Questions tagged [pretérito-imperfecto]

Past actions with continuity over time // Acciones pasadas con continuidad en el tiempo

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Is the preterite more common in Mexican Spanish than the present perfect?

[en inglés] While learning Spanish, I have spent the time to get familiar with the grammar. While far from fluent, the dialect I primarily need to focus on is that of Mexico. One aspect of this that ...
bitshift's user avatar
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imperfect subjunctive with two parts to second clause?

I believe I have a reasonable knowledge of the Imperfect Subjunctive ,however, some doubts still arise: For example,consider the following: 1)It may be that Peter came home early and saw the burglar. ...
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Éramos v. Fuéramos

The question is in the title; I'd love to know the difference between the two. More specifically, I'm confused about the usage. I've been told that both can mean "were," but then when would ...
seministic's user avatar
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2 answers
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How does this phrase choose between the imperfective and the preterite?

I came across a sentence I find interesting in Ezequiel Adamovsky's book Historia de la Argentina: Antes de la Conquista no había «Argentina», como tampoco hubo una «Argentina colonial». Why does the ...
Alan O'Donnell's user avatar
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Are there any other irregular verbs in imperfect tense?

Googling irregular verbs in Spanish for imperfect tense always ends up with a simple three verbs: ir, ser, ver. Some pages even go as far as saying "There are only 3 irregular verbs in imperfect&...
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Imperfecto versus Indefinido

Recently, I've been discussing with some fellow language learners the significance of the use of the imperfect tense in the following sentence: Algunos eran asesinados por los soldados, mientras que ...
blogscot's user avatar
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Why is the preterite used in the following example?

I was reading an article on BBCMundo and came across the following sentence: "Como la más joven y la única niña en la familia, dice que siempre estuvo muy unida a su padre." I thought that ...
JacoboElEstudiante's user avatar
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Why is the first verb in this sentence indefinido, and the second imperfecto

I am early in learning Spanish, and had a exercise that involved filling in the correct form of the past tense for the following: No (tener) ... tiempo de preguntarle al conductor si (poder) ... ...
Matthew Brett's user avatar
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'Nunca' and 'siempre' in the past: Preterite or imperfect?

It is commonly taught that the imperfect is used to describe general facts and habitual or recurring actions in the past. But what about sentences with the adverbs 'siempre' and 'nunca' and the ...
Thomas Wening's user avatar
4 votes
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Imperfect or Preterite?

I have a problem choosing between preterite or imperfect. I know that the imperfect talks about conditions and the preterite talks about specific moments. For example(this is an example and not ...
FairOPShotgun's user avatar
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What tense should I use, imperfect or preterite to say "My father loved my mom immensely"?

Which one of the below sentences is correct? Please explain why. Mi papá amaba a mi madre inmensamente. Mi papá amó a mi madre inmensamente.
Jorge Arribasplata's user avatar
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Indicative imperfect passive reflexive verb for "... is used..."

The sentence I'm trying to write in English: There even is a second imperfect within the subjunctive mode, but it's a bit archaic and mostly used in literary contexts. The verb of interest here is ...
A. Kvåle's user avatar
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Use of imperfect tense to mean conditional

I saw this used in some celebrity interview and in a tv show I'm watching. Basically, the imperfect tense is used interchangeably with the conditional tense to mean a conditional statement. My ...
Mark Bourke's user avatar
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Estuviste vs Has Estado

I wanted to ask a question about the difference between estuviste and Has estado. I was asked to complete the following sentence: ¿(tú, estar) alguna vez en Colombia? I answered as: ¿Estuviste ...
vik1245's user avatar
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Preterito Indefinido or Imperfecto when talking about experiences in the past

I want to ask a question about the difference between indefinido and imperfecto. I was watching a video of Angel Di Maria, an Argentinian footballer, and he was asked ¿Comó fue Argentina ...
vik1245's user avatar
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¿En cuáles contextos se usaban los pronombres reflexivos después de los verbos conjugados? [duplicate]

En el español antiguo, en algunos casos los verbos iban seguidos por los pronombres reflexivos, contrariamente a las normas del español moderno. Sin embargo, no estoy seguro de en cuáles situaciones ...
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Cuál es la diferencia en el significado, entre el Imperfecto, el Pretérito Indefinido + el Gerundio y el Imperfecto + el Gerundio? [duplicate]

Ejemplos: Yo te esperaba. Yo te estuve esperando. Yo te estaba esperando. Cuál es la diferencia en el significado?
Enthusiastor's user avatar
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¿Cuál es el significado de la construcción "¡cómo + imperfecto!"?

¡Qué niño! ¡Cómo comía! ¡Así se le hayan indigestado los pasteles! ¿La expresión “cómo + imperfecto” significa "la manera en que comía el niño"?
Hausmeister33's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
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¿Cuál es la forma correcta en "Desde el principio él *tuvo / tenía* muchos amigos"? [duplicate]

Desde el principio él tuvo / tenía muchos amigos y siempre salía con ellos los fines de semana.
Serginho's user avatar
1 vote
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Imperfect subjunctive with things we know happened

In sentences like "He taught them so that they would understand," if the speaker is certain that "they understand," could we use the normal past tense as Les enseñaron para que entendieron instead of ...
Froggos's user avatar
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Fue/Era in impersonal expressions

In impersonal expressions, like in the sentence "It's a pity that you were sick," would it be better to translate the sentence as Fue una lástima que estuvieras enfermo or as Era una lástima que ...
Froggos's user avatar
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Why do we use imperfect when describing emotions in the past tense?

I was wondering why we describe emotions in the past tense using the imperfect tense, because if you were saying "I was sad", I would think to translate it to "Yo fui triste", but it would actually be ...
jstowell's user avatar
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Uso del imperfecto con el imperfecto del subjuntivo

En la canción de Calle 13 llamada Ven y critícame escucho la frase ... Si yo quisiera vender algo montaba una tienda Prefiero regalarte música, aunque tu no la entiendas ... A mí me parece muy rara ...
Dacoda Strack's user avatar
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"Cómo olvidar que volabas", how to translate it?

I'm translating this song to English. At 1:50 the lyrics are ¿Cómo olvidar que volabas? I've seen various translation around the net and people translate it to "How could I forget that ...
Jerry's user avatar
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The use of 'imperfecto' vs. 'indefinido' in two specific sentences

I am aware of when to use imperfecto and when to use indefinido in many cases. However, the following examples are not clear to me. In a text about 'Bambi', there is written: Felix Salten fue un ...
S.G.'s user avatar
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Difference between poder imperfect and preterite

I was wondering if anyone had a clear and easy to understand description of the difference between the meaning of the verb "poder" as used in the preterite tense versus in the imperfect tense (both ...
Max's user avatar
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Difference between imperfect indicative and imperfect progressive

Yo estaba durmiendo cuando me llamaste. Yo dormía cuando me llamaste. Both have the same meaning of "I was sleeping when you called me". I can't really understand if there's any difference ...
iBug's user avatar
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Can I always use present perfect for all past actions instead of memorizing verb conjugations in the simple past?

Can I always use present perfect for all past actions instead of memorizing verb conjugations in the simple past? For example: "Yo les he dicho, les he hecho, les he traido" ( present perfect) ...
ERJAN's user avatar
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Tense changed in mid-stream, why?

I was reading an article in the online edition of El País about the collapse of airlines when the opening paragraph puzzled me El 15 de diciembre de 2006 cerraba la línea aérea Air Madrid tras una ...
mdewey's user avatar
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What type of construction is verb+"se", like in the word "veíase"?

I am reading a children's novel, El león, la bruja y el ropero, translated into Spanish by the Chilean editorial group Andrés Bello. I came across a form of ver that I can't explain. In context, ...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar
4 votes
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794 views

Tiempos pasados para expresar deseos futuros

Vamos con un nuevo episodio de "preguntas de carretera". Hoy, volviendo a casa en el coche tras una comida abundante en un pueblo cercano, exclamé en voz alta: Me echaba yo una siesta al llegar a ...
Charlie's user avatar
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¿Tienen o han tenido algún nombre concreto las dos formas del pretérito imperfecto de subjuntivo?

Comenta @pablodf76 en su respuesta a otra pregunta que las dos formas del pretérito imperfecto de subjuntivo no tienen un nombre oficial o aceptado entre los diferentes libros de texto que lo enseñan. ...
Charlie's user avatar
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Is it correct to say "todo tiempo pasado 'fue' mejor" instead of "todo tiempo pasado 'era' mejor"?

Below is an excerpt from Sábato's El Túnel. La frase "todo tiempo pasado fue mejor" no indica que... I'm reading this as follows: The phrase "the past was better" does not indicate that... I'm ...
Blamettu's user avatar
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Is there any case in which the subjunctive mood can be used in simple sentences?

Per the excellent advice of Carlos Alejo, I've restructured this question to get more to the heart of what I'm seeking (thanks Carlos). Is there any case in which the subjunctive mood can be used in ...
Rock Anthony Johnson's user avatar
1 vote
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540 views

¿Es correcto usar el pretérito imperfecto (o copretérito) del indicativo con un nombre?

Tengo la frase "estábamos amigos" pero no sé si es correcto decirlo así. A mí me suena más bien decir "estábamos de amigos" ya que así es menos confusa la frase y se entiende mejor que a lo que se ...
Mauricio Castañeda's user avatar
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439 views

Indefinido o imperfecto: acción que sucede en mitad de otra en el pasado

Estoy tratando de traducir esta frase de inglés: When I was in school, the easiest points were the ones I had to learn by heart. ¿Puedo usar el imperfecto para todos los verbos? Cuando estaba ...
Seneca's user avatar
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How does "nunca éramos amigos" imply that we used to be friends, but no longer are?

On Lang-8, I posted an entry using the sentence: Nunca éramos lo que se puede llamar amigos. Someone corrected it to: Nunca fuimos lo que se puede llamar amigos. They said that "éramos" ...
kausmeaux's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Ambiguity with respect to "tuvo" and "tenía"

If I were to tell a story about someone who had a particular problem and, by the time the story was finished, the problem was solved, would I use "...tuvo un problema" or "...tenía un ...
Blamettu's user avatar
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2 answers
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Use pretérito imperfecto or pretérito indefinido?

I have the following sentence : Los invitados (llamar) ______ a la puerta y les (abrir) _____ una joven (ser) _____ una muchacha. I think that it should be the following : Los invitados (llamar)...
JaVaPG's user avatar
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Pretérito indefinido vs pretérito imperfecto: ¿"estaba" or "estuve un poco enfermo el fin de semana pasado"?

When I want to say the following in Spanish: I was a little bit sick last weekend. Do I use the pretérito indefinido or imperfecto? e.g. Estuve un poco enfermo el fin de semana pasado. Vs ...
Seneca's user avatar
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My questions is about the distinction between el tiempo pasado and el imperfecto [duplicate]

Why is it that people use ¿Cómo fueron tus vacaciones? instead of ¿Cómo eran tus vacaciones? I thought that when you're decribing situations you should use el imperfecto and el pasado is only used ...
Sarah's user avatar
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Pasiva de proceso y pasiva de estado en diferentes tiempos [closed]

Quiero entender en una manera sistemática diferencias entre la pasiva de proceso y la pasiva de estado. He hecho una lista con todos los tiempos, y con ser y estar, y he escrito lo que entiendo. ¿...
michau's user avatar
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1 answer
523 views

The two imperfect subjunctives, is one actually future?

I am in Mexico City and people here are telling me that the subjunctive form -ra is actually future, and that only the -se form is imperfect. I have always been taught that both are imperfect (...
Unrelated's user avatar
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el énfasis: pluscuamperfecto en vez de imperfecto (caso particular)

¿Si digo había empezado a hablar en vez de empezaba a hablar (en el contexto siguiente), cómo cambia el énfasis/significado? Cuando vieron que el sordomudo empezaba a hablar, todos pensaron que ...
Emor Sha's user avatar
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How indefinite should the timeframe be for imperfect to be used?

I wanted to write about the encounter of this man and woman talking about stuff. An issue I keep running into is the usage of imperfect. Just how indefinite do the actions have to be? Do I have to ...
munchschair's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
236 views

Should we say "Muestra Paul cuando 'fue' más joven" or 'era' for "It shows when Paul was younger"?

Muestra Paul cuando fue más joven. or Muestra Paul cuando era más joven. I want to say, It shows when Paul was younger. It's for a tv show which is showing a character from another show but in ...
munchschair's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
604 views

Imperfect/Preterite fill in sentence: "Tu ____ en México por un año. ¿Verdad?"

It's a crossword and the clue is Tu ____ en México por un año. ¿Verdad? In parentheses is the verb you are supposed to conjugate after translating it into Spanish, in this case it had (were) ...
spanishflair's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
412 views

Using past tenses with specific verbs

I would like to know how to use past tenses with verbs like 'ser', 'estar', 'tener' 'vivir'. Specifically, I can say 'Pensaba en ti' and 'Pense en ti'. They're equivalent of english 'I was thinking ...
mrJoe's user avatar
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2 answers
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estar + gerundio vs imperfecto

What're the differences between those both constructions? If yesterday I had lost my dog and was looking him should I say Ayer estaba buscando mi perro. or Ayer buscaba mi perro. And generally,...
mrJoe's user avatar
  • 405
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Problem with pretérito indefinido vs pretérito imperfecto and 'ser'

I have been learning Spanish for about 4 months now and came across the first hurdle which I really can't overcome by myself. In my book (Gramática de uso del español, Luis Aragonés), one of the ...
wujek's user avatar
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