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Spanish Verb Conjugation: Indicative Mood: Imperfect Tense
Imperfect Tense: ER & IR Verbs

©RCAguilar

OBJECTIVE:
Be able to describe situations that were going on in the past, activities that were relatively repetitive.
TASK:
Learn the endings and apply them to as many ER & IR verbs as you know.
PERPLEXED?
No you're not. You just don't wanna work on it, that's all!
Is there anything hard about this tense?
Nope.
The only irregular verbs at all in the imperfect tense are ir, ser, & ver. And they're not on this page.
When you're doing verbs with these endings, picture events as moving right along, with no beginning and no end in sight. Those factors remain irrelevant.
If an event occurs during one of these listed activites (what you're talking about in the imperfect), that action will be stated in the preterite.
As in, PUM! ... it happened!

 
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VERB CONJUGATION
Indicative Mood
Present Tense
Regular -ar Verbs
Regular -er Verbs
Regular -ir Verbs
Stem e -> ie
Stem o -> ue
Stem e -> i
Stem iar: i ->
Stem uar: u ->
Stem uir: i -> y
Stem ger/gir: g -> j
Yo form -oy
Yo form -zco
Yo form -go
Imperfect Tense
AR Verbs
ER & IR Verbs
Preterite Tense
Regular AR Verbs
Ending -car
Ending -gar
Ending -zar
ER/IR Verbs
ER/IR Verbs vowel Stem
IR Stem-changers
Irregular Stems
Future Tense
Regular Verbs
Irregular Stems
Conditional Tense
Regular Verbs
Irregular Stems
Progressive Tenses
Perfect Tenses

Reference
Subject Pronouns
yo
nosotros
nosotras
tú*
vosotros
vosotras
él
ella
Usted
ellos
ellas
Ustedes
*In some countries in Central & South America vos is used instead of .

Reflexive Pronouns
me nos
te os
se se

Direct Object Pronouns
me nos
te os
lo
la
lo/la
los
las
los/las

Indirect Object Pronouns
me nos
te os
le les
Imperfect Tense: -ER & -IR verb conjugation
 
Most ER & IR verbs are not affected by irregularities in any way in the formation of the imperfect tense.
The only irregular verbs in the imperfect tense in Spanish are ir, ser, & ver.
All other verbs follow the patterns included in this section.
Stem changes that occur in the present tense DO NOT AFFECT the imperfect tense.
yo -ía   nosotros, nosotras -íamos
-ías   vosotros, vosotras -íais
él, ella, Usted -ía   ellos, ellas, Ustedes -ían
ignore
ER comer to eat essen
conocer
( -zco )
to meet, know kennenlernen
deber to owe, "should" schulden, sollen
entender
(e -> ie)
to understand kapieren
hacer
( -go )
to do, make machen, tun
volver
(o -> ue)
to return, go back zurückkehren
IR abrir to open öffnen
decidir to decide entscheiden
dormir
(o -> ue)
to sleep schlafen
introducir
( -zco )
to introduce vorstellen
pedir
(e -> i)
to request, ask for bitten
venir
( -go, e -> ie )
to come kommen
To make the imperfect forms, drop the -er or -ir from the end of the infinitive and add the endings given above.
To see the imperfect tense conjugated forms of these verbs, click on a pronoun below:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
More information concerning the imperfect tense
Imperfect tense: -ER & -IR verb conjugation
Yo form
To make this form, drop the -er or -ir or from the end of the infinitive and add -ía to the stem.
At some point in the past, this is what I would often do: At some point in the past, I used to do this but may not be able to any more: At some point in the past, this was the scenario for an event to take place:
deutsch
ER
comer comía I would eat I used to eat I was eating
ich aß
conocer conocía I would get to know I used to know I was familiar with
ich lernte kennen
deber debía I would be supposed to I used to ought to I was supposed to
ich sollte, schuldete
entender entendía I would understand I used to understand I was understanding
ich kapierte
hacer hacía I would do I used to make, do I was making, doing
ich machte, tat
volver volvía I would return I used to go back I used to return
ich kehrte zurück
 
IR  
abrir abría I would open I used to open I was opening
ich öffnete
decidir decidía I would decide I used to decide I was deciding
ich entschied
dormir dormía I would sleep I used to sleep I was sleeping
ich schlief
introducir introducía I would introduce I used to introduce I was introducing
ich stellte vor
pedir pedía I would request I used to ask for I was requesting
ich bat
venir venía I would come I used to come I was coming
ich kam
The pronoun YO needs to be stated more frequently in the imperfect tense, because the same form is used for él, ella, & Usted.
Once it is clear that the conversation is continuing with YO being the subject, you can leave it out.
The YO becomes understood, because of the ending and the context of the conversation.
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
More information concerning the imperfect tense
Back to Top
Imperfect tense: -ER & -IR verb conjugation
form
To make this form, drop the -er or -ir or from the end of the infinitive and add -ías to the stem.
At some point in the past, this is what you would often do: At some point in the past, you used to do this but may not be able to any more: At some point in the past, this was the scenario for an event to take place:
deutsch
ER
comer comías you would eat you used to eat you were eating
du aßest
conocer conocías you would get to know you used to know you were familiar with
du lerntest kennen
deber debías you would be supposed to you used to ought to you were supposed to
du solltest, schuldetest
entender entendías you would understand you used to understand you were understanding
du kapiertest
hacer hacías you would do you used to make, do you were making, doing
du machtest, tatest
volver volvías you would return you used to go back you used to return
du kehrtest zurück
 
IR  
abrir abrías you would open you used to open you were opening
du öffnetest
decidir decidías you would decide you used to decide you were deciding
du entschiedest
dormir dormías you would sleep you used to sleep you were sleeping
du schliefst
introducir introducías you would introduce you used to introduce you were introducing
du stelltest vor
pedir pedías you would request you used to ask for you were requesting
du batst
venir venías you would come you used to come you were coming
du kamst
The pronoun never needs to be used, since this form can only imply a familiar you.
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
More information concerning the imperfect tense
Back to Top
Imperfect tense: -ER & -IR verb conjugation
Él form
To make this form, drop the -er or -ir or from the end of the infinitive and add -ía to the stem.
At some point in the past, this is what he would often do: At some point in the past, he used to do this but may not be able to any more: At some point in the past, this was the scenario for an event to take place:
deutsch
ER
comer comía he would eat he used to eat he was eating
er aß
conocer conocía he would get to know he used to know he was familiar with
er lernte kennen
deber debía he would be supposed to he used to ought to he was supposed to
er sollte, schuldete
entender entendía he would understand he used to understand he was understanding
er kapierte
hacer hacía he would do he used to make, do he was making, doing
er machte, tat
volver volvía he would return he used to go back he used to return
er kehrte zurück
 
IR  
abrir abría he would open he used to open he was opening
er öffnete
decidir decidía he would decide he used to decide he was deciding
er entschied
dormir dormía he would sleep he used to sleep he was sleeping
er schlief
introducir introducía he would introduce he used to introduce he was introducing
er stellte vor
pedir pedía he would request he used to ask for he was requesting
er bat
venir venía he would come he used to come he was coming
er kam
The pronoun ÉL needs to be stated more frequently in the imperfect tense, because the same form is used for yo, ella, & Usted.
Once it is clear that the conversation is continuing with ÉL being the subject, you can leave it out.
The ÉL becomes understood, because of the ending and the context of the conversation.
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
More information concerning the imperfect tense
Back to Top
Imperfect tense: -ER & -IR verb conjugation
Ella form
To make this form, drop the -er or -ir or from the end of the infinitive and add -ía to the stem.
At some point in the past, this is what she would often do: At some point in the past, she used to do this but may not be able to any more: At some point in the past, this was the scenario for an event to take place:
deutsch
ER
comer comía she would eat she used to eat she was eating
sie aß
conocer conocía she would get to know she used to know she was familiar with
sie lernte kennen
deber debía she would be supposed to she used to ought to she was supposed to
sie sollte, schuldete
entender entendía she would understand she used to understand she was understanding
sie kapierte
hacer hacía she would do she used to make, do she was making, doing
sie machte, tat
volver volvía she would return she used to go back she used to return
sie kehrte zurück
 
IR  
abrir abría she would open she used to open she was opening
sie öffnete
decidir decidía she would decide she used to decide she was deciding
sie entschied
dormir dormía she would sleep she used to sleep she was sleeping
sie schlief
introducir introducía she would introduce she used to introduce she was introducing
sie stellte vor
pedir pedía she would request she used to ask for she was requesting
sie bat
venir venía she would come she used to come she was coming
sie kam
The pronoun ELLA needs to be stated more frequently in the imperfect tense, because the same form is used for yo, él, & Usted.
Once it is clear that the conversation is continuing with ELLA being the subject, you can leave it out.
The ELLA becomes understood, because of the ending and the context of the conversation.
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
More information concerning the imperfect tense
Back to Top
Imperfect tense: -ER & -IR verb conjugation
Usted form
To make this form, drop the -er or -ir or from the end of the infinitive and add -ía to the stem.
At some point in the past, this is what you would often do: At some point in the past, you used to do this but may not be able to any more: At some point in the past, this was the scenario for an event to take place:
deutsch
ER
comer comía you would eat you used to eat you were eating
Sie aßen
conocer conocía you would get to know you used to know you were familiar with
Sie lernten kennen
deber debía you would be supposed to you used to ought to you were supposed to
Sie solltem, schuldetem
entender entendía you would understand you used to understand you were understanding
Sie kapierten
hacer hacía you would do you used to make, do you were making, doing
Sie machten, taten
volver volvía you would return you used to go back you used to return
Sie kehrten zurück
 
IR  
abrir abría you would open you used to open you were opening
Sie öffneten
decidir decidía you would decide you used to decide you were deciding
Sie entschieden
dormir dormía you would sleep you used to sleep you were sleeping
Sie schliefen
introducir introducía you would introduce you used to introduce you were introducing
Sie stellten vor
pedir pedía you would request you used to ask for you were requesting
Sie baten
venir venía you would come you used to come you were coming
Sie kamen
The pronoun USTED needs to be stated more frequently in the imperfect tense, because the same form is used for yo, él, & ella.
Once it is clear that the conversation is continuing with USTED being the subject, you can leave it out.
The USTED becomes understood, because of the ending and the context of the conversation.
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
More information concerning the imperfect tense
Back to Top
Imperfect tense: -ER & -IR verb conjugation
Nosotros & Nosotras form
To make this form, drop the -er or -ir or from the end of the infinitive and add -íamos to the stem.
At some point in the past, this is what we would often do: At some point in the past, we used to do this but may not be able to any more: At some point in the past, this was the scenario for an event to take place:
deutsch
ER
comer comíamos we would eat we used to eat we were eating
wir aßen
conocer conocíamos we would get to know we used to know we were familiar with
wir lernten kennen
deber debíamos we would be supposed to we used to ought to we were supposed to
wir sollten, schuldeten
entender entendíamos we would understand we used to understand we were understanding
wir kapierten
hacer hacíamos we would do we used to make, do we were making, doing
wir machten, taten
volver volvíamos we would return we used to go back we used to return
wir kehrten zurück
 
IR  
abrir abríamos we would open we used to open we were opening
wir öffneten
decidir decidíamos we would decide we used to decide we were deciding
wir entschieden
dormir dormíamos we would sleep we used to sleep we were sleeping
wir schliefen
introducir introducíamos we would introduce we used to introduce we were introducing
wir stellten vor
pedir pedíamos we would request we used to ask for we were requesting
wir baten
venir veníamos we would come we used to come we were coming
wir kamen
As far as dealing with the pronoun, clarification needs to be made concerning the gender of the WE.
Once it is clear that the conversation concerns NOSOTROS or NOSOTRAS, the pronoun can then be left out.
The NOSOTROS or NOSOTRAS becomes understood, because of the ending and the context of the conversation.
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
More information concerning the imperfect tense
Back to Top
Imperfect tense: -ER & -IR verb conjugation
Vosotros & Vosotras form
To make this form, drop the -er or -ir or from the end of the infinitive and add -íais to the stem.
At some point in the past, this is what y'all would often do: At some point in the past, y'all used to do this but may not be able to any more: At some point in the past, this was the scenario for an event to take place:
deutsch
ER
comer comíais y'all would eat y'all used to eat y'all were eating
ihr aßt
conocer conocíais y'all would get to know y'all used to know y'all were familiar with
ihr lerntet kennen
deber debíais y'all would be supposed to y'all used to ought to y'all were supposed to
ihr solltet, schuldetet
entender entendíais y'all would understand y'all used to understand y'all were understanding
ihr kapiertet
hacer hacíais y'all would do y'all used to make, do y'all were making, doing
ihr machtet, tatet
volver volvíais y'all would return y'all used to go back y'all used to return
ihr kehrtet zurück
 
IR  
abrir abríais y'all would open y'all used to open y'all were opening
ihr öffnetet
decidir decidíais y'all would decide y'all used to decide y'all were deciding
ihr entschiedet
dormir dormíais y'all would sleep y'all used to sleep y'all were sleeping
ihr schlieft
introducir introducíais y'all would introduce y'all used to introduce y'all were introducing
ihr stelltet vor
pedir pedíamos y'all would request y'all used to ask for y'all were requesting
ihr batet
venir veníais y'all would come y'all used to come y'all were coming
ihr kamt
As far as dealing with the pronoun, clarification needs to be made concerning the gender of the Y'ALL.
Once it is clear that the conversation concerns VOSOTROS or VOSOTRAS, the pronoun can then be left out.
The VOSOTROS or VOSOTRAS becomes understood, because of the ending and the context of the conversation.
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
More information concerning the imperfect tense
Back to Top
Imperfect tense: -ER & -IR verb conjugation
Ellos form
To make this form, drop the -er or -ir or from the end of the infinitive and add -ían to the stem.
At some point in the past, this is what they would often do: At some point in the past, they used to do this but may not be able to any more: At some point in the past, this was the scenario for an event to take place:
deutsch
ER
comer comían they would eat they used to eat they were eating
sie aßen
conocer conocían they would get to know they used to know they were familiar with
sie lernten kennen
deber debían they would be supposed to they used to ought to they were supposed to
sie sollten, schuldeten
entender entendían they would understand they used to understand they were understanding
sie kapierten
hacer hacían they would do they used to make, do they were making, doing
sie machten, taten
volver volvían they would return they used to go back they used to return
sie kehrten zurück
 
IR  
abrir abrían they would open they used to open they were opening
sie öffneten
decidir decidían they would decide they used to decide they were deciding
sie entschieden
dormir dormían they would sleep they used to sleep they were sleeping
sie schliefen
introducir introducían they would introduce they used to introduce they were introducing
sie stellten vor
pedir pedían they would request they used to ask for they were requesting
sie baten
venir venían they would come they used to come they were coming
sie kamen
The pronoun ELLOS is stated frequently in the imperfect tense, as the same form is used for ellas & ustedes.
Once it is clear that the conversation is continuing with ELLOS being the subject, you can leave it out.
The ELLOS becomes understood, because of the ending and the context of the conversation.
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
More information concerning the imperfect tense
Back to Top
Imperfect tense: -ER & -IR verb conjugation
Ellas form
To make this form, drop the -er or -ir or from the end of the infinitive and add -ían to the stem.
At some point in the past, this is what they would often do: At some point in the past, they used to do this but may not be able to any more: At some point in the past, this was the scenario for an event to take place:
deutsch
ER
comer comían they would eat they used to eat they were eating
sie aßen
conocer conocían they would get to know they used to know they were familiar with
sie lernten kennen
deber debían they would be supposed to they used to ought to they were supposed to
sie sollten, schuldeten
entender entendían they would understand they used to understand they were understanding
sie kapierten
hacer hacían they would do they used to make, do they were making, doing
sie machten, taten
volver volvían they would return they used to go back they used to return
sie kehrten zurück
 
IR  
abrir abrían they would open they used to open they were opening
sie öffneten
decidir decidían they would decide they used to decide they were deciding
sie entschieden
dormir dormían they would sleep they used to sleep they were sleeping
sie schliefen
introducir introducían they would introduce they used to introduce they were introducing
sie stellten vor
pedir pedían they would request they used to ask for they were requesting
sie baten
venir venían they would come they used to come they were coming
sie kamen
The pronoun ELLAS needs to be stated more frequently in the imperfect tense, because the same form is used for ellos & ustedes.
Once it is clear that the conversation is continuing with ELLAS being the subject, you can leave it out.
The ELLAS becomes understood, because of the ending and the context of the conversation.
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
More information concerning the imperfect tense
Back to Top
Imperfect tense: -ER & -IR verb conjugation
Ustedes form
To make this form, drop the -er or -ir or from the end of the infinitive and add -ían to the stem.
At some point in the past, this is what you would often do: At some point in the past, you used to do this but may not be able to any more: At some point in the past, this was the scenario for an event to take place:
deutsch
ER
comer comían you would eat you used to eat you were eating
Sie aßen
conocer conocían you would get to know you used to know you were familiar with
Sie lernten kennen
deber debían you would be supposed to you used to ought to you were supposed to
Sie sollten, schuldeten
entender entendían you would understand you used to understand you were understanding
Sie kapierten
hacer hacían you would do you used to make, do you were making, doing
Sie machten, taten
volver volvían you would return you used to go back you used to return
Sie kehrten zurück
 
IR  
abrir abrían you would open you used to open you were opening
Sie öffneten
decidir decidían you would decide you used to decide you were deciding
Sie entschieden
dormir dormían you would sleep you used to sleep you were sleeping
Sie schliefen
introducir introducían you would introduce you used to introduce you were introducing
Sie stellten vor
pedir pedían you would request you used to ask for you were requesting
Sie baten
venir venían you would come you used to come you were coming
Sie kamen
The pronoun USTEDES needs to be stated more frequently in the imperfect tense, because the same form is used for ellos & ellas.
Once it is clear that the conversation is continuing with USTEDES being the subject, you can leave it out.
The USTEDES becomes understood, because of the ending and the context of the conversation.
A look at other forms:
YO
ÉL
ELLA
USTED
NOSOTROS
VOSOTROS
ELLOS
ELLAS
USTEDES
More information concerning the imperfect tense
Back to Top