Presentation on theme: "Preterit versus Imperfect (El pretérito versus el imperfecto) In Spanish, the use of the preterit and the imperfect reflects the way the speaker views."— Presentation transcript:
Preterit versus Imperfect (El pretérito versus el imperfecto) In Spanish, the use of the preterit and the imperfect reflects the way the speaker views the action or event being expressed. The uses of these two tenses are compared on the following slides.
Criteria for the use of the preterit 1.An action that the speaker views as terminated or completed. Alfredo salió para España ayer. Me casé en 1981. Berta compró un coche nuevo el año pasado. V I got married in 1981. Alfredo left for Spain yesterday. Berta bought a new car last year.
2.An action or state that occupies a limited period of time. Lorena estudió por dos horas. Estuvimos en Oaxaca todo el mes de julio. Los niños pasaron todo el día en el parque. Lorena studied for two hours. The children spent the whole day in the park. We were in Oaxaca the entire month of July. Criteria for the use of the preterit
3.A past action with a specific and indicated beginning or ending. El concierto comenzó a las siete. Cesó de llover a eso de las cinco de la tarde. Empecé a trabajar en el proyecto esta mañana. The concert began at seven. I began to work on the project this morning. It stopped raining around five in the afternoon. Criteria for the use of the preterit
4.Completed events that occurred in a series. Carlos entró en la farmacia, vio a su ex-novia y salió inmediatamente. V Carlos entered the Pharmacy, saw his ex-girlfriend, and left immediately. V V
Criteria for the use of the preterit 5.Changes in mental, physical, and emotional conditions or states in the past. Alejandra se puso furiosa cuando vio el cuarto en desorden. Alejandra became furious when she saw the messy room. Estuve nerviosa durante la entrevista. I was nervous during the interview (but now Im not).
Criteria for the use of the preterit 6.Weather and scenes as events or within specific time parameters. Ayer fue un día horrible. Llovió e hizo mucho viento. Yesterday was a horrible day. It rained and was very windy.
Criteria for the use of the imperfect 1.Description of what was happening in the past, usually in relation to another event or at a given time, with no reference to the beginning or end of an action. Rosa hablaba mientras miraba sus compras. Rosa was talking while she was looking at her purchases.
Criteria for the use of the imperfect 2.Habitual actions or events in the past. Pedro comía en ese restaurante todos los sábados. Pedro used to eat at that restaurant every Saturday. Ana iba de compras todo el tiempo. Ana used to go shopping all the time.
Criteria for the use of the imperfect 3.Time of day and age in the past. Eran las once de la noche. It was eleven oclock at night. Paco tenía diez años cuando aprendió a nadar. Paco was ten years old when he learned to swim.
Criteria for the use of the imperfect 4.Mental, physical, and emotional conditions or states in the past. Alicia estaba contenta durante el concierto. Alicia was happy during the concert. Nos sentíamos mal después de comer allí. We felt sick after eating there. Juan pensaba que necesitaba más dinero del que tenía para el viaje. Juan thought that he needed more money than he had for the trip.
Criteria for the use of the imperfect 5.Sets the scene (weather, activities in progress, etc.) for other actions and events that take place. Hacía muy mal tiempo y llovía. Yo leía en mi cuarto y esperaba la llamada. The weather was bad and it was raining. I was reading in my room and waiting for the call.
Criteria for the use of the imperfect 6.Indirect statements. Juan dijo que su hermano vendía su coche. Juan said that his brother was selling his car. Teodoro afirmó que su hermano decía la verdad. Teodoro stated that his brother was telling the truth.
Criteria for the use of the imperfect Conversábamos con el dependiente cuando Lourdes entró en la joyería. We were talking with the clerk when Lourdes entered the jewelry store. The preterit and the imperfect tenses are often used together. In the following examples, the imperfect describes what was happening or in progress when another action (in the preterit) interrupted and took place. Las chicas salían de la tienda cuando Jorge las vio. The girls were leaving the store when Jorge saw them.