HomeQ&APast, Present and Future Tense

Past, Present and Future Tense

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Some may consider this as a ridiculous question, but the older one becomes, the less time is remaining for learning. So, if I can only handle perhaps three tenses for now, what should I concentrate on? Is there even an answer to this? Then, what should be next. I hope this is not as hard as to decide which one of your child you like the best (or as a stupid question).

11048 views
updated MAY 11, 2009
posted by Zoltán

8 Answers

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Zoltan, this question has come up only today and it might be helpful for your question.

Please look at Lazarus post (6).

Names of tenses
Thank you Heidita for the pointer, I have saved that (and many other of) Lazarus' explanations in my Spanish subdirectory on my computer.

updated MAY 11, 2009
posted by Zoltán
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Zoltan, this question has come up only today and it might be helpful for your question.

Please look at Lazarus post (6).
Names of tenses

updated MAY 10, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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I e-mailed all your conversation to me (in a convoluted way). I will have to simplify it for me so I can comprehend it and eventually use it.

This is not the place for this I know, but since Heidita is here, I might as well say it - it would be nice if we could e-mail a message to ourself some easier way.
Sorry for the off-topic.
Thank you for all your help.

updated MAY 7, 2009
posted by Zoltán
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Heidi, the present tense is very irregular, and quite tricky for English speakers in many cases; important, yes, but not that easy.

The "present continuous" is not regarded as a tense in Spanish grammars, and neither is the periphrasis "Voy a + infinitive" (which can be formed in any tense anyway), as you already know, of course.

I certainly get carried away as ususal and passed all tenses directly to Spanish.

I was trying to point out some sort of an equivalence to the English tenses.

Present simple is not easy I was referring to the present continuous, yes , not a tense in Spanish.
Future simple can be easily get by by using the "voy a" form. I think that would be the easiest way to express future and certainly very often used. Much more than the actual future tense itself.

Anyway, I said this yesterday in another post....the last word is Lazarus's. He is the best grammar specialist on the web.

I have a tendency to simplify too much.

updated MAY 7, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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Heidi, the present tense is very irregular, and quite tricky for English speakers in many cases; important, yes, but not that easy.

The "present continuous" is not regarded as a tense in Spanish grammars, and neither is the periphrasis "Voy a + infinitive" (which can be formed in any tense anyway), as you already know, of course.

updated MAY 7, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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I had to make this choice too with a slightly handicapped adult student.

I concentrated on five tenses:

present simple
present continuous
Past simple
future with going to or will
1st conditonal

I am happy to say that she could cope with that, with much effort, but she did it.

For Spanish:

Present simple and present continuous.

They are easy to learn , especially the continuous form.

Present perfect instead of past simple. Come to Madrid and you will hardly ever hear past simple used anyway, jeje wink

Future with going to (voy a ir) and the use of the future with the present simple (!!)

I think there is no way around learning at least the present subjunctive.

These would be my candidates.

updated MAY 7, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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Thank you Lazarus for your detailed reply. I have totally misconceived the order importance of verb tenses in the Spanish language. I guess I have to rewrite my 'dog walking papers'. Good time to memorize things while you are walking a stop-sniff-and-go male dog.

updated MAY 7, 2009
posted by Zoltán
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If you just want to be understood more or less, without much effort:

Present (essential)
Present perfect (you just need the past participle, plus "haber" in present tense, so it is very regular)
Imperfect (one of the most regular tenses, and it comes handy). The Conditional tense has the same irregularities.

Preterite could be the next one, probably, but it can be replaced by the present perfect to produce understandable sentences, even though some are incorrect. Present subjunctive could be another candidate, since it is used for polite and negative requests.

After that, you can go for pluperfect indicative and imperfect subjunctive, maybe. Future tense is not used that much, and it can be replaced more or less by the present tense or the periphrasis "Voy a...".

updated MAY 7, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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