Conjugate and recognise ir and ser in El Pretérito Indefinido (simple past)

The verbs ser (to be) and ir (to go) have identical conjugations in El Pretérito Indefinido (the simple past):

yo fui    I was/went
fuiste    you were/went
él / ella / ud.  
fue    he was/went 
nosotros / nosotras 
fuimos    we were/went
vosotros / vosotras 
fuisteis      you were/went 
ellos / ellas / uds.  
fueron
   they were/went
You can tell which verb is meant by the presence of the preposition a after the verb. Ser is never followed by a, but ir always is!

Read and listen to these examples: 

Yo fui el primero de mi clase el año pasado.
I was the first in my class last year.

Yo fui a casa de mi abuela la semana pasada.
I went to my grandmother house last week.

fuiste campeón de natación hace dos años.
You were a swimming champion two years ago.

fuiste a Buenos Aires en enero.
You went to Buenos Aires in January.

Él fue alpinista en su juventud.
He was a climber in his youth.

Ella fue a la peluquería ayer.
She went to the hairdresser yesterday.

Nosotras fuimos responsables de ese proyecto.
We were responsible for that project.

Nosotras fuimos a la playa el pasado agosto.
We went to the beach last August.

Vosotros fuisteis amigos durante la infancia.
You were friends during childhood.

Vosotros fuisteis a San Sebastián en primavera.
You went to San Sebastian in the spring.

Ellos fueron muy famosos el año pasado.
They were very famous last year.

Ellas fueron al cine.
They went to the cinema.

 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Usted fue a casa de su tía la semana pasada.
You went to your aunt's house last week.


Yo fui a casa de mi abuela la semana pasada.
I went to my grandmother house last week.


Ellas fueron al cine.
They went to the cinema.


Vosotros fuisteis amigos durante la infancia.
You were friends during childhood.


¿Ustedes fueron al concierto ayer?
Did you go to the concert yesterday?


Vosotros fuisteis a San Sebastián en primavera.
You went to San Sebastian in the spring.


¿Ellas fueron pintoras durante los sesenta?
Were they painters during the sixties?


Ella fue a la peluquería ayer.
She went to the hairdresser yesterday.


fuiste campeón de natación hace dos años.
You were a swimming champion two years ago.


¿Vosotras fuisteis estudiantes de la Universidad de Salamanca?
Were you students of the University of Salamanca?


Nosotras fuimos a la playa el pasado agosto.
We went to the beach last August.


Él fue alpinista en su juventud.
He was a climber in his youth.


Yo fui el primero de mi clase el año pasado.
I was the first in my class last year.


Ella fue muy alegre toda su vida.
She was very happy all her life.


Él fue a comprar fruta.
He went to buy fruit.


Nosotras fuimos responsables de ese proyecto.
We were responsible for that project.


fuiste a Buenos Aires en enero.
You went to Buenos Aires in January.


Ellos fueron muy famosos el año pasado.
They were very famous last year.


Q&A

Ricky

Kwiziq community member

12 July 2018

1 reply

ese or este?

Nosotras fuimos responsables de ese proyecto.
We were responsible for this project.

Shouldn't this be "este proyecto?"

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

12 July 2018

12/07/18

Corrected!

Gracias Ricky.

Ricky

Kwiziq community member

12 July 2018

3 replies

a la casa?

For:

Yo fui a casa de mi abuela la semana pasada.
I went to my grandmother house last week.

Why is this not fui a la casa rather than fui a casa?

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

12 July 2018

12/07/18

Hi Ricky,

Both options are correct "Yo fui a casa de mi abuela" or "Yo fui a la casa de mi abuela".

When we talk about going to places we generally use the article el/la, e.g Voy a la peluquería (I am going to the hairdressers), Vamos a la playa (We are going to the beach). However when we go to people's houses to visit them we tend to omit the article, so it is more common to see "Voy a casa de...". It is also a question of style and it may also be regional.

There is a very subtle nuance when you use the article as well. If you say "Voy a la casa de mi abuela" it doesn't necessarity mean you are going to see her, but you are simply going to the place. If you omit the article "Voy a casa de mi abuela", people generally understand you are visiting.

I hope this helped,

Inma

Matthew

Kwiziq community member

18 September 2018

18/09/18

subtle*

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

18 September 2018

18/09/18

Gracias :))

Valerie

Kwiziq community member

1 July 2018

2 replies

Sorry. Didn't finish the question! So what I call the preterito, you call the preterito indefinito? And imperfecto de indicative, you call pret.im

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

1 July 2018

1/07/18

Hi Valerie

Here is a list of tense names that will probably help.

https://spanish.kwiziq.com/spanish-tense-names

Valerie

Kwiziq community member

1 July 2018

1/07/18

Thank you!

Valerie

Kwiziq community member

1 July 2018

1 reply

Could you give me a list of names for the verb tenses? I keep mistaking preterito imperfecto for preterito indefinite

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

1 July 2018

1/07/18

Hola Valerie

Here is a list with tense names.

It will probably help.

https://spanish.kwiziq.com/spanish-tense-names

Inma

allison

Kwiziq community member

1 May 2018

4 replies

The answer I just got wrong was "Yo fui de la fiesta". Your note in this lesson says ser is always followed by "a"

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

1 May 2018

1/05/18

Hola Allison

The note in the lesson is saying that "Ser (to be) is not followed by preposition "a" but Ir (to go) is followed by preposition "a".

In the sentence "Yo fui a la fiesta", fui means "I went..." not "I was".

I hope this clarifies your doubt.

Gracias

Inma

allison

Kwiziq community member

1 May 2018

1/05/18

The example is "Yo fui DE la fiesta."

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

2 May 2018

2/05/18

Hola Allison

I do apologise. You are absolutely right. That question is showing a different preposition after "fui" as "went" and that is very confussing. I will remove that question from that lesson.

For your information "ir de fiesta" is an idiom which means "to party", that's why.

I hope that makes more sense now.

Thank you very much for reporting this.

Saludos

Inma

paul

Kwiziq community member

13 June 2018

13/06/18

Tambíén

"Fui de compras" I wnet shopping

papi

Kwiziq community member

16 April 2018

1 reply

Would it not be imperfect?

One of the questions in this section was:

Mi prima ________ Miss Universo. .My cousin was Miss UniverseHINT: Conjugate "ser" in Pretérito indefinido

I got this correct (fue), because of the section it is in, but would it not be better to use the imperfect for this example?  Mi prima era Miss Universo.   There is no time frame involved, outside of being in the past.  Does it really matter? Just wondering.  Thank you.

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

16 April 2018

16/04/18

Hi Papi

We haven't put any emphasis on the timeframes in this lesson as it is all to do with verbs IR and SER having the same form in the preterite. This sentence could be using both "fui" and "era" depending on the the timeframe when the action happened, being more specific (preterite) or more irrelevant (imperfect). We are at the moment doing a lesson to differenciate verb "ser" in the preterite and in the imperfect so you will have more information very soon :))

Saludos

Inma

Find your Spanish level for FREE

Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard

find your Spanish level

Why not share the love?!

Getting that for you now.