The Imperfect is typically used to describe something in the past.
The Imperfect Basics
The regular conjugation simply consists of changing the verb endings.
|él, ella, usted||-aba||-ía|
|ellos, ellas, ustedes||-aban||-ían|
TIP: There are no conjugations in the Imperfect tense that have changes in the stem/root of the verb.
The Imperfect – Irregular Form
|él, ella, usted||iba||era||veía|
|ellos, ellas, ustedes||iban||eran||veían|
Uses of the Imperfect Tense
The Imperfect is used for:
- describing a repeated or recurring action in the past.
- describing a situation that took place in the past.
TIP: The Spanish imperfect is like the English expression used to + infinitive. It is also like was/were + present participle (-ing) in English.
Imperfect vs Preterit
- The Imperfect is used to describe memories.
- The preterit is used to narrate events.
- The preterit is used to discuss periods of time that are precisely defined. The imperfect is used when describing indefinite periods of time.
- The preterit indicates a change in relation to a given habit or situation.
SpanishClassesCanada is an online collection of Spanish lessons and outside resources, as well as a provider of Spanish classes in Mississauga, Oakville, Brampton and surrounding cities.