"La cena estuvo muy buena."

Translation:The dinner was very good.

March 27, 2013

94 Comments


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

why estar here? in the present, 'the dinner is good', would be la cena es muy buena, wouldn't it? so why not la cena era muy buena?

March 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rocko2012

Google translate uses "era" here. Seems like a fundamental description and of something that will always be true. That makes me think "ser" but the rules are so complex I'm open to anything being right here. "La cena era muy buena" has 2,830,000 google results and "La cena estuvo muy buena" has 160,000 results. Close enough to still be ambiguous to me. "Era" is the Imperfect and "estuvo" is the Preterit. Though the distinction is lost on me.

March 27, 2013

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

google translate is not a good source

July 18, 2013

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

Interesting discussion. I think the imperfect is more likely to be used than the preterite here because it 'sets the scene' about a continuous action in the past, although both can be used. The ser/estar distinction I don't really understand here; ser is more common but both seem to be fine.

June 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackstewart2

Here, the use of estar implies that this particular dinner was very good. Ser would be used if the dinner was typically always good. The past tense implies that the dinner is completed. The imperfect, I think, would be used if the dinner was still ongoing. At least, that's my understanding.

January 28, 2015

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

Because in spanish ESTAR is most used than ES .... But these words are the same, For example nobody here,( In MEXICO ) Says ¨la cena era muy buena¨, It is most normal say : la cena estuvo muy buena.... PD: I live In Mexico

October 25, 2015

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

Maybe a native speaker will come along to help. I believe the use of estar must change the meaning. Perhaps the dinner is not good all the time :)

September 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

jfgordy. I think you're right. Look at this exemple : la niña es guapa. She probably is always guapa. La niña está guapa hoy con su vestido rojo / the girl is pretty today with her red dress, but maybe she won't be tomorrow with another dress.

February 20, 2014

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

Good question. I learned the use of estar would suggest that dinner was particularly good on this night.

August 17, 2014

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

Era may convey the meaning that it was good before, but is no longer.

February 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/c0mp0stela

The use of 'era' is also correct, even a better translation in this case.

May 1, 2016

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

You would use ser ordinarily but the use of a estar makes it more emphatic ie that it was a really really good dinner.

November 19, 2017

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

Good, nice. Taken in context, nice should be accepted

May 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brella3

and also great. I was counted wrong for that

August 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/llanom373

"Really" ought to serve just as well as "very." No life-and-death issue though; just sayin'.

April 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Franciscodel92

The dinner was really good was my answer!!

November 20, 2013

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

The meal was very good was my answer and it was marked wrong! What is the difference between a meal and a dinner? To me they are the same thing. Help anyone?

October 26, 2014

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

"Cena" is specifically an evening meal, which in English is "dinner" or "supper," or even sometimes "tea" (there's some variation in dialect about that). A breakfast, for example, is always a meal but never a dinner.

December 30, 2014

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

I still don't see why "meal" won't work for "cena". What am I missing? I would consider any time one sits down to eat a meal.

December 31, 2014

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

Perhaps an example. I consider all apples to be things, but it would be a mistake to translate "Como una manzana" as "I eat a thing."

December 31, 2014

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

la comida = the meal and also the food

January 19, 2015

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

Basically peggy, "meal" is too generic. Breakfast, dinner, tea, lunch, supper: they are all meals. In this example, it is specifically talking about "dinner" (the main meal of the day).

June 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael189866

I can make a dog's breakfast out of any meal

October 16, 2018

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

It marked me wrong for that answer. Is it poor grammar?

November 26, 2015

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

"the dinner was really good". another word for very...

November 30, 2014

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

Hi! What's the difference in usage between "fui" and "estuvo"? Thanks.

March 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joaquin01Amaya

Fui means "i went or i was" like "yo fui al parque- i went to the park" ir " yo fui muy feliz - i was very happy" and estuvo means that something or someone was something " el estuvo en la luna - he was in the moon" in this case estuvo was correct because it says that the dinner was good. Hope it helped.

February 2, 2016

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

Why not "The dinner was very nice"

May 22, 2016

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

I have the same problem

September 5, 2016

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

why estuvo and not estaba

June 2, 2014

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

Why can't I say 'nice' instead of 'good'? That's acceptable in English, thus should be for the translation.

July 16, 2015

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

What's the difference between estuvo and estaba?

August 27, 2015

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

Estuvo is preterite tense; estaba is imperfect. The former is for (past) actions with a definite beginning and end.

August 27, 2015

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

Whats the difference between "very good" and "great"?

November 18, 2015

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

«… very nice» isn't accepted. Por qué?

December 22, 2015

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

the John Cena was very good

March 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/21430056

One trick that I learned in Spanish class in high school was, "If it's how you feel or where you are, always you the verb estar." The person speaking felt that the dinner was good, so maybe that's why it's estar instead of ser.

March 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/laur3n

I say 'tea' instead of 'dinner' in real life, and 'dinner' instead of 'lunch'. This is really annoying because I keep getting this question wrong because Duolingo doesn't accept 'tea' as an answer. But to complicate things further, there's another definition of tea which is the hot drink, so then people who don't say tea as dinner in real life will get confused. Can we PLEASE have a setting on Duolingo to whether we are American/English?

September 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rocko2012

The problem is duolingo's staff probably does not know much about British English. They have said they will accept British English though. You have to file a report and tell them in every case it is not accepted.

September 13, 2013

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

Shouldn't there be an accent on top of the letter 'o' in estuvo

May 27, 2014

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

No, it has an irregular stem without accents.

May 27, 2014

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

Thanks :)

May 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

palaash- Normally, in many cases, when there is an accent at the preterito perfecto simple, it's because you have the same word in an other tense. EX :yo olvido, present tense. él olvidó, past tense. yo termino, present, él terminó, past. The accent makes the difference.

June 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusannaEDavis420

Why wouldn't it be fue instead of estuvo? I haven't even studied era yet, so I'm not sure why it could be that.

September 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnaJohn1

why is it preferable to say "La cena estuvo muy buena" instead of "La cena fue muy buena"? curious!

January 27, 2015

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

Best as I can dig up, "está bien/está buena" is simply the idiomatic phrase for food that tastes good. That is, the choice of estuvo here is not particularly related to the usual rules for ser vs. estar.

January 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnaJohn1

thanx, makes sense! :)

January 27, 2015

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

whats the difference of fue and estuvo?

May 10, 2015

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

Same as ser vs. estar. In this case, the use of "estar" is just the idiom.

May 10, 2015

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

''The dinner was very good'' is perfect

July 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jessye25

This could be a really dumb question... but where did the 'uvo' part of estuvo come from???? Are we not conjugating in the past tense?

July 29, 2015

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

We are indeed, but "estar" has a highly irregular conjugation. If it were a regular -ar verb the third person preterite would be "estó," but it's not.

July 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tres9

what this sux i said the dinner was great and i got it wrong the correct answer was "the dinner was very good" :(

September 2, 2015

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

The dinner was really good vs the dinner wad very good. Why is really incorrect

September 17, 2015

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

It shouldn't be. "Really" is often used as an intensifier in English, equivalent to "very." You should report it.

September 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wyatt485411

why is "the dinner was great" incorrect

February 2, 2016

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

I put "the dinner was great" and they did not accept it. Yet the dictionary hints say that "muy buena" means "great." Which is wrong, the dictionary hints or should my answer have been accepted?

September 25, 2016

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

Both English and Spanish treat "very good" / "muy buena" and "great" / "grande" as meaning the same thing in their nature but meaning importantly different things in degree.

I would say the dictionary hint in this case was not muy buena.

September 25, 2016

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

Why is it estuvo and not estuve, it was, not I was?

January 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/terapeuta16

You can check out this page for the regular and irregular conjugation of verbs in the preterite tense, including that of estar: http://www.fluentu.com/spanish/blog/spanish-preterite-and-imperfect/

January 7, 2017

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

I have the same question.

February 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Inqvisitor1

The subject is “la cena”, not the person speaking. The person is saying the dinner was very good, not calling himself very good.

March 31, 2018

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

Great wasn't accepted because?

February 7, 2017

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

Why 'The dinner was very nice' , wrong?

March 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jacinta1996

Ay Google translate is bad. My friends use it on me and they don't make sense. Lol. :)

March 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuzanneSch5

Answer is right but not accepted.

July 6, 2014

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

I did, "The dinner was great," and they counted that wrong! Is that right?

January 2, 2015

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

The dinner was great = La cena fue genial

May 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZackF1

Why is it sometimes recommended that buena be translated "nice" and then it's marked wrong in some exercises?

July 28, 2015

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

I put "really" instead of "very". Why is "really" wrong?

October 31, 2015

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

I put the dinner was great, what is wrong with that?

January 5, 2016

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

isn't really and very the same thing???????

January 25, 2016

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

My Spanish teacher taught me one could use "estar" when referring to food to convey that it tasted good. So I answered "The dinner tasted good." Should this have been accepted?

January 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/masonaulik1

it says to put the dinner is great and so i put that down and i get it wrong

February 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CoolSkeleton95

THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THE UNDERTAKER TOLD JOHN CENA!

March 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zoee-T

whats the difference between great and very good???

April 29, 2016

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

I would consider "great" to be even stronger praise than "very good," but it's kind of splitting hairs at that point.

April 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zoee-T

yea but if you say great or very good it kinda means the same at least in my opinion it does

May 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sheila.mcg

Can you say la cena estaba muy bien

June 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Inqvisitor1

"Estaba" is imperfect tense, which describes an ongoing action in the past.

The dinner, i.e. "la cena" was a one-time event that is over, a completed action which you are describing, so you must use a perfect tense, i.e., the preterite tense.

If you regularly have dinners cooked by the same people at the same restaurant or family home repeatedly, perhaps you could use the imperfect & say "Las cenas estaban muy buenas", the dinners were very good, it's a repeated action in the past, and also leaves open the implication that you will continue to go enjoy those ongoing dinners, as opposed to commenting about one specific past dinner you sat down, ate & finished, it's done, which requires perfect tense.

September 26, 2017

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

I put 'dinner was really good'. But it wasn't accepted.

August 1, 2016

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

is there a spanish word for "awesome"?

August 3, 2016

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

"Excelente" is maybe the most straightforward one.

August 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ejp57

i really did not understand it but i said the diner was very good and it was wrong i think it is a problem (sorry i do not speak much english but someone is teach me)

August 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KNJ02

so, i said "The dinner was great!!" why does that not count?? Great is another translation to "muy buena"

October 6, 2016

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

dinner was really good should be accepted. smh

November 14, 2016

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

Anyone notice if you put "great" it is counted wrong even though the dictionary hints on hover say great?

November 17, 2016

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

Does anyone read the existing commenrs before they repost questions that have been answered multiple times? These notes would be a lot more useful if each issue was only addressed once.

October 17, 2017

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

Dinner was excellent

January 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jandk.ilyk

I wrote, "Dinner was great."

February 17, 2018

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

I thought cena could also mean "meal."

February 17, 2018

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

Are 'fue' and 'estuvo' interchangeable?

March 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael189866

I came here to double-check on the same point, since I am sure that a couple of hours ago DL wanted me to translate ''La cena fue muy buena''. It seems from the comments above that the basic answer is that both are acceptable. Two comments suggest you use ''estar'' when the meal is particularly good. Best person to ask would be a Spanish waiter !

October 16, 2018
Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.