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8

Before your question, I never heard nor read about Spanish verbs that change their meaning when used in some preterite verbal tense. So I read about it, and I found out that: This issue is mainly a way to teach Spanish verbs to English speaking students. This issue is not formally stated in Spanish grammar. For example, when you analyse the verb saber, ...


7

The difference is very clear-cut. You use the preterite for an action that happened at a distinct point in time. So to expand on your examples: Comí tacos ayer. I ate tacos yesterday. Besé a una chica en la fiesta anoche. I kissed a girl at the party last night. These were both specific points in time. The imperfect is used for actions that ...


5

As you say "Supo" means "found out" and "Sabía" means "Knew" which are not the same. But, answering your question, it's about if the action has a stated timeframe. María lo supo ayer. = Maria found out yesterday. This means a completed action. Juan sabía que María venía. = Juan knew that Maria was coming. This doesn't provide definite beginning ...


4

Speaking from an intuitive point of view, the first one: sabía, sabías, sabía... is roughly equivalent to the English 'I used to know', an example sentence would be: Yo sabía hablar español (I used to know how to speak Spanish). Here you knew something but maybe forgot due to lack of practice. The second one: supe, supiste, supo means 'I ...


2

To me, as Randolf and Martin have pointed out in their answers, there is a slight difference in the timeframe. "No supo la respuesta" sounds to me like "no supo qué responder en ese momento". So for example, about an exam, you could say, "me preguntaron X, y no supe la respuesta". It doesn't mean I didn't have the knowledge, but I was unable to give a ...


1

The first thing to say is that there is no one-to-one correspondence between the tense/aspect/mood of Spanish and English verbs. Whereas English has only one simple past, Spanish has two: pretérito simple and pretérito imperfecto. In general, one can translate both the pretérito simple and pretérito imperfecto into simple past. In many cases the context is ...


1

I guess one possible explanation in this particular case would be: sabía, is used when the the person, actually, didn't know the answer. supo is used when he knows the answer, but somehow is hidden from his mind at that moment. If you give him enough time he could have figured out the answer by himself. So he knew (somehow), but he ...


1

I believe that the preterite refers to the IMMINENCE of the verb. For instance, puedo and podía refer to "could have done it" in the present and past respectively, which represent POTENTIAL. Pudo (the preterite) means she just DID it, not she could have done it, and of course no pudo means the opposite. In the other example, Sé and Sabía means know and ...


1

Although I think it's not 100% correct, but it's used, pudo ganar el juego may also be used to mean she could have won the game, although the correct form would be pudo haber ganado el juego



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