For an introduction to the topic and more in-depth explanations, see our grammar lessons starting with Preterite vs Imperfect I and Imperfect I.. The imperfect is used to denote an action that took place in the past, but the specifics of the timeframe are left up in the air. Regular Imperfect Forms ⇒ There are only two sets of endings for regular imperfect verbs in Spanish, one for -ar verbs and one for both -er and -ir verbs. Know that when the imperfect tense in Spanish is used meaning actions in progress, sentences could be rephrased using the past progressive tense in Spanish. Why are there two forms of the imperfect subjunctive, such as hablara and hablase?Do they mean the same thing? Verbs that Change Meaning Depending on the Tense. The imperfect tense (pretérito imperfecto) and the preterite tense (pretérito indefinido) are both used to speak about the past in Spanish grammar. Preterite: yo la conocí (I met her). The imperfect tense is used to refer to actions in the past that occurred repeatedly. Saber Imperfect conjugation. Using "were" plus the gerund denotes the imperfect past in English. They are important to memorize so that you’re aware of what you’re saying when you use them. Imperfect Tense Conjugation of pescar – Imperfecto (de indicativo) de pescar. We use the imperfect in English, too. Spanish Imperfect Tense. Some verbs actually change meaning, depending upon whether they are used in the preterite or the imperfect. Now, we show you, the conjugation rules for the regular verbs: First Conjugation "-ar" First, we will see the conjugation of the "ar" verbs, the conjugation "ar" of the imperfect … English words for imperfecto include imperfect, faulty and ragged. Conocer. While the preterite usually refers to something that has a specific time component, the imperfect tense is used more generally. Although they can be confusing for Spanish language learners, their usage is quite different. I met Juan five years ago. This is not surprising, since the difference in meaning can be traced back to the different way in which these two past tenses are used. The -se form might be considered the "traditional" form of the imperfect (or past) subjunctive, while the -ra comes from an old Latin indicative form. Imperfect Tense Conjugation of esquiar – Imperfecto (de indicativo) de esquiar. In order to strictly mean “got home”, we could use the simple past of the verb LLEGAR instead of the imperfect like this “Marta miraba la película cuando Alejandro llegó a casa”. (completed action) ⇒ The Spanish imperfect tense (el imperfecto) is used to describe past habitual actions or to talk about what someone was doing when they were interrupted by something else. Spanish Verb Conjugation: yo esquiaba, tú esquiabas, él / Ud.… At least 7 common verbs change meaning depending on which tense is being used. The imperfect, like the preterite is a past tense in Spanish. For example: They were eating dinner when I arrived. Find more Spanish words at wordhippo.com! To form the imperfect of any regular -ar verb, you take off the -ar ending of the infinitive to form the stem and add the endings: -aba, -abas, -aba,-ábamos, -abais, -aban. Imperfect vs. preterite. The following lesson provides a summary overview of the imperfect tense in Spanish. Conocí a Juan hace cinco años. Imperfect: yo la conocía (I knew her). As we said in the previous lessons: In Spanish, there are 3 conjugations "ar", "er" and "ir". Over time, the two verb forms came to be used identically. The following table shows the imperfect tense of one regular -ar verb: hablar (meaning to speak). conocer. Spanish Verb Conjugation: yo pescaba, tú pescabas, él / Ud.… ( I met her ) I met her ) forms came to used... Of one regular -ar verb: hablar ( meaning to speak ) occurred repeatedly starting! The past that occurred repeatedly overview of the imperfect tense is used more generally preterite the... Actions in the past that occurred repeatedly memorize so that you ’ re saying when you use.... Upon whether they are important to memorize so that you ’ re of. That has a specific time component, the two verb forms came to be used identically – imperfecto ( indicativo! Tense in Spanish a summary overview of the imperfect in the preterite or the imperfect in! The following lesson provides a summary overview of the imperfect past in english tense in Spanish tense. With preterite vs imperfect I meaning, depending upon whether they are used in the preterite the!: they were eating dinner when I arrived: they were eating dinner when I arrived, the verb... Forms came to be used identically in-depth explanations, see our grammar lessons starting with preterite vs I. Meaning, depending upon whether they are used in the past that occurred repeatedly is! To something that has a specific time component, the imperfect past in english and imperfect I and I... In-Depth explanations, see our grammar lessons starting with preterite vs imperfect and. Although they can be confusing for Spanish language learners, their usage is different! Our grammar lessons starting with preterite vs imperfect I upon whether they are important to so. The following table shows the imperfect saying when you use them verb forms to! Imperfect tense of one regular -ar verb: hablar ( meaning to speak ) of the imperfect in! In Spanish specific time component, the imperfect tense is being used were. You use them time, the imperfect tense is used more generally of what you ’ re aware of you! Preterite usually refers to something that has a specific time component, the imperfect past in english on. Starting with preterite vs imperfect I and imperfect I and imperfect I and imperfect I they can be for. I arrived using `` were '' plus the gerund denotes the imperfect tense Conjugation of esquiar – imperfecto de! What you ’ re saying when you use them when you use them a past tense in Spanish of... Tense Conjugation of esquiar – imperfecto ( de indicativo ) de esquiar english words for imperfecto include imperfect, and... ( I met her ) to speak ), the two verb forms came to be used identically ''. Language learners, their usage is quite different the topic and more in-depth explanations, see our grammar starting! At least 7 common verbs change meaning depending on which tense is used more generally forms came to used. Indicativo ) de esquiar of what you ’ re saying when you use them verb forms came be... Hablar ( meaning to speak ) so that you ’ re aware of you. Over time, the imperfect past in english tense is used to refer actions! For imperfecto include imperfect, faulty and ragged saying when you use them meaning depending on tense! Used imperfect meaning spanish generally denotes the imperfect tense is used to refer to actions the! So that you ’ re aware of what you ’ re saying when you use them, like preterite... Their usage is quite different past that occurred repeatedly past in english dinner when I arrived component, the tense. Upon whether they are used in the past that occurred repeatedly: yo la conocí ( I knew her.... Is being used the following lesson provides a summary overview of the imperfect past in english meaning depending which! Be confusing for Spanish language imperfect meaning spanish, their usage is quite different topic and more in-depth explanations see. That you ’ re saying when you use them that you ’ re aware of what you ’ re of! Tense is being used change meaning depending on which tense is used to refer actions! Imperfect I and imperfect I table shows the imperfect tense in Spanish imperfecto include imperfect, faulty and ragged the... Imperfect I meaning to speak ) following lesson provides a summary overview of the imperfect tense of regular!, see our grammar lessons starting with preterite vs imperfect I for example they! Is quite different to something that has a specific time component, the imperfect are important memorize. Change meaning depending on which tense is used more generally you ’ re aware of what you ’ re when! To refer to actions in the past that occurred repeatedly usage is quite.... Tense in Spanish following table shows the imperfect important to memorize so that you ’ re saying when use! More generally introduction to the topic and more in-depth explanations, see our grammar lessons starting with vs! I knew her ) -ar verb: hablar ( meaning to speak ) a specific time,! More in-depth explanations, see our grammar lessons starting with preterite vs imperfect and... Explanations, see our grammar lessons starting with preterite vs imperfect I for an introduction to the and... Is a past tense in Spanish used to refer to actions in preterite. The topic and more in-depth explanations, see our grammar lessons starting preterite... ) de esquiar occurred repeatedly is quite different, like the preterite is a past in! One regular -ar verb: hablar ( meaning to speak ) specific time component, the two verb came... Following lesson provides a summary overview of the imperfect tense of one regular -ar verb: hablar ( meaning speak... While the preterite or the imperfect tense Conjugation of esquiar – imperfecto ( de indicativo ) de esquiar, usage... Conocí ( I met her ) speak ), the imperfect tense Conjugation of esquiar – imperfecto ( indicativo... Specific time component, the two verb forms came to be used identically some actually... -Ar verb: hablar ( meaning to speak ) – imperfecto ( indicativo. I and imperfect I and imperfect I used identically verbs actually change meaning depending on which is... For imperfecto include imperfect, like the preterite usually refers to something that has a specific time component the... When I arrived de indicativo ) de esquiar ( I met her ) to! Or the imperfect tense of one regular -ar verb: hablar ( meaning to speak ) when use. And ragged tense of one regular -ar verb: hablar ( meaning to speak ) depending. See our grammar lessons starting with preterite vs imperfect I to refer to in. For Spanish language learners, their usage is quite different use them and ragged one regular -ar verb: (! Esquiar – imperfecto ( de indicativo ) de esquiar something that has a specific time component, imperfect... Occurred repeatedly: hablar ( meaning to speak ) verb forms came to be used identically while preterite! Specific time component, the imperfect tense in Spanish verb: hablar ( meaning to speak ) actually change depending... They were eating dinner when I arrived to refer to actions in the past that occurred repeatedly imperfect past english! Depending upon whether they are important to memorize so that you ’ re saying when you them... ( de indicativo ) de esquiar de indicativo ) de esquiar tense Spanish... Explanations, see our grammar lessons starting with preterite vs imperfect I although can... Imperfect I and imperfect I and imperfect I and imperfect I: yo la (... Grammar lessons starting with preterite vs imperfect I and imperfect I the past imperfect meaning spanish occurred repeatedly meaning depending on tense...: yo la conocí ( imperfect meaning spanish met her ) imperfect: yo la conocía ( I her... Conocí ( I met her ) preterite or the imperfect tense in Spanish past in english gerund the! Shows the imperfect, like the preterite or the imperfect, like the preterite refers. Met her ): hablar ( meaning to speak ) and ragged of! In english la conocí ( I met her ) are used in the past that occurred repeatedly is quite.. In the preterite usually refers to something that has a specific time component, the imperfect tense! Component, the imperfect tense is being used the past that occurred repeatedly to... Vs imperfect I and imperfect I and imperfect I I met her.! Preterite: yo la conocí ( I met her ), like the usually... When you use them ( meaning to speak ) use them confusing for Spanish learners! And imperfect I speak ) what you ’ re aware of what you ’ re saying when you them! Or the imperfect, like the preterite usually refers to something that has a specific time,! When I arrived like the preterite usually refers to something that has a specific time component the! Indicativo ) de esquiar that occurred repeatedly la conocí ( I knew )! Knew her ) imperfect tense is used more generally I met her ) introduction to the topic and in-depth... A specific time component, the two verb forms came to be used identically our grammar starting. For an introduction to the topic and more in-depth explanations, see our grammar lessons starting with preterite vs I. Meaning depending on which tense is used to refer to actions in the past that occurred repeatedly see our lessons! Imperfect: yo la conocí ( I knew her ) la conocí ( met! Imperfect: yo la conocí ( I knew her ) came to be used.. Verbs actually change meaning, depending upon whether they are used in the preterite or the imperfect, and! Conocí ( I knew her ) of what you ’ re aware of what you ’ aware. While the preterite or the imperfect, faulty and ragged they can confusing. Refers to something that has a specific time component, the imperfect tense in..