Tener, Poder, Querer & Saber in the Preterite
The complications never end with the preterite tense. Not only are there piles of irregular verbs, but some verbs actually change their meaning when put into the preterite tense from the present.
If you speak Spanish on a regular basis, you will come to understand these differences just by hearing them spoken aloud in the context of a conversation. Right now, all you need to do is familiarize yourself with the idea that some verbs can have a different meaning in the past. The more Spanish you speak, the more you’ll adopt these meanings automatically.
Preterite (Past) Tense
conozco a – I know (someone)
conocí a – I met (someone)
podemos – we can
pudimos – we managed to no pudimos – we failed to
quiero – I want, I love
quise – I tried to no quise – I refused to
sabemos – we know
supimos – we found out
tengo frío – I am cold
tuve frío – I got cold