Ser in Imperfect vs Preterite [+6 Examples & Quiz]

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In this Spanish grammar lesson, you will learn about ser in imperfect vs preterite.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • ser in imperfect vs preterite
  • how ser in imperfect vs preterite are used in sentences
  • how you can quiz yourself on ser in imperfect vs preterite
  • how you can practice with flashcards on ser in imperfect vs preterite
  • how and why you should use the courses of Language Atlas to learn Spanish

By the end of the lesson you will know all about ser in imperfect vs preterite!

Table of Contents

Ser in Imperfect vs Preterite

The meaning of ser (to be) in the imperfect is different than in the preterite.

In the imperfect, ser will be used to talk about the background information of a characteristic or a situation where the timeframe is not important or not known. We don’t care about when something began or ended.

Here are some examples:

imperfect

Las fiestas del pueblo eran increíbles.

The village festivities were incredible. (We are describing something in the past but not emphasizing on the timeframe)

imperfect

Carlos no era demasiado amable.

Carlos was not too kind. (We describe Carlos in an irrelevant timeframe in the past as we perceive him)

imperfect

Este collar era de mi madre. (we do not covey for how long it was hers)

This necklace belonged to my mother.

In the preterite, ser will be used to talk about characteristics or situations with a definite time period. The action has been completed.

preterite

Las fiestas del pueblo fueron increíbles.

The village festivities were incredible. (We are talking about a specific timeframe, in this case, the last festivities of this village, i.e last year)

preterite

Carlos no fue demasiado amable.

Carlos was not too kind. (We talk about a specific situation in the past where Carlos didn’t act kindly)

preterite

Este collar fue de mi madre. (we convey on a limited timeframe)

This necklace belonged to my mother.

Example Sentences with Ser in Imperfect vs Preterite

This section of the lesson on ser in imperfect vs preterite is about seeing the verbs used in sentences.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding of ser in imperfect vs preterite through examples.

imperfect

Las fiestas del pueblo eran increíbles.

The village festivities were incredible. (We are describing something in the past but not emphasizing on the timeframe)

imperfect

Carlos no era demasiado amable.

Carlos was not too kind. (We describe Carlos in an irrelevant timeframe in the past as we perceive him)

imperfect

Este collar era de mi madre. (we do not covey for how long it was hers)

This necklace belonged to my mother.

preterite

Las fiestas del pueblo fueron increíbles.

The village festivities were incredible. (We are talking about a specific timeframe, in this case, the last festivities of this village, i.e last year)

preterite

Carlos no fue demasiado amable.

Carlos was not too kind. (We talk about a specific situation in the past where Carlos didn’t act kindly)

preterite

Este collar fue de mi madre. (we convey on a limited timeframe)

This necklace belonged to my mother.

Quiz Yourself on Ser in Imperfect vs Preterite

At the end of every lesson you can do a small quiz.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want!

How to Practice With Flashcards for This Lesson

Using flashcards is an absolute necessity when it comes to learning a language!

It is the best way to memorize what you learn, you can personalize your progression because it adapts to your actions, and all flashcards have audio to improve your hearing and pronunciation.

Please read our article on how to learn a new language for more information on flashcards and the best way to learn a new language.

There are two ways to practice with Flashcards for this lesson.

  1. Anki
  2. The Flashcards in our Courses

Anki is a free software with which you can create and practice flashcards.

After you have downloaded Anki for free, you can get our Spanish B2 Anki Deck.

This Anki Deck contains 1,376 flashcards with which you can practice absolutely everything for Spanish B2.

All the flashcards have text, images, explanations, and audio.

You can also use our courses that have flashcards integrated alongside lessons with audio, quizzes and much more!

However, I am sure you are wondering, what are your courses, and why should I take them?

The Courses of Language Atlas

Have you ever wondered what the best way is to learn a new language?

I have been learning languages for over 20+ years and I was always frustrated with books, courses, and classes that I had tried.

It never really seemed to work for me.

I wanted to learn a language in the most effective and efficient way, and there was nothing out there for me.

So I thought, “why not make something myself?“.

Using my experience and by doing research I created Language Atlas, a platform where people can learn French and Spanish in the most effective and efficient way.

I created free lessons and quizzes so that there would always be an easy and accessible way for people to learn or brush up on their language skills.

However, I also created courses that are much more comprehensive and in-depth.

These courses are easy to follow, clear, and allow you to become fluent in the most effective and efficient way.

The courses of Language Atlas have:

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You can register for free and try the French A0/A1 and Spanish A0/A1 Courses for free!

This includes over 60 lessons and quizzes, 500 flashcards that adapt to how you learn, and access to the community (including support from me).

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