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  5. "La cena estuvo muy buena."

"La cena estuvo muy buena."

Translation:The dinner was very good.

March 27, 2013

87 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?


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.


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

google translate is not a good source


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.


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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamesw0906

I agree. Better to say la cena estaba muy buena.


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

i have the same concept but duolingo has its own rule


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


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 :)


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.


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

good logic but it is only helpful when you say the part in the braces bracket .La niña está guapa {hoy su vestido rojo }. but . La niña está guapa. is confusing. if duolingo wants us to translate the girl is pretty .so what will you do?


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

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


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

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


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

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


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.


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

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


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

and also great. I was counted wrong for that


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

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


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

The dinner was really good was my answer!!


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?


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.


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.


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."


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

la comida = the meal and also the food


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).


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

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


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

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonathan.r69

Really and very are not really the same.


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

In this context, they are.


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

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


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.


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

Why not "The dinner was very nice"


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

I have the same problem


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

why estuvo and not estaba


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

khaakenajaf- When the action is finished, we have to use preterito perfecto simple ( estuvo). Estaba is used when you say : esta semana estaba enferma., you're still in this week. Last year, this moment is passed, you would say : el año pasado (yo) estuve enferma. Past is used when the accent is finished or the moment passed. - preterito imperfecto ( estaba), is used if the day isn't finished, Sorry but it's hard to explain.


[deactivated user]

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


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

    What's the difference between estuvo and estaba?


    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.


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

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


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

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


    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.


    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?


    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.


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

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


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

    No, it has an irregular stem without accents.


    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.


    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.


    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!


    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.


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

    thanx, makes sense! :)


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

    whats the difference of fue and estuvo?


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

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


    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?


    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.


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

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


    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.


    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?


    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.


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

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


    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/


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iyphd
    • 1415

    I have the same question.


    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.


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

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


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

    The dinner was great = La cena fue genial


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChiefZack17

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


    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?


    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


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

    whats the difference between great and very good???


    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.


    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


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

    Can you say la cena estaba muy bien


    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.


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

    is there a spanish word for "awesome"?


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

    "Excelente" is maybe the most straightforward one.


    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)


    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"


    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?


    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.


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

    Dinner was excellent


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

    I thought cena could also mean "meal."


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

    Are 'fue' and 'estuvo' interchangeable?


    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 !


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/clairella11

    I answered "The dinner was very great" but they marked it wrong. Why is it so?

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