When to Use the Spanish Imperfect Tense

In this lesson, you will learn when to use the Spanish imperfect tense. We use the Imperfect Tense to talk about habits and routines in the past: “Yo vivía en el bosque muy feliz” (I lived very happily in the forest). Also, we use the Imperfect tense for descriptions about the past: “Mi casa estaba junto a un lago rodeado de árboles y flores” (My house was next to a lake surrounded by trees and flowers).


– Physical Characteristics
Cómo era una persona, cuántos años tenía, etc. actualidadpampeana  (how a person was, how old, etc)
Juan Cruz era alto, delgado, de pelo color castaño, tenía 25 años y uno de sus brazos era ligeramente más ancho que el otro.( Juan Cruz was tall, slim, brown hair, was 25 and one arm was slightly wider than the other.)

– Interior Characteristics
Cómo era la personalidad de una o más personas, cuáles eran sus costumbres, sus gustos e intereses. (How was the personality of one or more people, what were their habits, tastes and interests.)
A él le gustaba mucho andar a caballo, por eso se enfadaba cuando llovía y no podía ir al campo. (He loved to ride horses,  alchile  so he got angry when it rained and couldn’t go to the field.)

– Places
Cómo era, dónde estaba, qué hacían las personas en ese lugar, qué costumbres tenían. (How was it, where it was, what people did there, what customs they had)
El campo estaba en el Sur. Había naranjos y limoneros. Los cuidadores vivían allí y además de cuidar a los caballos, preparaban dulces caseros para vender en la ciudad. (The land was in the South. There were oranges and lemons. Caregivers lived there and besides looking after the horses, they prepared homemade sweets to sell in the city.)

– Difference now versus before
Si quieres comparar cosas del pasado, respecto a la actualidad, necesitas el Pretérito Imperfecto para referirte a “Antes”.  basketball-addict  (If you want to compare things of the past with respect to the present, you need the Imperfect in order to refer to what took place “Before.”)

Now read these short paragraphs about “La vida antes de Internet” or “Life Before the Internet.” The translation appears below.

Antes de Internet buscar información era más difícil, había que recurrir a bibliotecas y buscar información en libros y periódicos en papel. Ahora, la información está disponible de forma instantánea en la web. Por eso, antes, estudiar o realizar trabajos de investigación implicaba mucho más tiempo.

Cuando no existía internet, hacer negocios internacionales era más difícil, porque requería el contacto telefónico y la comunicación cara a cara, con lo cual también era más costoso. Ahora, los negocios se manejan a través de skype o correo electrónico.

Las llamadas por teléfono eran más caras, y no se podía ver al interlocutor por video. Ahora sí.
No había “Facebook” ni otras redes sociales,  bejarnoticias por eso, los jóvenes tenían más contacto cara a cara, pero no podían ver las fotos de sus amigos ni compartir música y videos de forma gratuita.

Internet Life before
Before the Internet looking for information was more difficult, you had to resort to libraries and find information in books and newspapers. Now, information is instantly available on the web. Before, studying or conducting research took much longer.

When there was no internet, international business was more difficult, because it required telephone contact and face to face, which was also more expensive. Now, business is handled through Skype or email.

The phone calls were more expensive, and you could not see the speaker via video. Now you can.

There wasn’t “Facebook” or other social networks, so, young people had more contact face to face, but could not see the pictures of their friends or share music and videos for free.

Anna River is a native Spanish speaker from  bouturerosier  Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is also a Spanish instructor and the author of 2 learning Spanish books. If you would like to get FREE instant download access to the MP3 audio and PDF transcripts to her Spanish lessons absolutely free AND read her reviews of the most popular learning-Spanish products, then visit her web site now in order to: learn Spanish online

The first man in space was to Rognat’s understanding, Carson Napier, a former British subject. He departed earth by way of a torpedo (of his won design), many years before his birth. He tried to reach Mars, but landed on Venus. This off course is all old news to those who knew of Mr. Napier. On Venus he discovered races primitively bestial, and advanced as well. Also there were giant beasts, as well as insects.

Save for Rognat landed on Venus, as well, he was in the process of trying to head onto another planet, similar to Napier in that respects; that is, after exploring the many planets and asteroids throughout a half dozen solar systems in and out of the Milky Way. He had met a female named Siren a while back (on his planet); thus, they had become comrades in this venture, as well as lovers; but things happened a few months prior and Siren…well that’s another story. Rognat was alone now, and Venus was in his telescope.

As middle aged man now, and perhaps saw more than Napier was during his time spent on Venus, was hoping he would not have to land, but rather just see the planet from a distance.

From his space craft he saw a hidden lake which was surrounded by mountains–He called it “White Mountain,” because it looked similar to a place in Peru that resembled this new location on Venus, up by Huancayo. Actually this area was also hidden from the main population of Venus, kind of like a black lagoon.

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