apretaban
-they were pressing
The word apretaban is the imperfect form of apretar in the third person plural.
See the full apretar conjugation

apretar

¿Parecía que sonreía cuando apretaban el botón de la sonrisa?
Did it look like he smiled, when they pushed the smile button?
Te dije que las esposas me apretaban.
I said the cuffs were too tight.
Y fue con él, y le seguía gran compañía, y le apretaban.
And he went with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed on him.
Y se movían, se apretaban, movían sus brazos hacia arriba y abajo mutuamente.
And they were moving and grinding and moving their arms up and down each other.
Las botas me apretaban, y el camino era tan escarpado, que me lastimé las uñas de los dedos gordos.
My boots were so tight, and the path so steep, that I injured the toenails of both of my big toes.
Boté esos zapatos porque se me apretaban.
I threw those shoes away because they pinched my feet.
Llevé puestos los zapatos que me apretaban y me ocasionaron ampollas.
I wore shoes that were too tight, and I got blisters.
Necesito mis zapatos. ¿Recuerdas? Los zapatos apretaban.
Not the other one. I need my shoes. Remember? Your shoes didn't fit.
Me dolían y me apretaban tanto que solo podía pensar en cómo iba yo a recorrer el mundo con aquellos trastos.
They were so painful and so confining that all I could think was, how am I ever going to travel the world in these things?
Los zapatos dieron de sí después de unas semanas, pero todavía me apretaban.
The shoes gave after a few weeks, but they were still tight.
Want to Learn Spanish?
Spanish learning for everyone. For free.
SpanishDict Premium
Have you tried it yet? Here's what's included:
Cheat sheets
No ads
Learn offline on iOS
Fun phrasebooks
Learn Spanish faster
Support SpanishDict