VIEWS: 23 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 8/15/2011
¿Pretérito o imperfecto? Cuando llegué a mi casa… mi hermana jugaba con su ordenador (todavía) mi hermana jugó con su ordenador (en ese momento) Think of the preterite as a karate chop, chopping the background of the imperfect. Time line Imperfect Pret. Pret. Pret. Pret. Hacía sol cuando (de repente) hubo un trueno enorme. Entré mi casa, miré por la ventana y vi que llovía. The preterite acts as a rupture, when the situation changes. Events = preterite Context = imperfect Think of a story as a sandwich: Preterite Imperfect Preterite The imperfect is the details, the filling of the sandwich. With out the filling the sandwich is still a sandwich – albeit a not very tasty sandwich. However the bread, or the preterite, is essential. In a story or piece of writing, the essentials are the events as they happen. What makes it interesting – the details, the background information, don’t change the events and aren’t essential. You can also think of the preterite as a skeleton: Not particularly pretty as it is. Until you add the skin and clothes (imperfect). You must respect the constraints of the story or article (the facts), but you can add interest with the imperfect. A final image: Think of a BMW. When you buy it you get a very basic car – the preterite. In its most basic form, you cannot remove any of the parts – it ceases to be the same car. However, you can buy extras for the car (GPS, air conditioning, plasma TV screens) – the imperfect. These make the BMW more interesting and more comfortable, but they do not change the essential car. To summarise Preterite = the facts, what happens, the constraints of what you are writing. Imperfect = the background, the context, what makes your writing more interesting. NB You can also use the imperfect to say what you used to do in the past.
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