One of the questions in this section was:
Mi prima ________ Miss Universo. .My cousin was Miss UniverseHINT: Conjugate "ser" in Pretérito indefinido
I got this correct (fue), because of the section it is in, but would it not be better to use the imperfect for this example? Mi prima era Miss Universo. There is no time frame involved, outside of being in the past. Does it really matter? Just wondering. Thank you.
We haven't put any emphasis on the timeframes in this lesson as it is all to do with verbs IR and SER having the same form in the preterite. This sentence could be using both "fui" and "era" depending on the the timeframe when the action happened, being more specific (preterite) or more irrelevant (imperfect). We are at the moment doing a lesson to differenciate verb "ser" in the preterite and in the imperfect so you will have more information very soon :))
As there is no time period specified, this should be "Él era mi amigo." If the purpose of the lesson is to teach the difference usage of Ser in the preterite and the imperfect, this is an incorrect example and a disservice for people attempting to learn. To demonstrate "fue", the example should have been "Él fue mi amigo el mes pasado."
When we introduce these two tenses in A2 we do it in a way where the students can see, using different time phrases, the main difference between them (because in English there is only one: was/ did/went...). However, later on in higher levels we start practising with these two tenses using no time phrases at all. This is something that does happen in Spanish. The preterite doesn't always have to be accompanied by a time phrase (ayer, el sábado pasado...) This is a concept that is difficult to understand. Here is a B2 lesson explaining this. Have a look.
I hope it helps.
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