We use this verbal tense when we want to refer to a completed actions in the past. For example,

In 2005 I went to Rome

(En 2005 fui a Roma) 

Last week I booked an appointment with the GP

(La semana pasada reserve una cita con el médico)

Normally this verbal form goes with some time expressions such as: 

En + año (En 2005, en 2014…)

El mes pasado (Last month) > Be careful! We don’t say “*mes pasado”, we have to write an article before the noun “mes”, I mean: “el mes pasado”

La semana pasada (Last week) 

El año pasado (Last year) 

Ayer (yesterday) 

Hace x meses (x months ago) 

Hace x semanas (x weeks ago) 

Hace x años   (x years ago) 

Now, how can I create “preterito indefinido”?

Easy-peasy! Today we are going to talk about regular verbs. There are a lot of regular verbs, don’t panic with irregulars!

  1. Remove the infinitive ending, I mean, -ar, -er or -ir. For example, to play means “jugar”, hence we need to remove “-ar”. What’s the result? jug-
  2. Check the person (1, 2 or 3) and the number (singular or plural). If I want to say “He played”, I have to choose 3 person singular (he). If I waqnt to say “We played”, this is first person plural. 
  3. Check the following table with endings for preterito indefinido and pick the correct one up and that’s it! 

TABLE

PERSON + NUMBERENDING if the verb finishes with -ar (infinitive) ENDING if the verb finishes with -er / -ir
Yo (I) –
1st person singular
-e-i
Tú (you) –
2nd person singular
-aste-iste
 Él (he) / ella (she) / usted
3rd person singular
-o-io
Nosotros/as (we) –
1st person plural 
-amos-imos
Vosotros/as (you all) –
2nd person plural 
-asteis-isteis
Ellos/as (they) / ustedes –
3rd person plural
-aron-ieron
Tabla elaborada por B. Riesco

Finally, when you use preterite always check that you have included the correct accents! Accents are essential in Spanish, especially with verbal tenses. Also, we have got three “modos”: indicitivo, subjuntivo and imperativo. I imagine that you don’t want to change your verbal tense, right? So…accents, please!


Let’s practice! Can you translate into Spanish?

  1. They listened to music. 
  2. You (all) played basketball yesterday.
  3. He rode a horse last week. 
  4. I had a good time!
  5. You travelled to Paris last month. 
  6. We arrived in London one year ago. 

You can find the solution at the end of this post! I hope you’ve liked it! I consider that it’s useful, and you? Please, share this post with your friends and family, I am sure that it can help them as well. If you have doubts, questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate contact me: belenriescospain@gmail.com .

See you soon! Take care!


Letras En Español – B. Riesco 


SOLUTIONS

  1. Ellos escucharon música
  2. Vosotros jugasteis al baloncesto ayer
  3. El monto a caballo la semana pasada
  4. Lo pase bien
  5. Tu viajaste a Paris el mes pasado 
  6. Nosotros llegamos a Londres hace un año. 

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