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The imperfect tense of -er and -ir verbs

The imperfect tense of -er and -ir verbs is formed using a different set of endings to -ar verbs. Almost all verbs commonly classed as "irregular" ending in -er/-ir also follow this pattern.

The basic pattern is that the infinitive ending (-er or -ir) is replaced with -ía. Then, regular person endings are added where necessary. Adding -ía then the person endings, this gives the following endings for the imperfect of -er and -ir verbs:

yo-íahacer > hacía
I was making/doing, I used to do/make
-íascomer > comías
you were eating, you used to eat
él/ellas-íaescribir > escribía
he/she was writing, he/she used to write
nosotros, -as-íamosleer > leíamos
we were reading, we used to read
vosotros, -as-íaisvender > vendíais
you were (all) selling, you (all) used to sell
ellos/ellas-íancorrer > corrían
they were running, they used to run
Regular imperfect tense forms of Spanish -er and -ir verbs.

Next: practise these forms

On the next page, you can practise the above forms with an on-line imperfect tense exercise on -er and -ir verbs.

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