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Preterite and Imperfect Two verb forms used for the past tense.

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Presentation on theme: "Preterite and Imperfect Two verb forms used for the past tense."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preterite and Imperfect Two verb forms used for the past tense

2 In English English has only one simple tense to describe events that happened in the past. Spanish uses two past tenses: The preterite and the imperfect

3 How do you know when to use each one? Decide whether the action had a specific beginning and ending. Use the preterite if the action started and ended at a definite time. La guerra empezó en 1846 The war began in 1846 Yesterday I went to Salem Willows Ayer fui a Salem Willows

4 Here’s how continued Use the imperfect to talk about past actions without saying when they began or ended. Los guerreros no tenían miedo del enemigo. The warriors were not afraid of the enemy. El ejército peleaba valientemente. The army fought bravely.

5 Use the imperfect for repeated events in the past When I was a child, I went to the beach everyday. Cuando yo era niña, iba a la playa cada día. Yesterday I went to the beach Ayer, fui a la playa.

6 You can use both tenses to talk about overlapping events The preterite for the action that occurred The imperfect for what was going on at the time. Cuando la guerra terminó, Santa Ana era presidente. When the war ended, Santa Ana was president.

7 Note: The background event (Santa Ana was president) is in the imperfect. The main event (the war ended) is in the preterite.

8 More examples I ran everyday last summer, but on July 4 th I did not run. Corría todos los días el verano pasado, pero en el 4 th de julio, no corrí

9 Two actions in one sentence Frequently there is more than one action expressed in the same sentence. In order to determine the tense to be used for each verb, it is helpful to think of a stage.

10 Two actions in the same sentence Anything that is scenery or that takes place in the background is expressed by the imperfect. Any action that is carried out by the performers on that scene is in the preterite.

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