Lesson Topics

Imperfect: Part I

Notes:

  1. The written lesson is below.
  2. Links to quizzes, tests, etc. are to the left.

In a previous lesson, you learned that the imperfect is used for past actions that are not seen as completed. Use of the imperfect tense implies that the past action did not have a definite beginning or a definite end. You also learned how to conjugate regular -ar verbs. In this lesson, you will learn how to conjugate -er and -ir verbs, and become more familiar with the uses of the imperfect.



To conjugate regular -ar verbs in the imperfect, simply drop the ending (-ar) and add one of the following:

aba
abas
aba
ábamos
abais
aban



To conjugate regular -er and -ir verbs in the imperfect, simply drop the ending (-er or -ir) and add one of the following:

ía
ías
ía
íamos
íais
ían



Here are all three regular imperfect verb forms together:

hablar comer vivir
hablaba comía vivía
hablabas comías vivías
hablaba comía vivía
hablábamos comíamos vivíamos
hablabais comíais vivíais
hablaban comían vivían


The imperfect is used for actions that were repeated habitually.

Almorzábamos juntos todos los días.
We would lunch together every day.

Las señoras siempre charlaban por las mañanas.
The ladies would always chat in the mornings.



The imperfect is used for actions that "set the stage" for another action.

Yo leía cuando entró mi papá.
I was reading when my papa entered. (note that "entered" is preterite)



The imperfect is used for telling time and stating one's age.

Eran las siete de la noche.
It was seven o'clock at night.

La niña tenía cinco años.
The little girl was five years old.



The above examples all fall within our general rule for using the imperfect:

The imperfect is used for past actions that are not seen as completed.



Let's add two more flashcards for regular -er and -ir verbs in the imperfect tense:

Verb Flashcards
Complete List

Imperfect: regular -er

-ía
-ías
-ía

-íamos
-íais

-ían

comía, comías, comía, comíamos, comíais, comían

Imperfect: regular -ir

-ía
-ías
-ía

-íamos
-íais

-ían

vivía, vivías, vivía, vivíamos, vivíais, vivían

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