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How To Describe Past Events in Spanish

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Today we will discuss how to describe past events in Spanish. Sometimes you’ll run into a old friend who you have not seen for many years. This person knows everything about your life in the past, but he/she has no idea what you are up to right now. In this lesson, we are going to learn to explain things from the past that are still the same and also how to talk about things that have changed.

Take a look at this e-mail from Carlos, who has not seen Fernando since high school 15 years ago.

Hola Fernando, cómo estás? Estaba mirando fotos de la escuela anoche, y me acordé de ti y lo bien que la pasábamos en la escuela. Bueno, te cuento, algunas cosas han cambiado un poco. Ya no persigo chicas, me casé y tuve un hijo. He dejado de fumar y ya no bebo como antes, aunque todavía me gusta tomar algunas cervezas los fines de semana. Afortunadamente sigo teniendo pelo, y todavía uso lentes, porque sigo sin poder ver los números del autobús cuando está lejos. Espero verte pronto y recordar Viejas épocas. Ya ves, me he vuelto un hombre responsible pero sigo siendo un buen tipo.

Abrazos,

Carlos.

 

Hi Fernando, how are you? I was looking at pictures from school last night, and I thought of you and how what a good time we had in school. Well, I tell you, some things have changed a bit. I am no longer chasing girls, I got married and I had a son. I stopped smoking and I do not drink like I did before, although I still like to drink a few beers on the weekends. Fortunately I still have hair and I still wear glasses, because I still can’t see the bus numbers from far away. I hope to see you soon and talk about old times. You see, I’ve become a responsible man but I’m still a good guy.

Cheers,

Carlos.

 

As you can see, there are different structures to speak about the different things that Carlos still does and what he has stopped doing.

Things that he still does:

Seguir (conjugated) + Gerund: Sigo teniendo pelo (I still have hair) / Sigo siendo un buen tipo (I’m still a good guy)

Todavía + Present tense: Todavía me gusta tomar algunas cervezas. (I still like to drink a few beers)

Seguir sin + Infinitive (when you didn’t do in the past and still don’t): Sigo sin poder ver el número del autobús…(because I still can’t see the bus numbers)

The things that he has stopped doing.

Ya no + Present tense: Ya no persigo chicas. (I am no longer chasing girls)

Dejar de + Infintive: Dejé de fumar (I stopped smoking)

Volverse (to became, is a change in the personality): Me he vuelto un hombre responsible (I’ve become a responsible man).

Hopefully this lesson helps you out when you want to talk about things in the past and how they relate to the present.

 

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How to describe past event in Spanish

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