Spanish Two Verb Imperfect Spanish Verb Conjugation

Hola. Just like you previously learned, whenever there are two verbs in a row, the first one is conjugated and the second one is left in its infinitive form. In other words, the second verb is not conjugated.

Spanish mini-course

I was going to go Iba a ir
She was hoping to study tonight Esperaba estudiar esta noche
She wanted to eat it. Quería comerlo
Juan didn’t know how to swim. Juan no sabía nadar
We didn’t need to do it. No necesitábamos hacerlo
They had to eat it. Tenían que comerlo.
I wasn’t able to finish it. No podía terminarlo.
He used to prefer to go alone. Prefería ir solo.

Now let's practice with the Spanish verb "gustar".  Remember, gustar changes from "gusta" (if the item that follows or “what you like” is singular) to "gustan" (if the item following or “what you like” is plural).  This concept is the same in the "Back" tense where gustar changes from "gustaba" (singular) to "gustaban" (plural).  Just like the other tenses, if you use two verbs in a row, you don't have to conjugate the second verb.  And since the second verb is considered “one item” or “one thing” we use the singular "gustaba" instead of “gustaban”.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Singular or Verb After Plural
I used to like to read (reading) Me gustaba leer I used to like tacos Me gustaban los tacos
María used to like to swim (swimming) María le gustaba nadar María used to like cookies A María le gustaban las galletas
We used to like the car Nos gustaba el carro We used to like those cars Nos gustaban esos carros
They used to like to run (running) Les gustaba corer They used to like French fries Les gustaban las papas fritas


I was preparing to answer preparaba contester
(Marta) You used to want to dance querías bailar
He desired to know deseaba saber
She was hoping to buy esperaba comprar
(Sra. Benites) You used to invite me to eat dinner me invitaba a comer
We needed to arrive necesitabamos llegar
They were planning to change planeaban cambiar
All of you used to teach them to swim les enseñaban a nadar
I allowed them to enter les permetía entrar
(Martín) You were learning to sing aprendías a cantar
He used to like to cook le gustaba cocinar
She was finishing to paint terminaba de pintar
(Sr. Mendes) You were trying to sell trataba de vender
We used to want to clean queríamos limpiar
They prepared to deliver preparaban entregar
All of you were hoping to surprise esperaban sorprender
I used to desire to return deseaba regresar
(Juana) You hoped to eat breakfast esperabas desayunar
He was preparing to play (instrument) preparaba tocar
She used to invite us to visit nos invitaba a visitor
(Sra. Benites) You were planning to draw planeaba dibujar
We used to need to study necesitabamos estudiar
They allowed you to work te permitían trabajar
All of you were learning to use aprendían usar
I was teaching him to drive le enseñaba a manejar
We used to like to help nos gustaba ayudar
We hoped to travel esperabamos viajar
(Rosa) You were trying to decide tratabas de decidir
(Raúl) You used to want to play Querías jugar
We liked to drink nos gustaba beber