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10.1 The imperfect tense The imperfect is used for actions that are not countable. Used to do or used to happen (Habitual actions) Yo iba al consultorio.

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Presentation on theme: "10.1 The imperfect tense The imperfect is used for actions that are not countable. Used to do or used to happen (Habitual actions) Yo iba al consultorio."— Presentation transcript:

1 10.1 The imperfect tense The imperfect is used for actions that are not countable. Used to do or used to happen (Habitual actions) Yo iba al consultorio cada año. I used to go to the doctors office each year. Was/Were verb+ing (On-going actions in progress) Yo jugaba cuando me lastimé. I was playing when I hurt myself. Uses of the imperfect

2 10.1 The imperfect tense The imperfect is also used to express non- actions. Non-actions include: Descriptions/Circumstances Existence Descriptions, circumstances, and existence are not actions. They do not express what happened, what someone did, what was happening, what someone was doing, what someone used to do, or what used to happen.

3 10.1 The imperfect tense The imperfect is used to express existence, or in other words, what used to be. (cant count the times of being) The imperfect form of hay is había (there was; there were; there used to be). Like hay, había can be followed by a singular or plural noun. Había un chico en el parque. There was one boy in the park. Había dos chicos en el parque. There were two boys in the park.

4 10.1 The imperfect tense Descriptions and circumstances express how a thing was/things were or what a person was like /people were like. (cant count the times of a non-action) El parque estaba en la ciudad. The park was in the city. Mi abuelo era médico. My grandfather was a doctor. Mis zapatos eran blancos. My shoes were white.

5 10.1 The imperfect tense Time-telling (ALWAYS IMPERFECT) Era la una y media. (It was 1:30.) Eran las tres menos cuarto. (It was 2:45) Age-telling (ALWAYS IMPERFECT) Los niños tenían seis años. The children were six years old. Name-telling (ALWAYS IMPERFECT) Mi hermano se llamaba Pablo. My brothers name was Paul. Uses of the imperfect

6 10.1 The imperfect tense When the day, month, year, date, or season expresses circumstance (background to the main action) rather than reporting a fact, the Imperfect is used instead of the preterit. Telling the day Era lunes. It was Monday. Telling the monthEra abril. It was April. Telling the year Era el año It was the year Telling the dateEra el 5 de mayo de It was May 5,2006. Telling the seasonEra la primavera. It was spring. IN CONTRAST: To report a fact, the preterit is used: Ayer fue lunes. Yesterday was Monday.

7 10.1 The imperfect tense Mental or emotional states (feelings, beliefs) (To express reactions, which can be counted, use the preterit) Me enojaba. I was (feeling) angry. (state/not countable) Me enojé ayer. I was (got) angry yesterday. (reaction/countable) Uses of the imperfect

8 10.1 The imperfect tense To describe the weather Llovía cuando salimos. (When it refers to what the weather It was raining when we left. was like as background information Fui a la playa porque hacía to the main action use imperfect.)sol. I went to the beach because it was sunny. To report what weather Llovió ayer. happened, use preterit.It rained yesterday. Hizo sol el lunes pasado. It was sunny last Monday.

9 10.1 The imperfect tense Physical characteristicsEl médico era alto y guapo. (to describe from the point ofThe doctor was tall and handsome. view of the past; as though you are mentally there in the past describing) Ella tenía el pelo rubio. She had blond hair. El chico llevaba pantalones cortos. The boy was wearing shorts. Mis zapatos eran de cuero. My shoes were leather. NOTE: If you are reporting a physical characteristic as a fact from the present point of view rather than describing it from the past point of view, use the preterit. This is considered a summary of actions or circumstances viewed as a whole and completed, rather than description. Mi abuelo fue alto. My grandfather was tall. El chico llevó pantalones cortos ayer. The boy wore shorts yesterday.

10 10.1 The imperfect tense Preterit for: Action (countable number of times, including one time implied) This includes the beginning or the end of an action. (empezar a; comenzar a; teminar de; dejar de) Reaction (countable number of times, including one time implied) Summary statement (series of actions or circumstances viewed as a whole and completed)

11 10.1 The imperfect tense Imperfect for: Habitual actions (cant be counted=used to) On-going actions in progress (cant be counted = was/were doing) Descriptions, circumstances, and existence * Ir+ a + infinitive in the past always uses the imperfect. Iban a estudiar. They were going to study.

12 10.1 The imperfect tense RULE OF THUMB FOR VERBS IN THE PAST TENSE IN SPANISH CANT COUNT THE TIMES = IMPERFECT CAN COUNT THE TIMES = PRETERIT

13 10.1 The imperfect tense To narrate a story in the past tense, both preterit and imperfect are needed. You will see the preterit and the imperfect together in narratives such as fiction, news, and retelling of events.

14 10.1 The imperfect tense In these cases the imperfect provides all of the background information, such as time, weather, location, and description, while the preterit indicates the specific events that occurred to advance the plot. (main actions)

15 10.1 The imperfect tense Also, you will see various combinations of preterit and imperfect used in a single sentence. Por ejemplo: Los invitados bailaron y cantaron. (Two completed actions.) Mientras bailaban, los invitados cantaban. (Two on-going actions) Los invitados bailaban cuando yo llegué. (An on-going action interrupted. )

16 10.1 The imperfect tense If the imperfect is used for on-going action in the same sentence as the preterit, the preterit action is one that interrupts. The word mientras (while) often precedes an imperfect on-going action. The word cuando often precedes the preterit interruption.


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