"Where were the fish yesterday?"

Translation:¿Dónde estuvieron los peces ayer?

March 8, 2018

23 Comments


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

"estuvieron" and "estaban" both mean "they were" so why was I marked wrong?

December 6, 2018

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

Estuvieron » preterite
Estaban » imperfect
Both are past tenses but have a difference in meaning.

Preterite » an action or event begun and completed at a definite past point in time. In this case, ayer.

Imperfect
» an action or event that was habitual in the past, recurring over a period of time - eg, "The fish used to be here".
» Or something that happened at an indefinite time in the past, or the timing of when it did happen is not important, so there is no clearly defined start and finish time - "The fish were here" (at some time or other) - and may still be here.

December 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nEjh0qr4

Thanks, Lesaken, that's helpful.

March 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Renata496204

Ditto. Report it as "my answer should be accepted".

December 7, 2018

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

Dónde los peces estuvieron ayer? What is wrong about this sentence?

February 9, 2019

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

If you have a question with a question word, the conjugated verb has to direct follow that question word.

English does it, too: "Where were the fish?", not "Where the fish were?"

February 17, 2019

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

Could I not use estaban instead of estuvieron?

March 8, 2018

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

07/23/18. Perhaps, but your fish would be swimming against the prevailing tide of Preterite tense examples, particularly because the Imperfect tense has not yet been introduced.

July 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Renata496204

a very bad reason. If it's correct, it's correct.

December 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Renata496204

I now think they rejected estaban because "ayer" makes the time reference an enclosed one that is completed. But I think the same sentence could be correct with estaban if the surrounding context made it clear that the fish were there as a background condition while something else happened.

December 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jay977736

Why not fueron

December 15, 2018

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

I believe it's because this sentence is about location so requires a conjugation of estar not ser.

December 16, 2018

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

Are there situations to use pescado vs peces or are they interchangeable?

January 24, 2019

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

My understanding:
Pez » a live fish (eg, still in a river or the sea, not yet caught).
Pescado » a fish caught or that has been prepared ready for eating.

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Murat970917

Why not el pez instead of los peces?!!

April 14, 2019

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

For the subject to be singular - el pez - the verb would have to be singular too, estuvo. Estuvieron is plural (third person, preterite), so it is conjugated for a plural subject, los peces.

And if you are translating from English to Spanish, to understand "fish" to be singular the verb used would have to be "was" and not "were":
"Where was it (the fish)" cf "Where were they (the fish)".

April 14, 2019

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

It should have accepted el pez estuvo as it doesn't specify in the sentence that it is plural

July 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nEjh0qr4

But, Becky, the English sentence--Duo's prompt--uses "were," so the subject must be plural. See Lesaken's post (just above yours, now, although posts do move around).

September 1, 2019

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

If you said it as "¿Dónde estuvo el pez ayer?", that'd be good.

July 28, 2019

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

The fish is singular so I used singular form

September 1, 2019

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

"Fish" is a plurale tantum, which means that the singular and plural forms look the same. One fish, two fish, and so on. English typically does this with animals, like sheep, deer or moose.

The verb here actually gives the clue how many fish we're talking about. "Were" is the plural form, the singular would be "was".

  • Where was the fish? - one fish
  • Where were the fish? - multiple fish
September 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nEjh0qr4

SPramodSri, in English "the fish" can be either singular or plural. But, "were" is only plural, so you need estuvieron in Spanish.

September 1, 2019

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

According to the previous phrase I got the fish went out for breakfast!

October 2, 2019
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