Cuándo usar el pretérito indefinido y el pretérito imperfecto

Hi everybody!

Yesterday in my live lesson with @TomLoranger, he asked me about the use and difference between the pretérito imperfecto and pretérito indefinido. So I decided to write this post explaining these verb tenses and share it with you all!

Maybe you can share some more examples and your corrections are welcome as well :slight_smile:

The pretérito imperfecto yo jugaba o yo comía translates to english imperfect I was playing or I was eating. The pretérito indefinido yo jugué o yo comí translates to the english simple past I played or I ate but it also can be translate as the english present perfect I have played or the emphatic past I did play.

The pretérito indefinido indicates:

  1. Events or actions that began and ended in the past, regardless of whether they occurred once or several times. Example: Visité varias ciudades de México.

  2. A single event. Example: Visité México.

  3. An event that occurred interrupting another action. Example: Estaba comiendo tortilla, cuando me caí.

The pretérito imperfecto indicates:

  1. Habitual actions that keeps repeating in time. Example: Visitaba mucho el Museo del Prado.

  2. An ongoing action, not completed. Example: Visitaba el Museo del Prado.

  3. A description of what was happening when there was an interruption. Example: Comía tortilla cuando me atraganté.

  4. General descriptions of people, landscapes, etc. in the past. Example: El paisaje era verde y había muchos pájaros.

I hope I explained it properly, if you have doubts or corrections let me know!



@dmrschmidt Ya veo que encontraste el post antes que yo! Si tienes alguna duda, tell me!