Spanish Verbs

The Preterite Tense


There are 2 sets of conjugations for regular verbs in the preterite tense.

This tense is formed by adding the endings to the stem of the verb.

Here are the endings for regular verbs that end in -ar.

  singular plural
first person amos
second person aste asteis
third person aron


t hablaste
l/ella/usted habl
nosotros hablamos
vosotros hablasteis
ellos/ellas/ustedes hablaron

Here are the endings for regular verbs that end in -er or -ir.

  singular plural
first person imos
second person iste isteis
third person i ieron

yo beb
t bebiste
l/ella/usted bebi
nosotros bebimos
vosotros bebisteis
ellos/ellas/ustedes bebieron


The preterite tense is a past tense used to describe actions that lasted for a specific amount of time. In other words, the action had a completion point. (This is in contrast with the imperfect tense, which describes habitual, continuous actions in the past.)

Carlos lleg hace dos das.  Carlos arrived two days ago.
Ellas comieron las galletas ayer.  They ate the cookies yesterday.