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Tell Better Stories in Spanish: The Past (Preterite and Imperfect) | NachoTime Spanish
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Punchlines without context , , This pattern works great when multiple events happen in sequence. I left the bar, got into a cab, opened the front door, and crashed on the couch.
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Spanish Workout : Write your own one hundred-word story about a memory from your youth. For more thorough corrections, I totally recommend HiNative. However, the preterite should almost always be your first choice.
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It is by far the most common tense for telling stories about the past in Spanish. The moment you feel zero hesitation when choosing between dije and dijo , empiezan and empezaste , or propusimos and propusieron is like seeing The Matrix. Last Wednesday I saw Dolores after class and I invited her to the movies, but she told me she said that she had things to do, so I went by myself. It turned out that I had a lot of fun I passed it very well because the girl that was waiting in line behind me asked me what movie I was going to see.
I told her I said it to her and she replied that she was going to see the same one, so we started talking put ourselves to talk and after the movie we went for a walk. I actually really like her she fell to me great.
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Your ability to speak fluid Spanish depends on your ability to think fluid Spanish. The imperfect is used to describe the state of things before, during or after something happened in the past. The preterite is used to shine a spotlight on the important actions. You can train by doing the infinitive-to-preterite drill from above, or any other exercise you decide to inflict on yourself.
When telling stories that take place in the past, there are two fundamental parts to keep in mind: setting the scene and describing the action. For your enjoyment, the verb tenses in this 3-part series have been lovingly color-coded by hand. Make a mental note that light blue means and orange means. The challenge now is to figure out what is context and what is punchline.
I sat down while Marcos explained it to me. Here, the spotlight is on the act of sitting down, and the explanation is in the background. In this case —not always—, we can easily reverse this:. Marcos explained it to me while I sat down.
In English, the difference between those two examples might feel like hair splitting, but it is significant in Spanish:. The imperfect is in my peripheral vision a backdrop frozen in time. When I was six years old, my family moved from San Fernando to Madrid.
Our Madrid house was on the top floor of a six-story building.
From my room window, I could see a huge park, with grass, sand, trees, a slide and a basketball court. After insisting for months, I got what I wanted: a basketball. When my parents gave it to me, I flew down the six flights of stairs and ran across the park until I made it to the court.