Translation:You were not eating nor drinking that day.
Thankfully right today but there is no explanation for this tense or how to form it or what to expect and what's going to be irregular or needs learning. Also, I rarely see a moderator on this forum so it is a different and a less secure learning space than the French website where there are a number of regulars and a moderator to answer very very clearly. We have that on the Spanish forum but not enough....and not for the last few exercises that I found tho I did them late at night....not to be crabby over a wonderful free service but there are SEVENTY-FIVE comments to read on this one sentence, it was SLOW to load, and there is no explanation. it's wing it in deep water and yet demands SO much time keeping the bars gold...so it's hard to go to the places I KNOW I need work. Why they are gold at all is a wonder... I had a chance to speak to a spanish-only person but found myself speechless. Just could say gracias. Dah.
It really is torture, because the rules seem to be so unclear, or at least applied inconsistently. Sometimes, "used to" seems to be acceptable, sometimes the continuous -ing form, sometimes simple past tense. How are we to know? "You did not use to eat ..." Was not accepted. Why not?
Yes I think that would work, but the problem is that you would not normally interpret the sentence as written that way. You would need to add something like " .....every year" at the end of the sentence, then "did not use to..." would be fine because the idea of a habitual or repeated action is conveyed. When it comes to which of the range of translations of the imperfect to use in a given situation, it just depends on the context and what sounds right in English. Duolingo often does not have all the correct answers listed, so you need to report your answer if you think it is correct.
Spanish present tense (for example, Corro/I run) and Spanish preterite/past tense (for example, Corré/I ran) are both used for fixed points of time (I run on Tuesdays; I ran on Tuesdays) and/or for an eternal state of being (I run; I ran; I will have always run at that particular point in time).
Spanish present progressive tense, which conjugates a present tense form of "estar" + an "ando" or "iendo" (-ing participle), indicates an ongoing or presently happening action that could foreseeably continue to happen in the future but also might stop at some time in the future. For example, Estoy corriendo = I am running. The time duration is indefinite.
Spanish past progressive tense conjugates a past tense form of "estar" + a present participle ending in "-ando" or "iendo." For example, Él estaba corriendo = He was running/He used to run. Spanish past progressive tense indicates an ongoing action that occurred over a period of time and then finished or ended. The action was progressive in the past but now is ended.
In conclusion, I believe that context dictates whether the translation should be "was running" or "used to run." Kind of like deciding to translate as "neither _ nor " or "not _ or _ ."
Note: went back to add the examples in paragraph one.
¡De nada y buena suerte con sus estudios! I wanted to add that the imperfect preterite tense is in contrast to the Spanish perfect tenses because the Spanish perfect tenses indicate definite endings as opposed to permanent states of being. Here is one of the most succinct websites that I have ever found for explaining Spanish perfect tenses: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/courses/perfect1.htm
If you could supply some examples and endings to hook it to, that would help. it's so much white noise without those examples with translations. the conjugation tables do not even give the meaning in English of the main verb much less the conjugation meanings. I think you have a clear grasp and we seem to have no further explanations from our friends at DUO. It is a good way to learn by doing....best for me...but it needs some nutshelling people to visit like you with such explanations and examples. Maybe the French site has spoiled me. I began to get lost with the modal verbs that were in all tenses and i think some we had not had.. So many irrigular ones...perhaps Spanish is just messing up my French. But right now, it seems worth knowing...to make that effort.
"not" + "nor" in English = a positive. I use to write nor and spell check would always ding me in Word and I finally learned to start using "or". I'm shocked that DL is now accepting "nor" in combination with another negative in an english sentence that is supposed to carry a negative meaning. Spanish allows double negatives to carry a negative meaning but English does not. Weird.
To those reading, this advice is incorrect. "Nor" is the exception to the double negative rule in English. "Not/nor" is fine. Don't trust Word for grammar advice. It's sometimes helpful, but other times it just doesn't understand the nuances. Here's a helpful link on the topic.
As a native speaker, I state with authority: "I neither needed nor wanted ..." is the negative and the word "nor" is used for euphony with the word "neither." Another way to put it is "I did not want or need ... ." Quite simply, when "did not" is used, then "or" is used. Conversely, when "neither" is used, "nor" should always be used with it. What is incorrect is to use "neither" with "or," as in "I neither want or need," although many English speaker break this rule because of sloppiness or a lack or knowledge.
Also, in response to LadyGlutter, "not/nor" is used less and less. In the US, "not/or" is standard, as in "I did not want or need." The idea here is that you are making a distinction between the "wanting" and the "needing," and the "or" is the conjunction-out connector rather than the conjunction-in connector. An example of a conjunction-in connector: I didn't know whether I wanted and needed ... ." An example of a conjunction-out connector: I didn't know whether I wanted or needed ... ."
You are talking about the difference between how Spanish uses the word "ni" (which translates as both "nor" and "neither") and how English uses the word "or" (which translates as "o"). Spanish does not use the word "o" in the same way that English uses the positive pairing of "either_ or _" and the negative pairing of "not or _." However, Spanish DOES use the "neither nor ____" pairing in much the same way that English does.
In English, the PAIRINGS of either/or and neither/nor are considered to be parallel construction. Parallel construction can be compared to a mathematical operation, such as adding a negative sign to each side of an equation or adding brackets in order to keep the proper order of operation.
Spanish does not have exactly the same parallel constructions. Rather, the closest I know about are "ni _ tampoco_, as in "ni zapatos tampoco calcetines"/("neither shoes nor socks") and "ni siquiera _ tampoco ____"/"not even shoes or socks." The literal translation to English is "neither shoes also (not) socks" or "not shoes also (not) socks." (The "not" in these examples is elliptical.)
Following are colloquial English translations: "neither shoes nor socks," "not shoes or socks," "not even shoes and socks," and "nor shoes nor socks." This is where the confusion starts because even native English speakers can get confused about when the words "neither," "nor," and "not" are preferable. Kind of like the difference between the Boolean statements "Nobody has no ideas" and "somebody has an idea." Again, it's like mathematics because order of operation and parallel construction are key so that proper negation is maintained, whether that negation is mathematical or verbal.
if this is the translation, what would "no estuviste comido ni bebido ese día" mean? is it even a legit sentence? I understand that DL wants to emphasize the duration but I'm getting really confused with their standards: sometimes it wants the super exact translation disregarding any possible implications, sometimes it doesn't...
Based on what namayani and MannyOD wrote, I just learned/remembered that "etuviste" is preterite for "you were." Accordingly, .I don't think namayani's translation is legit because use of the past participle makes the sentence comparable to English passive voice, and English passive voice makes the subject of the sentence the receiver of the action rather than the initiator of the action. That is why I would translate "No estuviste comido ni bebido est día" as "You were not eaten or drunk that day.."
The use of the past participles eaten/comido and drunk/bebido make the translation odd because this is passive voice construction in English, but "estuviste" is not used as a Spanish equivalent of English passive voice. Rather, use of a pronoun is what makes a Spanish sentence the equivalent of a present progressive tense in the passive voice: El vino se eatá bebiendo/The wine is being drunk. In this case, the English word "being" indicates passive voice and the past participle "drunk" is used because the concatenation already has one "ing" form, which is "being."
Hola nathanlanza: I am no expert here, just another learner. But here is the way I am sorting out these tenses in my head. I am trying to imagine scenarios in which each tense makes most sense to me. Here are a couple of examples:
You did not eat or drink that day you were so sick. But now you are fine and we can go go to the movies. (the period of time is finished and we have moved on to other things)
You were not eating nor drinking that day so I brought you some chicken soup and it seemed to help. (the period of time I am talking about in the narrative is not finished even though in real time it has finished)
Maybe in Spanish. But English doesn't make that subtle a distinction. Both of those translations would be correct idiomatic English. It's a pain to figure out when to give a tortured English translation to try to imitate the Spanish form (i.e., I wasn't eating) or when to give a more natural English translation. I've gotten dinged both ways by Duolingo.