Spanish/Preterite

Verbs


The preterite verb form describes past actions that have begun or completed. The preterite sets something in the past as an event, with a beginning and an end. Spanish has another past tense form, the imperfect, that is used for past actions that are continuing, or for which its beginning or its end is not important.

Conjugate regular verbs in the preteriteEdit

-AR verbs

Eliminate the "-ar" and replace it with one of the following endings:


-aste

-amos
-asteis
-aron

Patinar (to skate) becomes:

patiné: I skated
patinaste: you skated
patinó: he skated
patinamos: we skated
patinasteis: you skated
patinaron: they skated

Notice that the "nosotros" form conjugates the same as it does in the present tense. This can cause confusion so look for context tools to make sure you have the right tense.

-ER and -IR verbs

Eliminate the "-er" or "-ir" and replace it with one of the following endings:


-iste
-ió
-imos
-isteis
-ieron

Vender (to sell) becomes:

vendí: I sold
vendiste: you sold
vendió: he sold
vendimos: we sold
vendisteis: you sold
vendieron: they sold

Conjugate irregular verbs in the preteriteEdit

There are 2 types of irregular verbs in the preterite tense. We will start with the more regular of the 2.

The endings of these irregulars are all the same, which is why I am referring to them as more regular. The endings are:
-e
-iste
-o
-imos
-isteis
-ieron

The stems of these verbs also change as follows:
estar --> estuv
andar --> anduv
tener --> tuv
poder --> pud
poner --> pus
saber --> sup
caber --> cup
hacer --> hic (exception: 'hizo')
venir --> vin
querer --> quis
decir --> dij
traer --> traj
and any verb that ends in -ducir --> -duj

 Note that for stems ending in j the ending 'ieron' is shortened to 'eron'

The more irregular verbs conjugate as follows:
"Ir" and "Ser"
fui
fuiste
fue
fuimos
fuisteis
fueron

"Dar"
di
diste
dio
dimos
disteis
dieron

"Haber"
hube
hubiste
hubo
hubimos
hubisteis
hubieron

"Reír"
reí
reíste
rió
reímos
reísteis
rieron

"Leer" (similarly Creer)
leí
leíste
leyó
leímos
leísteis
leyeron


"Dormir" (similarly Morir)
dormí
dormiste
durm
dormimos
dormisteis
durmieron

"Ver"
vi
viste
vio
vimos
visteis
vieron

Last modified on 16 August 2008, at 02:30