Spanish Imperfect AR Verbs Spanish Verb Conjugation

Bienvenido, in the last lesson, you learned the theory of how “Back” verbs work in the Spanish language. Now let’s learn the endings for “ar” Back verbs.

Spanish mini-course

Now learn the following “ar” Back verbs. Don't forget to use the flashcards and Lingo Dingo review games above!

Yo aba nosotros
Notice the accent on the “a”
abas vosotros (used only in Spain) (Tú Plural) abais
Él aba ellos aban
Ella ellas
usted (Ud.) ustedes (uds.)

Let’s review those again.

aba - abas - aba - ábamos - abais - aban

Now let’s put the endings on the verb “hablar”. Remember, “hablar” means “to speak or talk”.

The “yo form” would be “hablaba”. Remember, that means, “I was speaking”, “I used to speak”, or “I spoke every week” or “on Thursdays”. Since “every week” represents an indefinite period of time without a specific beginning or ending, we use the imperfect or “back tense”. For now, for the charts in this lesson, we’ll just use “was” as in “I was speaking”. (Yo) hablaba We were speaking (Nosotros) hablábamos
Remember the accent on the “a” before the “b”.
Juan or María, You were speaking (remember, if I’m on a first-name basis with someone like Juan or María, I will use “tú” instead of “Ud.”. (Tú) hablabas (tú plural or Vosotros – used only in Spain) (Vosotros) hablabais
He was speaking
She was speaking
Dr. Garcia, you were speaking
(El) hablaba
(Ella) hablaba (Ud.) hablaba
They were speaking
They (feminine) were speaking
All of were speaking
(Ellos) hablaron
(Ellas) hablaron (Uds.) hablaron

Remember, Ud. hablaba means,

“You were speaking”
“You used to speak”
“You spoke sometimes” or “You spoke” using another non-specific period of time without a beginning or ending like “always”, or “every week”.

yo nosotros
él, ella, Ud. ellos, ellas, Uds.

Now, you may have noticed that the endings for “Yo” and “él, ella, Ud.” are the same. That’s not a mistake, they are the same. It’s similar to English where “I was” is the same as “He was” or “she was”. Remember that Spanish speakers like to leave off the pronouns. However, you can always add them anytime you want or need to clarify whom you’re talking about. Just remember, native speakers often leave them off.

Now let’s try a few of these using the chart on the screen and the verb “mirar”.

I was watching / (yo mir(ar) Miraba
You used to watching / (tú mir(ar) Mirabas
He watched (sometimes) / (él mir(ar) Miraba
She was watching / (ella mir(ar) Miraba
You used to watch / (Ud. mir(ar) Miraba
We watched (every week)/ (Nosotros mir(ar) Mirábamos
They (m.) were watching / (ellos mir(ar) Miraban
They (f.) used to  watch / (ellas mir(ar) Miraban
All of you watched (every night) / (Uds. mir(ar) Miraban

Remember, that the ellos form of “miraban” means:
“They were watching”
“They used to watch”
“They watched sometimes”
“on Thursdays”
Or “every once in a while”

Remember, the back or imperfect tense represents an indefinite period of time without a specific starting or ending point.

Now, since repetition is the name of the game in learning a language, let’s repeat the endings again.

aba - abas - aba - ábamos - abais - aban

Now we’ll practice with a few different verbs. Are you ready?

I used to dance (Yo) bailaba
You were resting – using “tú” (Tú) descansabas
He studied every Monday (Él) estudiaba cada lunes
She used to call (Ella) llamaba
You were traveling to the beach… (Ud.) viajaba a la playa…
We used to visit… (Nosotros) visitábamos
They drove every week (Ellos) manejaban
All of you were practicing (Uds.) practicaban

Spanish Review

I was answering contestaba
(Marta) You used to arrive… llegabas
He asked (sometimes) preguntaba
She was buying compraba
(Sra. García) You used call llamaba
We carried it (on Thursdays) lo llevábamos
They were changing cambiaban
All of you used to clean limpiaban
I conversed (every day) conversaba
(Pepe) You were cooking cocinaba
He used to dance bailaba
She delivered (daily) entregaba
(Sr. Mendes) You were drawing dibujaba
We used to work trabajábamos
They ate breakfast (almost every day) desayunaban
All of you were eating dinner cenaban
I used to explain it lo explicaba
(Juana) You fixed it (every week) lo arreglaba
He was finishing it lo terminaba
She used to go down bajaba
(Sra. Álvarez) You were helping ayudaba
We used to hit it lo pegábamos
They always invited them siempre los invitaban
All of you were jumping saltaban