Spanish/Tenses/Indicative/Simple/Imperfect

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-AR -ER / -IR
conjugation example translation conjugation example translation
-AR hablar to speak -ER / -IR comer to eat
Yo stem+aba hablaba I spoke stem+ía comía I ate
stem+abas hablabas You spoke stem+ías comías You ate
Él stem+aba hablaba He spoke stem+ía comía He ate
Nosotros stem+ábamos hablábamos We spoke stem+íamos comíamos We ate
Vosotros stem+abais hablabais You all spoke stem+íais comíais You all ate
Ellos stem+aban hablaban They spoke stem+ían comían They ate

Some things to note:

  1. The -ER and -IR verbs take exactly the same endings, just as they did in the preterite.
  2. There are only three irregular verbs (ser, ver, and ir) in this tense, making it by far the easiest tense to learn.
  3. The only difficulty with this tense arises because the yo and él forms are conjugated exactly the same (-aba and -ía). Although Spanish is a pro-drop language (meaning subject pronouns are usually excluded), it is often a good idea to include subject pronouns in these cases for clarity.