1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Mis amigos nunca comían manz…

"Mis amigos nunca comían manzanas."

Translation:My friends never ate apples.

March 19, 2013

16 Comments


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

I wonder why "my friends were never eating apples" is not accepted. Is nunca + past imperfect = never used to...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

"were never eating" carries a slightly different meaning to "never used to eat" in English but it's a valid translation of the Spanish and should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mat204

my friends would never eat apples is the best surely?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dare3966

"Never used to eat" is counted correct but "Never would eat" is wrong. hmm????????


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

"Would never eat" would be "Nunca/jamás comerían", where the use of the conditional impefecto stands in for the English "would", whereas "nunca comían" is "never ate", in which case in both languages we go into the past tenses :)


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

Are you just matching tense for tense, or are you actually saying that the Spanish conditional shares with the English one the ability to express past habit? Because if that ability is not shared, tense matching fails, and all we are left with is a failure to recognize the past habit possibility of the English conditional.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

"Would" doesn't express past habit. It's the word "never" in the sentence that introduces the idea of habituality. However, from what I've seen, "would" does translate into the Spanish conditional in future-of-the-past cases, as well as conditional.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

It mightn't seem so but introducing "would" into the sentence adds a subtle meaning of it being dependent upon a condition.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WimXL
  • 1646

Should "never ate" not be a good or even better translation as comian is imperfecto?


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

Yep, that's it, that's what it says now.


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

Why not "never used to eat"?


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

I think both should perhaps be accepted but they do mean slightly different things.

  • Never used to eat may imply that they do eat apples now.

  • Never ate implies that they didn't before and probably still don't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jenr831

Maybe someone could tell me if I am thinking of the wrong verb tense:

I translated this to "My friends have never eaten apples." which is how I feel I would say this. Is that in a different verb tense?


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

It's the present perfect. Mis amigos nunca han comido manzanas. My understanding is that present perfect is common in Spain but is not used very often in many parts of Latin America. When I show present perfect to my teacher from Argentina, she makes the funniest face because as she says, "We don't use it much."


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

Why is my translation marked wrong when I use the same syntax as the Spanish?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Blas_de_Lezo00

¡El pretérito perfecto, an endangered tense, almost stinct! In Spain we use it very often.

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.