Translation:My friends did not see me that night.
I suppose this would be an example when the imperfect is used as a description? That's what I find difficult as it sounds like a specific event and moment descibed which would make me choose the pretitrite
My opinion is that the imperfect is being used because the action took place during some unspecified time frame.
although it says 'that night' to specify the time. Like you could say 'Ví la television esa noche'.
Moment described, yes. In this case, in Spanish, this sentence is describing last night. I agree, it doesn't sound right in English. Imperfect versus preterite is hard to translate directly to English...especially when it's just one sentence like this, out of context.
This sentence is very confusing for me.
My working understanding of the past imperfect is pretty much that of RocketLanguage:
- indefinite (no definite start or end date), or,
- continuous or repeated, or,
- taking place over a period of time, or,
- started in the past but continuing into the present,
- events or actions that took place at a specific point in time, which would be the preterite.
So, how does a specific event or time like "that night" qualify for the imperfect past?
If the translation given was "My friends were use to not seeing me that night." I could sort of think that, for example, maybe Sunday was a family day and the speaker's friends were familiar with him not being out and about that day. It's a continuing or repeated absence.
However, "My friends were not seeing me that night." is the opposite of that meaning, isn't it? The given sentence actually seems to mean that a repeated or continuous pattern of seeing the speaker was broken, a preterite event.
Any enlightenment gratefully received! :)
You do not know when that night was, so it is imperfect. Although it is tricky, to me anyway. Because If the sentence had said last night, it would be preterite. I am getting tired of Duo translating ever sentence to 'used to'. It is not helping us understand the imperfect indicative.
The first thing is not to get hung up over another dumb sentence on Duo. If the goal is to understand what is said to you in Espanol, and to make yourself understood, then you are already there over this sentence. Everyone already agrees that the friends did not see the speaker that night. That is what the sentence says and means. If you would use the pretertite in real conversation, try it out. Surely you realize that this is not the only questionable sentence on Duo. Do not misunderstand, I love the Great Green Owl.
How about ".....watching me..."? Elsewhere it said that ver and mirar are closer in meaning in Spanish than in English.
In the translation, It sounds like something came up and my friends could not come to see me that night. Could this be interpreted to mean physical as well? For instance, if I was sneaking around and my friends did not notice me.
i think it's because perfect tenses use "have" + participle (or "haber" + participle in spanish), where imperfect tenses don't use "have"/"haber"
I would like to know if my answer is wrong: "My friends not used to see me that night".