Preterite vs Imperfect tenses

Spanish has two past tenses: preterite and imperfect. Most verbs can be put into either tense, depending upon the meaning. In this lesson, you will learn to conjugate regular -ar verbs in the preterite and the imperfect. You will also learn the basic difference between the preterite and the imperfect, so that you can begin using them correctly.



Trying to decide when to use the Preterite and when to use the Imperfect is one of the challenges of learning these two tenses. Review the uses of the Imperfect and the Preterite, and make a chart for yourself listing the differences.


The Imperfect past tense is used to describe a scene while the Preterite is used to list series of completed actions. It can be a little more subtle, especially with verbs that change meaning depending on the tense.




Spanish has two past tenses, the preterit and the imperfect.


The guidelines below will help you select the most appropriate tense.





For each blank, give the correct form of the the preterite or the imperfect indicative of the verb in infinitive. Put only one answer in each blank. Tab between answers. Use only lower case letters for your answers. If your answer is correct, you will be allowed to go on to the next question. If it is not, you will be given the correct answer. Click on the button at the bottom to see your score. If you mistakenly move to another page, use your browser to return to this page.





Play a game. Read the following sentences and determine whether to use the preterite or the imperfect form of the verb.


Or log in to play for credit.





Imperfect and Preterite Battleship

A battleship game to review the preterite and imperfect tenses