Study Spanish preterite easy - Estudia el pretérito del español fácil

Study Spanish preterite can be one of the most difficult subjects for speakers of other languages, but here we will explain how to conjugate the verbs correctly and you will be able to practice in our Spanish courses in Mexico.

The Spanish preterite is one of the two past tenses of the language. Unlike English where there is only one past tense, the Spanish language is divided into two parts, preterite and imperfect. In our Spanish courses you will understand why verbs can be formed in perfect and preterite tenses depending on the meaning.

What is the Spanish preterite tense?

The Spanish preterite tense is used for tasks that have already been completed or activities in the past tense, where an activity that was completed in the past had a beginning and an end.

The main advantage of learning Spanish grammar in a Spanish speaking country is that you can learn the language at our Spanish Schools in Mexico and apply your knowledge immediately in a real language environment.

How to conjugate the past tense of Spanish?

The conjugation of verb tenses in Spanish is similar to the English language, but with a greater number of variations. In Spanish classes you will learn the six endings depending on the noun that performs the action and whether the utterance is written in the first, second or third person.

Preterite verb forms are created by removing the two-letter ending of a verb: -ar, -er or -ir, and replacing it with an ending that indicates who is performing the action. Verbs agree personally and numerically with the noun that performs their action.

Preterite of Spanish regular verbs ending -AR

For example, “hablar” is the infinitive or basic form, its infinitive ending is -ar and the base verb is habl-.

The preterite of the verb “hablar” is “hablé” and you just need to follow these steps.

  1. Remove the ending -ar
  2. Add the letter -é to the base
  3. The verb is used in the first person singular “Yo hablé”.
Persona Terminación AR Verbo pretérito en español
Yo hablé
Tu -aste hablaste
El/ Ella habló
Nosotros -amós hablamos
Ellos/ Ustedes -aron hablaron


Pretérito of Spanish regular verbs ending -IR and -ER

When you study Spanish in Mexico City or any of our locations in the country, you will learn that the endings of verbs ending in -ir and -er are slightly different, but the principle is the same. Just remove the last letters of the infinitive and add the appropriate ending to the remaining base.

Persona Terminación AR Verbo pretérito en español
Yo Escribí
Tu -iste Escribiste
El/ Ella -ió Escribió
Nosotros -imos Escribimos
Ellos/ Ustedes -ieron escribieron


The preterite verb for us with -ir and -er endings has the same conjugation for both the present tense and the preterite past tense.

Spanish preterite irregular verbs

The grammatical rules of the Spanish language are extensive, but at our Spanish Schools you will learn quickly through immersion. There is a large list of irregular verbs to conjugate in the preterite tense of Spanish, each one has exceptions and your Spanish teacher will teach you how to identify them in Spanish classes in Mexico City, Oaxaca or Cancun.

If you are interested in studying Spanish in another Spanish-speaking country in the Americas, you can learn the language at our Spanish School Bogota in Colombia.

Conclusions when studying the preterite of Spanish

  1. Spanish preterite is one of the two simple past tenses in Spanish that is used to indicate an action that occurred and ended.
  2. Conjugation is identical for the verbs -ir and -er.
  3. Irregular conjugations of the preterite tense can differ significantly from the infinitive form.

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