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"I wrote to them every summer."

Translation:Yo les escribí cada verano.

May 30, 2018

58 Comments


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

¿Por que no: todos los veranos?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aelise_627

If both "cada" and "todos los" are acceptable, is one better to use than the other? (Particularly, what do they prefer to use in Mexico?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

I'm not a native speaker, but in my experience it's roughly the same as English usage: "each day" v. "every day". Slightly different emphasis, perhaps, but either will be understood to say you do or did something all the time.


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

I am not a native speaker, but I always tend to use cada as it is easier, and I thought that I was being obviously American or at least not a native speaker by doing so. There are lots of little things that label me as a foreign speaker, but I no longer think this one is.


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

It accepted it for me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pablo.cruise

any insights into why "escribí a ellos todos los veranos" is not correct?


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

@Pablo.

Simply, Spanish grammar doesn't allow it.

Either you write [yo] les escribí or [yo] les escribí a ellos (the latter being used only when you do want to get rid of ambiguities).


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

"every summer" implies a habitual action and habitual actions are typically translated to imperfect, escribía


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

Both are correct without context and have different meanings. But imperfect is a better choice as it’s more likely.

I used to write to them every summer. = imperfect (habitual action)

I wrote to them every summer for 10 years = preterite (you can measure it, for how long?/ how many times?)

Without stating a specific time period it could still be preterite, but it’s better to state the time period so there is no doubt.


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

Each summer we go to the beach. That sounds habitual to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisCroni3

They have used the preterite tense, which i think is incorrect for repeating actions. It should use the imperfect escribía.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucalu4

Sin contexto suena mucho mejor y más natural usar 'escribía. Yo leo la frase tal cual y me suena muy mal con 'escribí', pero habrá contextos en donde si se vea más natural.... Por decir algo, "yo les escribí una carta aquel verano" o "yo les escribí una carta en verano", .......Pero al ser durante un período de tiempo ('cada verano') me suena regular lo de "escribí", yo tb elegiría "escribía"


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

I can't agree or disagree with this but I am pretty darn happy that I could read the whole thing .


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

Both are correct without context and have different meanings. But imperfect is a better choice as it’s more likely.

I used to write to them every summer. = imperfect (habitual action)

I wrote to them every summer for 10 years = preterite (you can measure it, for how long?/ how many times?)

Without stating a specific time period it could still be preterite, but it’s better to state the time period so there is no doubt.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SharonMullen1

I agree and just posted this...


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

"Yo les escribí a ellos cada verano" also accepted here.


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

Los escribí marked wrong, les preferred. What's the difference between les and los?


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

Les is not preferred but required.

The translation starts from the English sentence "I wrote to them...". The receiver of the action is an indirect pronoun (in both English and Spanish).

Los is the direct object pronoun (and could be used to refer to what is written).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

To put it another way:

WHAT you wrote takes the direct object.

TO WHOM you then sent the writing takes the INdirect object.

(uinni, you were both correct and clear. I just thought this little example of mine might put the direct and indirect options in contrast to one another in a way that would clarify usage for those not accustomed to parsing sentences.)


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

Any explanation why this is not in imperfect as it is a repeated action?


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

Both are correct without context and have different meanings. But imperfect is a better choice as it’s more likely.

I used to write to them every summer. = imperfect (habitual action)

I wrote to them every summer for 10 years = preterite (you can measure it, for how long?/ how many times?)

Without stating a specific time period it could still be preterite, but it’s better to state the time period so there is no doubt.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris59318

Should it not say "each" summer?


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

In this case, both words transmit the same idea.


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

Why is "Yo escribi a ellos cada verano" incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Because the indirect object (me, te, le, nos, les) is never optional in Spanish. Even if you spell out who is indicated by les, you still have to include les.

Your sentence should have read Yo les escribí a ellos cada verano.

(In fact, sustained action over time usually takes the past imperfect: Yo les escribía a ellos cado verano. But some who know Spanish better than I say usage of past perfect v. past imperfect isn't as rigid as we are taught in school. They say the past perfect or preterite is a correct option in your sentence. Even so, you still have to include the indirect object pronoun.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

You didn't get an answer, I assume, because nobody is sure. Based on online dictionaries, it seems cada always ends with an a and cado means something else ("fallen").


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

Yes, you are correct. Cada is invariable, at least it is officially. Cado means ferret hole or burrow. But if you look at the bottom of Spanishdict.com's listing for cado, you will see that some of the sentences listed, which are found by searching the internet for the word, show cado being used as a masculine form of cada. This is not specified in either the Spanishdict.com listing nor in the listing in the DLE, but obviously some change is happening somewhere. Duo won't accept it yet, as it hasn't been accepted by the Royal Academy. But stay tuned. Language change is a continuous process.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Got it. Thanks, lynette. I've run into several invariable uses of cada in DL exercises since I wrote that reply two hours ago. The online dictionary I used said cado was the participle of caer; i.e., Yo he cado or "I have fallen".

Any English speaker should know languages change; English sucks up vocabulary like a Hoover (to use just one, now-archaic term)! When I first started studying Spanish, Franco was ruling Spain with an iron fist and the Royal Academy carefully dictated the language. No more. Generalísimo Franco is still dead, BTW. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Favi.enne

Thanks for that comment. But still: I'm just learning as a beginner and for me it's ok to use 'cada' every time as it's used in every day language in Spain and America Latina, which is my experience until now


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

Why is "todos los dias" (every day) accepted but "todos los veranos" (every Summer) rejected? I am bewildered!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Did you tell DL your response should have been accepted? I also don't know why it would be wrong, unless it's just a matter of convention.


[deactivated user]

    Why not 'los'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

    Los refers to the direct object, which in this case would be the letters that were written. Les refers to the indirect object, the persons to whom those letters were sent.

    You might benefit from reading the entire thread; you will find lengthier discussions of direct and indirect objects. (This is not to criticize you for asking your question. I know it isn't always easy to find a helpful answer in a sea of posts. But now that you have the answer, you might find it helpful to read what users have written on the topic.)


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

    ¿Por qué no "Yo les escribía cada verano"? Yo entiendo lo que significa pero la palabra "cada" significaría que hay una acción habitual aquí y entonces la oración sería imperfecto. Alguien aquí que puede contestarme por qué lo hecho, hecho está, en español me preferiría.


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

    Both are correct without context and have different meanings. But imperfect is a better choice as it’s more likely.

    I used to write to them every summer. = imperfect (habitual action)

    I wrote to them every summer for 10 years = preterite (you can measure it, for how long?/ how many times?)

    Without stating a specific time period it could still be preterite, but it’s better to state the time period so there is no doubt.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

    LaRana, I think (i.e., not 100% sure) that actions completed in the past can take the simple past tense. (UNLESS they are being compared to one, specific action, in which case, the ongoing action takes the imperfect while the singular action takes the preterite, as you know.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SharonMullen1

    shouldnt it be yo les escribia cada verano


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

    I'm not 100% sure, but I think the preterite is used because each letter written is a specific incident that began and ended in the past. The imperfect COULD be used, but it would emphasize an ongoing process of letter writing rather than a series of completed incidents.

    The same is true in English: "I wrote to them every summer" emphasizes concrete events; "I used to write to them every summer" refers to an ongoing process of letter writing.


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

    But the preterite can't do that. My nickname for the preterite that I have never had any reason to question is one and done. With stative verbs the imperfect is definitely about an ongoing process, but with action verbs it's about repetitive action, which is what you have here. My only guess is that this sentence would imply an obvious situation where the time period is established by another part of the conversation. But if that is it, I consider that sort of cheating on Duo's part.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

    Well, just to be clear, I personally would use the imperfect for the sentence in question. I was merely speculating as to why the preterite was employed by DL.

    Now that I can see deleted posts, I see my original response was that DL hadn't covered the imperfect when that prompt first appeared and used the preterite by default, as the only past tense we had learned. I don't know who deleted that post or why, but it still strikes me as the best guess. (And that's all it is: a guess.)


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

    I agree. I didn't leave a comment when I was in there before since I didn't see any to that effect and wanted to check out if I had missed something. But I haven't found any justification for using the preterite here. There isn't even anything that indicates a general time limit at all, and a general one wouldn't count.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex378336

    Would 'Yo les escribi a ellos cada verano' be okay?


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

    It isn't incorrect. But the "a ellos" would absolutely not be included unless you were talking about various people you have written to including groups that would use either ellas and/or ustedes, the clarity would be unnecessary and therefore clunky and redundant. I now also take the reverse course on Duo - English for Spanish speakers. I had assumed that Duo included these a phrases as a teaching device for Spanish. But for some strange reason Duo actually uses them even more in the Spanish translations of English. The native Spanish speakers are seriously annoyed by it. Of course, there whole linguistic experience has taught them that context fills in most of the holes in detail like this.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan205446

    why not: todos los veranos?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

    No reason. That should be acceptable as well. Using cada, however, emphasizes that you wrote to them "each and every" summer.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Favi.enne

    Porqué no "escribía"? I usually did that every summer (cada verano). This needs preterito IMPERFECTO, not INDEFINIDO


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Favi.enne

    By the way: the capital letters of course don't mean that I am shouting. I only want to emphasize the difference and I would be happy about anyone's explanation. Saludos de Alemania


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim8161
    Mod
    • 422

    Answers using "escribía" are in the Correct Solutions list.

    If your answer is marked as incorrect and you want to engage the user forum, it is always best to share your full submission so it can be completely checked.

    Supplemental:
    • "why" is "por qué" not "porqué"
    • You can edit/delete your own posts rather than reply to them.
    • There are other ways to format posts instead of resorting to ALL CAPS:
      [GUIDE] Formatting Your Post

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

    This is a very difficult issue to explain, because it's more about the speakers attitude towards the events then the grammar. But if you translated this from English with the imperfect and were marked wrong, you should report it.

    I will give the explanation a shot. If you want to showcase the repetitive nature here, you would, of course, use the imperfect, and I think the imperfect would be the most common choice anyway. But the "imperfect" part of the imperfect is that it never implies that the action is completed, which is why it cannot be used with a specific time period, and also is the reason I hate the "used to" translation because that does. So you will see times when the speaker may use the preterite where the imperfect would normally be to specifically mark it as a closed chapter in his life. You can't do that with a stative verb, because the state necessarily continued for an unspecified period. But you might want to express this more like I wrote and I wrote and I wrote - many preterite actions instead of a series of repeated actions. I'm not confident you will understand my explanation, but you will see this again. It's especially difficult to teach on Duo with no context, but in context I think you will understand it better.

    In terms of not appearing to shout in the forum, I think most people understand your use of caps for emphasis. That's what I used to do as well. But bolding and italics is really easy to create in messages, although it won't look right until you post your comment. To make italics, simply surround the word or phrase with a single asterisk. If you received this in an email, you may see the asterisks surrounding the word, depending on your settings, but people in the forum just see the first instance of the word asterisk in italics. If you want to bold a word or expression, you use two asterisks before and after the word/phrase. And if you guessed that three asterisks on each side makes bold italics you were right.


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

    Shouldn't it an Imperfecto tense?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim8161
    Mod
    • 422

    Answers in the imperfect are in the Correct Solutions list.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

    Jim is right: it could be the imperfect. But Duo is demonstrating a usage where "each summer" is treated as a distinct event and therefore the simple past is employed. You can say it either way; Duo just doesn't want us to be confused when we encounter the simple past in this context.

    Compare in English: "I went to camp every summer." "I used to go to camp every summer."

    None of us native English speakers would be confused by either sentence.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gwen108006

    Why do I need "yo"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

    Yo is optional. If it was included when the system "corrected" your response, that was incidental. Your error was something else (unless you were typing from dictation).

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