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Choosing when to use the correct past tense By Jami Sipe.

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2 Choosing when to use the correct past tense By Jami Sipe

3 The preterite is used for completed events completed events in the past. ongoing The imperfect is used for ongoing conditions repeated conditions and repeated habitual actions habitual actions in the past. The preterite is used for completed events completed events in the past. ongoing The imperfect is used for ongoing conditions repeated conditions and repeated habitual actions habitual actions in the past. When talking about the past, use the preterite or the imperfect. When talking about the past, use the preterite or the imperfect. Remember:

4 Ejemplos: Llovía cuando salí. = (It was raining when I went out.) (imperfect) (preterite) Llovía Llovía is an ongoing condition, salí salí is a completed action.

5 Caminaba Caminaba indicates a continuing action or ongoing state, the background interrupted by an event with a me caí definite ending, such as me caí. Caminaba por la calle cuando me caí. = was walking I fell (I was walking in the street when I fell.)

6 todos los díasese día Iba todos los días, pero ese día no fui. = (I used to go every day, but that day I didnt go.) Más… Time expressions used with the imperfect, on the contrary, indicate habit, repetition or long duration. Time expressions used with the imperfect, on the contrary, indicate habit, repetition or long duration. The event in the preterite is often signaled by a ese día very specific time expression, such as ese día, indicating a single completed action. The event in the preterite is often signaled by a ese día very specific time expression, such as ese día, indicating a single completed action. Ejemplo:

7 habló = he talked, he did talk hablaba = he was talking, he used to talk, he talked preterite The preterite is generally translated as the simple past in English. preterite The preterite is generally translated as the simple past in English. imperfect The imperfect has several English equivalents: imperfect The imperfect has several English equivalents:

8 Use the preterite for: Actions that are single events Actions that happened a stated number of times Actions that were part of a series of events To state the beginning or end of an action Review

9 imperfect Use the imperfect for: An ongoing or continuous past action Setting the scene Telling time Telling your age Physical and mental states Describing the characteristics of people, things or situations Review

10 Eran las doce de la noche y llovía. Un hombre abrió la puerta. Era viejo y muy delgado. Llevaba ropa negra y tenía la cara muy blanca. Lo miré por un segundo y corrí a mi casa. = Ejemplo: (It was midnight and it was raining. A man opened the door. He was old and very thin. He was wearing black and his face was very white. I looked at him for a second and ran to my home.)

11 Jugaba al Scrabble con Judy. Comían helado todos los días. Mi profesor me gritó hoy. ¿Adónde fuiste después de la escuela? He was playing Scrabble with Judy. They ate ice cream every day. My teacher yelled at me today. Where did you go after school? Check Your Knowledge!

12 Credits ©2010 Teachers Discovery Written by: Jami Sipe Additional Information by: Suzanne Rutkowski Adriana Miretti Order Today! To get more of these Spanish grammar presentations, go to: Search: Grammar PowerPoints


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