Posts Tagged ‘past tense’

El Imperfecto

The past tense in Spanish is little more difficult than in English. Were we use one past tense Spanish uses two, we’ve already seen one in the Preterite (for a quick review click here). Now we’re going to look at the Imperfect which is used to talk about things you ‘used to do’ (I used to live in Cork, we used to have a dog) or to describe things in the past (the sun was shining, the birds were singing).

We’ll come back to the differences between the two past tenses in more detail but for now lets concentrate on how you form the imperfect. Click on the links below for a review of the imperfect and some practice exercises.

Review of the Imperfect with a practice quiz at the top. 

Another review with another quiz.

Brief summary of the verb endings and irregulars.

Flashcards with verb endings for -AR and -ER/-IR verbs plus the irregulars

A practice exercise where you fill in the box with the correct form of the verb.

A challenge game to practice the forms of the imperfect. The higher the points, the harder the question.

A gap fill activity.

5 Curso – The Past Tense in Spanish

The Past Tense in Spanish can be challenging so it’s important to break it up into manageable pieces and study it and practice it well and often. We’ll start with the Regular Verbs.

Regular Verbs

Below you will find a few exercises to help you revise the Regular verbs in the Pretérito Indefinido (the past tense).

Review of the Preterito Indefinido Regular Verbs with some practice quizzes in the column on the left.

Click here for a good exercise to practice conjugating the Regular Verbs. 

Here is a multiple choice exercise.

Key Vocabulary

And here is some IMPORTANT vocabulary. These words are ‘trigger‘ words for the Preterite Tense. That means that whenever we see them or use them we know we also need to use the Preterite.

Trigger Words for the Preterite Tense

The Present Perfect

This is another Spanish past tense to go along with the Pretérito Indefinido (Preterite or simple past) and the Preterito Imperfecto (Imperfect past or things you ‘used to do’).

Whereas the Preterite and Imperfect are used for events in the past that are considered completed the Present Perfect is used more to describe things that started in the past but continue into the Present.

Basically it’s the equivalent of the tense ‘I have done something’ in English and is made up of two verbs as in English, those being the verb to have and then the ‘past participle of another verb i.e. to eat = eaten, to dance = danced, to speak = spoken.

In Spanish though we use the verb Haber + past participle and so it works like this. NOTE that we do not use Tener in Spanish for this tense:

Haber = to have (done something)

he                                                                                      hablado (from hablar)
has
ha                                  +          Past Participle         comido (from comer)
hemos
habéis                                                                             vivido (from vivir)
han

As you can see to form the past participle you simply remove the -AR from the verb and add -ado, or removed -ER/-IR and add -ido.

There are also a number of irregulars you need to be aware of:

abrir (to open) – abierto (open)

cubrir (to cover) – cubierto (covered)

decir (to say) – dicho (said)

escribir (to write) – escrito (written)

freír (to fry) – frito (fried)

hacer (to do) – hecho (done)

morir (to die) – muerto (dead)

poner (to put) – puesto (put)

resolver (to resolve) – resuelto (resolved)

romper (to break) – roto (broken)

ver (to see) – visto (seen)

volver (to return) – vuelto (returned)

Below are a series of links which summarise the tense well and allow you to practice with it:

Spanishdict.com gives a decent summary here but it doesn’t specifically mention the irregulars

There is a good summary from studyspanish.com here of the past participles.

And more from studyspanish.com here on the present perfect tense itself. Be sure to do the practice quizzes available on the left hand side.  

Here’s a good practice exercise on BK Nelson.

Irregular Verbs in the Preterite (Past Tense)

Following on from this afternoon’s class I would like you to group the irregular verbs by their different types in your hardbacks, as I did on the board and learn them.

To help you click on the link below. It’s a great help and breaks the verbs up nicely. You’ll notice that there are a few extra verbs at the bottom but you can ignore these for now if you like.

Remember to focus on the verbs that I ticked, they’re the most important and you will need them.

BK NELSON – THE PRETERITE TENSE GUIDE

You can start practicing the irregular verbs on the same site by clicking this link:

PRACTICE THE IRREGULAR VERBS

MORE PRACTICE FOR THE VERBS WITH IRREGULAR STEMS

Remember practicing regularly is very important with this tense, so keep at it.

El Pretérito – The Past Tense in Spanish (Regular Verbs)

The Past Tense in Spanish can be challenging so it’s important to break it up into manageable pieces and study it and practice it well and often.

As we progress through the different verbs I will add new links for you to practice with but for now we will start with the Regular Verbs and some key vocabulary.

Regular Verbs

Below you will find a few exercises to help you revise the Regular verbs in the Pretérito Indefinido (the past tense).

Review of the Preterito Indefinido Regular Verbs with some practice quizzes in the column on the left.

Click here for a good exercise to practice conjugating the Regular Verbs. 

Here is a multiple choice exercise.

Key Vocabulary

And here is some VERY VERY IMPORTANT vocabulary. These words are ‘trigger‘ words for the Preterite Tense. That means that whenever we see them or use them we know we also need to use the Preterite.

Trigger Words for the Preterite Tense