Spanish Regular Preterit Tense
The Spanish past tense or preterite tense (Pretérito) is used when talking about an event that took place in the past at a specific time, or one that was completed.
Today we are going to learn about a new tense in Spanish – the PRETERIT TENSE. This tense us used to express actions that have been completed at a specific point in the PAST.
*NOTE: You will sometimes see this tense spelled “Preterite” with an -e on the end. This is the British English spelling.
When do we use the PRETERIT TENSE?
Because there are multiple tenses used to express the PAST TENSE in Spanish, let’s go over specific instances in which the PRETERIT TENSE should be used:
- Events with a specific start and end. I brushed my teeth. We rode a train yesterday. She sent me the email.
- Events with specific times and dates. We got home at 10:00. I studied for the test last night for 3 hours.
- Sequential events.
I got up, took a shower, then left for work.
He chopped the onion, cut the tomato then mixed them together.
What are the PRETERIT TENSE ENDINGS?
In the PRETERIT TENSE we only have two sets of endings! We conjugate these verbs just like our present tense regular verbs:
- Chop off infinitive verb ending (-ar, -er, -ir)
- Determine subject of the sentence
- Add new ending based on the subject of the sentence
See the tables below for the endings to use with the PRETERIT TENSE:
-AR VERB ENDINGS
-ER/-IR VERB ENDINGS
*NOTE: The accents used in the 1st person and 3rd person are IMPERATIVE to this conjugation.
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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
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