13 votes
Accepted

What type of construction is verb+"se", like in the word "veíase"?

En el español literario, es algo más frecuente encontrar enclisis, o el posicionamiento de un pronombre átono después del verbo (y en tal caso, se escribe junto al verbo, tildando si es necesario). ...
user0721090601's user avatar
9 votes

How does "nunca éramos amigos" imply that we used to be friends, but no longer are?

The answers to Ambiguity with respect to "tuvo" and "tenía" may shed some light. It is true that the differences between éramos and fuimos are subtle, but they are the same as ...
Charlie's user avatar
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8 votes

Preterito Indefinido or Imperfecto when talking about experiences in the past

Both questions seem strange to me, because they sound as if the person growing up in Argentina could have affected the country in any way, which is absurd. Actually, a more suitable question would ...
Gustavson's user avatar
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7 votes
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The use of 'imperfecto' vs. 'indefinido' in two specific sentences

The imperfect here would mean something like "action that was taking place while suddenly something interrupted it". Félix era un escritor austriaco, pero todo eso cambió. Indefinido (or preterite)...
FGSUZ's user avatar
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6 votes
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Tense changed in mid-stream, why?

You are right: the pretérito perfecto simple (indefinido) could have been used there. However, pretérito imperfecto is used because it's indicating/describing the circumstance in which all the other ...
Paco's user avatar
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5 votes
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¿Tienen o han tenido algún nombre concreto las dos formas del pretérito imperfecto de subjuntivo?

Preguntada a la RAE en Twitter (qué gran recurso), me responden con lo siguiente: No, que sepamos. Se suelen utilizar denominaciones como «variante en “-ra”» y «variante en “-se”». Yo tampoco he ...
Charlie's user avatar
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5 votes
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Use pretérito imperfecto or pretérito indefinido?

If you say Los invitados llamaban a la puerta y les abrió una joven, era una muchacha. it sounds like the door was opened while the guests were knocking at the door. You get the same meaning with ...
Charlie's user avatar
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5 votes
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Indefinido o imperfecto: acción que sucede en mitad de otra en el pasado

El uso de los dos (o tres) verbos en pretérito imperfecto hace que las acciones parezcan simultáneas o paralelas, y ambas dotadas del aspecto durativo del imperfecto: Cuando sucedía A, sucedía B. (B ...
Gustavson's user avatar
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5 votes

How does "nunca éramos amigos" imply that we used to be friends, but no longer are?

Nunca éramos sounds very weird in Spanish, I'd say that it is not correct (I don't know the exact rule in this case), you could say, however, with a similar meaning: No éramos lo que se puede llamar ...
greuze's user avatar
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5 votes
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Use of imperfect tense to mean conditional

It is always safer to use the conditional: Si pudiera elegir, me casaría con ésta. (present counterfactual) The imperfect past sounds colloquial and is not always safe to use: Si pudiera elegir, me ...
Gustavson's user avatar
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5 votes
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Indicative imperfect passive reflexive verb for "... is used..."

I don't agree with your analysis of your English sentence. In the phrase "mostly used in literary contexts", the word "used" is not a past tense. It is present tense, passive ...
Walter Mitty's user avatar
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4 votes
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How does "nunca éramos amigos" imply that we used to be friends, but no longer are?

(Note: On the basis of a comment I made on greuze's post, I've decided to expand it into a real answer which I hope may help to further clarify the question.) The reason why "Nunca éramos amigos" ...
Gustavson's user avatar
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4 votes

How does "nunca éramos amigos" imply that we used to be friends, but no longer are?

From my personal understanding, the difference between the word choices is very subtle and is not literal but depends more on the connotaion of the words. In either case, "Fuimos" and "Éramos" ...
αCarlos's user avatar
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4 votes
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Pretérito indefinido vs pretérito imperfecto: ¿"estaba" or "estuve un poco enfermo el fin de semana pasado"?

As you noted estuve indicates the action is over. estaba indicates the action is over or not. In this context is totally irrelevant which form you use. I personally would use estaba which is a much ...
Veilkrand's user avatar
  • 316
4 votes

Can I always use present perfect for all past actions instead of memorizing verb conjugations in the simple past?

This question would ideally be answered by someone with a working knowledge of language teaching, based on studies about best practices. I haven't been able to find something like that, so I'll just ...
pablodf76's user avatar
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4 votes
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Difference between imperfect indicative and imperfect progressive

In this sentence, and many of the kind, there is no difference between the imperfect and the progressive. I would personally use the progressive, but the form with the imperfect is grammatically ...
pablodf76's user avatar
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4 votes

Is there any case in which the subjunctive mood can be used in simple sentences?

Tal vez / Quizás / Acaso can usually be used with either the subjuntive or the indicative to indicate the speaker's mood / belief about likelihood while involving no other verbs. The subjunctive ...
Haven Hash's user avatar
4 votes
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Is there any case in which the subjunctive mood can be used in simple sentences?

Creo que el caso más habitual del subjuntivo como modo del verbo principal de la oración (sin conjunciones que lo introduzcan) se da en las expresiones de deseo (donde el verbo "desear", "querer", "...
Gustavson's user avatar
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4 votes
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Difference between poder imperfect and preterite

The difference between preterite and imperfect has to do with the manner of describing a situation, either from the point of view of the end result or the process. As Guifa says in his answer, poder ...
pablodf76's user avatar
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4 votes
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Uso del imperfecto con el imperfecto del subjuntivo

El Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas tiene una entrada sobre el uso de los tiempos en oraciones condicionales. Para tu caso, considero relevante el siguiente fragmento de la entrada: Si la ...
prm296's user avatar
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4 votes
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Imperfect subjunctive with things we know happened

No, you cannot. You base things off of whether something has already happened at the particular moment in the narrative sequence. He taught them at moment X so that they would learn at some point ...
user0721090601's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

How does this phrase choose between the imperfective and the preterite?

En los textos narrativos suele usarse el pretérito imperfecto para describir el fondo, ambientación y contexto en un determinado período de tiempo, mientras que los hechos específicos, particulares y ...
tac's user avatar
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4 votes
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Éramos v. Fuéramos

"Éramos" is imperfect indicative and "fuéramos", imperfect subjunctive. Él me preguntó si éramos primos. In the sentence above, "si" introduces a reported question, and ...
Gustavson's user avatar
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3 votes

Is it correct to say "todo tiempo pasado 'fue' mejor" instead of "todo tiempo pasado 'era' mejor"?

The phrase is taken from one of the earliest classics in Spanish literature, Jorge Manrique's Coplas a la muerte de su padre. The first copla goes: Recuerde el alma dormida Avive el seso e despierte ...
Gorpik's user avatar
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3 votes
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Tiempos pasados para expresar deseos futuros

Comenta la RAE en su Nueva Gramática en el párrafo 23.11l que la asimilación entre el pretérito imperfecto y el condicional viene dada por la evolución histórica de este último (como se vio en una ...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 77.5k
3 votes

Ambiguity with respect to "tuvo" and "tenía"

The decision to choose one tense of another does not have anything to do with the fact that the problem was solved or not, but with the fact that the problem was something that happened in a given ...
Charlie's user avatar
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3 votes

Should we say "Muestra Paul cuando 'fue' más joven" or 'era' for "It shows when Paul was younger"?

» Muestra a Paul cuando fue más joven. (At some definite point in the past, it shows when Paul was younger.) » Muestra a Paul cuando era más joven. (During a period of time -unknown- in the ...
Schwale's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

"Cómo olvidar que volabas", how to translate it?

Looking at the original lyrics, volar doesn't seem to mean "to flee, to leave" here. It just means "to fly" in a figurative sense, though what Enrique Iglesias actually meant is difficult to guess. ...
pablodf76's user avatar
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3 votes
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Fue/Era in impersonal expressions

I'd be inclined to use the perfect, not the imperfect tense in this specific case: Fue una lástima que estuvieras enfermo. because, although the state of his/her being ill is durative, "fue" refers ...
Gustavson's user avatar
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3 votes

Imperfect subjunctive with things we know happened

"para que", just like other purpose linkers like "a fin de que / con el objeto/propósito de que", needs to be followed by subjunctive because, at the time when the main action is/was performed, the ...
Gustavson's user avatar
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