Had you realized that the house was dirty before your guests arrived?

Would "era" or "fue" be used in this case and why?

If the weather were good, I would get out.

Would "era" or "hizo" be used?

  • 1
    I think this may not only be a matter of choosing the correct verb tense, but to tell between ser and estar.
    – Diego
    Sep 3, 2014 at 20:31
  • could you explain why a particular verb would be used in each case?
    – user5482
    Sep 3, 2014 at 20:38
  • 2
    Could you please try to guess based on whatever rules you have been taught and here we'll do our best to correct, explain and help you? You can edit your own question, proposing a translation for each sentence. Then, I'm sure a lot of users will contribute to tell you if you are correct and if not why not.
    – Diego
    Sep 3, 2014 at 21:04
  • @Diego For the first question I used due because I think the quality of dirty is a more permanent thing. For the second I thought hizo because weather expressions use hacer.
    – user5482
    Sep 3, 2014 at 23:13

1 Answer 1


Well the differences between ser and estar are sometimes subtle and it requires a lot of practice to make proper use of both verbs. In this case the correct verb is not ser but estar. So the right tranalation would be:

¿Te diste cuenta de que la casa estaba sucia antes de que llegaran los invitados?

Why estar? Because it is a verb which in this case has a transitional hue. It is not that the house sea(is) dirty (forever and never change it in time), it is that lo está (it is) (at this time) and can be changed, ie cleaned to don't be dirty.

In the second example, the translation could be:

Si el tiempo fuera(fuese) bueno, (yo) saldría.

You can also say:

Si hiciera buen tiempo, saldría.

In both cases, I think the difficulty is the tense. According to the Academy the tense is Condicional simple o Pospretérito de indicativo.

The verbal system of any Romance language (such as Spanish) is far more rich and complex than English, so I say that therein lies the difficulty.

This tense involves a possibility, depending on a condition. The possibility that I would get out (yo saldría), provided the weather was good (si el tiempo fuera bueno).

On the other hand, the choice of the verb in this case is correct, be or do, what failed was the tense.

Do you understand? Or do I have to improve my explanation?

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