Translation:When I was in that country, I used to see many cars.
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According to my book "501 Spanish Verbs"
Tense No. 2 Imperfecto de Indicativo (Imperfect Indicative)
This is a past tense. Imperfect suggest incomplete. The imperfect tense expresses an action or a state of being that was continuous in the past and its completion is not indicated. This tense is used, therefore, to express:
(a) An action that was going on in the past at the same time as another action.
EXAMPLE: -Mi hermano leía y mi padre hablaba. -My brother was reading and my father was talking.
(b) An action that was going on in the past when another action occurred.
EXAMPLE: -Mi hermana cantaba cuando yo entré. -My sister was singing when I entered.
(c) An action that a person did habitually in the past.
EXAMPLE: 1. Cuando estábamos en Nueva York, íbamos al cine todos los sábados. -When we were in New York, we went to the movies every Saturday. -When we were in New York, we used to go to the movies every Saturday. 2. Cuando vivíamos en California, íbamos a la playa todos los días. -When we used to live in California, we would go** to the beach every day.
NOTE: In this last example, we would go looks like the conditional, but it is not. It is the imperfect tense in this sentence because habitual action in the past is expressed.
(d) A description of a mental, emotional, or physical condition in the past.
EXAMPLES: 1. (mental condition) -Quería ir al cine. -I wanted to go to the movies.
Common verbs in this use are creeer, desear, pensar, poder, preferir, querer, saber, and sentir
(emotional condition) -Estaba contendo de verlo. -I was happy to see him.
(physical condition) -Mi madre era hermosa cuando era pequeña. -My mother was beautiful when she was young.
Doesn't "used to" and "would" mean the same in the translation? For example, to me "when I was young I used to walk to school everyday" and "when I was young I would walk to school everyday" mean exactly the same thing.
This is the second question where I used "would" instead of "used to" and got it marked as wrong.
Yes they can mean the same thing, if you mean it in the imperfect sense, as in someting you did repetitively in the past "when I was a child, I would play in the park every day"="cuando yo era niño, jugaba en el parque todos los día", the other use for "would" is the conditional, which would not used the imperfect. It's used to express hypothetical situations "what would you do in that situation?"="¿qué harías en esa situación?"
"I was seeing" is perfectly good English. "After he punched me I was seeing many stars." "After I ate the mushroom I was seeing large, talking rabbits." It may be the wrong tense for this translation, but the grammar is acceptable English. I'm thinking it should be accepted, but not sure whether the tense is correct for this example.
Both clauses are imperfect because there is no definite time period when you saw the many cars. It may have been all on one day, for example. Or some on one day and some on another.
http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/pretimp1.htm Generally speaking, the preterite is used for actions in the past that are seen as completed. Use of the preterite tense implies that the past action had a definite beginning and definite end.<pre>
Juan habló de la una hasta las dos. Juan spoke from one until two o'clock. (clearly stated beginning and end)</pre>
It is important to realize that the beginning and the end may not always be clearly stated.<pre>
Juan habló dos horas. Juan spoke for two hours. (implied beginning and end) Juan habló con la estudiante. Juan spoke with the student. (implied beginning and end)</pre>
Generally speaking, the imperfect is used for actions in the past that are not seen as completed. Use of the imperfect tense implies that the past action did not have a definite beginning or a definite end.<pre>
Las chicas hablaban en inglés. The girls used to speak in English. (no definite beginning or end)</pre>
You have now learned the basic difference between the preterite and the imperfect: The preterite tells us specifically when an action took place. The imperfect tells us in general when an action took place.