Estar Preterite Conjugation

Use the chart, examples, and video below to learn how to conjugate estar in the preterite tense ("pretérito perfecto simple").

Estar: Preterite Conjugation Chart

yo estuve
él/ella/Ud. estuvo
nosotros estuvimos
vosotros estuvisteis
ellos/ellas/Uds. estuvieron

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Examples: how to conjugate estar in preterite tense

Here are some examples of conjugating estar in preterite form:

Las vi cuando estuve en Toronto.

I saw those when I was in Toronto.

Estuvo allí durante 15 años.

He was there for 15 years.

Pero no llovió mientras estuvimos allí.

But it didn't rain whilst we were there.


  • Estar is an irregular verb, particularly in the preterite tense!
  • Don’t worry about memorising all the conjugations perfectly. Through speaking and listening on a regular basis, you’ll learn 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 preterite tense - recommended video:

(note the translations provided in the video above are in both French and English)

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See how to conjugate estar in other tenses:

Conjugate estar in the present

Conjugate estar in the imperfect

Conjugate estar in the future

Conjugate estar in the subjunctive