AP Spanish : Verb Tense in Spanish

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Spanish

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Example Questions

Example Question #14 : Spanish Verbs

Fill in the blank with the correct answer. 

__________ mi tarea antes del examen mañana. 

Possible Answers:

Hice

Había hecho

Habré hecho

Hecho

He hecho

Correct answer:

Habré hecho

Explanation:

The only possible tense that can be used correctly here is the future perfect, which uses the past participle of "hacer," "hecho" and the future form of the verb "haber," "habré."

Example Question #1 : Past Tenses

Fill in the blank with the correct response. 

Ellos _________ en la calle cuando vieron a Claudia.

Possible Answers:

caminaron 

caminaban

han caminado 

habrán caminado

habían caminado

Correct answer:

caminaban

Explanation:

In the first part of the sentence, the action that was interrupted before they saw Claudia was an action in progress in the past; therefore the imperfect tense must be used.

Example Question #1 : Preterite / El Pretérito

Which is the correct verb form?

Estaba andando en el parque cuando, de repente, un ciervo me __________.

Possible Answers:

sorprendió

sorprenderá

sorprendido

sorprendía

Correct answer:

sorprendió

Explanation:

This sentence expresses the completed action of the deer surprising me in the park, thus the preterite tense is the only correct response.

Example Question #1 : Past Tenses

Which verb form is correct in context?

Estaba andando en la calle cuando, de repente, un ladrón __________ robarme. 

Possible Answers:

intentaba

intentó

intenté 

intentaban

Correct answer:

intentó

Explanation:

An interrupted action sequence requires the imperfect tense for the interrupted action and the preterite tense for the interrupting action, in this case, "intentó." The other verbs either do not agree in tense or in number with "un ladrón."

English translation: "I was walking in the street when, all of a sudden, a thief tried to rob me."

Example Question #2 : Past Tenses

Which verb form properly completes the sentence?

__________ cerca de la orilla del rio cuando, de repente, vi un pez.

Possible Answers:

Anduve

Andaré

Andé

Andaba

Correct answer:

Andaba

Explanation:

The first verb conveys an action that is interrupted, so it needs to be in the imperfect tense. Only "Andaba" is the first person imperfect form of "andar" (to walk). 

English translation: "I was walking near the bank of the river when, all of a sudden, I saw a fish."

Example Question #3 : Past Tenses

Fill in the blank with the correct answer. 

Cuando llegaron ayer, tú ya __________.

Possible Answers:

comiste

habrías comido

has comido

habías comido

había comido

Correct answer:

habías comido

Explanation:

The first part of the sentence, "when they arrived yesterday," is in the preterite; the next clause that has the word "ya," "already," in it, implies the next action had occurred before the first one; therefore we need the past perfect tense, which in the 2nd person singular would be, habías comido. 

Example Question #15 : Spanish Verbs

Which verb best completes this sentence?

Si hubiera hecho el crimen, __________ culpable, pero no lo hice.

Possible Answers:

none of the other answers

sería

estaría

estuviera

Correct answer:

sería

Explanation:

This is a classic conditional haber/ser structure: the right answer is sería; estaría is in the right tense but does not agree with the adjective; estuviera both does not agree with the adjective and is in the wrong tense.

Example Question #1 : Conditional Tenses

“Si yo tuviera mucho dinero, __________.”

Possible Answers:

yo compré una casa

yo compro una casa

None of the above would be accurate

yo habría comprado una casa

Correct answer:

yo habría comprado una casa

Explanation:

The statement “If I had a lot of money” requires the use of the conditional mood to complete the sentence. The only option that uses the conditional is “habría comprado” (I would have bought). 

 

Example Question #2 : Conditional Tenses

Is something gramatically wrong with this sentence?

Siento como si no hubiera dormido por tres días, estoy muy cansado.

Possible Answers:

Hubiera dormido is in the wrong tense.

Estoy doesn't agree with the verb cansado.

This sentence is grammatically correct.

Siento is in the wrong tense.

Correct answer:

This sentence is grammatically correct.

Explanation:

The sentence above is grammatically correct, and uses a properly constructed conditional perfect subjunctive clause to describe the feeling introduced by the verb, siento.

Example Question #1 : Verb Tense In Spanish

Which of the following conjugated verbs should be used in the above sentence?

 “¿ __________ hambre, Señor Ruiz? ¡Debe comer!

Possible Answers:

Va

Está

Es

Tiene

Correct answer:

Tiene

Explanation:

In Spanish, to say that a person is hungry one must use the verb "tener." Also, the question is directed to someone in a formal situation; therefore, the conjugation of "tener" is in agreement with the subject "Usted." 

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