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Action Shots! Background vs Foreground : El pretérito imperfecto vs

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1 Action Shots! Background vs Foreground : El pretérito imperfecto vs
Choosing when to use the correct past tense Background vs Foreground : El pretérito imperfecto vs El pretérito indefinido

2 When talking about the past, you must
use the pretérito indefinido and the pretérito imperfecto, often simultaneously! The imperfecto is used for ongoing conditions and habitual actions in the past. The indefinido is used for completed events in the past. Remember:

3 Translations: The indefinido is generally translated
as the simple past in English. habló = he talked, he did talk hablaba = he was talking, he used to talk, he would talk & he talked The imperfecto has several English equivalents (including the English simple past).

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

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

6 Más… (I used to go every day, but that day I didn’t go.)
Ejemplo: Iba todos los días, pero ese día no fui. = (I used to go every day, but that day I didn’t go.) The event in the pretérito indefinido is often signaled by a very specific time expression, such as ese día, indicating a single completed action. Time expressions used with the imperfecto, on the contrary, indicate habit, repetition or long duration.

7 Review Use the imperfecto for: An ongoing or continuous past actions
Setting the scene Telling time Telling your age Describing physical and mental states Describing the characteristics of people, places, things or situations

8 Review Use the indefinido for:
Actions that are single, completed events Actions that happened a stated number of times Actions that were part of a series /sequence/succession of events To state the beginning or end of an action

9 Ejemplo: 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. = (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.)

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

11 Q&A: The pretérito indefinido is used in Spanish to answer the question “What happened?”. On the other hand, you will usually put a verb in the imperfecto if it answers the questions “What was going on (when something else happened?)”, or “What was it like/How did things use to be?”. Generally, the pretérito indefinido is used to relate events that advance a plot/storyline while the imperfecto is used to describe what was going on in the past, states of being in the past, or past habits.

12 Telling stories… All this takes on special importance in narration of past actions, when both tenses often occur in the same story side-by-side. Narrating a story entails both describing a setting (habitual actions, atmosphere, places and people) using the imperfecto and recounting a plot or a series of events, actions, changes of feelings or thoughts using the indefinido.

13 El imperfecto: usually implies ongoing actions in the past
Time: It was 2 o’clock… Date: …on a sunny Saturday in May. Weather: It was beautiful out – a truly perfect spring day! Background actions: was …ing, were …ing The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the flowers were blooming, and love was most definitely in the air… Feelings/Emotions: I was feeling happy, healthy, and good about life,… Habitual Actions: On such days, I used to go for walks in the park…

14 The following adverbs are commonly associated with the imperfecto to express an incomplete past:
Spanish English Antes Before Érase/Había una vez Once upon a time (used only in stories) Generalmente Generally Frecuentemente Frequently A menudo Often Constantemente Constantly Siempre Always

15 Spanish English Cada día Each day Cada mes Each month Cada año Each year Raras veces Rarely Por lo general In general Todos los años Every year Todos los meses Every month Todos los días Every day De vez en cuando Occasionally Normalmente Normally Usualmente Usually Mientras While

16 Act 1, Scene 1: Setting the stage w/ el imperfecto
¿Cuál era la fecha? ¿Qué hora era? ¿Qué tiempo hacía? ¿Cómo era el medioambiente? ¿Cuántos años tenía? ¿Cómo se sentía? ¿Qué más se pasaba en la escena?

17 Act 1, Scene 1: Setting the stage w/ el imperfecto
What was the date? What time was it? What was the weather like? Describe the environment? How old was the person? How was the person feeling? Was there anything else going on in the background?

18 Repaso: el tiempo Hace/ Hacía… (very) hot (mucha) calor (very) cld
(El) llover (El) nevar (very) hot (mucha) calor (very) cld (mucho) frio cool fresco nice out buen tiempo bad weather mal tiempo windy viento sunny sol Hace/ Hacía…

19 Repaso: el tiempo Está/ Estaba… Hay/ Había… oscuro dark nublado cloudy
lluvioso rainy niebla fog humedad humidity relámpagos lightning Está/ Estaba… Hay/ Había…

20 Imagina et describe la escena:

21 Act 1, Scene 2: The foreground w/ el indefinido
An action on a specific date/point in time: On that sunny Saturday, the 24th of May, my life changed. Interrupting action: As I was strolling through the park, a beautiful specimen ran right into me, knocking me both literally and figuratively on my butt. Repetition of events: I got up, disoriented, but fell back down again 3 times. Series/sequence/succession of events: When I was finally able to stand, first I brushed myself off, then I straightened out my shirt, finally I got the nerve to approach her…

22 The following adverbs are commonly associated with the indefinido to express a completed action at a specific point in time.past: Spanish English Ayer Yesterday Anteayer/antier Day before yesterday Anoche Last night Antenoche The night before last La semana pasada Last week El año pasado Last year El verano pasado Last summer

23 Hace + tiempo + pretérito Ago En la mañana In the morning
Spanish English Hace + tiempo + pretérito Ago En la mañana In the morning Por la mañana El otro día The other day El fin de semana pasado Last weekend Siempre* Always Nunca* Never *For actions/events that never actually happened (as opposed to habitual events in the past that regularly did happen): i.e., Siempre quise ir a Disneyworld, pero nunca fui. I always wanted to go to Disneyworld, but I never went.

24 Imagina y describe la escena: (background & foreground)

25 1. Which tense should I use?
IMPERFECTO AR = aba, abas, aba, ábamos, abais, aban ER/IR = ía, ías, ía, íamos, íais, ían 1. DESCRIPTIONS: Time Date Weather Feelings/emotions/conditions physical 2. HABITS (used to/would…) 3. ONGOING actions (was/were …ing) 4. NON-SPECIFIC DATE RANGE OVER AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME PRETÉRITO INDEFINIDO AR = é, aste, ó, amos, asteis, aron ER/IR = í, iste, ió, imos, isteis, ieron 1. EVENTS moving the plot forward (It usually interrupts an ongoing action in the Imparfait) 2. SUCCESSION of events (1st, then, after, finally…) 3. REPITITION of events (anytime you use “fois”) EXCEPT w/ “Il était une fois…” (once upon a time) 4. SPECIFIC DATE/POINT IN TIME setting

26 Ahora, te toca a ti: In pairs, illustrate a scene and describe it, using both past tenses. The catch? You both interpret the same scene very differently… Specs: Write at least 3 sentences each to describe the background (imperfecto) and at least 7 sentences each to describe the foreground/developing events (pretérito indefinido).

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