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Lesson Transcript

Dylan: Bienvenidos a SpanishPod101.com.
Dylan: Hola, hola, soy Dylan.
Carlos: Carlos here. Verb Conjugation Series #24 – “The Imperfect Tense – Recap”
Dylan: Hey, everybody. Thanks for coming. This is Dylan.
Carlos: What’s the good word, pod101 world?
Dylan: Welcome to another edition of the Verb Conjugation Series coming to you on demand from Spanishpod101.com.
Carlos: Plug in those headphones, turn up the volume, download the PDF and get ready to learn all you need to know about how to conjugate verbs in Spanish.
Dylan: And how to use them, as well.
Carlos: Dylan, today we have a recap lesson. We made it through our second set of conjugations. The Imperfect seems so much clear, right now.
Dylan: So, we’re going back through which lessons exactly?

Lesson focus

Carlos: We’re going to look back at lessons 20, 21, 22 and 23 to make sure that we have got a clear picture of how the Imperfect Tense of the Indicative Mood is used and formed.
Dylan: Me parece muy bien Carlitos, vamos a hacer un repaso.
Carlos: Así es, un repaso.
Dylan: Now, even though we’re going to recap what we’ve been looking at, I think we should still cover the formation of more verbs in the Imperfect Tense.
Carlos: No doubt. Did you have any particular verbs in mind?
Dylan: Claro.
Carlos: ¿Y cuáles son?
Dylan: They are “trabajar”, “comer” y “comprender”.
Carlos: Okay, ok. So, that’s “trabajar” – “to work”, “comer” – “to eat” and “comprender” – “to understand”.
Dylan: Hey, man. Your vocabulary is pretty good.
Carlos: Thanks, thanks.
Dylan: Now, you just have to learn how to use it.
Carlos: Well, that’s why I have the PDF for this and all of the lesson that I studied at Spanishpod101.com.
Dylan: I would think the PDFs would help.
Carlos: They do because listening the lessons is good, but you know what? It’s only one thing. To learn a language, you need so much more.
Dylan: Entonces, amiguito Carlos, ¿qué es lo que estudiamos en la lección 20? . What did we look at in lesson 20?
Carlos: Oh, Lesson 20, we looked at the Imperfect Tense – Past durations.
Dylan: ¿Y qué más?
Carlos: What else?
Dylan: Well, thanks for the title of the lesson, but what exactly does that mean?
Carlos: Oh, we never know the starting point or the ending point of the action.
Dylan: Okay. So, what comes across?
Carlos: Duration thus Imperfect Tense – Past durations.
Dylan: Nicely done.
Carlos: Thank you, thank you.
Dylan: Well, how about an example?
Carlos: An example you say. “Hablaba por teléfono”.
Dylan: Which means?
Carlos: “I was talking on the phone.”
Dylan: Sí. So, we don’t know the starting or ending point of your conversation, we don’t know how long you were talking, so what comes across?
Carlos: Well, once again, that would be a sense of duration, profe.
Dylan: Excellent. How about if I wanted to say “Yesterday I was cleaning my room.”?
Carlos: “Ayer arreglaba mi cuarto”.
Dylan: Nice. So, what do these examples have in common?
Carlos: Well, we know that they happen in the past, just not for how long.
Dylan: I think working on this series is benefiting you, Carlos.
Carlos: Dylan, how could it not?
Dylan: Nice. So, after that? In Lesson 21 we looked at how the Imperfect Tense of the Indicative Mood can be used to express courtesy.
Carlos: How could I forget?
Dylan: Well, you’ve obviously forgotten your lesson in manners.
Carlos: Madame, we’re talking about that way in one year and out the other.
Dylan: So, Carlos, I have a question for you.
Carlos: Shoot.
Dylan: Why is the Imperfect Tense used to express courtesy?
Carlos: Well, if I remember correctly, it kind of seems more polite than it does in the Present.
Dylan: Do you remember the example that I gave?
Carlos: Yes, the one with the restaurant, right?
Dylan: Yes, that’s one.
Carlos: ¿Qué deseaba usted?
Dylan: What does that mean?
Carlos: “What would you care for, Sir?”
Dylan: Now, doesn’t that seem more polite?
Carlos: Yes, I know it does it thus I have to say you’re right.
Dylan: Okay. So, in Lesson 22, we saw that the Imperfect with Conditionals.
Carlos: Okay, that one’s a little shaky, too.
Dylan: Okay. This one is not bad.
Carlos: Like, just to recap, what do you mean when you say with Conditionals?
Dylan: Well, we’re really talking about Conditional statements. Like, where the outcome of an action is depended of that of another.
Carlos: All right, all right. It’s getting clearer. The rain is leaving, it’s almost gone. But look, in order to remember this, I have to forget something else. So, maybe an example will help.
Dylan: “¿Deseaba una bebida?” With Conditionals, it’s like saying “Did you want a drink?”
Carlos: Instead of, instead of?
Dylan: “¿Desearía una bebida?” – “Would you like a drink?”
Carlos: Okay, I get what you’re saying, but I have to admit that I think I’ll need to brush up on the Conditional statements by listening the Lower Intermediate Lessons 1 to 4. And also David and Megan’s Iberian Lessons #25.
Dylan: Carlos, if you can remember all those lessons and where they appeared, why can’t you remember how it’s used?
Carlos: That’s very simple. The Grammar Bank in the Learning Center has a list of all the lessons that doubt with this topic. Now, just because I know which lessons doubt with it, did it mean I like, really riding to the depth and like paying attention to it, really.
Dylan: All right. So, check out the Grammar Bank as well. I know how at home you aren’t there.
Carlos: No, I am, I am, you got it. I am. I love to study it more, I didn’t know it, but it’s just something that I never understand. But, I knew I was going to record today with you, so I waited for with the question.
Dylan: All right. So, do you remember our last lesson?
Carlos: Of course. We had the courtesy between the Imperfect and the Preterit Tense.
Dylan: Do you remember the difference?
Carlos: Well, I remember the main similarity.
Dylan: Which is?
Carlos: Well the Imperfect and the Preterit Tenses both express different ways of looking at past actions or events.
Dylan: Good. So, they’re both dealing with the past, but how do they differ?
Carlos: Okay, mainly as we’ve said, the Imperfect designates an action as going on in the past. But, without any reference towards beginning or end.
Dylan: I’ll take the explanation.
Carlos: Thanks.
Dylan: And the Preterit?
Carlos: Well, the Preterit is different all together. The Preterit Tense designates an action as completed in the past, right?
Dylan: That’s right.
Carlos: Now, I had the difference, but how about some examples, so let’s move from theory to action.
Dylan: Okay. So, Imperfect. “Cuando estaba en la universidad, estudiaba chino”.
Carlos: Okay, so in English that would be “When I was at the university, I studied Chinese.”?
Dylan: We could say that in another way in English.
Carlos: “When I was at the university, I used to study Chinese.”?
Dylan: Right. So, we don’t know how long you were in the university, could’ve been four or in your case, Carlos, eight.
Carlos: I really, really liked college.
Dylan: So, here’s an example with the same subject, but in the Preterit Tense.
Carlos: All right. Tell me.
Dylan: “Ayer estudié chino”.
Carlos: “Yesterday I studied Chinese.”
Dylan: So, here we know that I studied Chinese yesterday.
Carlos: Exactly. The action was completed yesterday.
Dylan: That’s the Preterit.
Carlos: You know, I think I got the difference, so I think these differences were worth me spending a little time on it.
Dylan: That’s right, Carlos. Spend a little time and you’ll pay off at the end. Prosigamos con la formación verbal.
Carlos: That’s right. Time to look at how to form verbs in the Imperfect. First, we learned how the language works, and now how to make it work for us.
Dylan: First up, the verb “trabajar” – “to work”.
Carlos: I’m ready when you are.
Dylan: So, just a couple of minor points to make here. Carlos, is “trabajar” a regular or irregular verb?
Carlos: Regular.
Dylan: Right. So, in forming the Imperfect Tense of the Indicative Mood for regular “ar” verbs, what are “ar” endings?
Carlos: “-aba”, “-abas”, “-aba”, “-ábamos”, “-abais”, “-aban”.
Dylan: Ready for “trabajar”?
Carlos: ¡Vamos!
Dylan: “Trabajar”.
Carlos: “To work.”
Dylan: “Yo trabajaba”.
Carlos: “I was working.”
Dylan: “Tú trabajarías”.
Carlos: “You were working.”
Dylan: “Él trabajaba”.
Carlos: “He was working.”
Dylan: “Nosotros trabajábamos”.
Carlos: “We were working.”
Dylan: “Vosotros trabajabais”.
Carlos: “You all were working.”
Dylan: “Ellos trabajaban”.
Carlos: “They were working.” How about some examples with “trabajar” in the Imperfect Tense?
Dylan: “Yo trabajaba en el centro”. – “I used to work downtown.”
Carlos: You know, I pity anybody who works in downtown San José, I mean it’s taking like half of hour to get here and I live up the street. And that’s a go. It’s amazing.
Dylan: Yes, San José can be rough, but it’s also a nice, colorful city. If you go to the right neighborhoods.
Carlos: Is it that how you call it? Colorful?
Dylan: Hey.
Carlos: I’m just talking about downtown, I’m not talking about like Escazú and like over there, you know.
Dylan: Leave my Chepe Centro alone.
Carlos: I will. I noticed that when you say that, the taxi driver is give you a cheaper. All right. How about another example?
Dylan: All right. Here goes. “Ella trabajaba con mi tío”.
Carlos: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
Dylan: “She used to work with my uncle.” “Ustedes trabajaban duro hasta que terminaron el proyecto” – “You all were working hard until you finished the project.”
Carlos: That’s right. We always work hard here at Spanishpod101.com because we’re very, very, very loyal to this project. Right, Dylan?
Dylan: Right.
Carlos: You know what? I think I got it. Now, what’s the deal with the verb “comer”?
Dylan: Another regular “er” verb.
Carlos: Nice.
Dylan: Yes.
Carlos: Well, let’s see those forms then.
Dylan: All right. Here goes. “Comer”.
Carlos: “To eat.”
Dylan: “Yo comía”.
Carlos: “I was eating.”
Dylan: “Tú comías”.
Carlos: “You were eating.”
Dylan: “Él comía”.
Carlos: “He was eating.”
Dylan: “Nosotros comíamos”.
Carlos: “We were eating.”
Dylan: “Vosotros comíais”.
Carlos: “You all were eating.”
Dylan: “Ellos comían”.
Carlos: “They were eating.” You know, Dylan, can we have a few examples of the verb “comer” in the Imperfect Tense?
Dylan: Of course. “Comíamos mucho, cuando yo era joven” – “We used to eat a lot when I was young.”
Carlos: Me too. I was , let me tell you. I was little chubby boy.
Dylan: I can tell.
Carlos: All right.
Dylan: That’s scary.
Carlos: That’s true. I got a little you know what I’m saying, it’s alright.
Dylan: “Ellos comían sopa cuando llegaron sus amigos”. – “They were eating soup when their friends arrived.”
Carlos: Okay, I have nothing to say about that one.
Dylan: Maybe “olla de carne”. That would be so good on a rainy day.
Carlos: What? A part of me?
Dylan: And vegetables, and roots.
Carlos: No, but it means part of me, and I wanted this whole big thing with Naty in the Costa Rica Series, like, like very creative part of me.
Dylan: Yes. “Olla de carne”, you’re right.
Carlos: Truth.
Dylan: You’re right.
Carlos: Okay.
Dylan: Okay. “Yo comía mucha grasa, pero ya cambié mi dieta”. – “I used to eat a lot of fat, but now I changed my diet.”
Carlos: So, then you have a tasteless diet that really doesn’t taste good at all?
Dylan: Hey. Olive oil versus that all fatty stuff.
Carlos: Like what? Lard?
Dylan: Yes. Lard.
Carlos: Want some lard? No, sorry. I don’t understand why. So, wait, just one more for today.
Dylan: “Comprender”.
Carlos: “To understand.” So, what do I need to know about this one?
Dylan: No stem change, it’s a regular verb.
Carlos: Nice. You know what? I really like the regular verbs, I really do like them.
Dylan: Okay. Well, let’s go with this one. “Comprender”.
Carlos: “To understand.”
Dylan: “Yo comprendía”.
Carlos: “I used to understand.”
Dylan: “Tú comprendías”.
Carlos: “You used to understand.”
Dylan: “Él comprendía”.
Carlos: “He used to understand.”
Dylan: “Nosotros comprendíamos”.
Carlos: “We used to understand.”
Dylan: “Vosotros comprendíais”.
Carlos: “You all used to understand.”
Dylan: “Ellos comprendían”.
Carlos: “They used to understand” And, you know what? To finish this off, let’s put the verb “comprender” in context with some examples of it in the Imperfect Tense.
Dylan: “No comprendíamos las lecciones”. – “We were not understanding the lessons.”
Carlos: Until we downloaded the PDF in the Learning Center at Spanishpod101.com and listen to us on repeat as I’ll driving in my car.
Dylan: Así es. All right. Here’s another one. “Yo comprendía el inglés, pero no podía hablarlo”. – “I used to understand English, but I wasn’t able to speak it.”
Carlos: You know, that’s a very common, common excuse when people are learning languages.
Dylan: Yes.
Carlos: Like, I know a lot of people in my family, like “You speak Spanish? I understand, but don’t know how to speak.”
Dylan: It’s like they’re shy.
Carlos: It’s like they don’t understand, they’re just like “I don’t know how to speak.”
Dylan: No, it’s shy, people are shy to make a mistake.
Carlos: Yes, it’s true.


Dylan: I think that’s what it is. All right. “¿Ustedes comprendían lo que decía mi abuela?” – “Did you all used to understand what my grandmother would say?”
Carlos: Not at all. And I will just smile and not. Especially when she was telling about that saying about where two eat, three eat. What does that mean? I mean like “sí”, I just smile and “sí”. That’s right. What is that mean? Woman, I have no idea.
Dylan: How do you think we did on our second recap, Carlos?
Carlos: I think we’re going to hang this, Dylan.
Dylan: I agree. You just keep feeding the Grammar Bank.
Carlos: Every day.
Dylan: So, what if I don’t have access to the Learning Center?
Carlos: Well, if you don’t already, you can try that on us for seven days. Free. You know, really, there’s no possible excuse.
Dylan: No, there’s not. Bueno, entonces, ¡hasta luego audience!
Carlos: I love the spanglish!




Please to leave a comment.
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SpanishPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 06:30 PM
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Thanks to Kevin Macleod for the music in today's lesson. Post your questions on the IMPERFECT TENSE here!!!

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 03:47 AM
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Hola Vivianne,

Gracias por tu comentario. :wink:

Lamento que las tarjetas no cumplan con tus necesidades, sin embargo nuestro equipo a cargo de las lecciones revisara tu comentario y lo tomara en cuenta para la estructura de futuras lecciones.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Vivianne Shands
Thursday at 02:51 AM
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Estoy decepcionado que los tarjetas de memorizado no tienen los conjugaciones quien habían estudiado en cada leccion de este serie. Por que los tarjetas tienen solamente los infinitivos?

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 12:23 PM
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Hola Tino,

Thank you for your feedback!

We're happy to know we're being of great help for you.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Saturday at 07:19 AM
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wow what a great series!!!

you must expand to more verb conjugations

I listened to this series when I drove from louisiana to wisconsin and it really kept me awake!!

gracias por lecciones buenas


SpanishPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 03:52 PM
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Hi Calvin,

Thank you a lot for your request, I'll forward it to the correspondent team in charge of the design of the future lessons!

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback!

Kind regards


Team SpanishPod101.com

Monday at 12:13 PM
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I triple those requests of expanding this series!!!

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 09:49 AM
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Hello Rain,

Thank you for your feedback! We would consider your suggestion while developing our new lessons. Till then I hope you enjoy these lessons:smile:

If you have any questions, we're here for you.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Saturday at 07:55 AM
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I agree! I'd love to see a series tackling the subjunctive and other verb conjugations. Gracias por todo!

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Friday at 09:30 AM
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Hola Orie,

Thank you for taking your time to give us your feedback.

We are always positive in receiving constructive criticism, so I will forward your thoughts to the correspondent team who take decisions about how to design our future lessons and the structure of our website.

For now, if you want a a more detailed explanation about Spanish verbs you can check this page


And we also have a Spanish verbs conjugation chart here


Please let us know any questions or comments you might have about Spanish verbs!

Kind regards,


Team SpanishPod101

Friday at 03:12 AM
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This was a great series. I would love to see more on conjugation. It would be wonderful if you could expand this series to include other modes and tenses.