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"Sólo había una silla en ese restaurante."

Translation:There was only one chair at that restaurant.

January 18, 2013

22 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/captaingimpy

Let me clarify: tener = to have and can be used with all personal pronouns. Haber = to have ONLY when used as a helper verb (Yo he ido a la casa de mi amante = I've gone to my lover's house) Otherwise haber when conjugated (hay, hubo, haya, etc...) is only used to mean there is/are/were and all that sort of stuff. I hope it helps, it's a tricky thing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mangledmatt

This comment really helped me to understand this entire section. I think more people need to read it. Thank you for posting this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LouMacRibNib

Thank you!! I was so lost before I read this, have a lingot :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/captaingimpy

You guys are very welcome. Thanks for the ups!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michisjourdi

What kind of restaurant only has one chair?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skatos

A persian one. You sit on the floor. Open your mind :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bcpaq

The sentence could be construed as "There was only one chair available at that restaurant."

That's a common construction in English: "There's only 1 seat at the bar". Sure, there are plenty of chairs, but there's only one for you. The others have someone sitting in them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neiht20

I'm not sure about that though. What you're saying makes sense, but I think if they meant that only one chair was available then they'd say "sólo había una silla disponible". I think which the way the sentence is written, the connotation is that there was only one chair that existed in that restaurant. But I'd like a native speaker's input, because I could be wrong xD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/percyflage

Maybe the same one that serves "One Meatball": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpZh7_pMdhw

There are lots of versions :) Disfruta de la comida!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeanG6

A really, really small restaurant. Or take-out only. Or, like skatos said, a persian one where everyone sits on the floor.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kcmurphy

What a terrible business model...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theratt

Why is haber not translated as hubo in this sentence instead of habia?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rickydito

Because it is an ongoing action. It was not just one time that there was only one chair, which would be "hubo", but as far as we know when we got there, there was only one chair, when we were there, there was only one chair, when we left there was only one chair; as far as we know there still is only one chair. Therefore, we must use imperfect: "había"

We would use "hubo" only if we knew that one time there was only one chair, but all the rest of the times there were more chairs.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatrinaMac4

Hubo usually implies an action took place. Hubo un accidente. There was an accident. Había implies there was something, somewhere at sometime in the past.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brian.jh.woo

How would one say "There used to be only one chair at that restaurant"? Sólo había habido ... ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1752

For something that could not exist now, exactly this way. For something that could exist now, hubo. I've been told that if you say "Hubo un restaurante en esa ciudad" it sounds like it is not there now. Pero: Seres humanos vivían aquí hace 6000 años. Contrast that with teachers that generally translate the imperfect as "used to".

I did not get this one right, and I theoretically knew better.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neiht20

I believe you would simply say "sólo había una silla en ese restaurante" no need for the extra "habido" because the imperfect tense can imply the "used to"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jessegb

Why not "They had only one chair..."?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luis

There is a difference between "There was" and "They had". The Spanish sentence is "There was".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rajer104

What's wrong with "There had been"? If they want "there was," shouldn't it say "hubo"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatrinaMac4

There had been would be "había estado/sido". There was is había or hubo depending on context.

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