7.7 – Summary of Imperfective and Perfective in Past Tense

7.7 – Summary of Imperfective and Perfective in Past Tense

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7.7 – Summary of Imperfective and Perfective in Past Tense
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7.7 – Summary of Imperfective and Perfective in Past Tense



Past Tense

General Activity in Past  – things that were going on with specific focus on the activity itself (with no focus on completion)

Co jsi dělala v pátek? -Četla jsem (si) a taky jsem se dívala na televizi.

What did you do on Friday? -I read (some) and also watched tv (some).

Simultaneous Actions – Two or more things that occured at the same time:

Hana myla nádobí, když Petr luxoval.

Hana washed the dishes while Petr vacuumed.

Interrupted Activity – One activity gets interrupted by something else (typically the thing that interrupts will be perfective)

Hana dělala domácí úkoly, když jí zazvoněl telefon.

Hana was doing her homework when her phone rang.

Zdeněk pracoval, když přišla jeho přítelkyně.

Zdeněk was working when his girlfriend arrived.

Frequent Past Activity – here the activity itself is stressed more than completion of an action

-Doma jsem se vždycky sprchovala večer.

-At home I used to always take a shower in the evening.

Completed Action in the Past – an action that has been been performed to completion.

Včera jsem celou tu knížku přečetl.

Yesterday I read through that entire book.

Uvařila jsem večeři za hodinu.

I cooked dinner in an hour.

Habitual Action with Focus on Completion – here the action is viewed more discretely, as a complete action that repeats itself.

V létě jsem každé ráno často vypil litr vody.

In the summer I would often drink a liter of water every morning.

By specifying how much water, you give the action a notion of completability and therefore the perfective verb can be used.

Habitual Action with Focus on Completion in Sequence of Events – this isn’t too different from the habitual actions, but the sequence of events is an added motivation to use perfectives, since you are typically trying to convey that one action is completed before another.

Každé ráno jsem vždycky vstal, umyl se a šel do práce.

Every morning I always got up, got washed up and went to work.

Or more colloquially in English: Every morning I would always get up, get washed up, and go to work.