PRETERITE TENSE IN SPANISH, do you know how to form it?
Preterite tense or preterit, in Spanish PRETÉRITO INDEFINIDO, is formed just by dropping the ending (-ar, -er, -ir) and adding those indicated in red below:
1. Verbs ending in –er and -ir have the same endings.
2. The “nosotros” forms for -ar and -ir verbs are the same in the preterite and present tense, therefore you will have to pay attention to the “temporal expressions“:
Nosotros siempre hablamos español (We always speak Spanish).
Ayer hablamos español en una reunión importante (Yesterday we spoke Spanish in an important meeting).
Normalmente escribimos muchos mensajes en el trabajo (We usually write many emails at work).
Anteayer escribimos un mensaje muy importante (The day before yesterday we wrote a very important email).
3. Especially relevant is the accent in “yo, él, ella, usted“, it will help us not to mistake the preterite tense with the present or the imperative:
Ramón compró un libro (Ramon bought a book).
Compro muchos libros (I buy many books).
Escuché la noticia en la radio (I listened to the news on the radio).
Sr. Fernández, escuche la noticia (Mr. Fernández, listen to the news).
4. A group of important verbs are irregular in this tense. Click on the link to start working with them, but first, make sure fell confident with the conjugation of the regular ones by working as much as possible with our quizzes.
5. The PRETERITE is used to describe a complete action in the past, for example when in English you say “did something”. Learn more about when to you this past tense.
6. Finally, remember to practice everything you have learned with our quizzes, and don’t forget to contact your tutor with any question you have to this regards. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?