Simple Past (Preterite)

The preterite (el pretérito) is the Spanish simple past tense, used to talk about specific actions or events that were completed in the past. In the preterite, most regular Spanish verbs are conjugated with the radical (verb minus infinitive ending) plus the appropriate preterite ending.

— AR Verbs

— ER and — IR Verbs

Irregular Verb Endings

— é — amos

— í — imos

— e — imos

— aste — asteis

— iste — isteis

— iste — isteis

— ó — aron

— ió — ieron

— o — ieron

Stem-changing verbs that end in — AR or — ER do not stem-change in the preterite; stem-changing — IR verbs do go through a stem change in the third person conjugations: those that have an E change to an I, and those that have an O change to a U.

Some verbs are irregular in the preterite; you'll need to memorize their radicals and use them with the irregular set of endings (listed in the preceding table). These verbs are estar (to be), poder (to be able to), poner (to put), querer (to want), tener (to have), and venir (to come).

Other verbs that are irregular in the preterite include dar (to give), ver (to see), decir (to say), traer (to bring), hacer (to do), ser (to be), and ir (to go).

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