Imperfect vs Perfect Tense in Spanish

Imperfect Tense in Spanish

This Spanish Practice aims to help students to understand the difference between the imperfect and perfect tenses in Spanish via a lovely description + video clip of a puppy growing up.
The ‘story’ is in the imperfect tense, with a few statements in the perfect tense to say what happened during the time that the puppy was growing up.
Grammar:
The Perfect Tense  is used for precise things that happened and ended.
The Imperfect Tense  is used to describe things in the past, talk about things that happened during a period of time, and say what was happening or what things were like when something more precise happened (for which the perfect tense is used):
E.g:
La niña estaba jugando cuando llegó su padre.
The girl was playing when her father arrived

Spanish Story: Imperfect + Perfect Tenses:

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT IN SPANISH:

Saqué esta foto de Maggie el día de su llegada.
Tenía siete semanas.
¡Sus patas eran grandes!
Iba crecer mucho.
Era tímida.
Tenía miedo del jardín.
Quería muchos abrazos.
¡Le gustaba jugar en la ropa sucia!
¡Era encantadora!
¡Creció muy rápido!
En esta foto tenía solo ocho días!
Su madre tuvo ocho cachorros.
Maggie fue la más pequeña de todos.
Su padre era muy guapo.
Fuimos a verla por primera vez cuando tenía cuatro semanas.
¡Qué linda era!

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Read the story above and translate it into English.  The translation can be checked against the subtitles on the video clip.

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Look at these two sentences in the perfect tense:
‘Su madre tuvo ocho cachorros.  Maggie fue la más pequeña de todos’.
The use of ‘fue’ is because Maggie was the smallest at that particular (finished) event: The day they were born!

image for imperfect tense practice in Spanish

 

Main Spanish Page:
Spanish for Children

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