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  1. "Mientras Marcos jugaba al baloncesto con sus companeros, sintió calor y se quitó la chaqueta", I wanna know if I can speak this sentence in such way like "Mientras Marcos estuvo jugando al baloncesto con su -------" ?

  2. "le dolía la cabeza": Why not say "su cabeza dolía"? If I say "su cabeza dolia", will the native Spanish speakers still understand?

  3. "el chico tenia 37,5 grados". How do you read the number in Spanish?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by JoulSauron Jun 23 at 8:29

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1 Answer 1

There are a few questions here but I'll try to answer them individually.

  1. Why can't it be "estuvo jugando al baloncesto" instead of "estaba jugando"?

    The preterite progressive exists, but it's not it's not used anywhere near as often as the imperfect or imperfect progressive. It means that an event was on-going, but you want to really emphasize the completed nature of it. Thereby, it is incompatible with mientras which means it cannot yet be completed.

  2. Why can't doler be used intransitively?

    doler in Spanish means to hurt, but the subject must necessarily be the agent of pain (that is, the thing causing the pain).

    In English, this is how hurt works when used with a direct object. In a sentence like "John hurts James", John is causing the pain. But if I say "John hurts", suddenly, John isn't causing pain, he's feeling it! Crazy English. (this is common with verbs when they shift transivity).

    Thus in Spanish, if you say "su cabeza dolía", you are indicating that his head is hurting... something. But we don't know what. There's nothing grammatically wrong with saying "La cabeza le dolía", but the le let's us know who is receiving the pain. With body parts in Spanish, it's also less common to use possessive adjectives, hence "la cabeza" instead of "su" (the indirect object implies it).

  3. How do you pronounce decimals in Spanish?

    The most common way to pronounce 37,5 would be treinta y siete coma cinco, though I imagine in the countries where a period is used for decimals, they'd say treinta y siete punto cinco.

    Because it's exactly a half, you also can say treinta y siete y medio or treinta y siete y media depending on whether the object being counted is masculine or feminine, so with temperature, you'd go with medio.

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In Spain it is also said treinta y siete con cinco –  itziki Jun 23 at 9:58

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