía frío. You believed that it was cold.

24 Imperfect: 1. Ongoing/repeated action 2. Background action 3. Setting the scene 4. Time, date, weather 5. Physical description, age 6. Emotions, attitudes, mental processes Preterite 1. Completed Action 2. Interrupting 3. Beginning or End of an action 4. # of times/ duration 5. Chain of events

25 Imperfect: Location (as part of setting the scene) Estábamos en Madrid cuando atacaron la estación de trenes. We were in Madrid when they attacked the train station.

26 Imperfect: 1. Ongoing/repeated action 2. Background action 3. Setting the scene 4. Time, date, weather 5. Physical description, age 6. Emotions, attitudes, mental processes 7. Location Preterite 1. Completed Action 2. Interrupting 3. Beginning or End of an action 4. # of times/ duration 5. Chain of events

27 Imperfect: Past Progressive (estar in imperfect + present participle) Estaba bailando cuando mi móvil sonó. I was dancing when my cell phone rang.

28 Imperfect: 1. Ongoing/repeated action 2. Background action 3. Setting the scene 4. Time, date, weather 5. Physical description, age 6. Emotions, attitudes, mental processes 7. Location 8. Past progressive 9. Preterite 1. Completed Action 2. Interrupting 3. Beginning or End of an action 4. # of times 5. Chain of events

29 Imperfect: Intentions. “was going to...” (ir in imperfect + a + infinitive) Iban a cantar en la iglesia. They were going to sing in the church.

30 Imperfect: 1. Ongoing/repeated action 2. Background action 3. Setting the scene 4. Time, date, weather 5. Physical description, age 6. Emotions, attitudes, mental processes 7. Location 8. Past progressive 9. Intentions: Ir + a + inf. Preterite 1. Completed Action 2. Interrupting 3. Beginning or End of an action 4. # of times/ duration 5. Chain of events

31 Verbs that change meaning Some verbs take different meanings depending on whether you conjugate them in the preterite or the imperfect.

32 SABER Imperfect: knew (facts/info) “sabía” Preterite: found out facts/info. “supe, supiste..”

33 CONOCER Imperfect: knew (people/ places) conocía…. Preterite: met someone. Conocí, conociste…

34 QUERER + inf. Imperfect: wanted “Quería ganar.” Preterite: tried “Quise, quisiste etc. + infinitive.”

35 NO QUERER + Inf. Imperfect: didn’t want to. “No quería comer.” Preterite: refused to “No quise comer.”

36 TENER Imperfect: had. tenía Preterite: got/ received (1 st time you had it.) “tuve, tuviste, tuvo…”

37 PODER Imperfect: Was able (had the ability.) “Yo podía ganar.” Preterite: Could and did. (Was able and succeeded in doing so on the specific occasion being presented) “Él pudo hacer su tarea.”


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