Comer in the Preterite / Past Definite Tense

Name In Spanish: Pretérito Indefinido de Indicativo

Other names in Spanish: Pretérito Perfecto Simple / Pretérito Perfecto Absoluto

Most commonly, the preterite is used for events or actions in the past that have been completed and that make reference to the fact that there is some understanding or reference to a beginning or an end. This, of course, is in contrast to the imperfect indicative tense, whose timeline is ambiguous or ongoing. The preterite is also used when referring to a series of actions or events in the past that are considered to be finished. There are also some edge cases where the preterite is used to denote future certainties, but these are used quite rarely and can be learned as chunks. Below are some examples of when to use the tense.

When to use this tense with comer

To talk about a specific action that occurred in the past and is now completely finished.

Ayer comí lentejas.

Narrate a series of events from the past.

Primero, comí una ensalada; luego, comí un postre.

El año pasado, ellos comieron juntos en todas las fiestas.

Expresar cambios repentinos o decisiones en el pasado.

De repente, ella comió carne después de años siendo vegetariana.

En ese momento, tú comiste la última porción de tarta.

Read a dialog with comer in the Preterite Tense

It's important to see how the preterite / past definite tense is used with comer in an everyday situation that you may find yourself a part of, so we have provided a dialog packed full of examples of when you could come across this tense. You'll also learn some additional vocabulary that will help you along on your journey to Spanish fluency.

Mini Dialog for the Tense

Una Madre está en la cocina buscando un paquete de galletas que compró hace dos días...

A mother is in the kitchen looking for a packet of biscuits she bought two days ago...

Madre:   ¡Niños! ¿Quién se ha comido las galletas?

Children! Who ate the biscuits?

Hijo:   Yo ayer comí 6 galletas para desayunar, pero Marcos comió 10.

I ate 6 biscuits for breakfast yesterday, but Marcos ate 10.

Madre:   ¿Vosotros comisteis todo el paquete de galletas?

Did you eat the whole pack of biscuits?

Hijo:   Papá comió también alguna galleta, por lo tanto entre todos nosotros nos comimos el paquete entero.

Dad ate some of the biscuits too, so between us we all ate the whole packet.

Conjugation chart for comer in the preterite (past definite) tense

Below, is the table that shows all or the conjugations for the preterite / past definite tense using the verb comer. If you're a grammar geek and want to check out all the congugations for comer then be sure to check out the comer verb chart page.

Yo comíI ate
Tú comisteYou ate
Vos comiste(voseo) You ate
Usted comió(formal) You ate
Él / Ella comióHe / she ate
Nosotros / Nosotras comimosWe ate
Vosotros / Vosotras comisteisYou (all) ate
Ustedes comieron(formal) You (all) ate
Ellos / Ellas comieronThey ate

Space for Adverts