Authentic Spanish Songs for Teaching Preterite and Imperfect

by | Aug 10, 2017

Inside: Spanish songs for teaching Spanish 2 classes, with an emphasis on the preterite and the imperfect.

40 Authentic Songs for Spanish I has consistently been one of my top hits. I figure it’s time for Spanish 2 to get some love! Here are 30 authentic Spanish songs with preterite and imperfect verbs throughout the lyrics.

Of course, the content of Spanish 2 varies. In my classes, I look for lots of input in the past tense as we’re looking to communicate about past events. Our music, stories, and novels are preterite and imperfect-heavy, and I use many of the songs from this list. Click here if you are wondering how to teach Spanish through authentic songs.

Let me know if I missed any of your favorites, or should be aware of lyrics or parts of videos I may have missed! Always, always, preview of course. 🙂

Spanish songs for teaching the preterite

Ayer (Gloria Estefan): good reps of tú and yo preterit verbs


Fuiste tú (Gaby Moreno y Ricardo Arjona): fuiste, gorgeous scenes of Guatemala


La selva negra (Maná): 3rd-person preterit reps, environmentalism


La historia de Juan (Juanes): 3rd-person preterit reps, direct object pronouns, childhood, poverty, social justice


Te busqué (Nelly Furtado y Juanes): irregular preterits, (lyrics contain some errors)


Usted abusó (Celia Cruz): lots of reps or regular preterit verbs


Batalla en Fukuoka (Juan Luis Guerra): reps of regular preterit verbs


Nada de esto fue un error (Coti, Julieta Venegas, Paulina Rubio): reps of fue


Todo cambió (Camila): vi, fue. Heads up on sexual line. Many teachers use this song, but make sure to thoroughly preview first.


Decidisite dejarme (Camila), lots of tú reps


Mientes (Camila): tú and yo reps in the preterit


Me equivoqué (Ventino): tú y yo reps


Ya no sé que hacer conmigo (El cauarteto de nos): tons of reps of first-person preterite (fairly negative, be sure to preview– also, “fumé, tomé)


Te comencé a querer (Tito el bambino): comencé (-zar verb)


Ella es mi fiesta (Carlos Vives): fue, fui, conocí


La gozadera (Gente de Zona y Marc Antony): 3rd person preterit, preview to be sure or use the lyrics video


Corazón en la maleta (Luis Fonsi): lots of preterit yo reps


Gracias papá (Casí creativo): preterite tú reps, fatherhood (careful– shows cerveza at one point)

Spanish songs for teaching the imperfect


Puerto Rico (Jerry Rivera): Puerto Rico, childhood


¿Dónde andabas tú?


Puerto El perdón (Enrique Iglesias & Nicky Jam): estaba + ando, iendo (beware the “tomando como un loco” line)


Tarde para cambiar (Amaral)


En elefante se balanceaba (Traditional Children’s Song)


El barco chiquitito (Traditional children’s song)

Spanish Songs with Preterite and Imperfect Repitions


Llegaste tú (Jesse y Joy): lots of opportunities to contrast the two tenses


En el muelle de San blas (Maná): storyboard possibilities


Tu mirada (Reik): clear contrast of tenses, with background action and then specific action in the first verse


Todo me de igual (Pignoise)


El amor que perdimos (Prince Royce): popular song, just be cautious of romantic themes


Qué hiciste (Jennifer Lopez): perhaps skip intro photo


Sofía (Alvaro Soler): some preterit, and very catchy


Rebelión (Joe Arroyo)


Supe que me amabas (Marcela Gandera): religious

What other Spanish songs with preterite and imperfect do you like? Leave your recommendations in the comment section!

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Spanish songs with preterite and imperfect

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