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How to tell when there is an imperfect tense verb.

MIT 21F Spanish I - IV (OCW)
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The IMPERFECT is one of the two types of past-tense, in Spanish. We use the imperfect, whenever we're talking about a past action that was ON-GOING, and happened on a REGULAR BASIS, for an EXTENDED amount of time. For example, take a look at this sentence: "Cuando era niño, yo salía con mis amigos todos los días." When I was a boy, I went out with my friends every day. In this sentence, we see two imperfect verbs: "era", and "salía." "Era" means "was." I used it to say "When I WAS a boy." I had to use the imperfect, because I was a boy, for a LONG PERIOD OF TIME. I wasn't just a boy for one moment in time, you see? I was a boy, for MANY YEARS. An EXTENDED amount of time. "Salía" means "went out." I used it to say "I WENT OUT with my friends, everyday." I had to use the imperfect, because I USED TO go out with my friends, on a REGULAR BASIS. It didn't just happen just one time, you see?

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