Conjugate ser in El Pretérito Imperfecto (imperfect tense)

The verb ser (to be) is irregular in El Pretérito Imperfecto (the imperfect past):

yo

era

eras

él / ella / Ud.

era

nosotros / nosotras

éramos

vosotros / vosotras 

erais

ellos / ellas / Uds.  

eran

NB: Don't forget the accent on éramos!

Don't confuse ser and estar in this tense! Ser is so irregular you might think it looks a bit like estar but estar is regular in the imperfect tense.

Here are some examples to listen to:

Yo era el más pequeño de la familia.
I was the smallest in the family.

eras muy bueno.
You were very good.

Ella era modelo.
She used to be a model.

Nosotros éramos los mejores del campeonato.
We used to be the best in the championship.

Vosotros erais ricos.
You used to be rich.

Ellos eran rápidos.
They were fast.

 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Ella era modelo.
She used to be a model.


Ellos eran rápidos.
They were fast.


eras muy bueno.
You were very good.


Nosotros éramos los mejores del campeonato.
We used to be the best in the championship.


Yo era el más pequeño de la familia.
I was the smallest in the family.


Vosotros erais ricos.
You used to be rich.


Q&A Forum 3 questions, 5 answers

Difference between past imperfect and past indefinite?

Asked 10 months ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Margaret,

Do you mean the "general" difference between the Imperfect and the Preterite? or just for verb "ser"?

Here is a lesson on the general difference that can help you:

[competency id= "6871"]

Inma

Difference between past imperfect and past indefinite?

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Model

In "Ella era modelo," why is this not "
"Ella era modela"? Is model a masculine word regardless of who is the model?

Ricky

Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Ricky,

The word "modelo" as model is invariable, as you guessed, so it will be modelo for a man and a woman, however we do need to use the appropriate article when it is needed:

"La modelo llevaba un vestido azul largo" (it refers to a girl/woman)

"El modelo llevaba una chaqueta vaquera" (it refers to a guy/man)

Saludos

Inma

For the following  example, could this also be translated as 'She was a model'?

Ella era modelo.

She used to be a model.
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Tonya

Sorry about the delay. We didn't receive notification of your message. Just saw it now.

Yes, as the imperfect tense is also used to express a repeated action in the past, you could also translate it as "she used to be a model". However if you want  to emphasise the fact that she was and now she isn't we'd probably use verb "soler" for that, saying:

"Ella solía ser modelo"

Saludos

Inma

Model

In "Ella era modelo," why is this not "
"Ella era modela"? Is model a masculine word regardless of who is the model?

Ricky

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How do you say was at?

As in "I was at the supermarket" vs "I went to the supermarket".
Asked 1 year agodelf a1, help!, vocabulary
InmaKwiziq language super star
Hola Laurie "I was at the supermarket" would be "Yo estaba/estuve en el supermercado." (from "estar") "I went to the supermarket" would be "Yo iba/fui al supermercado." (from "ir") Bear in mind that we can use both the Imperfecto (estaba) or the Indefinido (estuve) in the first sentence, as well as in the second sentence we could use the Imperfecto (iba) or the Indefinido (fui). I hope it helped. Inma

How do you say was at?

As in "I was at the supermarket" vs "I went to the supermarket".

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