moonii asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

Can someone clarify the spanish preterit versus the imperfect tense?

In my textbook, there were six questions, and the instructions read: Describe the wedding using the imperfect and preterit in each sentence:

1. Cuando Rosa (llegar) al altar, Felipe ya estaba esperándola.

2. Él (sonreir) cuando ella le dio su anillo.

3. En el salón de recepción algunas personas (saludar) a los novios mientras los demás (comer).

4. Tú (hablar) con Rosa cuando (llegar) su bisabuelo.

5. Mientras los novios (bailar), yo (sacar) muchas fotos.

6. Todo el mundo (exclamar)“¡Felicidades!” mientras los novios (salir) para Cancún en su carro.

So for the six questions' answers, I put:

1. llegué, estaba

2. sonrió, dio

3. saludaron, comían

4. hablaste, llegó

5. bailaron, saqué

6. exclamaron, salieron

Are those answers correct?

And well, if you don't feel like checking them, could you at least tell me how to differentiate between using the imperfect and preterit tense? (How do I know which one to use if it's ill in the blanks like the questions in my textbook?!)

Thanks in advance. If possible, please provide the following:

1) years you have learned Spanish

2) Are you a native speaker?

3) A link for further reference

Once again, I appreciate all your help.

4 Answers

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  • cmk796
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    1.Llegó, estaba.(use llegó because llegué is for yo form)

    The sentence translates to:When Rosa arrived at the altar, Felipe was waiting for her.So arrived has a definite end, but was waiting does not.

    2.Correct

    3.Correct.

    4.correct

    5.bailaban, saqúe

    The sentence translates to: While the couple was dancing, i took pictures. I took has a definite end, was dancing does not.

    6.exclamó, salían

    Mundo is singular so u don't use the plural form.The sentence translates to:The whole world exclaimed Congratulations!!while the couple was leaving for cancun in their car.

    Exclaimed has a definite end but Was Leaving does not.

    Use preterite to tell what the subject did. With preterite there is a definite beginning and end.Used for actions that are completed.

    Pret ex: I did someting the other day= Hice algo el otro día.Did had a time frame, it was something that was started and ended.

    Pret ex 2: He smelled the roses.=Olió las rosas. He smelled, it is over and done with so pret. is used.

    Pret 3: On monday he played soccer=En Lunes jugó futból.There was an end.

    Use imperfect to set a scene for a story, describe what the subject was doing or used to do.It is also used to explain things you do routinely everyday.The time frame is very general and there is no definite end.Used for actions that you don't know if they are completed or not.

    Imperfect ex 1: Once upon a time=Había una vez.Use imperfect here because you are setting the scene.

    Imperfect ex 2;Cuando yo era niña= when i was a child.Use this because you are describing your childhood and setting the scene.

    Imperfect ex 3: I used to work in a restaurant= Yo trabajaba en un restaurante.Use imperfect here because there is no definite ending.It just says i used to work it didn't say if he still does or not.

    Imperfec 4: I was going to the store.=Iba a la tienda. You use imperfect here because no ending.You don't know if the subject is still going or not.

    I also have an example of both being used in one sentence:

    Ex of preterite and imperfect together: I was walking , when all of a sudden it started to rain.= Estaba caminando cuando de repento empezó a llover.

    When there is a trigger that interrupts like '' all of a sudden" then the tense changes to preterite

    http://www.drlemon.net/Grammar/pretvsimp.html

    http://www.northpark.edu/spanish/pp/Preterite%20or...

    Here is a list of words that tell you when to use preterite or imperfect:

    Use imperfect when you come to these words: A menudo, con frecuencia, de vez en cuando, muchas veces, frecuentemente, todos los lunes/martes etc.., todos los días/meses/semanas, siempre when an event is repeated with no end point, and mientras.

    All of those words express frecuency, routine, and repetition.Very general.

    Use preterite when you come to these words: Anoche, anteayer, ayer, esta mañana, el fin de semana pasado, el mes pasado, el lunes/martes/miércoles etc.. pasado, una vez, siempre where there IS an endpoint.

    All of those words express specific dates/times in the past.

    Very specific.

    Hope this helps.It is better once ya get it.

    Source(s): I have been studying spanish formally for 4 years and have been speaking it with natives for 5.I live in TX and all of my teachers only spoke spanish to us; many were foreign. Received A's in all of them.
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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Can someone clarify the spanish preterit versus the imperfect tense?

    In my textbook, there were six questions, and the instructions read: Describe the wedding using the imperfect and preterit in each sentence:

    1. Cuando Rosa (llegar) al altar, Felipe ya estaba esperándola.

    2. Él (sonreir) cuando ella le dio su anillo.

    3. En el salón de recepción algunas...

    Source(s): clarify spanish preterit imperfect tense: https://biturl.im/e4MGs
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Sorry,I don't feel like checking your answers,but I'm in my sixth year of learning spanish,but not a native speaker.

    however the preterite tense is used for:

    1)a single action in the past

    2)an action which began and ended in the past

    3)one of a series of actions in a narrative

    4)an action which took place in a defined limited timescale in the past.

    the imperfect tense is used for:

    1)description in the past

    2)repeated action in the past

    3)habitual action in the past

    4)saying what used to happen

    I don't have a link,as I got these definitions from my spanish teachers,one of which is a native speaker,

    so good luck and i hoped i helped at least a little.

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  • 1 decade ago

    1. Cuando Rosa llego al altar, Felipe ya estaba esperándola.

    2. Él sonrió cuando ella le dio su anillo.

    3. En el salón de recepción algunas personas saludaron a los novios mientras los demás comían.

    4. Tú hablaste con Rosa cuando llego su bisabuelo.

    5. Mientras los novios bailaban yo saque muchas fotos.

    6. Todo el mundo exclamo “¡Felicidades!” mientras los novios salían para Cancún en su carro.

    Source(s): i am a native speaker.
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