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Spanish Lesson Twenty-Five: The Imperfect

Updated on September 22, 2013

¡Bienvenido! Welcome! I hope you're here to learn! If you're coming in for the first time, start from the beginning with Lesson One. If you've been be following this whole time, I hope you're excited for this week's lesson. :). The weekend is here and now it's time to relax and read a good book. However, if you're like me, you'll want to learn some Spanish! lol. I use my Sunday to re-learn some things I've lost. Hopefully you all will regain that knowledge or learn it for the first time! Last week our Spanish knowledge grew even further by discussing Reflexive Verbs.

Remember, these lessons are designed for you to be able to go at your own pace and learn Spanish "A Little At A Time". I recommend that everyone go back to previous lessons and review them occasionally to help the information penetrate successfully. The link to those lessons is provided below, after the explanation of this week's lesson.

Last week we discussed Reflexive Verbs. If you'd like to review that lesson before going on click--->here. In today's lesson we will be discussing The Imperfect.These verbs take a new spin on the usage of verbs. Check out more information below.

Previous Lessons

Today's Vocabulary

Today's vocabulary will consist of a hodgepodge of words that may or not be useful to you in this lesson. Today's lesson will focus on The Imperfect. Take a look at today's vocabulary and partake in the warm up!

After today's vocabulary list and the warm-up, take a glance at the chart below. It will be your new set of conjugation notes for The Imperfect. It will specifically show how to conjugate based off the subject.

Verbs

To Certify: Certificar

To Chat/To Prattle: Charlar

To Mumble/To Mutter: Chistar

To Suck: Chupar

To Cook: Cocinar

To Seize/To Take/To Grasp: Coger

To Collect: Colegir


Reflexive Verbs

To Be Glad: Alegrarse

To Get Tipsy/To Be (Get) High: Alumbrarse

To Take Power/To Take Possession: Apoderarse

To Hasten/To Hurry/To Rush: Apresurarse

To Take Advantage: Aprovecharse

To Fret/To Grieve/To Worry: Apurarse

To Be Frightened: Asustarse

Nouns

Thanksgiving: El Día De Acción De Gracias

Christmas: La Navidad

Kwanzaa: El Kwanzaa

Hanukkah: El Januká

Halloween: La Vispera Del Día De Todos Los Santos

Cinco De Mayo: El Cinco De Mayor

Yom Kippur: El Día De Perdón


Adjectives

Joyful: Alegre

Holy: Sagrado(a)

Merry: Alegra

Pious: Piadoso(a)

Loving: Cariñoso(a)

Warm-Up

Take a look at the following chart. Use it to conjugate verbs in The Imperfect from your vocabulary list. Consider creating your own sentences for practice. If you need more help, check out the notes below. They should help.

Also consider other ways to incorporate Spanish into your daily lives. Take a moment to review some previous lessons or read up on some articles. The Spanish language is a living language, so it's not going anywhere anytime soon. If you need any help, shoot me an email. I'll be happy to help you. Also consider doing these fun things:

  • Read a book or poem completely in Spanish.
  • Speak with a native speaker.
  • Watch your favorite movie completely in Spanish.
  • Confuse your friends by speaking in Spanish.
  • Name your household items in Spanish while getting ready to start your day.

Conjugating The Imperfect

Subject
New -Ar Ending
New -Er/Ir Ending
Yo
-Aba
-Ía
-Abas
-Ías
Él/Ella/Usted
-Aba
-Ía
Nosotros
-Ábamos
-Íamos
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes
-Aban
-Ían

What is The Imperfect?

The Imperfect is the second of two ways to discuss actions in the past. The Imperfect is used to discuss actions that are deemed incomplete in the past. These actions can have no definite beginning or ending. This is unlike the Preterit where actions began and ending in the past. Here are some instances in which to use the Imperfect.

  • No definite start or end.
  • Continuous or repeated actions.
  • Took place over a long period of time.
  • Started in the past, ends in the future.
  • Someone "Used to" do something.
  • Setting the stage

Don't worry about all of these things, we'll go over them in the next session. These are when to use the Imperfect. We'll go over some examples.

Using and Conjugating The Imperfect

You may not understand the Imperfect fully yet. I will be honest. It's kinda hard to figure out when to use it. My bigger tips are using it when telling a story and describing something that someone used to do. Those happened in the long-term past and will ALWAYS be told using the Imperfect. Also keep in mind that the Imperfect is often combined with the Preterit to complete the action in the past. First though, let's go over the conjugation. Let's use the verb hablar as our example.


Yo Hablaba. I (used to) talk.

Hablabas. You (used to) talk.

Él/Ella/Usted Hablaba. He/She/You(Formal) (used to) talk.

Nosotros Hablábamos. We (used to) talk.

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes Hablaban. They/You All (Formal) (used to) talk.


Just follow the conjugations just like you would for any tense, It's super easy. Just drop the ending and add the new ending like always. There are some irregulars (like always), and I'll make those aware to you in the "Other Notes" section. Let's check out on the instances in which you would need the Imperfect.


Someone Used To Do Something in The Past:

Estudiaba español in la escuela. I used to study Spanish in school. Note that we don't know when that was, we just know it happened. It has no definite beginning or end.


The Action Was Repeated Over Time:

Almorzábamos juntos todos los días. We would have lunch together everyday. Note the same thing, no end or beginning but it was repeated over time, somewhere in the past. Also would work while reminding your friends what you all used to do in the past.


Discussing Age or Time in the past:

Era dos en la tarde.It was two in the afternoon

Tenía dos anos. She was two years old.



Setting The Stage:

Cuando vivía Juan tuve que parrar. When I saw Juan, I had to stop. Note that the sentence is in the Impefect at first, but the final verb is conjugated in the Preterit. The Imperfect set the stage for the sentence.


Extra Note: Check the links below on other reasons to use the Imperfect Tense. Also look at the chart that follows this section to know the irregulars. There are only three of them :)

Irregulars in The Imperfect

Subject
Ver
Ir
Ser
Yo
Veía
Iba
Era
Veías
Ibas
Eras
Él/Ella/Usted
Veía
Iba
Era
Nosotros
Veíamos
Íbamos
Éramos
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes
Veían
Iban
Eran

Homework

Your homework for today is to view two videos based off of Lesson Twenty-Four. Take a look at them!Senorbelles is my favorite Spanish teacher online and he has a great deal of clarity when discussing a certain topic. Listen closely to his tips.

Also in the coming lessons we'll be discussing a great deal more about grammar and visiting other themed topics in Spanish. Stick around for that. :) Here are some lessons that will be coming soon:

  • Family and Relationships
  • Careers and Occupations
  • School and College
  • The Zoo and Animals

Next week we will discuss the formula Hay + Que + inf. You can't miss that! :)

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