The chart below simplifies the uses into general categories; however, the application is often much more complex. In general, the preterite tense is used to convey an idea of completed action in the past, something perceived to have a definite beginning and end, even if it’s not directly stated. In contrast, the Spanish imperfect tense is used to imply an ongoing or incomplete action in the past. It is used for actions that don’t have a defined beginning and end.
|Completed Action||Incomplete Action|
|Interrupting Action||Interrupted Action|
Some of the activities in this lesson plan are designed to isolate these concepts for the student to practice. Others give students the opportunity to piece it all together. However, it is beneficial (but not required) for students to know their conjugations before completing any of the activities.
To extend the activities, allow students to practice speaking and pronunciation! This works especially best with the narrative activity, as students will be able to present their completed story to the class.