Imperfect callsign past tense: when to use?

protection click fraud

O past tense imperfect of indicativeit is an indicative tense of durative and imperfective character. Durative because it indicates that the action is continuous and imperfective because it is not possible to specify its beginning, middle or end. Can express:

  • habitual or repetitive actions in the past;

  • actions that were not completed;

  • actions passed in sequence;

  • courtesy.

Its structure is very simple, composed mostly of regular verbs. The only irregular verbs in this context are be, go and to see. Let's learn a little more about the past tense imperfect of indicative? Keep reading and ¡échale ganas!

Read too: Present tense in spanish

Summary about the past tense imperfect

  • O past tense imperfect it has a durative and imperfective character.

  • Expresses habitual or repetitive actions in the past, actions that were not completed, actions passed in sequence, and courtesy.

  • There are only three irregular verbs: be, go and to see.

Video lesson about past tense imperfect of indicative

Do not stop now... There's more after the advertising ;)

instagram story viewer

Regular verbs

As stated earlier, most verbs do not past tense imperfect are regular. As an example, we'll conjugate the verbs sing, eat and move up Next:




Move up



withwas going

subwas going



withyou were

subyou were



withwas going

subyou were



withwe were going

subwe were going

you (the)




ellos (as)/ustedes





  • The endings of the second and third conjugation verbs (eat and move up) they are the same.

  • All endings of second and third conjugation verbs are accented.

  • TO 1The and at 3The singular person have the same shape.

Irregular verbs

There are only three: be, go and to see.


To be


To see














we were


we saw

you (the)




ellos (as)/ustedes




Read too: Indefinite past tense in Spanish (simple perfect past tense)

Uses of past tense imperfect of indicative

  • Durable actions:

I couldn't get out, llovia to cantaros at that moment.
(I couldn't leave, It was raining knife at that moment.)

  • Usual or repetitive actions in the past:

yo haha Mi abuela's house all days.
(Me was going to my grandmother's house every day.)

hija forever she messes up to the trees when was girl
(My daughter always climbed trees when was kid.)

  • Actions that were not completed:

Iba to leave cuando llegó mamá.
(would leave when mom arrived.)

  • Actions occurring in sequence:

if wake up, if shower, slumped pan with coffee and salia to work.
(woke up, took a shower, ate bread with coffee and get out to work.)

  • Courtesy:

What break down usted?
(What do you want?)

Exercises solved on forimperfect tense of indicative

Question 01

(Acafe 2021)

Gaturro strip with Spanish text

About the text it is correct to state that:

a) Gaturro criticizes the use of technologies in social relations.

b) Gaturro affirms that the advance of technology has positively influenced family communication.

c) Gaturro reflects on the positive influence of technological advances in human relationships.

d) Gaturro makes a comparison between the use of television and the mobile in the routine of young people.


Gaturro begins by making a nostalgic observation about family communication. For this, it employs the past tense imperfect to explain how family communication worked, then drawing a parallel with the present, in which the family is sitting at the table and not talking, just interacting with/through cell phones. In this sense, the correct answer is the letter A.

question 02

(UCS 2015)

Breast Letters (Las Armas Secrets, 1959)

Julio Cortázar (1914–1984)

Muy bien hubiera can be called parole. Each time the porter was handed over, Luis had only to recognize the tiny familiar face of José de San Martín to understand that he was once again unable to open the door. San Martín, Rivadavia, but these names were also images of streets and streets, Rivadavia to six thousand quinientos, the caserón de Flowers, mamá, the café in San Martín and Corrientes where friends have long been waiting for, from where the Mazagrán had a slight taste to accept ricino. Tell him about it, after the Merci bien, madame Durand, salir a la calle was not ya lo mismo that the previous day, that all the previous days. Each mother's letter (just before what had just occurred, this absurd ridiculous error) changed Luis's life with a stroke, returning him in passing like a hard rebound of the ball. Luego before that which he had just read — and now he rereads in the autobus between enraged and perplexed, without having been convinced —, the letters from mamá; it was always an alteration of time, a small harmless scandal within the order of things that Luis had dear y brought y achieved, calzándolo en su his life as he hah chased Laura en su his life y París en su his life. Each new letter insinuated by a mouse (because it was drunk in the same act of lovingly contesting them) that its freedom was hard won, this new life cut with ferocity blows of scissors in the madeja of wool, which the others had called their life, ceased to justify themselves, lost pie, blew like the back of the halfway streets and the autobus ran along the rue de Richelieu. No more than a silly parole release, the irrision of living the way of a word in parentheses, divorced from the main sentence of it that sin embargo es casi siempre sostén y explanation. Y unreason, and a need to answer then, as a way to close a door.

This morning had been one of the many mornings in which I got my mother's letter. With Laura hablaban poco del pasado, casi never del casrón de Flores. Not only that Luis hadnt liked waking up from Buenos Aires. [...]

Available at: Accessed on: 3 Feb. 15. (Partial and adapted.)

According to the text, it is correct to state that

I. the verb forms delivered, enough and waited they are all used in the past tense because the author wants to highlight the character's daily habits.

II. the verb forms had and there was they are both in the past.

III. the verb form taste — which is found in the subjunctive — can best be translated as liking.

From the above propositions,

a) only I is correct.

b) only II is correct.

c) only III is correct.

d) only I and III are correct.


Letter D. The verbs of proposition I are all in the call imperfect and describe everyday habits. The statement of proposition III is also true.

By Renata Martins Gornattes
Spanish teacher
Walt Whitman: biography, works, phrases

Walt Whitman: biography, works, phrases

Walt Whitman was born on May 31, 1819, in the US state of New York. He had only a few years of fo...

read more
James Joyce: biography, literary style, works

James Joyce: biography, literary style, works

James Joyce was born on February 2, 1882, in Dublin, capital of Ireland. He lived in France, Ital...

read more

Structural unemployment: causes and consequences

structural unemployment is the name given to the loss of work and the extinction of professions c...

read more
instagram viewer