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Course Introduction

1. Nouns & Articles

2. Ser & Estar

3. Nouns & Adjectives

4. Regular Verbs

5. Ser/Estar (Past Tense)

6. Core Irregular Verbs (Present & Past)

7. Imperfect

8. Adverbs

9. Prepositions

10. Stem-changing Verbs - Part 1

11. Stem-changing Verbs - Part 2

12. Imperfect vs. Preterite

13. Syntax: Objects Overview

14. Past Participles & Present Perfect

15. Irregular and Go-verbs (Present)

16. Verbs with Irregular Yo-forms (Past)

17. Direct Object Pronouns

18. Indirect Object Pronouns, Direct & Indirect Object Pronouns Together

19. Reflexive Verbs

20. Verbs like Gustar

21. Present & Past Progressive

22. Past Perfect & Infinitive Constructions

23. Future Simple

24. Conditional

25. The Imperative

Episode #7

Imperfect

I. Intro: Imperfect (“Used to”)

First things first – this is going to be a pretty easy lesson. We’re going to talk about a new verb tense called the imperfect tense. The imperfect tense is a past tense. "Imperfect" comes from the Latin word imperfectus, meaning "unfinished," because it expresses an ongoing action that has not been completed. The imperfect tense does not mention when something began or ended.

In general, the imperfect can translate to what somebody was doing or used to do. It sets the background knowledge or scenery for a story, and it’s mostly used to describe something in the past.

To contrast with the verb tenses we have learned thus far, the present tense expresses what you do or are doing, the preterite expresses what you did, and the imperfect expresses what you were doing or used to do.

Present (I do)

Preterite (I did)

Imperfect
(I was doing/used to do)

Hablo español. Hablé español. Hablaba español.
I speak Spanish. I spoke Spanish. I was speaking Spanish.
-or-
I used to speak Spanish.

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