Uses of the imperfect past tense in Spanish
The imperfect tense in Spanish is a past tense used to describe repeated or habitual actions that have no reference to a beginning or an end.
Cuando era niña, me gustaba jugar con mis hermanas.
- When I was young, I liked to play with my sisters.
Rudolfo leía todos los días.
- Rudolfo read every day.
It is also used to describe events or actions that were in progress.
Mario cocinaba mientras Tania le leía la receta.
- Mario was cooking while Tania was reading him the recipe.
Estábamos en la casa.
- We were in the house.
The imperfect is also used to describe characteristics and states (or conditions) in the past with no reference to a beginning or an end.
Tenía muchos amigos.
- I had a lot of friends.
Ellos estaban enfermos.
- They were sick.
Conjugations of the imperfect tense in Spanish
Regular verbs – To conjugate the imperfect tense, remove the infinitive ending and add the following endings.
|buscar (to look for)||comer (to eat)||escribir (to write)|
|busc aba||busc ábamos||com ía||com íamos||escrib ía||escrib íamos|
|busc abas||busc abais||com ías||com íais||escrib ías||escrib íais|
|busc aba||busc aban||com ía||com ían||escrib ía||escrib ían|
Irregular imperfect tense verbs in Spanish- There are only three irregular conjugations in the imperfect.
|ir (to go)||ser (to be)||ver (to see)|