HomeQ&AHaving Troubles with Preterite and Imperfect

Having Troubles with Preterite and Imperfect

1
vote

Hey everyone,

I've been having troubles with Preterite and Imperfect tenses lately. Can someone let me know when I am supposed to use the Preterite tense in a sentence and when I am supposed to use the Imperfect tense in a sentence. Give me a rule/example or whatever you can think of.

Thanks in advance, Christo

For example:

In this case, which tenses would you use?

Cuando tu abuelo y yo _____ (ser) niños, nuestras familias ____ (vivir) en el mismo pueblo.

I used Preterite on the first one (fuimos) and Infinitive on the second one (vivían).

Am I right? ohh

4398 views
updated MAR 24, 2010
edited by Christo47
posted by Christo47

3 Answers

2
votes

The general rule I think is that if you are talking about the past like you are setting a scene up "I was thirteen years old" (imperfect) followed by when "when I first saw the movie."(preterite)

Cuando tenía trece años ví la pelicula.

Versus if you were just telling someone that you have seen the movie already but you only mean to communicate that you have seen the movie in its entirety.

I saw the movie. - Ví la pelicula. (preterite only)

~~~~

For example:

In this case, which tenses would you use?

Cuando tu abuelo y yo _____ (ser) niños, nuestras familias ____ (vivir) en el mismo pueblo.

I used Preterite on the first one (fuimos) and Infinitive on the second one (vivían).

Am I right?

The first one is not conjugated in the proper tense, but you have the subject correct. Subject: (nos); Tense: (imperfect) I believe it would be éramos.

The second one is possibly in the right. I would say either imperfect or preterite would work fine there but someone else surely knows better than I. However I think you may have the subject wrong. "Nuestras" means ours, if I say "our family" am I talking about "they" or "us?" Also, vivían is not the "infinitive" the infinitive is vivir. This is a trivial point, but it is helpful to know when you're looking stuff up. Subject: (nos); Tense: (Either imperfect or preterite, I think imperfect fits best here.) For this one I believe either vivíamos or vivimos would work fine, unless of course "our families" means they. I have difficulty discerning this myself. So you could be correct, hopefully someone knows the answer for that.

Click here if you want to learn more about the Imperfect and Preterit

updated MAR 24, 2010
edited by Fredbong
posted by Fredbong
Thanks for the help. :) - Christo47, MAR 24, 2010
1
vote

Here is a link to an answer that was given 6 days ago. It may be a very big help to you also. Here is the link ----> Preterite vs Imperfecto

updated MAR 24, 2010
posted by Moe
0
votes

Please give some examples of your troubles. smile

updated MAR 24, 2010
posted by AntMexico
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