Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

"Los empresarios comían y bebían."

Translation:The entrepreneurs ate and drank.

5 years ago

48 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelOrr

The businessmen were eating and drinking is another and perhaps better translation. It states that the businessmen had been eating and drinking in the past and it leaves open the question whether they may be drinking still. This is a meaning that one could not accept if the spanish tense were the preterite.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jledetjr

Well put and I agree. But the translation Duo lists above (the entrepreneurs ate and drank) sure seems like that's the preterite tense translation that should not be accepted. Can anyone explain why both work?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kdzwonkowski3

depending on the context of the situation, they are both correct. it really depends on how much you know about the situation. do you know precisely when they ate and drank and for long and that they are done? or do you only know that it happened but not for how long or that they are done yet.

this is why they were eating and drinking is a better translation. in english, this translation conveys the nearly same meaning as what the past imperfect is conveying in spanish

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alfalfa2

The speaker could be talking about a continuing activity over a past period of time. For example: Los empresarios comían y bebían cada día.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ruthgrace00
ruthgrace00
  • 14
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3

I find the bitchiness on this thread quite upsetting. Language moves on, guys. 'Police officers' and 'chair' (instead of 'policemen' and 'chairman') used to sound plain weird and now they are a normal part of British English. When I was younger I recall a leaflet at the doctor's surgery recommending: 'During pregnancy, a patient should take care that he eats the right foods.' I kid not.

And at university in the 1980s the rules stated: 'If a student is caught cheating in an exam, he will be excluded from university.' That was a huge relief as it meant I could cheat with impunity.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
MexicoMadness
  • 21
  • 15
  • 11
  • 10
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • 28

Thank you, ruthgrace, you are truly "grace" ful! : )

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
  • 25
  • 16

Accepted: The businessmen were eating and drinking.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/boxy6

What about business people? Could there not have been women among the group?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
  • 25
  • 16

Sí claro.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eltrimber

I did - it was wrong.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeanG6
DeanG6
  • 21
  • 12
  • 9
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 230

'Businessmen' is gender-neutral, and applies to groups that include women. It is gender-neutral in the same way that 'empresarios' is gender-neutral.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ragazzobiondo

How is businessperson not clear, rogercchristie? Where do you live? In the Canadian business context, saying "businessman" is increasingly seen as anachronistic and exclusionary, something someone from the old boys' club might trot out. It is not that I "don't like it." It is that it is simply no longer considered acceptable by modern people in progressive societies to use gender exclusive language.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
rogercchristie
  • 24
  • 23
  • 20
  • 14
  • 293

These discussion pages are intended for polite and reasonable debate about language-learning. Your abusive and off-topic comments are out of place here and in contravention of the DuoLingo guidelines. I have submitted a report to the moderators.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
rogercchristie
  • 24
  • 23
  • 20
  • 14
  • 293

Thank you for sharing your opinion, ragazzobiondo. It seems however that it has escaped your attention that this is a website for learning languages … preferably as they exist in the real world. I'm sure your views on social engineering may be of interest elsewhere. Please stop cluttering our discussions on language-learning with irrelevant detail.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
rogercchristie
  • 24
  • 23
  • 20
  • 14
  • 293

You are clearly passionate about our cause, ragazzobiondo. I have actively advocated for equality based solely on merit and against privilege for the last 50+ years. I too once thought that I could change the World - and continue to try to do so. We have made progress, although, in some areas, it has proved to be frustratingly slow.
However, it is just foolish to make up statistics and think that somehow it supports our arguments … it doesn't. Nor does it help to make unjustified attacks on your own supporters. Please don't ever give up trying though, and be reassured that, with maturity, you will learn to make your arguments more measured and learn that facts speak louder than the most passionate hysteria.
In the meantime we have to live in the real world. Allow me to point out again that this is a forum for discussing languages. I'm afraid your message is largely lost here.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/toriloelearning

YES, there could be women who make up the group. it's 2015!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
MexicoMadness
  • 21
  • 15
  • 11
  • 10
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • 28

boxy6, yes, business people was given as a translation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Druckles
Druckles
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 23
  • 18
  • 5
  • 1890

I thought that was:

Los empresarios fueron comidiendo.

I don't think I really understand all these tenses :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/craig.zar210

"the businessmen used to eat and used to drink"......no?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_ri
Dan_ri
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 22
  • 21
  • 20
  • 16
  • 16
  • 12
  • 10
  • 4
  • 410

Or 'would drink', though this might be interpreted in English as another tense without context.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/John_Sa
John_Sa
  • 14
  • 12
  • 7
  • 2
  • 2

'The businessmen used to eat and drink' was accepted

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/qweasdguy

Why isn't it "Los empresarios comieron y bebieron"? Thanks in advance!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NoNoEsImposible

Oops I accidentally said The sandwiches ate and drank. =D

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sieglug
sieglug
  • 19
  • 8
  • 78

my dictionary gave as the first meaning managers which you considered wrong

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neigy

duolingo accepted: The businessmen would eat and drink.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
  • 25
  • 16

Were you taught somewhere to translate the imperfect using would? This keeps reappearing, and it's so foreign to me. My feeble mind associates would almost exclusively with the conditional tense.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neigy

I was taught such a thing. For example, ---We used to go to the park--- vs ---We would go to the park--- The first example means that we had gone habitually to the park but now we do not, and the latter example can mean we went to the park as something habitual and still possible go there. I'm trying to wrestle the different possible translations myself yet I have to remember that if Duolingo provided more context to the sentence we need to translate, there would be more clarity, and we would know how to translate said sentence better.

I know from personal experience having spoken with native Spanish speakers about preterite vs imperfect, that many times the imperfect denotes something done in the past and is no longer done presently. Or it can mean that you were doing something but could not finish the action which you started. For example, Yo abría la puerta cuando de repente me caí. I was opening the door when suddenly I feel. Did you open the door as to complete the action? No, because you fell which interrupted the opening of the door completely. Yet you can continue that little sentence with this. Me puse de pie y abrí la puerta. I stood up and opened the door. Another example, Iba a la playa. Correct me if I'm wrong, but couldn't that sentence be translated in at least these three ways? I used to go to the beach. I would go to the beach. I was going to the beach. All three depend heavily on the context of what is being said.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MartinCo

My Spanish speaking friends, and my reference texts, tell me that the imperfect is often used to "set the stage" or give background information in storytelling.

Separately, those English modals are versatile. I too, would use "would" to talk about habitual actions. In fact, when I was in school, my friends and I would often have lunch together and talk about grammar. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dwallace

I agree and as usual there are several ways to say more or less the same thing in English:

We used to eat and drink.

We would eat and drink.

We ate and drank.

All provide general background info or description or are habitual with no defined time frame etc and in Spanish we would use the imperfect to express this.

I think we can often use either Past Simple or Continous/Progressive/Perfect tenses interchangeably in English to convey the same meaning

When I lived in Paris.

When I was living in Paris.

When I used to live in Paris.

When I had been living in Paris

However I think in Spanish they would most likely use the Imperfect for these type of general background situations and the preterite for specific and defined actions. Any natives who can clarify? Cheers

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
MexicoMadness
  • 21
  • 15
  • 11
  • 10
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • 28

That is what I would have said, but I was afraid they wouldn't accept it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Torgrim1
Torgrim1
  • 13
  • 9
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2

comían could mean both "ate", "used to eat" and "were eating" - is there any difference between them? Is it because it has the same conjugation for multiple times?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/R_J_King

Surely 'business people' should also be accepted? I reported it..

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sandeepa2
sandeepa2
  • 22
  • 17
  • 15
  • 13
  • 8
  • 1245

the entrepreneurs used to eat and drink is also marked correct.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/24adithya
24adithya
  • 20
  • 14
  • 2
  • 2
  • 867

If the translation is 'The entrepreneurs ate and drank' why can't we say ' Los empresarios comieron and bebieron' ?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/khaakenajaf

what is english equivalent of this tense? i wrote ate and drank its right , shouldn't it be used to eat and drink or was eating and drink? what is then difference between indefinite tense and imperfect? i

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RoByrne199

Why is there two types in fact three types of past tense? Except i understand the yo había tense but the diference between this tense and normal past tense... could someone clarify?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdhicks1
cdhicks1
  • 25
  • 25
  • 16

I recently learned a mnemonic for choosing preterite vs imperfect.

Ask two questions about the sentence.

  1. can you put it on a calendar?
  2. is there a termination?

If yes to both > preterite. If not >imperfect

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/XenisYiangou
XenisYiangou
  • 25
  • 25
  • 22
  • 18
  • 15
  • 6
  • 2
  • 185

Imperfect past tense, meaning the action never ended, so the only correct translation in English is " were eating and drinking" anything else is just misleading.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MartinCo

Not quite Xenis. I think that you will find the imperfect is more versatile than you believed when your comment was made. See Torgim1's comment above. A key to the imperfect is that it doesn't matter when or how many times an event took place in the past. That sort of information for events completed in the past would trigger the preterite.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MriomaAlaa

http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/imp1.htm this site is perfect in explaining imperfect

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dakota_Marz

"Used to eat" and "was/were eating" are totally different. "Used to" implies that they no longer do the action anymore, not now not ever. Is this distinction made in Spanish?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/edwinmz
edwinmz
  • 11
  • 10
  • 7

Executives are buisnessmen are they not? why did i get this wrong?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kcmurphy
kcmurphyPlus
  • 22
  • 15
  • 12
  • 216

Yes, usually, but a businessman is not necessarily (and usually isn't) an executive. They are not synonyms by any stretch of the imagination.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jishica
jishica
  • 11
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6

Hmmm, it rejected my use of businessman, and will only accept entrepeneurs.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Happyhaase

I said businesswomen and it marked me wrong... sexist?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Howard
Howard
  • 24
  • 24
  • 16
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 1041

That would be "las empresarias".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Happyhaase

I take it back... Los empress Rios! Clearly businessmen. My bad

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Happyhaase

Yup! Realized it as soon as I posted! Thanks

1 year ago