It should be accepted. I guess it rejected it because "I was opening..." seems more probable, but your answer is also completely correct.
It's accepting it now, 2 years later, which I think is making the difference between passato prossimo and imperfetto even more confusing. In this example, "I opened the envelope" appears to be a one time action in the past thus I would then translate it back in passato prossimo... "Ho aperto la busta" ... not what it started out with "Io aprivo la busta"
Flying_Blue: I agree with you. To follow up though I'd add that the imperfect would be justified if the context were: I was opening the envelope,...when e.g. something else happened. If on the other hand as you say, it's just a statement about a 1 time action, then the passato prossimo would be more appropriate.
Yes this is true. But also if there was a habit of opening the envelope for example every morning, the imperfect would be appropriate
I am not sure if it's general for Italian but at least for this unit you want "i was doing", I would do", "i used to do" as much as possible. Sometimes depending on context the simple past works but not always.
that would probably be: "Ho aperto la busta" (passato prossimo) or "(io) aprii la busta" (passato remoto)
Not necessarily. In English, one can often use "would" to describe an habitual action in the past, eg, "at Christmas we would always decorate the tree together". This construction carries more emotion, in my view, than "we used to".
Ah, I see what Normano was saying. I misinterpreted the sentence. Of course, "would" does indicate the imperfect past often in English. Thank you.
Actually it's present or future conditional: I would go to Italy today if I could; I would go to Italy next summer if I were able; etc.
Ugh, I meant "imperfect past;" I do not know why I typed that. I have to catch some more zs. -o-
What is most commonly used in italian? Stavo aprendo, ho aperto or aprivo? It seems often these are all interchangeable in terms of their translation into English
No they all mean different things, stavo aprendo, i was in the process of opening, ho aperto, one action in the past, aprivo, imperfecto, i used to open, was in the habit of opening etc
I opened the envelope was accepted, it should be, in English we would not always use was doing or used to do in all the situations that need imperfect in Italian. This is one of my problems is speaking Italian as I use the perfect tense as often as I do in English, when often the imperfect would be better Italian