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The preterite is a verb tense used in Spanish, that indicates an action taken once in the past and ending at a specific time. This is as opposed to the imperfect, which refers to any repeated or continuous past action. So, "I ran five miles yesterday" would use the first person preterite form of ran, corrí whereas "I ran five miles every morning" would use the first person imperfect form, corría.

hablar comer insistir
yo hablé comí insistí
hablaste comiste insististe
él habló comió insistió
nosotros hablamos comemos insistimos
ellos hablaron comieron insistieron