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Spanish Grammar A1 ⮟
Ser and Estar in Spanish for Beginners
Está and Hay in Spanish to Express Location
The Present Indicative in Spanish
The verb querer in Spanish: how to use it
The Verb Gustar in Spanish
Demonstratives in Spanish and Adverbs of Place
Possessive Adjectives in Spanish
The Present Continuous in Spanish: Estar + Gerund
The Gerund in Spanish: Form and Basic Uses
Expressions of Quantity in Spanish: Muy and Mucho
Spanish Grammar A2 ⮟
Present Perfect Indicative in Spanish
The Past Simple in Spanish
The Preterite Imperfect Indicative in Spanish
Indicative past tenses in Spanish
How to Express Future in Spanish
How to use por and para in Spanish
Possessive Pronouns in Spanish
Comparative Adjectives in Spanish
Ya in Spanish: Meaning and Usage
Subject Personal Pronouns in Spanish
Expressing Obligation in Spanish
Spanish Grammar B1 ⮟
The Pluperfect Indicative in Spanish
The Future Simple in Spanish
The Conditional Simple in Spanish
The imperative mood in Spanish
The present subjunctive in Spanish
Verbal Periphrasis in Spanish
General Rules of Accentuation in Spanish
Expressing Wishes with the Subjunctive in Spanish
The Use of Cuando with Indicative and Subjunctive
Position of Object Pronouns in Spanish
Spanish Grammar B2 ⮟
Advanced Uses of Conditional Simple
The Future Perfect in Spanish
The Conditional Perfect in Spanish
Present Perfect Subjunctive in Spanish
How do I use the past imperfect subjunctive?
The Pluperfect Subjunctive in Spanish
How to express probability in Spanish
Conditional Clauses in Spanish
Verbs of Change in Spanish
Reported Speech in Spanish
Spanish Grammar C1 ⮟
The passive Voice in Spanish
Adverbial Clauses of Manner in Spanish
Adverbial Clauses of Cause in Spanish
Clauses of Purpose in Spanish
Conditional Conjunctions in Spanish
Uses of the Pronoun SE with Syntactic Function
Uses of the Pronoun Se as a Verb Mark
The Indeterminate Feminine in Spanish

Indicative past tenses in Spanish

Indicative past tenses in Spanish is one of the steps that you will need to climb if you want to reach the intermediate level (B1). You will need to master the contrast of all the tenses that allow you to speak about the past, properly.

How can you express past actions? What about descriptions in the past? Do habits work with the same tenses?

Pretérito indefinido in Spanish

Also known as pretérito perfecto simple is mostly used as the past simple in English. Using it, we can express finished past actions at a specific moment in the past. It’s very used in narrative when we enumerate series of events.

Regarding its constructions, students often struggle to form it. There are tons of irregular verbs to learn, with changes, not only in their roots but also in their endings.

Let’s see the regular verbs:

Conjugación de verbos regulares en el Pretérito perfecto simple

And now some examples of irregular verbs:

Conjugación de verbos irregulares en el Pretérito perfecto simple

Finally, here you can find some sentences with the pretérito indefinido.

For example: Ayer fui a la oficina a las ocho. Trabajé todo el día y cené en casa. Me acosté pronto.



Pretérito imperfecto in Spanish

This is the other side of the past simple in English. The imperfect tense in other of the indicative past tenses in Spanish that is used to describe and to express past habits, among other uses. It’s form is very easy to learn and there are only few irregular verbs. Let’s see the regular form: 

Conjugation of regular verbs in the Preterite imperfect indicative in Spanish

And now, the irregular forms:

Conjugation of irregular verbs in the Preterite imperfect indicative in Spanish

For example: Cuando era un niño, hacía deporte a diario. Recuerdo cómo jugábamos al fútbol. Era una época feliz.

Pretérito perfecto in Spanish

We also call it pretérito perfecto compuesto. This is one of the indicative past tenses in Spanish that has an equivalent in English: the present perfect. Their uses are similar to English. Expressing experiences in somebody’s life and past actions in a non-finished period of time are their most common uses. The form is quite easy. You just need to know el presente de indicativo of the verb haber and the participle of the main verb. Here you have:

Table with the conjugation of the present perfect indicative in Spanish

How can you put it in practice? Let’s have a look:

Hoy he estudiado todo el día para el examen DELE. Nunca he hecho este examen y por eso me he sentido un poco nervioso.

Pretérito pluscuamperfecto in Spanish

We’re going to finish with the strangest name of a verbal tense. It actually means ‘more than perfect’ in Latin. So, what the pluscuamperfecto expresses is a past action that happened before another past action. Again we have one of the indicative past tenses in Spanish that can be find in English: the past perfect. Similar to the pretérito perfecto, it is formed with the auxiliary verb haber in its imperfect tense and a participle.

Conjugation chart of the pluperfect indicative in Spanish

So, this is how it looks in a sentence:

Antes de hacer el examen DELE, mis amigos y yo habíamos reservado clases en SpanishviaSkype. Yo he asistido a muchos cursos de español, pero nunca había hecho uno tan divertido.

As you can see, the contrast of the indicative past tenses in Spanish is not a simple matter. On we can help you. Our Spanish for different levels course can make the difference. We are looking forward to meeting you!