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Lesson Transcript

Dylan: Bienvenidos a SpanishPod101.com.
Dylan: Buenos días, soy Dylan.
Carlos: Carlos here. Verb Conjugation Series #23 – “Imperfect versus Preterit”.
Dylan: Hey, everybody. How’s everybody doing? This is Dylan.
Carlos: What’s to go worldpod101 world, my name is Carlos.
Dylan: How are you today, Carlos?
Carlos: Good, good. Dylan, are you feeling better? I know you were feeling a little sick last week.
Dylan: Well, I got a slight cough and my voice is a little different, so, you know…
Carlos: Well, I know I for one I’m glad to have you back.
Dylan: Thank you.
Carlos: But, seriously, we have an important lesson today and I couldn’t do it without you.
Dylan: It’s nice to be appreciated.
Carlos: That it is, Dylan.
Dylan: So, what’s so important?
Carlos: Well, today we have a all-out cage mass between two foes.
Dylan: What?
Carlos: That’s right. We mean censorship for the violence about the good down.
Dylan: Are you ok, Carlos?
Carlos: No, I’m fine. I’m just excited because today we have, drum off please… Okay, fine. Even with the drum roll, today we have the Imperfect versus the Preterit.
Dylan: That was almost funny.
Carlos: It was funny to me.

Lesson focus

Dylan: Okay. So, what three of a verbs are we using to flash out this competition?
Carlos: “Tratar” – “to try”, “saber” - “to know” and “decir” – “to say.”
Dylan: Good ones.
Carlos: Dylan, why do you think that the Imperfect and Preterit are so difficult for people to learn?
Dylan: Well, think about it. Learning to distinguish the two so called Simple Past Forms can be a little tricky for foreigners, especially for native speakers of English, since in English there’s one simple past form.
Carlos: That makes sense.
Dylan: So, let’s think about this a bit. If I say “Vi un libro interesante en la librería” it’s like saying “I saw an interesting book in the bookstore.”
Carlos: I always see interesting books in the bookstore. You know, one thing I cannot resist is processing books.
Dylan: Focus.
Carlos: Oh, oh, sorry.
Dylan: Notice how the action of the verb “vi” is complete and in the past. It’s an action that has a defined beginning and end.
Carlos: So, that is the…
Dylan: Preterit Tense. And, of course, we’re talking about the Preterit Tense of the Indicative Mood.
Carlos: Of course, of course.
Dylan: Now, now, Carlos…
Carlos: Yes.
Dylan: Listen to this example. Okay?
Carlos: I’m listening.
Dylan: “Veía un libro interesante en la librería”. In this case, we’re saying “I was looking at an interesting book in the bookstore.” Here, the verb “veía” expresses the duration of a past action. And we do not know when this action began or ended, we only know that it happened before the present.
Carlos: All right. So, it definitely happened, we just don’t know the time for it.
Dylan: Kind of. So, we can distinguish these two, but it’s also really important to know how these two forms are used in a single sentence.
Carlos: Are we going back to the bookstore?
Dylan: Yes. For example, “Buscaba un libro en la librería, pero no lo encontré”. – “I was looking for a book in the bookstore, but I didn’t find it.” Notice here how the action of the verb “buscaba”, Imperfect, is interrupted, so to speak, by the action of the verb “encontré” – “I was looking for the book in the bookstore, but I didn’t find it.”
Carlos: You know, I was just going to say that.
Dylan: Or, another example. “Viajaba por toda Latinoamérica cuando decidí escribir una novela”. - “I was travelling all over Latin America when I decided to write a novel.”
Carlos: Aren’t you going to explain?
Dylan: I was waiting for you.
Carlos: Dylan, why mess up a good thing? Go right ahead.
Dylan: Okay, ok. So, here, the action of “viajar”, which is “travelling”, is interrupted by the action of “decidí” – “I decided”. Notice how the first verb is in the Imperfect. And there, it’s incomplete. While the second is in the Preterit and is complete.
Carlos: You know, I could see that. Things are getting clearer and clearer.
Dylan: They’ll be lot more clear when you hit the Verb Conjugation Section in the Learning Center.
Carlos: All right. So, let’s learn how to conjugate these bad boys.
Dylan: Carlos, muy, muy fácil.
Carlos: Says you.
Dylan: For real.
Carlos: Okay. So, let’s have it.
Dylan: “Tratar”.
Carlos: “To try.”
Dylan: “Yo trataba”.
Carlos: “I was trying.”
Dylan: “Tú tratabas”.
Carlos: “You were trying.”
Dylan: “Él trataba”.
Carlos: “He was trying.”
Dylan: “Nosotros tratábamos”.
Carlos: “We were trying.”
Dylan: “Vosotros tratabais”.
Carlos: “You all were trying.”
Dylan: “Ellos trataban”.
Carlos: “They were trying.” You know, Dylan, how about some examples with “tratar” in the Imperfect Tense?
Dylan: Since you ask nicely…
Carlos: Cool.
Dylan: “Trataba de decirte que ella era hombre, pero no me creíste”.
Carlos: “I was trying.” Wait. “I was try”…
Dylan: You were trying to translate. Here. “I was trying to tell you that she’s a man, but you didn’t believe me.”
Carlos: Well, that’s nasty. Yes, no comment, no comment. I am not doing talking about that. Let’s move on.
Dylan: That sounded like a comment. “Tratábamos de llegar a tiempo, pero no pudimos”.
Carlos: You know, I even am not trying for that last one.
Dylan: “We tried to arrive on time, but we were unable to.”
Carlos: “Tico” time, huh?
Dylan: Yes, “tico” time, exactly.
Carlos: Okay. Now, what about “saber”?
Dylan: “Saber”.
Carlos: “To know.”
Dylan: “Yo sabía”.
Carlos: “I knew.”
Dylan: “Tú sabías”.
Carlos: “You knew.”
Dylan: “Él sabía”.
Carlos: “He knew.”
Dylan: “Nosotros sabíamos”.
Carlos: “We knew.”
Dylan: “Vosotros sabíais”.
Carlos: “You all knew.”
Dylan: “Ellos sabían”.
Carlos: “They knew.” Okay. Now, what about “saber” in the Imperfect Tense?
Dylan: Are you kidding me? Have a catalogue of examples.
Carlos: Where do you? Like, what kind of paper is it printed on the list though?
Dylan: “Sabía que ibas a decirme eso”.
Carlos: “I knew you were going to say that to me.”
Dylan: Nicely done.
Carlos: Oh, but my brain hurts.
Dylan: All right. “Decir”.
Carlos: “To say.”
Dylan: “Yo decía”.
Carlos: “I used to say.”
Dylan: “Tú decías”.
Carlos: “You used to say.”
Dylan: “Él decía”.
Carlos: “He used to say.”
Dylan: “Nosotros decíamos”.
Carlos: “We used to say.”
Dylan: “Vosotros decíais”.
Carlos: “You all used to say.”
Dylan: “Ellos decían”.
Carlos: “They used to say.”
Dylan: Let’s finish this off. Let’s put “decir” in context with some examples of it in the Imperfect Tense.
Carlos: Sure, why not?
Dylan: “Mi abuela siempre decía ‘donde comen dos, comen tres’”. – “My grandma always used to say where two people eat, three people eat.”
Carlos: What does that mean? Like, seriously?
Dylan: Not surely, but she liked to say it.
Carlos: No, but like, I don’t understand. Like, where two people eat, three people eat. I just…
Dylan: Yes, it’s like if there’s food for two, there’s food for three. You can share, trick and share.
Carlos: That’s not true at all. If it’s a little food, you can’t like feed three people. All right. How about an example that makes a little more sense, not so abstract and why not?
Dylan: “¿Que me decías?” – “What were you saying?”
Carlos: I was saying that your last example made no sense or what so ever. Oh, wait. That was your example.
Dylan: That is an example. “¿Que me decías?”
Carlos: Okay. Thank you.
Dylan: You noticed the difference, Carlitos?
Carlos: ¡Sí, profe!
Dylan: Good. Because you know there’s a quiz.


Carlos: Lucky for me I have premium membership. So, I have access to premium audio. Sweet.
Dylan: Isn’t that free for you since you’re an employee?
Carlos: Exactly. That’s the luck aspect.
Dylan: I see.
Carlos: No, I’m telling you. The Learning Center has answered many, many, many questions for me.
Dylan: That’s great for you. But, what about our audience?
Carlos: Well, they’re welcomed to ask us questions in the forum or to post a comment. We’re always there.
Dylan: You need to get out more.
Carlos: You think I don’t know that?
Dylan: Okay. Let’s close it up for today. ¡Hasta luego!




Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 06:30 PM
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Thanks to Kevin Macleod for the music used here. The difference between the Preterit Tense and the Imperfect Tense is an important thing to learn... study the grammar point carefully to gain a better understanding of the theme...and post questions or comments here!

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 12:43 PM
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Hola Ray,

Thank you for your comment!

Ser is an irregular verb this is why the difference between these conjugations.

Yo fui era

Tu fuiste eras

El/Ella/usted fue era



Team SpanishPod101.com

Tuesday at 03:05 AM
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Whats the difference in the verb "Ser" for preterite and imperfect? I get so confused with that.

Spanishpod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 01:20 AM
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Hola Chris,

We're glad you enjoyed the lesson.:wink:

If you have any questions, please let us know.


Team Spanishpod101.com

Saturday at 02:20 AM
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FOCUS!!! Jaja, muv divertido. Me gusta!