Regular Preterite Verbs



The preterite tense is used to refer to actions that occurred at a fixed point in time.

I called at 1:00.
Llamé a la una.



The preterite tense is also used to refer to actions in the past that were performed a specific number of times.

I called you twice.
Te llamé dos veces.



The preterite tense is also used to refer to actions that occurred during a specific enclosed period of time.

He lived there for 5 years.
Él vivió allí por cinco años.



The preterite is also used for actions that are part of a chain of events.

I bought a hat, sat down on a bench and fell asleep.
Compré un sombrero, me senté en un banco y me dormí.



The preterite is also used for sudden changes of mood, feelings or opinions.

At that moment, I was not afraid.
En ese momento, no tuve miedo.



The preterite is frequently associated with phrases that pinpoint a particular occasion or specific time frame.

ayer
yesterday

ayer por la maņana
yesterday morning

ayer por la tarde
yesterday afternoon

anteayer
the day before yesterday

anoche
last night

desde el primer momento
from the first moment

después
afterwards

durante dos siglos
for two centuries

el año pasado
last year

el lunes por la noche
Monday night

el mes pasado
last month

el otro día
the other day

en ese momento
at that moment

entonces
then

esta mañana
this morning

esta tarde
this afternoon

hace dos días, años
two days, years ago

la semana pasada
last week

If the action is in the past, and you can determine precisely when it occurred, or how many times it occurred, then you will use the preterite.



Regular forms of the preterite are formed by adding the following endings to the stem of the verb:



-ar verbs example: hablar
é
aste
ó
amos
asteis
aron
hablé
hablaste
habló
hablamos
hablasteis
hablaron


-er verbs, -ir verbs examples: comer, vivir
í
iste

imos
isteis
ieron
comí
comiste
comió
comimos
comisteis
comieron

viví
viviste
vivió
vivimos
vivisteis
vivieron


Items of Interest