I am studying Spanish for A2 at the moment, and I am really struggling to remember all the tenses and their uses! Can anyone help me, or know any good tips for learning them? My teacher is really useless at covering grammar ! E.g Conditional, Pluperfect, Perfect....and then the subjunctive mood!
Help With Spanish Tenses! Watch
- Thread Starter
Last edited by thesilvermagnolia; 06-12-2010 at 16:46.
- 06-12-2010 16:41
- 11-12-2010 08:36
Lol. Not asking for much then
Preterite is for a finite, definite point in time. I did something once, A hundred years ago the world WAS different.
I did it that one time, even if I did it many times, I'm only referring to what I did that ONE time. Although the world was different for a while, for years, and was a constant thing, it was, and now it isn't, it began in the past, it ended in the past, it has no effect on the present.
Imperfect is used for an action that went on for a period of time or was habitual i.e. "I used to..."
So for example, two sentences.
Cuando Alice estaba volviendo a casa, vio a su ex. "When Alice was going home, she saw her ex" which implies DURING the action of going home, she saw her ex-boyfriend.
WHEREAS Cuando Alice volvió a casa, vio a su ex means something completely different.
It means that once she had got home, then she saw her ex, which would be a bit weird because it implies her ex was in her house because she'd already got home.
Jugué al fútbol = I played football (in the past, at least once, I did, I may or may not now)
Jugaba al fútbol = I used to play football on more than one occasion, although I did it in the past, it doesn't mean I don't still do it, but I'm just saying I did habitually play football.)
haber + past participle
translates usually as "I have eaten/done/said"
Something that started in the past, but still has an effect/carries onto the present.
e.g. En mi vida, he cometido muchos errores = In my life, I HAVE made many mistakes. (Because my life isn't over yet, so I can't really say "en mi vida, cometí muchos errores" and those mistakes that were made in the past still affect me now.)
Also, it often means something fairly recent, and you get some peculiarities that aren't the same in English e.g. ayer desayuné, hoy he desayunado. Yesterday I had breakfast, today I have had breakfast. But in English you could say "I had breakfast today" but in Spanish you can't, because yesterday is the "past" and today is the "present", so you can't use the preterite for today.
So, in English you would say "This morning, the Queen died" but in Spanish you have to say "Esta mañana la reina HA muerto" This morning the Queen has died. Because it's THIS morning, not yesterday morning, or tomorrow morning i.e. not the past or the future, but the present morning.
However, saying that, in Galicia in Spain they don't use the past perfect, so they would say like we do "esta mañana la reina murió".
Basically the same as in English, when you say "I would", you use the conditional. I would like to go to the theatre = me gustaría ir al teatro. Simple.
Same as English mostly, you won't need to know the others seeing as it's just A2, "will" I will go to the theatre : iré al teatro.
Very difficult to learn, there are few absolute rules per sé, many people get taught different things. I was taught NUDDE: verbs that convey negativity, uncertainty, doubt, desire and emotion. But that doesn't cover everything.
There are "triggers", phrases that require the subjunctive by default, you just have to learn them off by heart there's no formula, like "antes de que" before,
"él envió una carta antes de que muriera" he sent a letter before he died.
después de que, hasta que, para que, a fin que... just gotta learn them.
Then there are "hypothetical clauses" which are basically
"If I won the lottery, I would buy a car" whenever you use if and would together, whatever follows the if is the imperfect subjunctive.
"Si ganase la lotería, compraría un cochazo" If I won the lottery...
"Si tuvieras que comer una cadáver, lo harías?" If you had to eat a corpse, would you?
- 11-12-2010 08:47
oh, and as for pluperfect, it's identical to English. When an action in the past precedes another action in the past, the first action goes in the pluperfect, like in English.
I HAD already been to Spain when I started to learn Spanish.
Ya había estado en España cuando empecé a estudiar castellano/español.
I mean in English, if you say I went to Spain when I started to learn Spanish, it means something completely different right? It means as a result or simultaneously I went to Spain and started to study Spanish.
Also, in hypothetical tenses, if you want to convey a "past within a past" i.e. talking about a past action that came before another past action, not something that happened in the past that has lead to the present, you just turn the perfect into the pluperfect.
Si supiera hablar español, iría a España. If I KNEW how to speak Spanish, I would GO to Spain.
Si hubiera sabido hablar español, habría ido a España. If I HAD KNOWN how to speak Spanish, I would HAVE GONE to Spain.