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#268 – The Imperfect in Spanish – When I was a kid

Corporate Spanish Trainer

The Imperfect in Spanish – When I was a kid

Learn the imperfect tense in Spanish

Post 268/365
Es martes, 19 de diciembre de 2017

Cuando era niña, mi familia vivía en Guatemala. Me gustaba llevar la ropa tradicional. A mi hermanito le gustaba llevar una camiseta y vaqueros.














Bienvenidos a Spanish Blog 365.





The past tense. It’s such a broad term.  Today we are going to learn ‘a’ past tense.  We have already learned 2 others:

The preterit – Here is a link to Part 1 (of 10)


The present perfect – Here is a link to Part 1 (of several)


Today and this week, we’ll be working on the imperfect tense.



Let’s do a little refresher:


The preterit tense
– expresses ‘Did‘ and the -ed ending in English. It shows an action that is complete, done and over.  There are tons of irregular verbs in the preterit tense.  We took 10 Posts to show them all.



¿Qué hiciste este fin de semana? – (What did you do…)

El viernes fuimos al cine. (On Friday we went…)

El sábado yo tuve que trabajar por la mañana. (On Saturday I had to work…)

Ayer mis amigos y yo comimos en un restaurante. (Yesterday my friends and I ate…)




El presente perfecto
: expresses ‘Have/Has done something’. I shows an action you have done recently or in your life-time. This tense is not so concerned about time (as the preterit). This tense can show an action that started in the past and continues in the present/future. There are only about 15 irregular verbs in this tense. They are all very high frequency.



¿Cómo has estado? – How have you been (lately)?

Él ha fumado por años. – He has smoked for years. (started in the past, continues into present)

Nosotros hemos viajado a África, a Australia y a Sud América. – We have travelled…

¿Qué has hecho en tu vida? – What have you done…?





El imperfecto: Expresses ‘Used to do something‘ or ‘would do something‘. The imperfect shows a habitual action or an action that occurred multiple times over a period of time. This verb tense does not ‘close off’ the time period (like the preterit) There are only 3 irregular verbs in this tense.



Cuando era niña, me gustaba llevar la ropa tradicional. – When I was a little girl, I liked to wear traditional clothes.

Note: Being a child spans many years. She liked to wear traditional clothing. Not just one day, rather almost everyday.


A mis hijos no les gustaba brócoli. – My kids didn’t like broccoli. (for several years in their childhood)


Cuando eran estudiantes en la Universidad, Elena y sus amigas salían todos los viernes. – When they were students…they would go out every Friday.




Práctica – What did you like (or not) when you were a kid.

¿Qué te gustaba cuando era niño/a?



Cuando era niño/a… – When I was a kid…

(No) Me gustaba(n)… – I (didn’t) like(ed)



…zanahorias – carrots



…apio – celery

…manzanas – apples



(No) Me gustaba… – I (didn’t) like(ed) to…


…jugar con mis amigos

…tocar el piano/la guitarra

…ir al cine

…montar en bicicleta – ride a bike

…pintarme la cara – paint my face

…vestirme de princesa / de vaquero/a – dress up like a princess / cowboy/girl



Action steps: Here is great way to start off with the imperfect tense: Compare it to the preterit and the present perfect, then start with the verb gustar. It’s a great way to get the feel of this tense.

Think about your own childhood and what you liked to do or to eat and what activities did you and your family do regularly.

We’ll continue this tomorrow.

Déjame un comentario.

Gracias y hasta mañana,