Preterit Imperfect Car, Gar, Zar IR verbs stem-change ir, ser, dar, ver, venir, tener, hacer, poner, estar, querer, poder, saber, decir, traer, andar No stem-changing ir, ser, ver Irregular Forms
Uses of the Preterit Actions that occurred one time & had a clear beginning and end (even if not stated). I jogged three miles yesterday. We ate at Cheddar’s on Saturday. Describing reactions I was surprised when I saw the accident. Verbs that change meaning (conocer, (no) querer, (no) poder, tener, saber) Conocer = to meet, querer = to try/to refuse (no), poder = to try & succeed, to try & fail (no), tener = to receive, saber = to find out
Uses of the Imperfect Repeated/Habitual actions…Things that occurred more than once over a period of time We used to ride our bikes after school everyday. She used to visit her grandparents each summer. Telling Time It was 3:30. Giving one’s age. He was thirteen. Giving a location. We were at the mall. Describing a scene (weather, scenery, etc.) It was sunny. The windows were open.
Uses of the Imperfect, Cont. Describing a person. She was very pretty. Describing emotions We were so happy. Setting the stage for another action…This is when something is going on in the background and something else interrupts it. I was watching television when the doorbell rang. We were taking a test when the fire alarm went off. The background action (watching tv/taking a test) is in the imperfect and the interrupting action (the doorbell rang/the fire alarm went off) is in the preterit.
Which tense do you need? We were sleepy. She was 18 years old. I bought new shoes at the mall yesterday. We just found out about their engagement. You used to walk your dog after school every day. I was so surprised. It was cold and snowing last week. We were studying in the library. He never studied for tests.