Spanish Imperfect Tense  

There are two forms of the past in Spanish. The imperfect past and the preterite past. These lessons focus on the imperfect, also known as the imperfect indicative, which is used to describe actions or situations that were incomplete or in progress at the point of time in the past that is being described.

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Spanish Imperfect Tense

The imperfect tense is one of the two simple past tenses in Spanish. It is used for ongoing or recurrent actions in the past, as well as descriptions, states of being, and for providing background information about the past.  The preterit tense is used to describe on-going actions and states of being in the past. The imperfect is used to state habitual actions in the past. The imperfect is used to describe people, places, conditions or situations in the past. Some verbs occur more frequently in the imperfect when they are in the past since they typically describe states of being: were/were having/, was/were being/, etc. But these verbs do sometimes occur in the preterit.: had/had been/, had/had been/. The imperfect is also used to state habitual actions in the past. These past habits are often translated as "used to." Note that the imperfect may also be translated by the simple past in English; however, the context, and often adverbs, let you know the action is a past habit.

Spanish imperfect tense is easy to learn, as it has few irregularities. It's actually one of the easiest Spanish tenses to use, and students tend to overuse it. In this article, you'll learn when to use the imperfect tense, how to form it, and three examples of irregular verbs. At the end of the lesson, you'll be able to take a quiz on what you've learned. To talk about past habitual actions, you use the Spanish imperfect tense. This tense doesn't have anything to do with the present, so it's sometimes called a "historic" tense. You can translate it into English in different ways using the simple past, continuous past, or expressions like "used to" and "would."

Popular Phrase: how to say origin | Spanish Word of the Day | Conjugated Verb: avanzar - to advance, move forward [ click for full conjugation ]