Pretérito or Imperfecto in Spanish?

When to use Pretérito or Imperfecto?

Do you know when to use pretérito or imperfecto in Spanish?  In this video, we are going to be taking a look at pretérito and pretérito imperfecto tenses in Spanish. It is known in English as preterite and preterite imperfect.

Let’s start with this fancy word pretérito or preterite. All it means is past so both tenses we are looking at are in the past. Now we just need to know when do we use each one. Preterite is used in Spanish when we want to answer the question “What happened?”. We would use pretérito imperfecto or preterite imperfect to answer the question “what was going on when something else happened?”. So we basically use the preterite to relate events and the imperfect to describe what was going on in the past.

Now let’s take a look at some examples…


Imperfect / Imperfecto

Todos los dias
Cada dia
Antes, yo vivia en una casa grande.


Preterite / Pretérito

Un dia
De repente
Un dia me levanté a usar el baño.


Check out the video for more examples and explanations.


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Learn all the Spanish you need for real life.