Imperfect

Imperfect meanings in English are expressed in different ways depending on whether the event is continuous or habitual.

It is used to express the ideas of habitual actions or states of being; physical and emotional descriptions: time, weather, age, feelings; actions or states of an unspecified duration; background information in conjunction with the passé composé; wishes or suggestions; conditions in "si" clauses; the expressions "être en train de" and "venir de" in the past.

In Portuguese, the imperfect indicative, called "pretérito imperfeito", is quite similar to Spanish:

There are four irregular verbs: "pôr" (to put), "ser" (to be), "ter" (to have) and "vir" (to come). Unlike in Spanish, the verbs "ver" (to see) and "ir" (to go) are regular in the Portuguese imperfect.

Like in Italian, it is also commonly formed by combining the imperfect of the verb estar (estava, estavas, estava, estávamos, estáveis, estavam) with the gerund (for example, "falando", the gerund form of "falar", to speak, to talk). In Brazilian Portuguese, both in informal oral speech and informal written language (for example, online or phone texting), it is more common to use the composite "estava falando" (commonly reduced to "tava falando"), than to use the synthetic "falava", which is more common in formal written forms.

Both in European and Brazilian Portuguese, the synthetic pluperfect ("eu falara" "I had spoken") is considered old-fashioned and never used in spoken communication – it is substituted by the composite "eu tinha falado", which is formed with the imperfect form of the verb "ter" (to have) (tinha tinhas tinha tínhamos tínheis tinham) plus the past participle ("falado"). Alternatively, the verb "ter" can be swapped with the imperfect form of the verb "haver" (to have) (havia havias havia haviamos havíeis haviam)

Like all other past tenses, imperfect is conjugated regularly for all verbs. Formation: [preverb] + mi- + past stem + past ending. Conjugation of the imperfect indicative for the first person singular is shown in the table belowː

Most Slavic languages have lost the imperfect but it is preserved in Bulgarian and Macedonian. It is also officially retained in Serbian and Croatian but is considered old-fashioned and restricted to literature for poetic and stylistic reasons.

Turkish has separate tenses for past continuous and imperfect. To form the past continuous tense for Turkish verbs, after removing the infinitive suffix (-mek or -mak), take the present continuous tense suffix "-yor" without personal suffixes, and add the ending for the simple past plus the appropriate personal suffix