I remember hearing that over 85% of communication in a language is in the past tense. Yet, we as language teachers, generally wait until second year to fully engage our students in past tense. Ideally, we should be introducing and exposing students to past tense throughout the whole year. If you are a TPRS teacher, we surely can incorporate past tense into our teaching without teaching the specific endings. For those more traditional teachers, we seem to wait until the end of level 1, as textbooks dictate, before introducing past tense.
I like to first introduce my students to the verb “ir” in the past tense by asking about their weekends when we start class on Monday. The question “Adónde fuiste este fin de semana” with a response of “Yo fui a….” every Monday has students talking about where they went, without even realizing they are using a different tense. (Although explaining that “Yo fui a mi casa” is not a valid response may take some more time😉 )
So here are our products that feature the El Pretérito, the Spanish Preterite (I just can’t spell it Preterit):
FREE Spanish Preterite Lesson: Preterite of AR Verbs:
See why over 300 people have downloaded this packet. The introduction to the preterite tense explains the difference from present tense to past tense and builds on prior learning. Focuses on the endings of -AR verbs in the preterite and explains -Car, -Gar, -Zar verbs.
Preterite of -IR, -ER verbs
If you liked the -AR packet, this one is next in line. 6 page packet reviews -AR verbs in past tense and shows differences between present and past of -ER, and -IR verbs highlighting the difference between “boot” verbs and “flip-flip” verbs. Gives conjugation practice and practice choosing the correct verb for a specific sentence. Includes answers and an alternate packet without flip-flop verbs to keep it simple. Total of 13 pages!
Preterite and Informal Commands Application Worksheet
2 pages to practice with the Spanish past tense of el preterito
Practices using Informal Tú Commands (Positive and Negative)/ Mandatos (Afirmativos y Negativos)
First page: Write a command, telling someone what to do or not to do, based on something that they DID. (20 sentences) Second page: Write what someone did based on what someone is telling them not to do. (14 sentences)
Involves higher level thinking as students are responding to something in the target language and their is no one single answer; they can answer in a variety of ways.
Preterite Spanish Powerpoint Past Tense:
A Powerpoint presentation of 8 slides for student to practice el preterito.
Can be used as Bell Ringer, Class Activity, Exit Slip, or just review.
Presentation includes the answers, just click space bar to begin.
Preterite Canciones Songs for Past Tense Spanish
4 authentic Spanish songs that feature forms of the preterite tense. Includes links to the official video and complete lyrics. Cloze activity (fill in the blanks listening activity) lyric sheet included for one of the songs.
Bonus song also included that is a ‘prequel’ to one of the past tense songs.
Featured songs by: Juanes, Maná, Camila, and Nelly Furtado.
Don’t have YouTube access at school to show the videos? Don’t worry. Instructions included on how to download videos from YouTube and save them to your computer.
Get all of these:
-AR Past Tense Notes Packet (4 pages + answers)*
-ER/IR Past Tense Notes Packet (6 pages + answers)*
-Worksheet on choosing the correct verb and conjugating it based on the sentences (includes answers)
-Powerpoint of Bell Ringers or Class Activities
-Double Sided Worksheet using informal postive and negative commands with past tense*
-Past Tense songs (4 songs using el preterito)*
-Worksheet on IR in past tense
*Files in BOTH PDF and Word, making it capable to edit the files to more directly fit your own classroom’s need
So, do you spell it Preterite or Preterit?