Conjugate soler in El Pretérito Imperfecto

Soler (to usually do something) is regular in El Pretérito Imperfecto.
Have a look at its conjugation:

yo solía
solías
él / ella / Ud. solía
nosotros / nosotras 
solíamos
vosotros / vosotras
solíais
ellos / ellas / Uds.   solían


Listen to these examples of soler in El Pretérito Imperfecto.

Yo solía cantar en un grupo de rock.
I used to sing in a rock band.

Tú solías salir con esa chica, ¿verdad?
You used to go out with that girl, didn't you?

Miguel solía ir al campo cada domingo.
Miguel used to go to the countryside every Sunday.

Nosotras solíamos nadar en la piscina local.
We used to swim in the local swimming pool.

¿Vosotros solíais venir aquí a menudo?
Did you used to come here often?

Ellos solían celebrar la Navidad con sus hermanos pero ahora no.
They used to celebrate Christmas with their brothers but not any more.

 

Look how in the examples soler is always followed by an infinitive. We use soler in El Pretérito Imperfecto combined with another verb to express what "you used to do in the past".


See also Conjugate regular -er and -ir verbs in El Pretérito Imperfecto (imperfect)

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Tú solías salir con esa chica, ¿verdad?
You used to go out with that girl, didn't you?


Yo solía cantar en un grupo de rock.
I used to sing in a rock band.


Nosotras solíamos nadar en la piscina local.
We used to swim in the local swimming pool.


Ellos solían celebrar la Navidad con sus hermanos pero ahora no.
They used to celebrate Christmas with their brothers but not any more.


¿Vosotros solíais venir aquí a menudo?
Did you used to come here often?


Miguel solía ir al campo cada domingo.
Miguel used to go to the countryside every Sunday.


Q&A Forum 5 questions, 5 answers

AnneA2Kwiziq community member

Why is cantor translated to PLAY instead of SING in the example?

Why is cantor translated to PLAY instead of SING in the example?

Asked 2 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Anne

It is now changed to "used to sing".

Gracias y saludos

Inma

Why is cantor translated to PLAY instead of SING in the example?

Why is cantor translated to PLAY instead of SING in the example?

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JenB1Kwiziq community member

soler (imperfect) + infinitive v. other verb in imperfect

when would you use soler (imperfect) + verb  rather than the actual imperfect of the verb? For example why in the first example above wouldnt you say

yo cantaba

instead of Yo solía cantar

Asked 8 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Jen

Solía +verb in the imperfect and Imperfect of a verb both mean "used to do something" as we are saying in the lesson. So here: 

Yo solía cantar en un grupo de rock.

I used to play in a rock band. 

you could also say "Yo cantaba en un grupo de rock", and this would mean the same.

However there are cases where Solía + imperfect cannot be used the same way we use the Imperfect of a verb. See this example:

"Los niños jugaban en el parque mientras los padres charlaban"

The children played in the park while the parents chatted

In this case we arebusing the imperfect tense to describe a situation in the past. This is not expressing the same as "solía + imperfect" as here we are not talking about repeated actions in the past. 

We also use the Imperfect tense of a verb (not solía) when we express what "was happening" as an equivalent to "estaba + gerund". For example:

"Ella caminaba por el parque con su perro" (She was walking along the park with her dog) 

""Ella estaba caminando por el parque con su perro" (She was walking along the park with her dog) 

Here you wouldn't use "solía" as it is not talking about a repeated action in the past.

Hope this helps

Saludos

Inma

soler (imperfect) + infinitive v. other verb in imperfect

when would you use soler (imperfect) + verb  rather than the actual imperfect of the verb? For example why in the first example above wouldnt you say

yo cantaba

instead of Yo solía cantar

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AlanB1Kwiziq community member

Could I say "El verano pasado solíamos ir a la playa todos los sábados".

It is a completed action in the past, which needs the simple past "fuimos" if not using "soler + ir.
Asked 1 year ago
SilviaKwiziq team member

¡Hola Alan!

Yes, you can say "el verano pasado solíamos ir a la playa todos los sábados" with "soler" in El Pretérito Imperfecto because it is a repeated action (every Saturday) that took place in the past. If you used "el sábado pasado" as the time marker, then you should use El Pretérito Indefinido because in that case, the action is completed and it only happened on that specific day.

I hope this helps.

Silvia.

Could I say "El verano pasado solíamos ir a la playa todos los sábados".

It is a completed action in the past, which needs the simple past "fuimos" if not using "soler + ir.

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RobertC1Kwiziq community member

For the following question, is "echar" the best choice? Looking it up in a couple dictionaries, it would seem that extrañar would be a better choice?

Usted ________ echar de menos el perfume de su mujer.You used to miss your wife's perfume.I wasn't able to find "miss" as a definition for "echar". Is that a common usage, or could people misinterpret that sentence?
Asked 1 year ago
GruffKwiziq team member
Hi Robert, "echar de menos" means to miss (not "echar" on its own). It's very commonly used so a useful phrase to know. All the best,

For the following question, is "echar" the best choice? Looking it up in a couple dictionaries, it would seem that extrañar would be a better choice?

Usted ________ echar de menos el perfume de su mujer.You used to miss your wife's perfume.I wasn't able to find "miss" as a definition for "echar". Is that a common usage, or could people misinterpret that sentence?

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ChristopherB1Kwiziq community member

Solía vs Imperfecto

What's the difference between "Yo solía cantar en un grupo de rock" and "Yo cantaba en un grupo de rock"? Which is more correct to say if you used to sing in a rock band?
Asked 1 year agoTalking of weather
InmaKwiziq team member
Hola Christoph Both sentences are correct, but when we use "soler plus infinitive" the idea of "used to" is reinforced. Feliz Navidad Inma

Solía vs Imperfecto

What's the difference between "Yo solía cantar en un grupo de rock" and "Yo cantaba en un grupo de rock"? Which is more correct to say if you used to sing in a rock band?

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