"La cena estuvo muy buena."

Translation:The dinner was very good.

March 27, 2013



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


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


google translate is not a good source

July 18, 2013


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


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


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


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


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


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

August 17, 2014


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

February 7, 2016


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

May 1, 2016


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


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

May 31, 2013


and also great. I was counted wrong for that

August 5, 2017


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

April 30, 2015


The dinner was really good was my answer!!

November 20, 2013


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


"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


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


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


la comida = the meal and also the food

January 19, 2015


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


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

October 16, 2018


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

November 26, 2015


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

November 30, 2014


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

March 15, 2015


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


Why not "The dinner was very nice"

May 22, 2016


I have the same problem

September 5, 2016


why estuvo and not estaba

June 2, 2014


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

July 16, 2015


What's the difference between estuvo and estaba?

August 27, 2015


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

August 27, 2015


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

November 18, 2015


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

December 22, 2015


the John Cena was very good

March 10, 2017


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


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


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


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

May 27, 2014


No, it has an irregular stem without accents.

May 27, 2014


Thanks :)

May 28, 2014


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


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


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

January 27, 2015


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


thanx, makes sense! :)

January 27, 2015


whats the difference of fue and estuvo?

May 10, 2015


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

May 10, 2015


''The dinner was very good'' is perfect

July 17, 2015


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


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


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


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

September 17, 2015


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

September 17, 2015


why is "the dinner was great" incorrect

February 2, 2016


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


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


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

January 7, 2017


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


I have the same question.

February 21, 2018


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


Great wasn't accepted because?

February 7, 2017


Why 'The dinner was very nice' , wrong?

March 17, 2017


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

March 22, 2014


Answer is right but not accepted.

July 6, 2014


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

January 2, 2015


The dinner was great = La cena fue genial

May 4, 2015


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

July 28, 2015


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

October 31, 2015


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

January 5, 2016


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

January 25, 2016


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


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

February 19, 2016



March 22, 2016


whats the difference between great and very good???

April 29, 2016


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


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

May 3, 2016


Can you say la cena estaba muy bien

June 25, 2016


"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


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

August 1, 2016


is there a spanish word for "awesome"?

August 3, 2016


"Excelente" is maybe the most straightforward one.

August 3, 2016


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


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

October 6, 2016


dinner was really good should be accepted. smh

November 14, 2016


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

November 17, 2016


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


Dinner was excellent

January 31, 2018


I wrote, "Dinner was great."

February 17, 2018


I thought cena could also mean "meal."

February 17, 2018


Are 'fue' and 'estuvo' interchangeable?

March 4, 2018


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
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