Imperfect Tense

Il Tempo Imperfetto

Also known as the past continuous, the imperfect verb tense is used to describe events taking place in the past without regards to when the event began or ended.

The imperfect tense describes actions that:
• were happening,
• used to happen,
• or happened regularly in the past and on going.

The passato remoto is more akin to the English past tense, in that it specifies an exact time the action took place.

The examples below illustrate the difference with the word parlare:

Imperfect
Lei parlava.
She was speaking.

Passato Remoto
Lai parlò.
She spoke. Conjugation Trainer >

Moods and Tenses

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