Inside/Outside the timeframe

WylieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Inside/Outside the timeframe

Hola Inma: Regarding El Preterito Perfecto, I don't know what you mean when you say the speaker sees herself inside that same timeframe. For example: “¿Vosotras pudisteis reservar ese hotel tan barato?” In what way does the speaker see herself inside that timeframe? Likewise, for El Preterito Indefinido, in what way does the speaker see herself outside the timeframe, ex: “No pudimos conseguir entradas para el concierto”?

Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Wylie

Here is a more general lesson on the difference between using the Present Perfect (Pretérito Perfecto, "he reservado" "hemos trabajado"...) and the Preterite (Pretérito Indefinido, "reservé" "trabajé"...). It is easier to see as general use, instead of modal verbs. Please have a look.

We talk in this lesson about "blocks of time". As an example, if I say:

Hoy he ido al mercado. (Today I went [lit: have gone] to the market.)

I consider that I am still inside that block of time which is the whole "today", (hoy), the day has not finished; therefore I use the present perfect; whereas if I say:

Ayer fui al mercado. (Yesterday I went to the market.)

As yesterday is gone, I am outside that block of time (the whole of yesterday), because now it is a new day; therefore I use the preterite.

With modal verbs like poder, this also applies (although sometimes they have extra nuances).

I hope this general lesson helps to understand better.

Un saludo,

Inma

WylieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thanks Inma! I now understand!

Inside/Outside the timeframe

Hola Inma: Regarding El Preterito Perfecto, I don't know what you mean when you say the speaker sees herself inside that same timeframe. For example: “¿Vosotras pudisteis reservar ese hotel tan barato?” In what way does the speaker see herself inside that timeframe? Likewise, for El Preterito Indefinido, in what way does the speaker see herself outside the timeframe, ex: “No pudimos conseguir entradas para el concierto”?

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