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The Preterite Tense
Transcript of The Preterite Tense
The Preterite Tense
The preterite tense in spanish tells what happened in a paticular moment in the past. Generally speaking, the preterite is used for actions in the past that are seen as completed. Use of the preterite tense implies that the past action had a definite beginning and definite end.
For the - AR endings
To conjugate regular -ar verbs in the preterite, simply drop the ending (-ar) and add one of the following:
Yo - é
For The -ER &-IR endings
To conjugate regular -er and -ir verbs in the preterite, simply drop the ending (-er or -ir) and add one of the following:
Note: the nosotros forms for -ar and -ir verbs are the same in both preterite and present tenses.
-ar and -er verbs that change their stem in the present tense do not change in the preterite. They are conjugated just like other regular preterite verbs.
-ir verbs that change their stem in the present tense do change in the preterite, but in a different way. They change e:i and o:u in the third person, singular and plural.
Orthographic Changing Verbs
Some common orthographic changing verbs for the preterite tense in these categories are:
-gar -car -zar
cegar-to blind/stop aparcar-to park almorzar - to eat lunch
colgar -to hang buscar- to erase autorizar- to automate
jugar to play sports clarificar-to clarify cazar-to bag/catch/chase
llegar- to arrive clasificar- to clasify comenzar-to commence
pagar-to clear destacar-to detach/detail cruzar- to cross/cruise/cut
plegar- to bend/crease empacar-to pack empezar- to begin
regar-to irrigate justificar-to justify forzar- to coerce/compel
rogar- to beg/petion practicar- to practice organizar- to organize
tragar -to absorb/digest sacar-to clear simbolizar - to symbolize
vagar - to meander/idle tocar- to play insturments tropezarse- to encounter
In order to preserve the sound of the infinitive, a number of verbs change orthographically (spelling) in the preterite tense. The following changes occur in the "yo" form only:
Verbs that end in -gar change g to gu
Verbs that end in -car change c to qu
Verbs that end in -zar change z to c
Here are three examples:
yo jugué (jugar) to play sports
yo busqué (buscar) to erase
yo almorcé (almorzar) to eat lunch
Verbs That end in -aer, -eer, -oír, and -oer
For verbs that end in -aer, -eer, -oír, and -oer, the él/ella/usted forms use the ending "yó" (rather than ió) and the third person plural uses the ending "yeron" (rather than ieron). The remaining forms gain a written accent over the letter "i."
creer- to believe
Other verbs like creer include:
caer- to decline/descend
leer- to read
oír- to hear
poseer -to pessess
proveer- to accommodate
roer - to corrode
Exceptions to this rule include:
traer - to bring
atraer -to engage/ entice/ fix
distraer- to amuse/ distract/ embezzele/ misappropiate
Verbs that end in -uir change in the same way, but the written accent over the letter "i" only occurs in the yo form.
Other verbs like huir include:
construir- to build/ construst
contribuir - to contribute
destruir - to demolish/destroy
fluir- to flow/ pour/ run
incluir - to add/comprise/ebody/include
influir- to act/ affect/ bias/ influence/ work
Irregular in the Preterite Tense
decir- to say/tell traer- to bring ver- to see
dije traje vi
dijiste trajiste viste
dijo trajo vio
dijimos trajimos vimos
dijisteis trajisteis visteis
dijeron trajeron vieron
Also like traer:
atraer- to attract
detraer- to remove
distraer- to distract
extraer- to extract
maltraer- to treat in an ill manner
retraer- to dissuade/retract
sustraer- to deduct/steal
Verbs that end in -ucir are irregular and conjugated as follows:
producir- to produce
Other verbs in this category include:
aducir- to bring/furnish/qoute
conducir- to conduct/convey/guide
coproducir- to coproduce
inducir- to bring/induce/persuade
introducir- to intoduce/ insinuate/induct
reducir- to bring down/reduce/ cut down on
traducir- to express/interpret/translate
Infinitive Stem Change
andar- to carry anduv-
estar- to be estuv-
tener to have tuv-
caber- to admit cup-
haber- to have hub-
poder- to be able to pud-
poner to put pus-
saber- to know sup-
hacer-to do/make hic-
querer- to want quis-
venir - to come vin-
Here are two examples of how this pattern is applied:
estar (estuv-) saber (sup-)
Note: The one exception is the third person singular of hacer. The c changes to z to form "hizo."
Changing Your Meaning
Some verbs actually change meaning, depending upon whether they are used in the preterite.
Conocer - to know someone
Conocí a Juan hace cinco años.
I met Juan five years ago.
María quiso comprar la casa.
Maria tried to buy the house.
María no quiso comprar la casa.
Maria refused to buy the house.
Saber- to know facts
María lo supo ayer.
Maria found out yesterday.
Poder- to be able to
María pudo levantar la mesa.
Maria succeeded in lifting the table.
Tener- to have
María tuvo una carta de su mamá.
Maria received a letter from her mom.
made by Angela Moore
Resources; www.studyspanish.com Unit 6