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"I never used to see you when I was a girl."

Translation:Yo nunca te veía cuando yo era niña.

5 years ago

38 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/captaingimpy

@luis would "Nunca solia verte" work here?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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Yes.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ymeagain
Ymeagain
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Should that have been 'Yo nunca solía verte ...' - with an accent on the 'i' - or is my eyesight worse than I imagine?; translating to 'I never usually saw you ... '?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rickydito

I never thought of that, but, yes, I guess it works. A little strange usage though.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Don_Tomas

Can someone please explain when ser or estar is used? Thanks for any clarification.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jindr004
jindr004
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Short and accurate but very incomplete answer: If it is a characteristic of that thing - Ser. If it is a momentary or transient aspect (like location) - Estar.

I would start here and run the full series of lessons: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/serest1.htm

Then go here where they say the same thing but in a different way: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/knowing-whether-to-use-ser-or-estar.html

There are thousands of sites and discussions about this, but really there are just a few rules. Learners always start out memorizing, but eventually you will internalize the usage and be able to choose between them on the fly. Keep practicing, soon that uncertainty will go away.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sarah-q

But isn't seeing someone a transient experience, and therefore require estar? Would be great if you could explain. Thanks!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jindr004
jindr004
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The "being" in question is not seeing someone, but the state of being a girl.

There are two separate ideas in this sentence: (1) "I never used to see you" and (2) "when I was a girl".

The first phrase describes something that happened within the frame of the second, so the second sets the tense of all the verbs: "When I was a girl" => "I never used to see you".

It is crucial that you consider each verb within its role in the sentence. The state of being, and what determines if one uses ser or estar here, is a reference to the condition of being a girl. Conditions are defined by ser, and the past tense of ser that reflects that being a girl is not a defined period is era.

The verb ver in the first phrase is determined by the indefinite past condition set by the second phrase. Because there is no specific time that the action of not seeing happened (girlhood being underfined), ver is equally open-ended in this phrase, so one uses the indefinite tense veía.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Aulyizhah

Why not jamás??

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jindr004
jindr004
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Although they are essentially synonyms, in general usage nunca means never in a factual sense while jamás is much less common, while also more emphatic and intensive, as when you are making a statement that something will never ever ever happen. This is most evident in the set construction nunca jamás which is the intense way of saying not a chance ever.

So although they are interchangeable in definition, in usage and meaning they differ a little.

  • No ayuda nunca - He never helps
  • No ayuda jamás - He never helps!

So although Yo jamás te veía cuando era niña is not wrong, it is a little weird. Given the usual usage I would more often expect to see it used like this:

  • Yo nunca te veía cuando era niña, jamás.
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
hughcparker
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Why is it "les veía"? I thought "les" was the object pronoun for indrect objects. I would have expected it to be "te veía".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joehhendrickson

Formal "you?"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lifiafa

Why not jamas?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/clawedinvader

OK, I have two questions. Why "veía" instead of "ví" and why "era" at all? I can't see this in the list for "yo" in the "erar" table.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ErnestoEnrique

"Era" is the Past Imperfect of "Ser", meaning "when I was a girl" (the same tense as veía). Ser, to be, is very irregular just like in English. What's worse, Spanish has the "Estar", to be, also.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/clawedinvader

I think I understand the ví/veía thing now. Would "Yo nunca te ví" be used for "I never saw you" whereas "Yo nunca te veía" would be used for "I never used to see you"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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Yep.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BraveSentry

Why not "usaba verte"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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The verb "use" in English has multiple meanings. As a primary verb it means "to utilize". As an auxiliary verb, it occurs in sentences like "I used to run". In Spanish, the verb "usar" only has the primary role ("to utilize"), so you cannot say "usaba verte" (this would mean something like "I utilized seeing you").

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BraveSentry

ah, thanks.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SyamkumarR
SyamkumarR
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What do you say if the "you" in this sentence was "ustedes" or "usted" instead of "tu"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jindr004
jindr004
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You simply change the pronouns since the person doing the action is the same:

  • Yo nunca lo veía (a usted) cuando era niña.
  • Yo nunca la veía (a usted) cuando era niña.

  • Yo nunca los veía (a ustedes) cuando era niña.

  • Yo nunca las veía (a ustedes) cuando era niña.
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SyamkumarR
SyamkumarR
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Thank you very much. That was really helpful

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GregIhnen

I tried "nunca lo veía a usted cuando yo era niña" and it got marked wrong with "a usted" in red. Is that wrong, or just redundant?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jindr004
jindr004
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It is kind of redundant, since the person(s) not seen in childhood would be obvious in conversation. More usual would be without the a ustd(s).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/38JoeyPitPirates
38JoeyPitPirates
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The dictionary hints said, "acompane" instead of veia, even though I knew the answer I double-checked with the hints and found that...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zoeaka
Zoeaka
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I put: 'Nunca te veía cuando era una chica' and it failed me saying I should use 'niña' instead. Is it that niña is more of an age reference to being young than chica?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jindr004
jindr004
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Yes. Chica is often a young woman. Niña is explicitly a child.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GregIhnen

Can someone tell me why the following is marked wrong? Nunca había visto a usted cuando yo era niña

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GregIhnen

Nunca veía a usted cuando yo era niña doesn't work either

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FranciscoI368786

"Nunca LO veía a usted cuando yo era niña" some particularities of Spanish. Beautiful language

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GregIhnen

Thanks!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rembob
rembob
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Yo nunca le veía a ti cuando era niña. Is this completely wrong? I was simply distinguishing which "you" (as opposed to the plural you) she is talking to.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheSifter
TheSifter
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Why is fuera (vs era) incorrect?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdhicks1
cdhicks1
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The owl did not like me inverting the sentence.

cuando era una nina nunca te veia

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rembob
rembob
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07/02/15 This is the second time I got this wrong and asked about it, can anyone tell me why the following sentence is wrong? "Yo nunca le veía a ti cuando era niña". Is this completely wrong? I was simply distinguishing which "you" (as opposed to the plural you) she is talking to.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HolyT
HolyT
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Because (1) le (3rd person) does not go with ti (2nd person) and (2) le is an indirect object, whereas the sentence calls for a direct object. The following should be acceptable:

-Yo nunca la veía a Ud. cuando era niña. (The listener is female.)

-Yo nunca lo veía a Ud. cuando era niña. (The listener is male.)

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Clara749468

Besides the usual ser for inherent characteristics and estar for condition, or state of being, or location, there is something about matching tenses of clauses. Era matches veia in this case.

5 months ago