Clase de Español
Profesor Ricardo Mendoza
St Elizabeth Ann Seton
7 de Julio del 2009
Dia 1: Pronombres personales, alfabeto, and definite and indefinite articles.
Día 2: Verbos Ser y Estar and greetings
Día 3: Spanish speaking countries, nota cultural: Los saludos, interrogative pronouns, and numbers (bingo).
Día 4: VERBO GUSTAR (indicating likes and dislikes), some regular VERBS (present tense)
Día 5: Presentaciones, Regular Verbs, Adjectives.
Día 6: Prayer, Presentaciones, tongue twisters in Spanish (trabalenguas), Using verb TENER, canción, write a little prayer in Spanish (practice everything that you have learned so far)
Día 7: Homework feedback, adivinando palabras (guessing words), pairs work (write a paragraph using the vocabulary that you are familiar with), Hay y No Hay (there is/there are)
Día 8: Homework feedback, Exam # 1, Juego de Palabras,
Día 9: Homework and Exam # 1 feedback, preterito e imperfect (past tense and imperfect), canción.
The Preterite is the first past tense you will learn. Up until now you could say that "I eat my dinner", "I am eating my dinner", and "I am going to eat my dinner." But now we will learn how to say "Last night, I ate my dinner."
The Preterite is the past action tense. In other words, you can say what Happened or occurred. It is not used to describe people (He was tall...) nor to describe or set scenes (It was a dark and stormy night and I was watching television...)
Rather, the Preterite answers the question ¿Qué pasó? What happened?
¡Pasó la señal de alto sin parar!
He passed a stop sign without stopping!
¡El ladrón entró por la ventana!
The robber entered through the window!
¡Me robaron el carro y todo mi dinero!
They stole (robbed me of) my car and all my money!
The Preterite past tense represents an action that is located in a specific point of a time line and is considered a completed action. It is always used when listing a series of consecutive actions:
Él llamó a su novia, salió de la casa y manejó al cine.
He called his girlfriend, left the house and drove to the movies.
It also is used for when you begin, finish or become something:
Empezó a llorar.
He began to cry.
Terminó el examen.
He finished the test.
Me puse enojada [or] Me enojé.
I became angry.
NOTE: the Preterite isn't used to decribe an existing emotional state, like "He was angry". Then we use a different past tense which is called the Imperfect past tense.
Estaba enojada cuando entró Ana en la sala
I was angry when Ana entered the room.
This sentence is a description of how someone was feeling.
But, back to the Preterite! Let's take a look at the basic endings we use when we conjugate verbs into the Preterite.
Él, ella, usted
Ellos, ellas, ustedes
· The Nosotros form in the Preterite is the same as the Nosotros in the Present Tense for "-ar" and "-ir" verbs. "-Er" verbs follow the "-ir" pattern.
· The Preterite 3rd person plural (ellos, ellas, ustedes) ends in "-ron".
Preterite vs Imperfect
Trying to decide when to use the Preterite and when to use the Imperfect is one of the challenges of learning these two tenses. Review the uses of the Imperfect and the Preterite, and make a chart for yourself listing the differences.
We generalize and say that the Imperfect is used to describe a scene and the Preterite is used to list series of completed actions. It can be a little more complex, especially with verbs that change meaning depending on the tense.
You will use the Imperfect
When you "set a scene" describing what your house or dog used to look like and what your family was like. Think of looking at a photograph and describing the people in it and what they were doing. Since the photograph is static, the people in it can't start doing something different. So you can only describe the scene you see.
When you are describing what people were doing (in the process of doing) or used to do
or when you describe what it was like when you arrived at the party last night.
The stories that occur within these settings happen in the Preterite!
For example, let's set a scene:
Eran las nueve de la noche. Era viernes. Hacía mal tiempo. Llovía. Todos estábamos en casa. Mamá y Papá miraban la televisión; yo leía una novela de StarTrek; mi hermana hablaba por teléfono con su novio en su cuarto. Esnupi (nuestro perro) dormía detrás del sillón en la sala.
It was 9:00 at night. It was Friday. It was bad weather. It was raining. We were all at home. Mom and Dad were watching television; I was reading a StarTrek novel; my sister was talking on the phone with her boyfriend in her room. Esnupi (our dog) was sleeping behind the armchair in the living room.
This has all been written in the Imperfect.
But now let's talk about the action:
De repente, ¡Entró un ladrón! Pasó por la escalera y caminó hasta la recámara de mis padres. Miró en el cuarto cuando oyó la voz de mi hermana. Se volvió y bajó las escaleras. Trató de huir de la casa, pero Esnupi se despertó y mordió la pierna del ladrón.
Suddenly, a robber entered! He went upstairs and walked down to my parent's bedroom. He looked in the room but then he heard my sister's voice. He turned and went down the stairs. He tried to flee the house, but Esnupi woke up and bit the robber's leg.
This is a series of actions in the Preterite which happened within the setting established by the Imperfect.
The focus of the Preterite is on completed action(s). The Imperfect focuses on a state of being.
Let's look at some examples:
Comí la cena...
I ate my dinner (and I finished it)
Comía la cena...
I was eating my dinner...[when something happened] -or- I used to eat my dinner...
Tuvo que devolver la camisa
She had to -and did- return the shirt.
Tenía que devolver la camisa
She had to return the shirt (She was supposed to return it - but we don't know if she did or not.)
Some verbs have different meanings in the Imperfect and Preterite forms:
to have known someone
to have met someone
to have known something
to have found out something
was able to (capable of)
managed to (suceeded)
wasn't able to (not capable)
Quise hacerlo pero no pude.
I tried to do it but I failed (to do it)
Quería ir a la playa cada fin de semana. Y por no trabajar los fines de semana, podía ir frecuentemente.
I wanted to go to the beach every weekend. And because I didn't work weekends, I was able to go frequently.
La conocí el año pasado.
I met her last year.
Nos conocíamos por tres meses antes de casarnos.
We knew each other for three months before marrying.
Exercise to practice preterite and imperfectTop of Form
1. It was snowing a lot when I was in Minnesota. nevó nevaba
2. David was playing Monopoly with Patricia. jugó jugaba
3. When I was in Paris I saw the Mona Lisa. vi veía
4. I was in the principal's office frequently. estuve estaba
5. You wrote to Mom every week, I heard. escribiste escribías
6. Where did you go after class today? fuiste ibas
7. I used to like watching television. gustó gustaba
8. When I saw her I kissed her. besé besaba
9. When she was younger I didn't kiss her. no besé no besaba
10. He never paid his bills on time. pagó pagaba
11. My teacher yelled at me during class today. gritó gritaba
12. My teacher yelled at me whenever I didn't study. gritó gritaba
13. It was 5 p.m. when he arrived. fueron eran
14. It was 5 p.m. when he arrived. llegó llegaba
15. I didn't walk to school whenever it rained. no anduve no andaba
16. I didn't walk to school whenever it rained. llovió llovía
17. I didn't walk to school yesterday because it rained that morning. no anduve no andaba
18. I didn't walk to school yesterday because it rained that morning. llovió illovía
19. We cooked dinner yesterday. cocinamos cocinábamos
20. We cooked whenever our roommate got home late. cocinamos cocinábamos Bottom of Form