Unit 4 - Mastering the "Big Three" Tenses
Lesson 4.1 - Practicing the Present, Preterite, and Imperfect
Exercises 4.1 Quiz 4.1

You are now familiar with all three of the most important tenses of Spanish. Now put them together.

Celebrating Your Progress

By making it this far, you've proven you are serious about your study of Spanish.

While there are more complications coming with irregular verbs in the near future, it's time to take stock of your progress to date!

You have mastered regular conjugation in all three of the most important tenses in the Spanish language.

With the present tense, and the two past tenses of preterite and imperfect, there is a large chunk of material that is now comprehensible to you.

This Unit Will be a Respite

It is a brief pause in the frantic pace of learning more verb patterns.

For now, just celebrate your victory over the Big Three, and use the exercises in this lesson to practice them all in one place.

Pay Attention to Which Tense is Requested

Because all three tenses are now part of the exercises, it pays to slow down a bit and use all the clues available to pick your answer.

In particular, some exercises in the past tense could potentially be answered with either the preterite or the imperfect, even though the meaning would be slightly different.

Watch the prompt below the sentence to see which tense the exercise wants you to enter.

Note the Color of the Input Box

As another visual cue, the color of the input box and its border change depending on what tense the exercise is requesting.

Let's look at the three tenses you have studied so far:

A Present Tense Exercise

The input has a green background, which means present tense.

A Preterite Tense Exercise

The input background is red, indicating past tense. Specifically, it is a bright red to indicate the preterite tense.

An Imperfect Tense Exercise

The input background is red again, indicating past tense. But this time it is a lighter red or pink. That means the exercise is requesting the imperfect tense.

You may also be wondering about that green border around the input box.

A green border indicates that the verb form is in the indicative mood, which is true of all the tenses we have discussed.

Don't worry about what that means yet. We will talk about moods when we get to the subjunctive and the imperative much later in the lessons.

I think you will find that the color coding can be very helpful in avoiding mistakes in the exercises.

Keep Your Eyes Open for New Verb Forms

In these exercises, you will also begin to see irregular verbs in the sentences. You will not be asked to provide irregular verb forms yet, but you will see some of them in the context.

That affords you a little glimpse of what is to come in future units.