Spanish imperfect tense, when to use it (A2)

Spanish imperfect tense, the PRETÉRITO IMPERFECTO  in Spanish, is one of the tenses we use to describe the past. Its conjugation is very simple, you can see it on this link. Now we are going to see how to use it.

When to use the imperfect tense

We use the imperfect tense in Spanish to talk about an action in the past which is either repeated or habitual. English has several ways of conveying this was/were doing, used to do, would do, did:

Cuando era niño, visitaba a mis abuelos a menudo (When I was a child, I often used to visit/often visited my grandparents).

Nadabas cada semana (You would go/You used to go/You went swimming every week).

Cuando viviamos en España, ibamos a la playa (When we lived in Spain, we used to go/they would go to the beach).

The imperfect is also used:

  • To describe an emotional or mental state in the past:

Cristina se sentía triste (Cristina felt sad).

  • With mientras (while) to talk about two things that were happening at the same time:

Teresa veía la tele mientras cenaba (Teresa watched television whilst she ate supper).

Spanish imperfect tense practice a quizzes

Now you can practice how to use the imperfect with the exercice below. Remember you can contact your tutor for any question you have about the Spanish imperfect tense. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?

You can also review how is conjugated and see how it is used in context with a video with subtitles  «Otros tiempos».

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