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Forum Home > Archived Closed Games & Exercises > G A M E - Make a sentence: PRETÉRITO VS IMPERFECTO

thelanguagetutors
Site Owner
Posts: 673

 

PRETERITE VS IMPERFECT GAME


How to play:

1. Translate the sentence given by the person above using the correct preterite or imperfect verb conjugations.  (Ie.  If the sentence is given in English translate it to Spanish - if it's given in Spanish translate it to English)


2. State whether you used the preterite or the imperfect and give a short explanation as to why


3. Provide a new sentence in either English or Spanish depending on your native language or preference.


4. Feel free to add appropriate pictures.

Please keep your sentences short, no more than one line long or they won't be corrected!

¡Por favor, hagan sus oraciones cortas, no más de una línea de larga o no serán corregidas!


Example Sentence:

Estaba jugando con mis amigos.     I was playing with my friends

Tense(s) used:

I was / estaba   imperfecto/imperfect

Reason:

it was an ongoing action, uncompleted at the time


New Sentence:  (from Cleppie on the previous game)

The town was small but still had a high crime rate.




July 17, 2012 at 4:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Cleppie
Member
Posts: 42

Given: The town was small but still had a high crime rate. 

Translation: La ciudad fue pequeño pero aún había un alto tasa de criminalidad.

Suggestion:  using your version - El pueblo era pequeño pero aún así había una alta tasa de criminalidad, o una tasa de criminalidad alta.

Another option

El pueblo era pequeño pero todavía tenía un índice de criminalidad muy elevado. - TLT

Ahh, ya veo. ¡Muchas gracias!

Argumentation: I am not sure if "un alto" was correct.... (Yay, I'm the first one!) 

New: She was too young to be in such a dangerous area.

July 17, 2012 at 7:26 AM Flag Quote & Reply

annierats
Moderator
Posts: 104

New: She was too young to be in such a dangerous area.
 Translation: Era desmasiado joven para estar en un lugar  tan peligroso.

Perfect :)


Reasoning:  To be young is nearly always  era.

 New: sure enough, she got into trouble  very soon.

July 17, 2012 at 3:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Cleppie
Member
Posts: 42

Given: Sure enough, she got into trouble very soon.

Translation: Efectivamente, ella se metió en problemas muy pronto.

Perfecto :)

Perfect??? I can't believe it! That's like my first "perfect" sentence!!!

Arguementation: Is "efectivamente" correct for this sentence?

New: The police officer was extremely stern with the young woman.

July 17, 2012 at 3:56 PM Flag Quote & Reply

annierats
Moderator
Posts: 104

New: The police officer was extremely stern with the young woman.

 Attempt: La guardia fue muy duro con la mujer jovencita.

Suggestion:  El policia fue muy severo con la jovencita.

I think severo works well for stern and when you say jovencita it means young woman/girl all by itself so the mujer is redundant :)  Bien hecho!

Thanks Kiwi. In Spain there are many types of police, and I have never heard 'policia'. They say  guardia civil or guardia municipal, or whatever. No doubt policia exists too, I think for higher levels of crime.


 New:  He was big and burly and she became very nervous during the interview.

July 19, 2012 at 3:43 PM Flag Quote & Reply

S1r Wakka
Moderator
Posts: 148

Given: He was big and burly and she became very nervous during the interview.

Translation: Fue alto y tenía cuerpo robusto y se volvió my nerviose durante la entrevista.

Reason: He's still big and burly. Sudden change of mood.

Comments: Well the point is acutally that he's still big and burly which is why it should be 'era' - the imperfect instead of the preterite - his being big and burly didn't finish somewhere back there in the past did it? Did he die? Nope, with fue that's what it sounds like ;) I love that cuerpo robusto bit - so descriptive isn't it, je je

Comments: I thought imperfect but wrote preterit. Awkward...ja ja lol :)

Suggestion: Era alto y tenía cuerpo robusto así que ella se volvió muy nerviosa durante la entrevista.



New: I wanted to jog, but everytime I looked outside it was raining.

July 19, 2012 at 8:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Cleppie
Member
Posts: 42

Given: I wanted to jog, but everytime I looked outside it was raining.

Translation: Yo quería hacer footing pero cada vez miré fuera estaba lloviendo.

Comments:  Good try Cleppie, and kewl pic ;)  Ok - no personal pronoun 'yo' unless really necessary to remove ambiguity or to add stress to the fact that it's 'you' doing it.  Putting personal pronouns in where natives wouldn't will really make it obvious that you are not a native speaker.

The 'that' - each time 'that' I looked outside is optional in Engish but not in Spanish, you need a que in there.

As far as using the imperfect for miraba here I also felt like I wanted to use miré but apparently if you use the imperfect in the first part it often sounds better using the imperfect in the second part and weird if you use the preterite.  I'm afraid I can't really give you a gramatical rule on that and it's also not always the case which is not very helpful at all lol :0

Suggestion:  Quería trotar pero cada vez que miraba afuera estaba lloviendo. - TLT

also for the Engish I think it would usually say 'I wanted to go jogging' rather than I wanted to jog, in which case it would be 'quería ir a trotar'

Okay, I understand.... thanks a lot for all the effort you put into correcting me! 

You're welcome :)  thanks for participating!

New: Someone was running and slipped right outside my window. 


July 20, 2012 at 7:53 AM Flag Quote & Reply

S1r Wakka
Moderator
Posts: 148

Given: Someone was running and slipped right outside my window.

Translation: Alguién estaba corriendo y resbaló justo fuera la ventana.

Suggestion:  Alguien corría y se resbaló cerca de mi ventana.

Comment:  apparently fuera 'de' la ventana sounds weird in Spanish ;)

Argument: An ongoing activity interrupted by a banana peel.

New: I felt bad because he had slipped over MY banana peel.

July 20, 2012 at 6:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

annierats
Moderator
Posts: 104

 Given:  Me sentía mal porque se  resbaló con un  cascára de plátano  mío.

Comments, well done, so close - I know that you tend to think of feelings in the past as taking the imperfect but that's not always the case.  For this example, because you're referring to a certain one off event your feeling is limited to that occurrence and therefore I think that the pret me sentí fits better.

Why not research on the net some of the feeling verbs used in the preterite and try to get a feel of when and why they're used that way )

Suggestion:   Me sentí mal porque se resbaló por / al pisar mi cáscara de plátano / guineo

or even (colloquially from Venezuela:  Me sentí mal porque resbaló con mi concha de cambur.

 

 


 Reason: Feeling in the imperfect, slip in the preterite as it was a one off.


 New:  Luckily he only broke his leg, not his neck.

July 22, 2012 at 2:13 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Cleppie
Member
Posts: 42

Given: Luckily he only broke his leg, not his neck.

Translation: Por suerte él sólo rompió sus pierna, no sus cuello.

Argumentation: Is it 'sus' or 'su'?

Comments: It would be su, because the pronoun should match the fact that the noun it refers to is singular. But I think that for body parts you generally use a definit article instead of the pronoun: la pierna i.o. su pierna. ~wakka

Okay, thank you, Wakka! 

Wakka is right  :) - Por suerte sólo se rompió la pierna y no el cuello. - TLT

New: That started a rumor that was part of a family feud. 

July 22, 2012 at 2:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

S1r Wakka
Moderator
Posts: 148

Given: That started a rumor that was part of a family feud.

Translation: Eso arrancó el rumor que era componente del odio ancestral.

Suggestion:  Arrancó is good or you could use generó and perfect use of both tenses, wel done :)

Eso arrancó/generó un rumor de que era parte de una disputa familiar.

Question: Why de que instead of just que in this particular situation? I've read your lesson about this topic but sometimes I still find it difficult to tell the difference.

Answer:  I think it falls into this category:  The preposition 'de' is needed to ...... link two nouns, or a noun and it's accompanying noun (nominal) clause.

So on the one hand you have the noun (un rumor) and then you have a noun clause (parte de una disputa familiar) 

I hope that helps :)

Reason: Start is a one-time thing, but the rumor is still there.

New: She said "thank you for the flowers" and closed the door.

July 23, 2012 at 3:41 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Cleppie
Member
Posts: 42

Given: She said "thank you for the flowers" and closed the door.

Translation: Dijo "gracias para la flores " y cerrado el puerta.

Comment: Present perfect?

Did I do it wrong?

Comment:  Good try Cleppie - I think Wakka was asking why you used 'cerrado' which is the past participle of cerrar and usually goes with the verb hacer to form the perfect tense - he cerrado / I have shut etc

Suggestion:  Ella le dijo 'gracias por las flores y cerró LA puerta (watch your genders).  :)

It's always gracias 'por' not 'para' - 'por' as a reason. - TLT

Ohh, I didnt even realize it. The genders is always getting to me, like signs in algebra. ;) Thank you. :D

Comments: I was wondering whether your intention was a present perfect (since I don't know well when one should use the preterit past and when the present perfect) or an adjective (which may have been a suggestion by Google Translate ;) ). Also thanks for taking the scolding over the gracias POR. I was also thinking para :)

Haha, it just might have been a suggestion by Google Translate. But I only used it to help me remember what that word was, not the whole thing....

Lol. I knew it! GT tends to give you those non-sensical results from time to time, especially when you feed it conjugated verbs. You may like this site for your conjugation needs (after having looked up the infinitive Spanish verb on your beloved GT ;)

Beloved.... omg, ;) Thanks a lot, Wakka. :D

New: The man said "will I ever find the right one?"

July 23, 2012 at 6:56 PM Flag Quote & Reply

S1r Wakka
Moderator
Posts: 148

Given: The man said "will I ever find the right one?"

Translation: El hombre dijo "¿¡cuándo coño encontraré la mujer indicada?!

Comments:  Wakka!  Language please!

Suggestion: El hombre dijo '¿alguna vez encontraré  la correcta?' TLT

 

New: I remember my momma said that you can't hurry love.

July 24, 2012 at 4:35 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Cleppie
Member
Posts: 42

Given: I remember my momma said that you can't hurry love. 

Translation: Yo recuerda mi mama dijo que no puede apurar el amor.

Comments:  Don't forget Cleppie - two different clauses (two different people using two different verbs is a good clue that you have two clauses going on - 'you remember' and 'your mum said' must be separated by 'que'.

And although the word 'said' by itself might sound like the preterite you need to think of what it really means.  Does it means she said it once, done and dusted?  Pret  Or does it really mean that she used to say it over a number of unspecified occasions?  Imp  (decía)

Compliment: Nice. I didn't think of that when I posted the sentence. It turned out to be a good reminder to not just translate the words but also pay attention to the meaning of the message. ~Wakka

Suggestion:  Recuerdo que mi mamá decía que 'no se puede apresurar al amor'.    TLT

Thank you both a lot! 

New: He said he was always right and I got angry.

July 24, 2012 at 5:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

S1r Wakka
Moderator
Posts: 148

Given: He said he was always right and I got angry.

Translation: Dijo que siempre tenía razón y me puse enojado.

Reason: Tener in the imperfect because it's reported speech.

I agree with your translation but not with your reason je je.  

Eg.  El Presidente de EU dijo que tuvo la oportunidad de intercambiar abrazos, lágrimas y risas con los sobrevivientes.

I think a better reason would be that the word 'siempre' is one of those words that refers to either a repetitive, vague or non-specific time frame, and therefore signals the use of the imperfect. - TLT

Yes. My grammar book has confirmed my mistaken logic :( But it says, though without further argumentation, that your example (where the direct quote would indeed describe an event in the preterit) requires the present perfect había tenido. I'm not sure. I find the distinction between PP and preterit even vaguer than Pret v Imp. - sounds right to me, and it probably is the 'proper' way to say it in English and Spanish but in day to day use we probably don't use the proper version often - he had had the opportunity je je and I'm guessing the same goes for the Spanish version.

New: I was looking for a good argument to prove my right but couldn't find any.

(perhaps the English would be better as 'to prove that I was right') :)

July 25, 2012 at 3:00 PM Flag Quote & Reply

thelanguagetutors
Site Owner
Posts: 673

If you would like to translate Wakka's last sentence click here for new Pret vs Imp Sentence Game



July 25, 2012 at 5:36 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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