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"Ella pensaba en ti."

Translation:She used to think about you.

4 years ago

35 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/krow10
krow10
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I'm curious -- "She used to think about you" and "She was thinking about you" are both accepted, but they mean different things in my experience. The first implies that she likely no longer does while the second does not. Which is the more correct translation here, if any?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Parchessey
Parchessey
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The imperfect tense has many uses so both options work in different contexts. The first option might be something you tell someone directly.

"I thought she thought about me all the time." - Raul said sadly "She used to think about you. But no more!!" - Javier said scornfully

The second option would be used when setting the stage for something, for example in an instance where someone is telling a story.

"She was at home watching that movie you both like. She was thinking about you. Then came a knock at the door..."

This site explains it more http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/pretimp4.htm

Hope this helps!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tomrich11
tomrich11
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But you just explained in more detail what krow10 said. We know there's a difference in English between - She used to think about you/She was thinking about you. How can we tell the difference in the Spanish - Ella pensaba en ti? If it is said to us without any more explanation or context?

Let's imagine I have an ex-girlfriend and she said after a few weeks of us breaking up - 'Pensaba en ti'. How am I meant to understand whether she used to think about me or she was thinking about me?

I guess maybe then it's better to use - He estado pensando en ti..?

Thanks for any more info :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Parchessey
Parchessey
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In this instance there is no right or wrong translation because there is no context. In your example about the girlfriend ideally her following sentences would clarify which fits better or she might not give any more context with the intention of leaving you in limbo O.o

"He estado pensando en ti" translates to "I have been thinking about you" which to me implies the action has happened recently as opposed to "I used to think of you" which could be really far in the past. I think those aren't really interchangeable but in your girlfriend example it would be more clear as a stand alone sentence if she wants to imply she was thinking recently. That is my opinion at least.

I hope that further clarifies rather than confuses :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcwPlus
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Yes. I was thinking of either the present perfect or the present perfect progressive before I got.to the point where you suggested the latter. The fact of the matter is that pensar is more frequently in the imperfect that many other verbs as there isn't often a clear start or stop to the the action which is the mark of the preterite. Either verbs where the action.happened over an unspecified period or repeated actions in the past use the imperfect, as well as when you are setting the scene. Although we sometimes use used to for those long term or repeated actions in English we often don't. The context generally makes it clear and in the situation you described she would no doubt use all possible verbal clues to ger meaning.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mnovack

En seems weird to me here

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MeredithNa
MeredithNa
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It's one of those "don't literally translate" things (for example "tomar una ducha" - To take a shower). If you said "ella pensaba sobre ti" it would sound just as strange to them. :-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EugeneTiffany

That is the thing. We need to focus on understanding what the presented Spanish sentences mean.

A translation, good or bad, is a different animal. A whole nuther ball park.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elizadeux
elizadeux
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Word for word translations don't always work especially with prepositions. The preposition changes the meaning:

pensar en + infinitive/object (reflexionar sobre algo) = to think about (reflect on something)

pensar de + object = to think of or have an opinion about

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/markgjensen

i agree, sobre would seem more to the point to me. but i'm just a student and i struggle.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcwPlus
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Of all the things that can mislead subtly in a foreign language, prepositions tend to be the worst. We hardly notice them half the time. But any common verb probably has mutiple verb+preposition phrases with different meaning (sit up, sit down, sit in, sit around, sit through, sit on, push up, push through, push on) Some of these make more "sense" than others, but you can't assume that they translate. Most of the time it will just sound strange to the native speaker, but since these verb+preposition constructions often change the meaning you might be saying something entirely different from what you expect.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SteampunkRaccoon
SteampunkRaccoon
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If I remember correctly, my high school teacher told us if you were dreaming about someone you would say, por ejemplo, "Fui tenido un sueño CONtigo" rather than sobre. Correct me if I'm wrong..

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GermanPC13
GermanPC13
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"He tenido un sueño contigo"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jan-Fran
Jan-Fran
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why ti instead of tu with the accent?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nadla_
nadla_
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Tú es un pronombre personal y funciona como sujeto y ti funciona como objeto directo,suele ir detrás de una preposición.Espero que te sirva

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FelipeMiranda09

Because is a Object Pronoun, just like "you" after the verb. In this case is the same.

Yo solía pensar en TI.

I used to think about YOU.

I hope this helps you!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrainInAVat
BrainInAVat
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I know this has come up elsewhere on the past imperfect lesson, but English often uses "would" to indicate habitual past actions. In this case especially, the most natural translation I think is "She would think of you" where this is understood contextually not to be a conditional but to indicated that she used to regularly think of you. For example, while she was traveling the world she would think of you.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcwPlus
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Duo uses phrases like used to as translations for the imperfect because it translates both ways consistently. Often the best translation for the imperfect is the simple past tense in English for habitual past actions or the present or past present progressive for setting the scene. Both translations are generally accepted by Duo though. I wouldn't be surprised if there are translations with would that are not conditional, but certainly many if not most are, even if the condition was implied. Pensaría en ti, cuando estaba en México. So Duo likes to keep the would constructions solely for the conditional as it again translates back and forth consistently. It is the same for the progressive tenses. In other languages without progressive or continuous forms, Duo encourages the present progressive in English as translation for the present in that language. In reality the present progressive is a common if not the most common translation for the present of other languages, but to signal what they want as a translation, Duo likes to use it only for the present progressive in Spanish. These are all somewhat limited views, but if you recognize the limitations of the Duo platform, it makes sense. It helps you recognize what exactly is happening in the Spanish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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She used to think about you. (Lo acepta.)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
rogercchristie
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She thought of you also accepted (Jan 2016).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lrnrlynx

Love don't live here anymore...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/G_toe
G_toe
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what makes it "ti" instead of "te"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcwPlus
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Te is the form for either a direct object or an indirect object. As you know, these forms either precede the verb or verb phrase or can be attached to the end of an infinitive and a couple of other verb forms. Ti (and mi) is used after a preposition. There is also the special case of conmigo and contigo, but you will see many sentences like A ti te gusta el trabajo or a mi tampoco.

Here's a link about the various tú forms http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/133127/what-is-the-difference-between-te-tu-ti-

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CScubing
CScubing
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Why is "ti" used here instead of "tu'?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcwPlus
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Ti is the form used as the object of most prepositions. The exception is contigo which is a special form like conmigo. Here is a link that explains the various forms of tu

http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/133127/what-is-the-difference-between-te-tu-ti-

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pato_Tonto
Pato_Tonto
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I always get confused between "To think about" and "to believe in" for pensar, does anyone have a good way of remembering when to use each phrase?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcwPlus
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For me at least the difference between thinking about and believing in in Spanish is the verb choice. Pienso en ti is I think about you. Creo en ti is I believe in you.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pato_Tonto
Pato_Tonto
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Thank you :).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gipper4311

Why wouldn't it be sobre or de?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dansmisterdans

I have noticed that imperfect rather than preterite is often used when talking about mental processes (pensar, gustar, sentir, querer) Is that a useful generalization?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcwPlus
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Absolutely. These are things that often do not have a definitive start and end in the past so they are most often spoken of in the imperfect. There is something else I have noticed but never have seen discussed. The verbs which are most comfortable in the imperfect past in Spanish are the same ones we generally use the present tense for in English instead of the present progressive. In English we generally use the present progressive for current action. I am working means you are doing it now while I work most often proceeds a general or repetitive action like I work on Saturday. But while I am thinking or I am feeling is not incorrect (although I am knowing may be), for the most part we sat I think I feel or I know. This seems somehow related to the use of the imperfect. As I said I have never heard this discussed, but it had helped me use the imperfect correctly.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dansmisterdans

I am thinking about the McD advert: "I'm loving it"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dschilmoeller

Working through this set on Valentines Day with a bit of vino tinto and I gotta say-- pretty brutal, amigos!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bozokluoglu

Ella pensa ven ti it totally does sound like that

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EpicPowerHero

Is this the same person who was following us at night?

1 year ago