Imperfect or Preterite – Exercises

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Exercises

Regular and irregular verbs. Type in the verbs in the imperfect tense.

  1. Cuando era pequeña me (encantar)  ir a patinar.[When I was a child, I used to love going ice-skating.]|3rd person singular, -ar verb: -aba
  2. ¿(Estudiar/tú)  al mismo tiempo que (trabajar) ?[Did you go to university and work at the same time?]|2nd person singular, -ar verb: -abas
  3. Siempre nos acordamos de cuando (ir)  de excursión a Sierra Nevada.[We always remember the time we took a trip to the Sierra Nevada.]|1st person plural, irregular verb: íbamos
  4. Antes nunca (tener/vosotros)  tiempo libre.[You never used to have any free time.]|2nd person plural, -er verb: -íais
  5. Mi hermana pequeña (ser)  la nieta favorita de mi abuela.[My little sister was my grandmother’s favourite grandchild.]|3rd person singular, irregular verb: era

Regular and irregular verbs. Type in the verbs in the preterite.

  1. Le (pedir/yo)  a mi jefe poder salir antes de trabajar.[I asked my boss if I could leave work early.]|1st person singular, -ir verb:
  2. El otro día Guillermo y yo (ir)  al cine del barrio.[The other day, Guillermo and I went to the local cinema.]|1st person plural, irregular verb: fuimos
  3. Ayer (llover)  tanto que (inundarse)  el garaje.[Yesterday it rained so much that the garage was flooded.]|1. 3rd person singular, -er verb: -ió|the reflexive pronoun agrees with the subject and comes before the verb
  4. Mi vecino (comprarse)  su televisión nueva en la tienda de la esquina.[My neighbour bought his new television set in the shop on the corner.]|3rd person singular, -ar verb: |the reflexive pronoun agrees with the subject and comes before the verb
  5. Los profesores ya te (decir)  que estudiases más.[The teachers already told you that you ought to study more.]|stem-changing verb: decirdij-|3rd person plural: -eron

Type in the verbs. Decide whether you need the imperfect or the preterite.

El año pasado mi hermano y yo (mudarse)  a Noruega. Al principio (ser)  un poco difícil porque allí nadie (hablar)  español y la cultura (ser)  muy extraña para mí.[Last year my brother and I moved to Norway. At first it was a bit difficult, because no one spoke Spanish there, and the culture was very strange to me.]|1. & 2. completed action in the past whose frequency is unimportant → preterite|signal words: el año pasado, al principio|3. & 4. description of a situation → imperfect

Sin embargo, tras unos meses (hacer/yo)  nuevos amigos que me (ayudar)  mucho. Siempre (necesitar/yo)  a alguien que me dijera a dónde (tener)  que ir o qué (deber)  hacer.[However, after a few months I made new friends who helped me a lot. I always needed someone to tell me where I had to go or what I was supposed to do.]|1. & 2. completed action in the past whose frequency is unimportant → preterite|signal: tras unos meses|3, 4 & 5. repeated actions in the past; the repetition/regularity of the action is emphasised → imperfect|signal: siempre

Después de medio año ya (manejarse/yo)  yo sola y (empezar)  a comprender cómo (funcionar)  las cosas.[After six months, I could get by on my own, and I was beginning to understand how things worked.]|1. description of a situation → imperfect|2. two options: preterite (beginning of the action as a one-time event) or imperfect (in the sense of slowly beginning to do something)|3. description of a situation in the past → imperfect Además, mi hermano (encontrar)  un trabajo donde (estar)  todo el día conociendo gente nueva y yo (abrir)  una tienda de ropa.[Also, my brother found a job where he was meeting new people all day long, and I opened a clothes shop.]|1. & 3. one-time action in the past → preterite|2. repeated action in the past; the repetition/regularity is emphasised → imperfect|signal: todo el día Poco a poco, las cosas (ir)  funcionando. Ahora estamos completamente adaptados.[Step by step, things began working out. Now we fit in just fine.]|action in progress in the past → imperfecto|signal: poco a poco