Pretérito Indefinido or Pretérito Perfecto

JohnC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Pretérito Indefinido or Pretérito Perfecto

Hola Inma,

Having read your reply to David I'm still a bit lost. Many of the phrases were translated in the past tense for example "We lit the fireplace" and "we sat in front of it" etc but all took the pretérito perfecto because they occurred today "Hoy". However, "We loved seeing how the firewood was consumed" was the only phrase given in the pretérito indefinido and expanded in the imperfecto.

There must be something about the phrase that calls for this construction. Can you give me a pointer?

Saludos. John

Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola John

This sentence could also use the perfect tense, following the rest of the narrative, as it is also an action that we can place within "today": 

Nos ha encantado ver cómo se consumía la leña...

There is no obvious reason to use the Indefinido by the narrator, only the idea that he/she could suddenly see this action of "loving watching the fire" as something with a beginning and an end within today. He/she sees it as a completed action. 

The use of Imperfect in:

Nos encantó ver cómo se consumía la leña...
This is very appropriate as we are describing something that implies continuity (the logs were burning) - it's not a sudden action but something seen as a progress.
I hope this clarifies it. 
Saludos
Inma

Pretérito Indefinido or Pretérito Perfecto

Hola Inma,

Having read your reply to David I'm still a bit lost. Many of the phrases were translated in the past tense for example "We lit the fireplace" and "we sat in front of it" etc but all took the pretérito perfecto because they occurred today "Hoy". However, "We loved seeing how the firewood was consumed" was the only phrase given in the pretérito indefinido and expanded in the imperfecto.

There must be something about the phrase that calls for this construction. Can you give me a pointer?

Saludos. John

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your Spanish level for FREE

Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard

Find your Spanish level
Clever stuff happening!