preterite and imperfect n.
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Preterite and Imperfect

Preterite and Imperfect

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Preterite and Imperfect

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  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 guerraempezó 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 teníanmiedo del enemigo. • The warriors were not afraid of the enemy. • El ejércitopeleabavalientemente. • 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. • Cuandoyo era niña, iba a la playa cadadía. • 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 guerraterminó, Santa Ana erapresidente. • 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 4th I did not run. Corríatodos los díasel veranopasado, pero en el 4th 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.