Post information, handouts, and activities for helping students learn to distinguish between the preterit and the imperfect tenses in Spanish on this page.

Ideas contributed to FLTeach- CarrieEGold CarrieEGold

Pret vs Imp Packet.doc- Shows rules of choosing between preterit and imperfect, as well as provides practice for choosing between the two tenses. There are also lyrics for JLo's "Que Hiciste" and a project outline based on one found on this wiki. - emilylewis emilylewis

- Handout to help students contrast the preterit v. the imperfect, with a chart of verbs with special meanings in the preterit - chericem1 chericem1

- Handout that outlines the rules for conjugating regular verbs in the imperfect and then a section for regular verbs in the preterit - chericem1 chericem1

Worksheet to practice "preterite" action happened while "imperfect" action was happening. - burgeramy burgeramy

Some great activity ideas for teaching preterit v. imperfect are embedded in this Teacher Work Sample (shared with permission) - chericem1 chericem1

Here is a power ptt to help review key words that trigger the imperfect or preterit. I had my students use small white boards and race to see which side of the room could write the answer down first. - skyesmith skyesmith

Teaching preterit vs. imperfect using Caperucita Roja: Have students hold up red (representing the preterit of a stoplight) and blue (representing the continuous waves of the sea) cards to test their knowledge of whether they will use preterit or imperfect.

Tell students to use the preterit except in the following situations, which require them to "do it" in the imperfect (DUWITS):


Preterite vs. Imperfect Folders
These folders help students organize the differences between preterite and imperfect. They should be created together in class. I created one on the overhead as the students made theirs. Students start with a blank manila folder. They need a red, green and yellow marker. It is a stoplight theme- Red is for Preterite becasue it is completed/"stopped" actions. Green is for imperfect because it is ongoing/"go" actions. Yellow are "caution" verbs- ones that change meaning. On the front cover, students draw a red diagonal line. They should write some "Key Phrases" (like ayer, el ano pasado, etc.) in the top left corner. On their diagonal line, they create a time line of their life, with events that happened at specific dates. On the bottom right of the corner, they will write some basic rules for using preterit. Then they will create the imperfect side, on the back cover. They will draw a green squiggly line, to represent the imperfect is ongoing. In the top left, they write some normal uses of imperfect. Along the line, they will write some imperfect triggers and examples. In the middle, are the Yellow/Caution verbs, with their meanings written on the preterite/imperfect sides of the folder. On the inside, students can write helpful notes on the preterit/imperfect sides, such as Triggers, Verb Endings, Irregular Conjugations, etc. See the pictures or let me know if you want more information! - kendal53 kendal53

Preterit v. Imperfect Stoplight

Ask students to list key words that typically "signal" the preterit in the red section of a traffic light worksheet (i.e., ayer, cuando el año pasado, una vez). Ask them to list key words that typically "signal' the imperfect in the green section of the same worksheet (a menudo, cada día, mientras, siempre, todos los días, etc.) Ask them to list verbs that require "caution" in the yellow section of the traffic light worksheet because they change meaning depending on whether they are conjugated in the preterit or the imperfect (i.e., conocer, querer, poder, saber)

Stoplight pattern
Traffic light pattern - chericem1 chericem1

  • Corrida de toros Worksheet: external image msword.png [[file/view/Actividades.doc|Actividades.doc]]
  • Corrida de toros Resources: external image msword.png [[file/view/Resources.doc|Resources.doc]]
  • Corrida de toros Lesson Plan: external image msword.png [[file/view/Lesson Plannig Corrida de toros.doc|Lesson Plannig Corrida de toros.doc]] (Elizabeth)