Imperfecto vs imparfait

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gsbod
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Imperfecto vs imparfait

Postby gsbod » Sat May 18, 2024 7:39 pm

Here is a question for those of you who are proficient at both Spanish and French: are there any major (or minor) differences in usage between the imperfect tenses in Spanish and French?

I have a few French grammar notes for Spanish speakers in the back of a French grammar book which suggests not. However, having developed a reasonably good sense of the correct usage of the imparfait in French, I'm struggling a little to port this over to Spanish. It's possible that this is just because Spanish has more tenses in general, leading to some overthinking things on my part.

In any case, am I missing something?
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Re: Imperfecto vs imparfait

Postby Kraut » Sun May 19, 2024 5:28 pm

In Spanish there seems to be a wider range of acceptancy when you leave schoolbook grammar rules.
Spanisch: Wann INDEFINIDO Wann IMPERFECTO - Die einfache Lösung [Vergangenheiten] Fortgeschrittene

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCSCdaIQGCE

This is an example from today (Tripadvisor hotel review):

"El mando de la televisión no funcionaba, estuvimos levantandonos de la cama para cambiar de canal y ya para apagar la tele. No había ni un espejo en en toda la habitación."
You would think that the verbs describe a state or repeated action and have imperfecto. But "estuvimos levantandonos" is indefinido and expresses the repetition with gerund.When I ran AI, it replaced it with "teníamos que levantarnos de la cama."
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Querneus
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Re: Imperfecto vs imparfait

Postby Querneus » Sun May 19, 2024 11:01 pm

gsbod wrote:I have a few French grammar notes for Spanish speakers in the back of a French grammar book which suggests not. However, having developed a reasonably good sense of the correct usage of the imparfait in French, I'm struggling a little to port this over to Spanish. It's possible that this is just because Spanish has more tenses in general, leading to some overthinking things on my part.

In any case, am I missing something?

I think this is specific to French avoir vs. Spanish tener, but in French, "j'ai eu" often has a sense of "I got something, obtained it, caught someone" that is rather lacking in Spanish, and maybe as a consequence I find French speakers sometimes say imperfect j'avais where I'd say preterite tuve in Spanish.

J'ai eu un chien quand j'était jeune. "I got (bought) a dog when I was young." I'd rather translate this with conseguí or even compré in Spanish. And conversely, the senses of "I once had a dog when I was young" (tuve (una vez) un perro) and "I used to have a dog when I was young" (tenía un perro) would be expressed with j'avais, I think.

I can't think of much else...
Kraut wrote:"El mando de la televisión no funcionaba, estuvimos levantandonos de la cama para cambiar de canal y ya para apagar la tele. No había ni un espejo en en toda la habitación."
You would think that the verbs describe a state or repeated action and have imperfecto. But "estuvimos levantandonos" is indefinido and expresses the repetition with gerund.When I ran AI, it replaced it with "teníamos que levantarnos de la cama."

Hmm. I would accept both "estuvimos levantándonos" and "teníamos" here, with not a great difference in meaning.

Also, dayumn. Kraut. Haven't you been reading these TripAdvisor reviews for like more than 10 years now? Next time I visit Europe I'm not going to bother with reviews myself, I'll just send you a message.
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Kraut
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Re: Imperfecto vs imparfait

Postby Kraut » Tue May 21, 2024 4:49 pm

Querneus wrote:
Also, dayumn. Kraut. Haven't you been reading these TripAdvisor reviews for like more than 10 years now? Next time I visit Europe I'm not going to bother with reviews myself, I'll just send you a message.


Sure! even learn them by heart and repeat them with eyes closed
-------------------------
If you want it complicated: Hispanoteca is a real treasure chest, a life's work.

http://www.hispanoteca.eu
http://hispanoteca.eu/gram%C3%A1ticas/G ... zeiten.htm
Imperfecto - Indefinido cambios aspectuales

http://hispanoteca.eu/Gram%C3%A1ticas/G ... tuales.htm
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