Past tenses in Spanish
Let's see what are the different past tenses in Spanish, what are the differences between them, how to use them, and also where else I can use participle ;)
Past preterite - I did
- Punctual events
- Not habits (even if they are repeated a few times)
- Specific times and/or duration
- Not being able to translate as "used to" or "was doing"
- What happened, what people did
- Habits in the past
- I can translate as "used to" or "was doing"
- More ongoing events
- More unspecific duration
- Describing how things were, how people felt, etc
Perfect tense - Haber + participle
-Recent things that have happened -Things that have happened in general, in life (ex: what you've done in your life)
Ex: He ido a la tienda hoy - I've gone to the shop today.
Ex: He estado en España dos veces - I've been to Spain two times (in my life)
If we go further back and want do do "something HAD happened", we just conjugate "haber" into imperfect:
Ex: Había escuchado eso antes - I had listened to that before.
Other uses of participle
These are cases where we use participle but not in perfect tense or variables of it.
Passive - Ser + participle
Ex: Fue escrita una nueva ley
A new law was written (by someone) - agrees with the person or thing affected.
(we'd have same translation using impersonal "se": Se escribió una nueva ley)
Participle as an adjective
Ex: Estaba dormida
I was asleep - agrees with the person or object that describes
To know more about participle and see more examples, check this post on infinitive, gerund and participle
You're in a long relationship with tenses, so we'll try to make it as enjoyable as possible :)
¡Hasta pronto! :)