Gramatica A The Preterite and the Imperfect Answer Key

Gramatica A The Preterite and the Imperfect Answer Key Introduction:

¡Hola estudiantes! Learning a new language can be tough, but once you get the hang of it, it can be a lot of fun. As you progress in your journey to mastering Spanish, two key tenses you will come across are the preterite and imperfect tenses. These tenses are used to describe different kinds of past actions, and they can be tricky to use correctly at first. But fear not, this blog post is here to provide you with a helpful answer key that will make using both tenses a breeze.

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The preterite tense is used to describe actions that happened once and are now finished. For example, “Ayer fui al cine” (Yesterday, I went to the cinema). The key words to look out for when using the preterite are ‘anoche’ (last night), ‘ayer’ (yesterday), ‘la semana pasada’ (last week), etc. Another important aspect to note is that the preterite tense is used for specific actions that happened in the past, while the imperfect tense is used for ongoing actions.

The imperfect tense is used to describe ongoing actions in the past, or used to describe what things were like in the past. For example, “De niña yo siempre hablaba español” (As a child, I would always speak Spanish). The key words to look out for when using the imperfect are ‘cada dia’ (every day), ‘a menudo’ (often), ‘mientras’ (while), etc. One thing to keep in mind is that the imperfect is typically used to set the scene or provide background information in a story.

It’s also important to note the key differences in verb conjugation between the two tenses. The preterite tense has different endings for each pronoun: -é, -aste, -ó, -amos, -aron. Whereas the imperfect tense has just three endings: -aba, -ías, -ía (for -er/-ir verbs) and -ía, -ías, -ía, -íamos, -íais, -ían (for -ar verbs).

To illustrate the difference between these two tenses, let’s look at an example. “Cuando era joven, yo siempre jugaba con mi perro” (When I was young, I would always play with my dog). The use of ‘era’ and ‘jugaba’ in this sentence is an example of how the imperfect tense can be used to set the scene and describe a past habit or action. In contrast, the preterite tense could be used in describing a specific, one-time occurrence such as “El mes pasado, compré un coche nuevo” (Last month, I bought a new car).

One final tip to keep in mind is that the rules surrounding the use of the preterite and imperfect tenses vary depending on the context of the sentence. Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher or a native speaker for guidance when it comes to using these tenses in more complex sentences.


With this answer key, you should now feel more confident in using both the preterite and imperfect tenses. Remember to look out for those key words and to keep in mind the differences in conjugation and usage between the two tenses. With consistent practice and a bit of guidance, you’ll be a pro at these tenses in no time. ¡Buena suerte! (Good luck!)

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