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Learn Spanish grammar patterns (verb conjugation-preterite)

I love teaching patterns that help my students learn Spanish grammar in a fast and easy way.

In fact, there is an easy pattern that you can use to build the past tense, and here it is!

As you can see in the chart below, there is a similarity on how each ‘person’ in the AR, ER and IR verbs conjugates in the past (I have bolded the similarities). Notice a couple of vowel changes in those conjugations (in red for AR verbs, in blue for ER-IR), and you will be able to memorize these patterns more easily.


Verbs with AR endings: (notice that you keep the letter A for most of the endings in the past tense of AR verbs). Only the past tense for YO goes to the letter e, and carries an accent. The third person (singular), actually ends in an o, the way that YO in the present tense does, except that the third person takes an accent. Also notice that the past tense for nosotros is the same as the present tense for nosotros.

Yo hablÉ

Tú hablASTE

Él/Ella/Ud hablÓ

Nosotros hablAMOS

Vosotros hablASTEIS

Ellos hablARON

ER (notice that you change the E to the letter I for most of endings in the past tense of ER verbs)

Yo comÍ

Tú comISTE

Él/Ella/UD com

Nosotros comIMOS

Vosotros comISTEIS

Ellos comIERON

IR (notice that you keep the letter I for most of endings in the past tense of IR verbs). ER and IR verbs both use the vowel I frequently when changing to the past tense. The past tense for nosotros is the same word as in the present tense.

Yo vivÍ

Tú vivISTE

Él/Ella/Ud vivIÓ

Nosotros (as) vivIMOS

Vosotros vivISTEIS

Ellos vivIERON

I won’t write in my blog all the patterns I have found in Spanish grammar, but I’ll be more than happy to point them out in a class. Please feel free to schedule a class anytime.

Lissette Napoleoni

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