Regular verbs in the imperfect tense

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Regular verbs in the imperfect tense

This is how regular verbs are conjugated in the imperfect tense:

Yo estaba
Tú estabas
Él/ella/usted estaba
Nosotros/as estábamos
Vosotros/as estabais
Ellos/ellas/ustedes estaban
Yo tenía
Tú tenías
Él/ella/usted tenía
Nosotros/as teníamos
Vosotros/as teníais
Ellos/ellas/ustedes tenían


Yo vivía
Tú vivías
Él/ella/usted vivía
Nosotros/as vivíamos
Vosotros/as vivíais
Ellos/ellas/ustedes vivían

The imperfect tense is used to:

  • Describe past actions or routines without specifying when they start and/or end:

Carolina tenía un perro muy juguetón.

Carolina had a very playful dog.

Todos los veranos, el Dr. Macías iba de vacaciones a una playa nudista.

Every summer, Dr Macias went on vacation to a nudist beach.

  • Describe people, things and situations in the past:

Cuando era joven, Betty era muy guapa.

When she was young, Betty was very pretty.

En Buenos Aires, Ana vivía en el barrio de la Recoleta.

In Buenos Aires, Ana lived in the Recoleta neighborhood.

Note: The imperfect tense is often used with these words and expressions: antes (before), muchas veces (many times), en aquella época (at that time), cuando era joven (when I was young), cuando tenía X años (when I was X years old).

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