inventaban they invented
The word inventaban is the imperfect form of inventar in the third person plural. See the full inventar conjugation.

inventar

inventar
transitive verb
1. (to create) 
a. to invent 
Inventé un pretexto para que me diga su número de teléfono.I invented a pretext for getting her phone number.
Mi mamá inventaba un cuento para contarme cada noche a la hora de dormir.My mom made up a story to tell me every night at bedtime.
2. (to lie) 
a. to invent 
Lilia inventó que estaba enferma para no venir a trabajar.Lilia invented that she was sick so she didn't come to work.
Inventé una excusa para salir del aprieto.I made up an excuse to get out of trouble.
El sospechoso inventó una coartada para explicar dónde había estado.The suspect concocted an alibi to explain his whereabouts.
inventarse
pronominal verb
3. (to fabricate) 
a. to invent 
Se inventó un gran pretexto con tal de no venir.She invented a big excuse to avoid coming.
¿Ahora qué excusa se inventó?What excuse did he make up this time?
inventar
transitive verb
1. (máquina, sistema) 
a. to invent 
2. (narración, falsedades) 
a. to make up 
pronominal verb
3. (general) 
a. to make up 
inventar
transitive verb
(gen) to invent; [+plan] to devise; [+historia, excusa] to invent; make up; concoct;
pronominal verb
inventarse [+historia, excusa] to invent; make up; concoct
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