Since we are talking to visits to the doctor, you may want to tell what you did that resulted in you not feeling well. In order to do this, you need to use el pretérito indefinido. (Most textbooks just call it the preterit, even though the preterit actually just means past and there are different kinds of past tense conjugation). Here are the conjugations of the pretérito indefinido of regular verbs.
What do you notice about these conjugations?
The nosotr@s form for –ar and –ir verbs is the same in the preterit as in the present tense. You tell by context whether it is present or past. Note that for –er verbs the, it is ¨emos¨ for present and ¨imos¨ for preterit.
•¿Qué (comer) tú ayer?
–How would you conjugate this verb in this sentence?
–The form accepted as ¨correct¨ is ¨comiste.¨
–However, many speakers would ask, ¨¿Qué comistes ayer? This is fine for informal speech, but in formal contexts, ¨comiste¨ may be the form that people expect to hear. You may want to practice this in class so that you can choose the formal register when called for. In writing in the educational or work setting, using the formal register is recommended, unless imitating speech for fiction or reporting what someone has said.
•Why do you think that ¨comistes¨ is so common?
•It is because every other ¨tú¨ conjugation ends in ¨s.¨ Our brains pick up that rule and put an ¨s¨ on the preterit ¨tú¨ conjugation as well.
•¿Qué hiciste ayer (yesterday)?
•Me levanté, desayuné y asistí a mis clases.
•Ask several students what they did at several times in the past. You will need the verb ¨hacer,¨ which is irregular in the preterit. Before you begin, look below for some useful vocabulary for talking about the past.
You may be asking... What about stem changing verbs? –ar and –er verbs do not stem change in any of the conjugations. –ir verbs do. We will learn how soon.
Some useful words to talk about the past:
|esta mañana||this morning|
|anteayer||the day before yesterday|
|la semana pasada||last week|
|el fin de semana pasado||last weekend|
After ¨antes de¨ or ¨después de,¨ the verb isn´t conjugated if the subject is the same as the other subject in the sentence. However, if the verb is reflexive, you still have to make sure the reflexive pronoun matches the subject of the verb.
Me ducho después de hacer ejercicio.
Voy a Starbucks antes de ir al campus.
María toma las pruebas despues de estudiar y practicar.
Manuel corre antes de ducharse, tomarse un café y mirar la televisión antes del trabajo.