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Preterite Tense Conjugation of Regular Verbs

In Spanish, when we talk about things that happened in the past, the verb endings change. Just as in the present tense, when we had different endings depending on the subject, we have different endings for each subject in the preterite also. To change the ending, you must drop the “ar”, “er” or “ir” and replace it with the new ending.

The Preterite Tense is used to express:

  • What happened and was completed in the past.  For example, "I lived there for two years."
  • What happened a specific number of times in the past.  For example, "He ate there 3 times last week."

Here is a conjugation example of a regular verb with an "ar" ending.  These same endings are used for all "regular verbs" that end in "ar",

Spanish

Spanish

English

Subject

Infinitive: Hablar (to speak)

 

Yo

hablé

I spoke

hablaste

You spoke

Usted/él/ella

habló

You (formal)/He/She spoke

Nosotros

hablamos

We spoke

Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas

hablaron

You (plural) spoke/They spoke

 

Here is a conjugation example of a regular verb with an "er" ending. These same endings are used for all "regular verbs" that end in "er",

 

Spanish

Spanish

English

Subject

Infinitive: Comer (to eat)

 

Yo

comí

I ate

comiste

You ate

Usted/él/ella

com

You (formal)/He/She ate

Nosotros

comimos

We ate

Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas

comieron

You (plural) speak/They ate

 

Here is a conjugation example of a regular verb with an "ir" ending. These same endings are used for all "regular verbs" that end in "ir"

Spanish

Spanish

English

Subject

Infinitive: Vivir (to live)

 

Yo

viví

I lived

viviste

You lived

Usted/él/ella

viv

You (formal)/He/She lived

Nosotros

vivimos

We lived

Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas

vivieron

You (plural) speak/They lived