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This lesson is part of the Pre-Intermediate Spanish Course
(69 Spanish video or mp3 lessons. 4 hrs 41 mins)

Pre Intermediate Spanish Course

Pre-Intermediate Spanish Lesson 53: Pretérito Indefinido vs Pretérito Perfecto (Part 1)

In this Spanish lesson we are going to compare various key words and phrases of Pretérito Indefinido and Pretérito Perfecto Spanish grammar tenses. Both of these Spanish grammar tenses are used to talk about the past, but they are quite different and these key words are great identifiers as to which tense is being used and which you should use. In the next Spanish lesson we will continue this theme and look at some typical example sentences of the Pretérito Indefinido and Pretérito Perfecto Spanish grammar tenses in use. Try not to get flustered by all of these grammar terms: Pretérito Indefinido, Pretérito Perfecto, Pretérito Imperfecto, etc. For many students the titles and terminology unfortunately make things sound more complicated than they actually are. When you strip Spanish grammar back to its basics and concentrate on the bare bones of each of the Spanish tenses they really are not so bad. Always try to concentrate on being totally clear on when you should use one of the Spanish tenses over another and how you should conjugate the verbs in that tense for all the persons. If you are not clear on when you should use a particular Spanish grammar tense you will run into all sorts of problems. Be careful also not to fall into the trap of trying to translate evrything to your own language as you speak or write. Try to forget your own language as much as possible when you are studying Spanish and compare everything within the framework of what you know about the Spanish language.

Lesson notes:

Pretérito Indefinido:
Ayer: yesterday
El otro día: the other day
El mes pasado: last month
La semana pasada: last week
Anoche: last night
En (year): in (year)
En (month): in (month)
El (day of the week): on (day of the week)

Pretérito Perfecto:
Nunca: never
Hasta ahora: up until now
En mi vida: in my life
Hoy: today
Últimamente: lately
Todavía/aún: still/yet
Ya: already
Este/a mes/año/semana: this (month/year/week)
Una vez: once
Dos veces: twice

Activity:

Translate the following…

Today
Last night
Yet
This month
Already

Here are some possible answers for the last activity:

Solía ir a la piscina todos los días.
Antes solíamos fumar mucho.
Lorena solía ver la televisión todas las noches.
No solía leer casi nunca.
¿Solía jugar al fútbol a veces?

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