Perfectioning the Imperfection: Uses of the Pretérito Imperfecto de Indicativo (II) (A2)

casa de campoLast week, we started a number of articles about the Imperfect verbal tense in Spanish. Here, we learnt one of its uses: habits or routines. Today, we’ll carry on learning more uses which will help you if you want to learn Spanish via Skype.

Do you remember how can we describe people or things in Spanish? We often use the Present simple tense. Ej: “Madrid es una ciudad cosmopolita, tiene muchos monumentos y ofrece una amplia oferta gastronómica” (Madrid is a cosmopolitan city, it has plenty of monuments and it offers a wide gastronomic range).

This is very basic, but how could you make descriptions in the past? Of course, we have to use the Pretérito Imperfecto. As we saw last week, there is  a close relationship between the Imperfecto tense and the Presente tense.

With the Pretérito Imperfecto we can describe different items:

  • Descriptions of people:

¿Cómo era tu padre? Era muy buena persona. Tenía el pelo claro y los ojos verdes. (What was your father like? He was a very good person. He had fair hair and green eyes).

  • Descriptions of things:

La máquina de escribir era una herramienta que usábamos para escribir de forma mecánica. (The typewriter was a tool we used to write mechanically).

  • Descriptions of places:

Cuando era joven, vivía en una casa de campo. Tenía muchas habitaciones y había un enorme jardín. (When I was young, I used to live in a country house. It had many rooms and there was a huge garden).

To sum up, we always advice our students on if you have to express habits or describe something, use the Pretérito Imperfecto de Indicativo.

By | 2017-02-15T22:32:13+00:00 Diciembre 4th, 2013|A2, Pocket Grammar|Sin comentarios

About the Author:

I was born in Badajoz (Extremadura) and I currently live in Bilbao (Basque Country). I studied a Bachelor degree in Spanish Language and Literature and an International House degree as a qualified teacher of Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. I think languages are the key that opens the doors to new cultures and I love teaching mine.

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