Imperfect (Past Tense)

Second past tense in Spanish is usually translated as “used to do” or “was/were doing” in English, and this tense is much more regular comparing to preterit since there are two patterns of regular verbs endings -AR/-ER,-ER with 3 irregular verbs.


-AR Verb (-aba, -abas, -aba, -ábamos, -abais, -aban)

Trabajar to workSingularPlural
1st Persontrabajaba I used to worktrabajábamos We used to work
2nd Persontrabajabas You used to worktrabajabais You used to work
3rd Persontrabajaba He used to worktrabajaban They used to work


-ER Verb (-ía, -ías, -ía, -íamos, -íais, -ían)

Comer to eatSingularPlural
1st Personcomía I used to eatcomíamos We used to eat
2nd Personcomías You used to eatcomíais You used to eat
3rd Personcomía He used to eatcomían They used to eat


-IR Verb (-ía, -ías, -ía, -íamos, -íais, -ían)

Vivir to liveSingularPlural
1st Personvivía I used to livevivíamos We used to live
2nd Personvivías You used to livevivíais You used to live
3rd Personvivía He used to livevivían They used to live


Yo tenía 5 años cuando movamos a la casa nueva. I was 5 years old when we moved to the new house.

Él comía carne, pero ahora no come carne como es vegetariano. He used to eat meat, but he doesn’t now since he is vegetarian.

Ellos vivían en España, pero movieron al Brasil hace 2 años. They used to live in Spain, but they moved to Brazil 2 years ago.

Here are the irregular verbs in imperfect tense

Imperfect Irregular Verbs (There are only 3 verbs that are irregular in the imperfect tense)

Ser to beSingularPlural
1st Personera I used to beéramos We used to be
2nd Personeras You used to beerais You used to be
3rd Personera He used to beeran They used to be


Ir to goSingularPlural
1st Personiba I used to goíbamos We used to go
2nd Personibas You used to goibais You used to go
3rd Personiba He used to goiban They used to go


Ver to goSingularPlural
1st Personveía I used to seeveíamos We used to see
2nd Personveías You used to seeveíais You used to see
3rd Personveía He used to seeveían They used to see