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Preterite Two Verbs — Spanish Verb Conjugation

Welcome to the last lesson in the Spine (or preterite) verbs. Here, we’ll take a look at how to use the spine tense with two verbs. It’s very simple and similar to what you’ve done before. Take a look here and see how it’s done in Spanish.


The first Spanish verb is conjugated in the spine tense, and the second verb is left in its infinitive form. (In other words, it isn’t conjugated.) For example, if you wanted to say “I went to eat”, you would say “(Yo) fui a comer”. Remember the “yo” is optional.

The phrase “I had to go” would be “Tuve que ir”.

And finally, the phrase “I couldn’t hear” would be “No pude oír”.

Notice that in each of these examples, the first verb is conjugated in the spine tense and the second verb is not conjugated.

Now, we’ll take a look at a unique irregular verb before we practice. It’s the verb “gustar”. To say, “I liked the book” we would say “Me gustó el libro”. As I’ve mentioned before, “gustar” is an irregular verb. Because it’s conjugated backwards, you are literally saying “the book pleased me”. Even if you said, “I, you, he, she we, or they liked the book”, you would always use “gustó”. 

Me
Te
Le                                gustó el libro
Nos
Les

Just like you learned in the present tense section, if we’re talking about liking more than one thing, we have to change gustar. For the past or spine tense, we change it to: “gustaron”. For example if I said, “I, you, he, she we, or they liked the books (plural)”, you would use “gustaron”.

Me
Te
Le                                gustaron los libros
Nos
Les

With all of those concepts in mind, you should now be ready to practice.


Spine Spanish Practice Session

This practice session practices a few two-verb spine verbs.

I hoped to see it

Esperé verlo

(Marta) You desired to learn more

Deseó aprender más

He preferred to open it

Prefirió abrirlo

She couldn’t decide

No pudo decider

(Sra. González) You needed to prepare it. Didn’t you?

Necesitó prepararlo. ¿No?

We went to eat dinner

Fuimos a cenar

They didn’t like to swim

No les gustó nadir

All of you hoped to visit them (ellas)

Esperaron visitarlas

I couldn’t do it.

No pude hacerlo

(Juan) You preferred to wait.

Prefirió esperar.

We liked the book

Nos gustó el libro

She liked the books

Le gustaron los libros


Like usual, if you feel comfortable with these, please move on.

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