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Uses of Verb Tenses

Uses of Verb Tenses

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Published by: michael on Feb 09, 2009
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12/09/2012

 
USE/EXPLANATION OF VERB TENSES 
In Spanish, as in most languages, verb tenses are used in order to indicate the"time" an action/activity takes place. Not all tenses formally exist in all languages.The following are the majority of the tenses in Spanish.1. The Present Tense (el presente) is used to indicate actions/activities thatnormally take place or that are taking place at this time. (Example: I speak Spanish. = (Yo) hablo español.)2. The Preterite Tense (el pretérito) is used to indicate actions/activities thatoccurred in the past. This tense is equivalent to the simple past in English.(Example: I spoke Spanish yesterday. = (Yo) hablé español ayer.)3. The Imperfect Tense (el imperfecto) is used to indicate actions/activities thatalso occurred in the past. It is the equivalent of the "used to ..." in an Englishsentence. There is no formal equivalent Imperfect Tense in English. (Example: Iused to speak Spanish. = (Yo) hablaba español.)4. The Subjunctive Tense (el subjunctivo) is used to express feelings, emotions,opinions, recommendations, preferences, disbelief, denial, or commands aboutother things or people. This tense also has no formal equivalent in English. It oftentranslates into the present tense. (Example: The teacher prefers that the students dotheir homework. = El profesor prefiere que los alumnos hagan su tarea.)5. The Future Tense (el futuro) is used to indicate actions/activities that "will be"taking place. (Example: I will be speaking Spanish tomorrow. = (Yo) hablaréespañol mañana.)6. The Conditional Tense (el condicional) is used to indicate actions/activities thatmay be "based" (have a condition attached) on something else. It is the equivalentof "would..." in an English sentence. It is often found in "if ..., then ..." sentences.(Example: I would speak Spanish, but ... = (Yo) hablaría español, pero ...)7. The Present Progressive Tense (el presente progresivo) is used to indicateactions/activities that "are in progress" (are taking place presently). This tense's useis similar to the Present Tense, except that this tense is used when the action isactually taking place. This tense uses the present tense of "estar" (to be) followed by the present participle form of the action verb. (Example: I am speaking Spanishnow. = (Yo) estoy hablando español ahora.)

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