Preterito vs. Imperfeito

Hi all,
What is exactly the difference between the preterito and the imperfeito? I don’t get when we need to use one or the other…
Thanks a lot for your help!

Olá, @nmarquet. Sorry, I missed this topic before!

So, you might have already seen this Learning Note on the pretérito imperfeito (imperfect past / past continuous): Past Continuous Tense | Practice Portuguese

But this other forum post might help you understand more clearly the differences in use between that tense and the pretérito perfeito (simple past): Era uma noite escura e tempestuosa - Portuguese Questions - Practice Portuguese → The post is on a thread dedicated to creative writing, but the comment also reflects how the tenses are used in the real world.

Let me know if you have any follow-up questions after going through those :slight_smile:


Okay. So, this is my biggest issue with Practice Portuguese. Very little is explained and the paying client is expected to simply figure everything out. There’s limited information on using the app. For all I know, it’s all there and I’m an idiot as nobody has explained much.

I’m on the questions chapter currently and had the section or whatever it’s called on prepositions in front of questions. There is no information on why a person would want to add a preposition or on how it changes or impacts the meaning of the question. Therefore, how am I supposed to know whether or not to add a preposition and what it means if somebody uses it in a conversation.

It’s the same thing here. In order to determine which past tense to use I have to first know that a forum post exists and figure out that I needed the whole double login. Then I need to find the post and hope that somebody answered it accurately. I am skeptical as I am paying Practice Portuguese and not some rando on a forum. The differences in tenses is basic grammer and should not require logging into a third party hosted site to initiate a new user session to maybe get an answer. Maybe I’m supposed to have a grammar book to go along with the course, but I was never told.

Joseph is part of the Practice Portuguese team, not some rando. :slightly_smiling_face:

You do not need to use the forum if you don’t like it. It’s just an option if you want to discuss things with our team and fellow learners. It is not intended to be the only way of learning. That’s what the content in our main site is for: Units, Smart Review, Verbs, Learning Notes, Shorties, Podcasts, Videos, etc.

As for prepositions, if you’re following the Units, there will be more instruction on that later in the course. The Questions unit only introduces it, because we think it would be overwhelming to have a full explanation of prepositions at that stage.

But if you’d like to skip ahead:

It’s important to play an active role in the learning process when learning a language, so there will be many things that come up that don’t fully make sense right away. With time and patience, more will be explained as you continue through the Units and other content.

We’re available by email to answer questions when they come up, but usually these answers will involve further learning on your part.

For questions about how to use the app, you can also reach out directly via email or our contact form.

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