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Can you please help me translate these sentences using preterite vs. imperfect?

1. It was three o'clock when she got up to start the day.

2. While Philip fried the potatoes in oil, Elena vaccumed the living room.

3. Before leaving, I turned off the lights and closed the door.

4. The waiter was carrying some dishes to the table when he fell and broke his arm.

5. My friends and I were swimming in the pool when you rang the doorbell.

6. When I was fifteen years old, I lived with a family in Granada.

7. When I was two years old, I began to walk.

8. I washed all of the dirty clothing and put it in the closet.

9. My parents took the pillows off the bed to clean them and later, they returned them.

10. While I was studying, the bell rang.

11. In the hallway, there were more students

  • Spanish -

    Just a minute! What do you mean by HELP? It looks like you are asking me to DO this work! I see no effort on your part. YOU DO the work first and then I'll HELP!


  • Spanish -

    I tried and failed miserably. I have no idea whether to use preterite or imperfect but I can send you what I attempted.

    1. Eran las tres cuando ella levanto para empezar el dia.

    2. Mientras Philip fried (I don't know the word for fried) las papas en aceite, Elena paso la aspiradora en la sala.

    3. Antes de salir, yo apage the lights(not sure how to say light)y cerre la puerta.

    4. El camarero llevaba unos platos a la mesa cuando el se cayo y se rompio el brazo.

    5. Mis amigos y yo nadabamos en la piscina cuando usted toco el timbre.

    6. Cuando tenia quince anos, vivi con una familia en Granada.

    7. Cuando tenia dos anos, empece a caminar.

    8. Lave ropa sucia y la puse en el armario.

    9. Mis padres tomaron las pillows (don't know how to say this) de la cama para limpiarlas y later, they returned them. (i have absolutely no idea how to say this part.)

    10. Mientras que estudiaba, la alarma.

    11. En el vestibulo, habia mas estudiantes.

  • Spanish -

    Okay that's all of them Sra. If it is possible can you please check my work and help me figure out the words I did not know?

  • Spanish -

    :) Thank you for showing what you have done. That is how you learn. Essentially the Imperfect is for repeated action or something that was going on at that moment. It has no ending that you know of AND almost always with time and age. (It is the middle of something.) The English cue is "was/were + ing" or "used to..."

    The Preterit is for action. It has a beginning, middle and an ending. The English cue is "ed" or "DID..."

    1. almost! Eran las tres cuando ella se levantó para empezar el día.

    2. Invest in a good paper-back dictionary = English>Spanish/Spanish>English. to fry = freír. Mientras Felipe freía (English gives it away as the Imperfect = was frying) las papas en aceite, Elena pasaba la aspiradora. (She WAS vacuuming. Both verbs are going on at the same time = Imperfect.)

    3. Antes de salir, yo apagué las luces (la luz/plural is las luces) y cerré la puerta. (If an accent mark is required and you don't have it, it's considered totally wrong!)

    4. El camarero llevaba unos platos a la mesa cuando él (accent) se cayó y se rompió el brazo. (You would have gotten this totally correct with the necessary accent marks1)

    5. Mis amigos y yo nadábamos en la piscina cuando usted tocó el timbre. (accents!)

    6. Cuando tenía (accent) quince años, viví con una familia en Granada. (2nd verb is best Preterit because you put a time limit on this = when you were 15, but not now)

    7. Cuando tenía (accent) dos años (tilde), empecé a caminar. (see? Actually you are doing VERY well, and if you tell me MAC or PC, Windows or not, I can send you the chart for accent marks on the computer. You MUST learn how to do that.)

    8. Lavé toda la ropa sucia y la puse en el armario. (almost1)

    9. Mis padres tomaron las almohadas de la cama para limpiarlas y más tarde ellos las devolvieron. (If you had a good dictionary, I suspect you'd have gotten this one too!)

    10. Mientras que estudiaba, el timbre sonó. (this depends upon doorbell or?)

    11. En el pasillo (depends upon what kind of hallway), había más estudiantes.

    Now then, you definitely did NOT fail miserably! :)


  • Spanish -

    Thank you so much! I have a PC. Sorry I didn't have the accents but I don't know how to do them on the computer. :(

  • Spanish -

    I'm so glad I have a MAC because it's much easier to make accent marks than with a PC. Since you did not say whether or not you have Windows, you'll need to try the different ones here, until you find what works. Also, the material that came with your program should tell you.

    1. (US International Keyboard): (Broken Link Removed)

    2. (Character Maps):

    3. (International Keyboards & fonts0: (Broken Link Removed)


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