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. (Or see my Songs in Spanish by theme and category.)

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. 

We’ll start with songs that have a good mix of both, or you can jump to songs with a heavy dose of imperfect, or songs with mainly preterite verbs.




Spanish Songs with Preterite and Imperfect Together



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



¿Dónde Andabas Tú? (SanLuis)



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



Spanish songs for teaching the imperfect



Los Caminos de La Vida (Los Diablitos): gorgeous and full of imperfect verbs in the chorus.


Soy el mismo (Prince Royce): so many imperfect verbs: hablaba, llamaba, escribía, pintaba, daba, salía, robaba. Really good examples of talking about habitual past actions and characteristics. 



Puerto Rico (Jerry Rivera): Puerto Rico, childhood



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


Tarde para Cambiar (Amaral)


Un Elefante se Balanceaba (Traditional Children’s Song)


El Barco Chiquitito (Traditional children’s song)




Spanish songs for teaching the preterite



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


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



Corazón en la maleta (Luis Fonsi): another break-up song, lots of preterit yo reps, me fui



La Selva Negra (Maná): 3rd-person preterit reps, environmentalism



Amor Con Hielo (Morat): break-up song



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



Nada Fue un Error (Coti, Julieta Venegas, Paulina Rubio): repetitive song with lots of fue



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



Decidisite dejarme (Camila): lots of tú reps



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)



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




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



Todo cambió (Camila): tú and yo reps in the preterit, plus vi and di



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


Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

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