IMPERFECT INDICATIVE IN SPANISH

REGULAR VERBS - FORMATION

 

It depends on the conjugation. Let's have a look step by step:

 

1. “-ar, -er, -ir” is dropped and the following endings must be added. This process is similar with all regular verbs.

 

A) First conjugation "-ar": aba, abas, aba, ábamos, abais, aban.

 

Caminar (Walk)

 

Yo caminaba 

Tu caminabas

El / Ella caminaba

Nosotros / as caminábamos

Vosotros / as caminabais 

Ellos / as caminaban

 

B) Second conjugation "-er" and third conjugation "-ir" share similar endings: ía, ías, ía, íamos, íais, ían.

Beber (drink) Discutir (Argue)

 

Yo bebía

Tu bebías

El / Ella bebía

Nosotros /as bebíamos

Vosotros / as bebíais

Ellos /as bebían 

 

 

Yo discutía 

Tu discutías

El / Ella discutía

Nosotros / as discutíamos

Vosotros /as discutíais 

Ellos /as discutían

 

IRREGULAR VERBS - FORMATION

 

Let's conjugate the irregular verbs "ser, ir and ver" in Spanish:

SER (be) IR (go) VER (see)

Yo era

Tu eras

El / ella era

Nosotros / as éramos

Vosotros /as erais

Ellos / as eran

 

 

Yo iba

Tu ibas

El / Ella iba

Nosotros / as íbamos

Vosotros /as íbais

Ellos /as iban

 

 

Yo veía

Tu veías

El / Ella veía

Nosotros / as veíamos 

Vosotros /as veíais

Ellos / as veían

USE

"Imperfect Indicative" is one of the Spanish past tenses. It refers to action in the past. This action was continuous but its completion is not indicated. Examples:

 

Mi padre trabajaba en Madrid 

 

Pay attention to this comparison with the English language:

 

1. In English, two actions happening at the same time in the past are usually expressed by means of "past continuous". These two actions are expressed by means of "imperfect indicative" in Spanish. For example:

 

While my mum was cooking I was listening to music (Mientras mi madre cocinaba yo escuchaba música)

 

2. In English, an action which was going on in the past when another action took place is expressed in this way:

 

When I was watching TV somebody knocked the door. 

 

In Spanish, the action going on is expressed with "imperfect indicative" and the next one in preterit. Pay attention to the translation of the sentence above:

 

Cuando yo veía la televisión alguien tocó la puerta.

 

3. Habitual actions in the past are also expressed using "imperfect indicative" as well. For example:

 

Cuando estabamos en Málaga, íbamos a la playa todos los días. (When we were in Malaga, we went to the beach everyday).