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Matt P.
Undergraduate Student
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Spanish
TutorMe
Question:

How does one know if one needs to use the preterite or the imperfect tense?

Matt P.
Answer:

Preterite is a snapshot in time. It ended; where as the imperfect is more of a continuous action, sometimes habitual. The imperfect also describes time, weather, age, etc. There are certain words that will cue either tense such as, every day(imperfect), "used to"(imperfect), Instantly(preterite), all of the sudden(preterite), etc. The preterite can interrupt an imperfect action. Such as, the ball was falling and then the glass broke.

Italian
TutorMe
Question:

How do you form the compound past?

Matt P.
Answer:

One must use the auxiliary verb, avere or essere. Conjugate it according to the subject(s). Then, you write the past participle. (Sometimes irregular) If essere was chosen, make it agree to how many people are speaking and the genders. For example, Io ho deciso, Tu hai fatto, loro sono andate.

French
TutorMe
Question:

How do you form the composed past tense?

Matt P.
Answer:

One must use the auxiliary verb, avoir or etre. Conjugate it according to the subject(s). Then, you write the past participle. (Sometimes irregular) If etre was chosen, make it agree to how many people are speaking and the genders. Ex. J'ai choisi. Tu as fini. Tu es disparue.

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