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i continue to have difficulty lay with pretérito vs imperfecto. In the sentence She sang in a rock band in high school, why is it ella cantaba ella

Abby

Kwiziq community member

20 May 2018

1 reply

i continue to have difficulty lay with pretérito vs imperfecto. In the sentence She sang in a rock band in high school, why is it ella cantaba ella

cantó?  I understand it is a repeated action in the past, however it is also during a specific time frame ( high school), which has been completed.  Este me cuesta mucho.  Por favor, ayúdame.  Gracias

This relates to:
Using El Pretérito Imperfecto to express habits or repeated actions in the past (imperfect tense) -

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

20 May 2018

20/05/18

Hola Abby


As you know the Imperfect tense is used to express a repeated action in the past, like the sentence you mentioned. I have changed the translation in English to "used to sing" so it is more clear. 


As you are saying, why not cantó? 


If you see this sentence in English, "She sang in a band during high school", despite having a timeframe that shows the action is a completed action (she is not in high school any more), this can take both the Imperfect and the Indefinido. If you use the imperfect: cantaba, the speaker is seeing "her" singing in the band during her time in high school, with no specific beginning or end. If you use the Indefinido: cantó, the speaker is seeing the action of singing as an action with a clear beginning and an end. 


We appreciate the difference between the Imperfecto and the Indefinido is quite tricky. It needs a lot of practice.


Here is a lesson about this. It is explaining the general difference between these two tenses


https://spanish.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/using-el-imperfecto-vs-el-indefinido-general-use


I hope this clarifies your doubts.


Un saludo


Inma

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