Spanish Irregular Imperfect Tense

Overview

There are only three verbs with irregular conjugations in the imperfect: irser, and ver.

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Remember how there were a lot of irregular verbs and rules to verbs in the Preterit Tense? Well, you’re going to love the irregular verbs in the Imperfect Tense because there are only THREE! Woohoo! Let’s check them out…

In the Imperfect Tense in Spanish we only have three irregular verbs. They are: Ir, Ser and Ver. Remember that in the Imperfect Tense we are talking about actions that have been repeated “over and over” in the past tense. That means that these verbs sound something like “used to go”, “used to be”, “used to watch” in the Imperfect Tense. These could also sound like “was going”, “was being”, “was watching” if they are used as a continuous action that was interrupted in the past tense.

Let’s look at these irregular Imperfect Tense verbs’ conjugation charts below:

IR – To go

IbaÍbamos
IbasIbais
IbaIban

SER – To be 

EraÉramos
ErasErais
EraEran

VER – To see 

VeíaVeíamos
VeíasVeíais
VeíaVeían

NOTE: The yo and él/ella/usted forms are the same for each of these verbs. The only way to know the difference is to look at the context of the sentence in which they are being used.

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
Writing:
I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
Reading:
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
Listening:
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.