Estar Imperfect Conjugation

Use the chart, examples, and video below to learn how to conjugate estar in the imperfect (known as the imperfecto, or pretérito imperfecto).

Estar: Imperfect Tense Conjugation Chart

yo estaba
él/ella/Ud. estaba
nosotros estábamos
vosotros estabais
ellos/ellas/Uds. estaban

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Examples: how to conjugate estar in imperfect tense

Here are some examples of conjugating estar in imperfect form:

¿Estabas corriendo cuando te vi?

Were you running when I saw you?

Empezaba a creer que estabas muerto.

I was beginning to think that you were dead.

Nadie podía dudar de que estabais enamorados.

No one could have doubted that you were in love.


  • Estar is an irregular verb, making it trickier to learn. But it's regular in the imperfect tense - phew!
  • Don’t worry about memorising all the conjugations perfectly. Through speaking and listening on a regular basis, you’ll become able to conjugate verbs correctly most of the time even if you don't remember the rules and exceptions off by heart.
  • If you want help with grammar, or you just want to become fluent in Spanish, you may want to take personalised 1-on-1 lessons. At LanguaTalk, we make an effort to find the very best online tutors, and many of them offer lower rates than you’d find in your local area. Check tutors’ reviews and videos HERE, and consider booking a free trial session (no card required).

Here's a reminder of what the Spanish personal pronouns mean:

  • yo = I
  • tú = you (informal)
  • él/ella = he/she
  • nosotros/nosotras = we
  • vosotros/vosotras = you (plural, informal, Spain only)
  • ellos/ellas = they
  • Usted = you (singular formal) & ustedes = you (plural formal). These are used much more in Latin America than in Spain - the latter being more informal.

How to conjugate estar in the imperfect tense - recommended video:

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See how to conjugate estar in other tenses:

Conjugate estar in the preterite

Conjugate estar in the present

Conjugate estar in the future

Conjugate estar in the subjunctive