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  5. "Sólo había una silla en ese …

"Sólo había una silla en ese restaurante."

Translation:There was only one chair at that restaurant.

January 18, 2013

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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


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


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


You guys are very welcome. Thanks for the ups!


What kind of restaurant only has one chair?


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


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.


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


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!


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


What a terrible business model...


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

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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.


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"


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


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


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


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

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