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HELP: Era vs Fue

When do I use Era and when do I use Fue, as they are both "was"? Thanks!

4 years ago



Imperfect tense to indicate continuity in the action, indefinite tense to indicate punctual action. An example will serve us to see it more clearly.

Era domingo (duration, imperfect) cuando llegué (instantaneous, indefinite)

Era domingo cuando... Correct

Fue domingo cuando... Incorrect

Here "cuando", place the action during all Sunday, so, we need to use the imperfect "era"

Here, "llegué" is an instantaneous action, so, we have to use the indefinite.

An other example where we are going to see an use of the imperfect of "llegar" verb.

Yo llegaba a casa cuando un ruido.

I heard a noise menawhile the action of arriving had place. So, we use the imperfect "llegaba"... Instead, the noise was a instantaneous action, that's why we use "oí", the indefinite instead of "oía" the imperfect.

Many times, the first part of the sentence place us in the temporal space and the second one indicate us the action punctual. You must use the imperfect for the first one and the indefinite for the second part.

An example of use de indefinite "fue" and imperfect in the same sentence.

Fue asesinado de un disparo mientras era trasladado a prisión.

In this case the parts have been reversed. The first one indicates the instantaneous action and the second one remarks the continuous temporal space in which the first action takes place.

4 years ago


would you say el hotel era fantastico or el hotel fue fanstastico

1 year ago

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El hotel fue fantastico. El hotel era fantástico durante esa semana.

1 year ago