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Which one of the below sentences is correct? Please explain why.

  1. Mi papá amaba a mi madre inmensamente.
  2. Mi papá amó a mi madre inmensamente.
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The imperfect tense is used to express continuing actions in the past with no clear end.

  • When my father entered into her life she started realizing that someone cares about her and loves her(She remembers when her father used to love her mom)

Se dio cuenta de que él era el que se preocupaba por ella y la amaba, every day, when they were together.

The pretérit tense is used to indicate a finished action at a specific point in time.

  • When my mom and dad split up I realized that he was the only one who cared about her and loved her (She remembers how much her father loved her mom)

Se dio cuenta que fue el único que la amó de esa forma, no one else loved her the way he did.

It depends on the context but I'd say the preterit.

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  • When my father entered her life, she started realizing that someone cared about her and loved her. Present tense does not work there in English.
    – Lambie
    Oct 28 at 20:24
  • @Lambie I stole that structure from an U.S. interview. Thank you for your corrections
    – cocteau
    Oct 29 at 0:27
  • Yes, well, transcriptions often contain errors. :)
    – Lambie
    Oct 29 at 15:50
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Translations:

Mi papá amaba a mi madre inmensamente. => My dad used to love my mom immensely Mi papá amó a mi madre inmensamente. => My dad loved my mom immensely

Literally, it looks like the second phrase points to the one from your question but it look awkward both from Spanish as from English point of view. Because "immensely" give the impression of a past which lasted a while. And this is about pretérito imperfecto.

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  • amaba is not always "used to love". It's often translated as a simple past, too.
    – Lambie
    Oct 28 at 20:21
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  • "amaba" no deja claro si la acción finalizó o no. Lo que no significa que no se pueda usar aunque la acción finalizase.
  • "amó" indica que la acción finalizó

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