Conjugate ir in El Pretérito Imperfecto (imperfect past)

Ir (to go) is irregular in El Pretérito Imperfecto:

yo iba
ibas
él / ella / Ud. iba
nosotros / nosotras
íbamos
vosotros / vosotras
ibais
ellos / ellas / Uds.   iban
The only form with an accent is the nosotros form íbamos.


See and listen to these examples:

 

Yo no iba en tren sino en coche.
I didn't go by train but by car.

Tú ibas de chica en chica de joven.
You used to flit from girl to girl when you were young.

Sofía iba de Madrid a Jaén.
Sofía was going from Madrid to Jaen.

Hace años íbamos a ese camping cada verano.
Years ago we used to go to that campsite every summer.

¿Ibais a Ibiza para vuestra luna de miel?
Were you going to Ibiza for your honeymoon?

Iban de vacaciones a una isla bonita.
They were going on holidays to a lovely island.

For the conjugation of regular verbs see:

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Yo no iba en tren sino en coche.
I didn't go by train but by car.


Sofía iba de Madrid a Jaén.
Sofía was going from Madrid to Jaen.


¿Ibais a Ibiza para vuestra luna de miel?
Were you going to Ibiza for your honeymoon?


Tú ibas de chica en chica de joven.
You used to flit from girl to girl when you were young.


Iban de vacaciones a una isla bonita.
They were going on holidays to a lovely island.


Hace años íbamos a ese camping cada verano.
Years ago we used to go to that campsite every summer.


Q&A Forum 3 questions, 3 answers

Substitute with Pretérito perfecto

It seems to me that in many cases we could substitute the imperfect with perfect. The main difference would be that in the former we talk about a repeated activity and in the latter about whether something ever took place or a few times at the most.

Asked 1 month ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Emanuel

Yes, you could use El Perfecto in lots of these sentences, especially the ones with no time markers, for example in these two:

Sofía iba de Madrid a Jaén.

Sofía was going/ used to go from Madrid to Jaen.

Sofía ha ido de Madrid a Jaén.

Sofía went from Madrid to Jaen.

On this last sentence using El Perfecto, this is talking about either a specific journey that Sofía did at some point in the past without specifying when exactly or simply a sentence explaining part of her trip, again without specyfing on when. 

Saludos

Inma

 

Substitute with Pretérito perfecto

It seems to me that in many cases we could substitute the imperfect with perfect. The main difference would be that in the former we talk about a repeated activity and in the latter about whether something ever took place or a few times at the most.

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Luna de miel

Could I also say por vuestra luna de miel? In case I would like to emphasize the reason for going here, not the timeframe?

Asked 1 month ago
InmaKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hola Emanuel,

Yes, we could have used "por" in this sentence if we meant "because of"Here is the lesson for this usage of por.

Saludos,

Inma

Luna de miel

Could I also say por vuestra luna de miel? In case I would like to emphasize the reason for going here, not the timeframe?

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Would it be ok to use fuisteis in the honeymoon sentence?

Asked 4 months ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

 

Hola Emanuel

Yes, it would be correct but the meaning would change:

¿Fuisteis a Ibiza para vuestra luna de miel?

Did you go to Ibiza for your honeymoon?

¿Ibais a Ibiza para vuestra luna de miel?

Were you going to Ibiza for your honeymoon?

The preterite is expressing a completed action in the past while the imperfect is expressing an ongoing action "to be doing something in the past", or in this case with verb "ir" it has a specific nuance, as if you were saying "Were you planning to go to Ibiza for your honeymoon?

Saludos

Inma

 

Would it be ok to use fuisteis in the honeymoon sentence?

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