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Quick answer
"Pretérito" is a noun which is often translated as "preterite", and "imperfecto" is an adjective which is often translated as "imperfect". Learn more about the difference between "pretérito" and "imperfecto" below.
pretérito(
preh
-
teh
-
ree
-
toh
)
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
1. (grammar)
a. preterite
"Yo bailo" está en presente; "yo bailé" está en pretérito."I dance" is in the present; "I danced" is in the preterite.
b. past
En un ejercicio del examen de español, teníamos que poner los verbos en pretérito.We had to put the verbs in the past in an exercise on the Spanish exam.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
2. (old)
a. past
La gente siempre recuerda las épocas pretéritas como épocas mejores.People always remember past times as better times.
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imperfecto(
eem
-
pehr
-
fehk
-
toh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (faulty)
a. imperfect
El sistema electoral es imperfecto y por eso ocurren injusticias.The electoral system is imperfect and so injustices happen.
b. flawed
La portada ha quedado imperfecta y hay que volver a imprimirla.The cover is flawed so we have to print it out again.
2. (grammar)
a. imperfect
Solo hay dos conjuntos de terminaciones para las formas imperfectas regulares.In Spanish there are only two sets of endings for regular imperfect forms.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
3. (grammar)
a. imperfect
El imperfecto de "comer" es "comía".The imperfect of the Spanish verb "comer" is "comía."
b. imperfect tense
El imperfecto se usa para hablar de acciones pasadas habituales.The imperfect tense is used to talk about habitual actions in the past.
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