Spanish languageSpanish Past Tense - Pretérito

The pretérito is the Spanish simple past tense, used to talk about things that were completed in the past.

Compré una chaqueta. I bought a jacket.
Comimos a las ocho. We ate at 8.
Fueron al banco. They went to the bank.
¿Hiciste tu tarea? Did you do your homework?

The pretérito and imperfecto are often confusing for Spanish students - learn the difference.

Conjugating the pretérito: Regular verbs

Most regular Spanish -AR, -ER, and -IR verbs are conjugated with a standard root (found by dropping the infinitive) plus the appropriate endings.

Hablar - to talk
yo hablé nosotros hablamos
hablaste vosotros hablasteis
él habló ellos hablaron
Comer - to eat
yo comí nosotros comimos
comiste vosotros comisteis
él com ellos comieron
Vivir - to live
yo viví nosotros vivimos
viviste vosotros vivisteis
él viv ellos vivieron

Note that the pretérito endings are identical for -ER and -IR verbs.

There are also, however, a number of verbs which are irregular in the pretérito. These can be broken into two categories: stem-changing verbs and irregular verbs. Use the links below to learn how to conjugate these verbs in the pretérito, then take the test.


More Pretérito:
Intro and conjugations of regular verbs
Conjugations of stem-changing verbs
Conjugations of irregular verbs
Test on pretérito
Pretérito vs Imperfecto



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