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Preterite vs. Imperfect

Preterite vs. Imperfect - Preterite vs Imperfect Preterite...

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Preterite vs. Imperfect - Preterite ~ Expresses past action that happened and ended quickly + Juan leyó en la revista la noticia de su muerte. (Juan read in the magazine the news of his death) ~ Used regardless of the length of time if it is viewed as a complete unit. + Juan estuvo varios meses in la guerra. (Juan spent several months in the war.) ~ Refers to the beginning or ending of an action + Apenas llegamos a la fiesta, nos pusimos a bailar. (As soon as we arrived at the party, we began to dance.) + La reunión terminó a las cinco. (The meeting ended at five.) ~ When haber is used in the preterite it generally means happened or took place + Hubo tres fiestas en esa cuadra anoche. (There were three parties on that block last night.) - Imperfect ~ Past progressive (was, were + -ing) + Hablábamos mientras ella escribía. (We were talking while she was writing.) ~ Repeated or customary past actions (used to + verb) + Íbamos a la playa con frecuencia. (We used to go to the beach often.) ~ Describes and characterizes the past + El cuarto estaba oscuro y silencioso. (The room was dark and quiet.)
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