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Spanish Lesson Thirty-Four: Tense Review

Updated on June 19, 2013

Hey Readers! It's Sunday again! I actually I think this week went by a lot slower than the last few weeks. I feel like it's been forever since our last Spanish lesson. But that's okay, not every week should speed by. We most likely won't remember it or wished for more time in the future. It's all relative really. Time probably moves at one speed and dependent upon our perception. Maybe... Anyway welcome back to your week Spanish lessons. I hope these lessons have been helping you learn Spanish "A Little At A Time". I know it sure feels like we're learning slowly, but I think it's totally for the best this way. A lot of time language is taught so fast that a lot of people have trouble retaining any of the information. That is the reason that I CONSTANTLY review over previous lessons and return to commonly known rules and special information. I know a lot of the exclusions and such because I retained SO MUCH of my Spanish over the years. Now that I'm adding more to it, it feels really good to learn new things as well as teach them to you all. Today's lesson is a review of all the tenses we've learned today. Remember there are 14 tenses, 7 Singular and 7 Compound tenses. I'm only going to review the tenses. This does not include the Imperative, Present Progressive, or Participles. The tenses to be reviewed today are Present Indicative, Imperfect, and The Preterit. If you're joining us for the first time, check out some of the previous lessons--->here.

Today's Goals: To Review previous tenses learned in Spanish. To be able to retain the conjugation and uses and of each tense.


Today's Vocabulary

Hey everyone! Today's a review day so we won't have a Warm-Up today. I do want everyone to take a look at the tip below and use it to help you retain what little or great deal of information you have maintained. Thanks a lot for reading and I hope everyone is getting something out of these lessons. Take a look at this week's hodgepodge. I think you'll enjoy the words I have for today. Also consider buying a English-Spanish Dictionary to help you define words that have not been featured in the vocabulary. Check it out!

Today's Tips: Take a gander at your vocabulary lists. Any words you've seen before? Familiarize yourself with those and try to learn some of the new ones!


To Discuss: Discutir

To Excuse/To Dispense/To Distribute: Dispensar

To Distinguish: Distinguir

To Ache/To Cause Grief/ To Pain/To Cause Regret: Doler

To Sleep: Dormir

To Doubt: Dudar

To Cast/To Fling/To Hurl/To Pitch/To Throw: Echar

Reflexive Verbs

To Abstain: Abstenerse

To Be Bored/To Grow Tired/To Grow Weary: Aburrirse

To Approach/To Draw Near: Acercarse

To Remember/To Agree: Acordarse

To Go To Bed/To Lie Down: Acostarse

To Go Forward/To Move Ahead/To Take The Lead: Adelantarse

To Shave Oneself: Afeitarse


The Internet: El Internet

Website: La Página Web

Download: La Descarga

Email: El Correo Electrónico

File: El Fichero

Blog: La Bitácora


Bright: Brillante

Dim: Tenue

Light Colored: Claro(a)

Dark Colored: Oscuro(a)

Transparent: Transparente

Special Note: I ran out of Reflexive Verbs in my dictionary, so we are starting again. Some of the words I remember without defining them. This repetition should help you as well. If you've never seen these verbs, congrats! You can start from the beginning of the alphabet.

The Present Indicative

Using the Present Indicative is pretty simple in and of itself. It's simply the present tense in the Spanish language. This tense is used to discuss things that are happening right now and in the near future. This tense is one of the seven singular tenses. To use this tense, simply conjugate any verb by using the conjugation chart below. Remember that there are exceptions to the rule with irregular verbs such as Ir, Estar, and Ser. Keep an eye on all of those. Use the Present Indicative:

  • When you need to describe things happening right now.
  • When you need to describe an event or action that happens in the near future.
  • When you need to discuss actions and generally truths that happen habitually in the present.
  • When you have to discuss an event (such as a narrative).
  • When you need to ask questions or get directions.
  • When you need to state a generally theory, hypothesis or current conditions.

Conjugating A Verb In Present Indicative

-AR Ending
-ER Ending
_-IR Ending

The Preterite

The Preterite Tense is one of the seven singular tenses that involves actions in the past. This tense is one of two tenses involving actions that occurred in the past. The best way to know when to use the preterite over the Imperfect is to read all of the rules involving its usage. Also make sure you read the conjugation chart below. Remember that exclusions apply to the rules of the Preterite. Here are conditions in which you must use the Preterite to discuss past actions. Use the Preterite to discuss:

  • Actions that occurred and finished in the past.
  • Actions that are viewed as singular.
  • Actions that have a specific start and end.
  • Actions that occur within a chain.

Conjugating A Verb in The Preterite

-AR Ending
-ER/IR Ending

The Imperfect

The Imperfect tense is the second of the past tenses in Spanish. It is used quite differently than the imperfect and also has its own set of rules and exclusions. The Imperfect only has Three irregulars, so conjugation is a great deal simpler with this tense. Read the bullets to understand when to use the Imperfect versus the Preterite tense. Also understand how to conjugate verbs in the tense with the chart below. Use the Preterite to discuss:

  • Actions that have no definite beginning or end in the past.
  • Actions that occurred habitually in the past.
  • Actions that are deemed as things one "used to" do.
  • Actions that require "setting the stage" for another action.
  • Actions that are deemed "unfinished".
  • Age and Time in the past.

Conjugating A Verb in The Imperfect

-AR Ending
-ER/IR Ending


There will be no official homework for this lesson. Just go over your notes, familiarize yourself with these tenses and review! That's all you should be doing at this point. Next Lesson will discuss the use of The Subjunctive tense in the Spanish language. It's one of those strange tenses that I never quite understood its use and meaning. So I will study up and get back to you all next Sunday for the lesson. I promise I will explain it as best as I can. So without further ado, have a great night! I will see you all next Sunday. :)


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    • CrazedNovelist profile imageAUTHOR

      AE Williams 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thank you so much! I truly appreciate the feedback! :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm so glad to read this article! In 2003 I sttared a business teaching ESL and Beginning Spanish. As part of my research, I took a pile of about 10 Spanish workbooks out into my yard, with the idea that I would jot down in a spiral notebook in what order different aspects of the language should be taught. I was surprised and frustrated to find that every single How to Learn Spanish book approached it in a different order there was no consensus at all!In my first year university course, I was taught present tense, command form, future tense, then imperfect, and as the third term was almost over, we were just getting into preterite. Off I went to Quito, with virtually no preterite! I knew something was wrong there.Also enjoyed the percentage breakdown of how much we use each tense. This is the most original information I've come across in a long time I'm excited to learn more about your system.

    • CrazedNovelist profile imageAUTHOR

      AE Williams 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thank you!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What a plesaure to meet someone who thinks so clearly


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