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Learn carecer conjugation in Imperfecto

carecer means: to be short of, to lack
Click to see all conjugation charts of carecer in every tense

In this Spanish conjugation lesson we are going to learn how to inflect the verb carecer in the Imperfecto tense of the Indicativo mood. It means we will see step by step how to create and translate forms of each grammatical person.

This lesson is specifically about the carecer verb conjugation. For a general overview of Simple Tenses conjugation check our Simple Tenses Conjugation Chart.

You may also see the Video Presentation on how to conjugate verbs in Imperfecto. It’s embedded below, but using the above link you can get additional information on conjugation in this tense and explanation of exceptions and special cases.

How to translate Imperfecto to English

Note that the English phrases provided below next to each conjugation are not direct translations from Spanish to English. They are usually the closest general equivalents. The example differences are:
  • In Spanish conjugation, there is the form usted in the third person singular. But this person does not translate to the English third person singular. It translates to the so called formal you and uses the inflected form which is most often represented as he/she/it in English conjugation charts.
  • Similar situation happens in the third person plural, where ustedes translates to the English plural formal you but uses the form which corresponds to the they form in English.
  • Tenses are used differently in Spanish and English, so the actual translation should always take into account the context and focus on translating the meaning, not just words.
  • In both languages each verb may have multiple meanings and not every meaning translates directly to the other language. Here also, the context and focusing on the particular meaning helps to create the most accurate translation.


Note the timeline

The ability to properly locate the intended position on the timeline is an important skill for proper use of tenses. So note the timeline in our lessons and visualize it while speaking, listening, writing and reading. After a bit practice you’ll be capable of selecting the right tense to use much easier.timeline preterito imperfecto how to conjugate spanish verbs

Step by step instructions

Imperfecto belongs to the simple tenses group, which means that all of the inflected forms are one word long. There are also compound (compuesto) tenses in the Spanish language, where each conjugated form consists of two words.The verb carecer has an almost regular conjugation in the Imperfecto tense of the Indicativo mood. An exception is the first person singular, which has an irregular form. It means that the other persons follow the general rules for this group (-er) without further exceptions, spelling corrections and the like.
The basis for this conjugation is the stem of the verb, so we have to start by splitting the infinitive into a stem and an ending. It’s easy to do. Simply remove two letters from the end of the infinitive and you have the ending — one of -ar, -er or -ir. What’s left is the stem. So for carecer:
  • the stem is: carec-
  • and the ending is: -er
Use the stem carec- in each person as the basis for conjugations, the common prefix that each of the forms begins with.
Next, add to this regular stem the endings specific to each person. Check out the image showing all the endings. Note both the colors and shapes of the letters. It should help you find patterns and make it easier to remember these endings.

Also notice that in verb groups -er and -ir all six endings in both Pretéterito Imperfecto and Condicional tenses are the same. Good tip to remember! The only difference is that the Condicional uses the entire infinitive as the stem.Each grammatical person has a specific ending in each of the three conjugation groups -ar, -er, -ir.
endings preterito imperfecto er how to conjugate spanish verbs
Add the regular ending -ía for the first person singular to create carecía:
  • yo carecía – I was short of
One more time add the regular ending -ías for the second person singular to create carecías:
  • tú carecías – you were short of
Similarly add the regular ending -ía for the third person singular to create carecía:
  • él carecía – he was short of
  • ella carecía – she was short of
  • usted carecía – (formal) you were short of
And similarly add the regular ending -íamos for the first person plural to create carecíamos:
  • nosotros carecíamos – we were short of
  • nosotras carecíamos – (feminine) we were short of
And add the regular ending -íais for the second person plural to create carecíais:
  • vosotros carecíais – (plural) you were short of
  • vosotras carecíais – (feminine, plural) you were short of
Also as in the previous case add the regular ending -ían for the third person plural to create carecían:
  • ellos carecían – they were short of
  • ellas carecían – (feminine) they were short of
  • ustedes carecían – (formal, plural) you were short of

That’s it! The conjugation is now done. Put together, the conjugation chart looks like this:

yocarecíaI was short of
carecíasyou were short of
él/ella/ustedcarecíahe/she/it was short of
nosotros/nosotrascarecíamoswe were short of
vosotros/vosotrascarecíaisyou were short of
ellos/ellas/ustedescarecíanthey were short of
Click to see all conjugation charts of carecer in every tense

But do not end your session yet – it is very important to repeat and practice the material in order to remember it. Check below for suggestions.

Next Steps to Perfection

  • To practice this conjugation and test your knowledge try this Conjugation Exercise or the Memory Game
  • To see other conjugation lessons for this verb choose another tense:  
  • For exercises and examples related to carecer visit our Exercise section
  • To see conjugation charts in all tenses for carecer visit the Conjugator
  • To explore other learning materials visit the Study section


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