Simple Past Tense

The pretérito is the Spanish simple past tense, used to talk about things that were completed in the past.

Compré una chaqueta.   I bought a jacket.
Comimos a las ocho.   We ate at 8.
Fueron al banco.   They went to the bank.
¿Hiciste tu tarea?   Did you do your homework?

The pretérito and imperfecto are often confusing for Spanish students – learn the difference.

Pretérito conjugations: Regular verbs

Most regular Spanish -AR, -ER, and -IR verbs are conjugated with a standard root (found by dropping the infinitive) plus the appropriate endings.

HABLAR – to talk
yo hablé   nosotros  hablamos
hablaste   vosotros hablasteis

habló   ellos hablaron
COMER – to eat
yo comí   nosotros  comimos
comiste   vosotros comisteis
él com   ellos comieron
VIVIR – to live
yo viví   nosotros  vivimos
viviste   vosotros vivisteis
él viv   ellos vivieron

Note that the pretérito endings are identical for -ER and -IR verbs.

There are also, however, a number of verbs which are irregular in the pretérito.

Test on pretérito

More Pretérito