Duolingo doesnt really help the user to understand the context in which you would use this past tense form. Yes, you could translate this sentence as: Ella necesitó tratamiento. However, this conjugation of past tense in spanish is supposed to help the people speaking or reading to understand that something happened in a story or was on going rather than it just happenning 1 time and now its done. So ella necesitó tratamiento basically means she needed help, where as ella necesitaba tratamiento means more like while she needed help... something else happened, so the context reads, while getting help she....
Then please duo give us longer sentences so we can see the context better. We Can handle longer sentences.
I got the impression that this means that he had an ongoing condition that he required treatment for, that he is now cured of.
Necesitaba means that he was needing more than one treatment. Necesitó means he needed treatment once at a specific time. he needed treatment yesterday. Necesitaba is more habitual.
It depends on how treatment is viewed for the particular condition. Sometimes treatment is viewed in terms of individual sessions. In that case the imperfect would be used, but we would also likely say He needed treatments. But often we view treatment as one extended process which can take days, weeks or years. This might use the imperfect as well. The majority of verbs fall into one of two categories when it comes to the imperfect. There are simple action verbs where there is some finite action that is completed like walking or sewing or speaking. This is the largest group of verbs, and in this group, unless it is used to set the scene in the past, the imperfect here does mean repeated actions or episodes. Then there are the verbs which represent internal or mental processes like thinking, feeling, wanting and knowing. Since we are often not even aware of the point where they began or ended in the past, these verbs are actually more comfortable in the imperfect and often have translations in English that make it seem like a different verb. But there really is another type which is sort of a hybrid of the two. These are words like lived and needed and explored. These things are sometimes spoken of as simple completed acts in the preterite. But sometimes you speak of these things as if they continuously existed. That's reasonable for live. Even if you are homeless you are said to live in the City where you sleep. Needs assume some objective, even if that objective is simply to survive. Assuming you accept the objectove, the need exists continually whether it is a felt need or not. He needed treatment. The beginning or ending of that need is not the focus. I intentionally included explored, but that is actually almost always a repetitive action. But we sometimes can view things that you do for a vocation or avocation over years almost without thinking of it as repetove actions. Of course many times this is true the sentence is being used to set the scene, so that may explain that a little.
The similarity between "treatment" and "tratamiento" will help me remember this. This came after I noticed the similarity between "increasing" and "en crecimiento".
"Needed treatment" or "needed a treatment" both make sense in english but why wasn't "needed treatment" accepted...
That's the problem with teaching used to as part of the imperfect. It sort of muddies up the picture. We generally speak of treatment as something (one thing) that happens over an unspecified period of time. So if we said he needed treatment it would naturally use the imperfect anyway. I think that if I were talking about repetitive action in the past, I would say treatments. But I don't know whether it is quite fair to say used to is wrong. I just think there is some need to demonstrate that although they have taught the used to indicates imperfect that that solution is imperfect (pun intended) We often do not say used to when talking about repetitive actions in the past. If I said I went to the beach every Saturday I'm the summer when I was a child, the used to is not required. And the imperfect is not only used for this, but all things without definite beginnings and ending in the past including thoughts and feelings and for setting the scene. Additionally Spanish has the verb soler which in the past means used to. Solía necesitar tratamiento(s?) means he used to need treatment(s?) It is just a good idea not to rely too heavily on used to for the imperfect.
Thanks. I do prefer Solia as in Solia decir que Duo deberia dar credito parcial.
Is "used to require" wrong? Also, how do you report a problem in the Android mobile version? I don't see a button or menu..
He used to need treatment or he was needing treatment? Can this be accepted?
He was needing treatment is past progressive. Because Spanish has progressive tenses, Duo uses a tense for tense convention and only allows progressive translation to and from progressive tenses. This is despite the fact that Spanish progressive tenses are not used as frequently as their English counterparts. But it would be somewhat unusual in English to see this in the past progressive. It would be a scene setting statement to some extent though, so progressive might be a reasonable tense in the real world. I do believe the used to be option is now accepted. There is no time in English when you are required to say used to, and most translators would translate used to as solía, so as usual I somewhat object to this tool. I think it sometimes obscures some of the other uses of the imperfect. Verbs like necesitar often are in the imperative as needs are things that often don't have a clear beginning and ending.
can we translate this as "he would need treatment" because in English we have would and used to to express for some period of time and why is it that duolingo doesn't accept would in any sentence?
Would is conditional. In order to get better, he would need treatment. Para mejorarse necesitaría tratamiento. This is just a past tense. It is in the imperfect because needing treatment is not something with a clearly delineated beginning and end in the past. But that is not a distinction that means anything in English.
If you want to practice constructionsconstruc with would they are in either the unit on the conditional and some in the subjunctive section for conditional + past subjunctive statements that indicate contrary to fact situations. If I remember correctly one is something like Me gustaría esa casa sí tuvierra jardín. I would like this house if it had a garden.
and why do you say this... i just wanted to know why "el" could not be translated as "it" rather than "he"
Ah ! So you meant What about "It needed treatment" not What about it needed treatment. Subtle difference. I apologize. Generally when things need treatment that is a more instant process. So normally it would be in the preterite. And when the subject is it, it is mostly omitted. But if, for example, you had a multiple step treatment for leather it would not be wrong to say Él necesitaba tratamiento referring to el cuero. But it is not a likely translation, I don't think.
"Needing treatment" can indeed occur over a period of time and isn't necessarily a short term process - take cancer for example. My argument is that "el" can either be "he" or "it" depending on context, and in that no context is given here I think either should be accepted. I see you have studied some French and the same situation exists in that language as well. Also in English we often can use the simple "needed treatment" interchangeably with "used to need treatment", again depending on context. So I would argue that one could imagine a sentence such as "Condition X historically used to need treatment but ...." also being said as "Condition X historically needed treatment but ..." Both, I think, would be translated the same in many other languages.
I didn't think of it as being a condition, which is why I suggested leather. But of course that is a valid option. I think personally I tend to say the condition needs to be treated or needs treating, but the person needs treatment. But that's is not a grammar based difference, it just explains why I was wondering what "it" needed long term treatment.
I'm new to this discussion forum so don't know how to reply to the comment below so will do so here. Grammatically "it" as a pronoun should have an understood antecedent. For the sentence to be translated this could be a condition, an injury, etc. To illustrate my point more clearly here is an example conversation: "How's your injured back coming along?" "Oh, it used to need treatment weekly but now only once a month".
In any event, I still don't understand why you wrote: "Estas entrometido. Tal preguntas son muy personales y no importa aquí." A tad harsh, no?
Most of this discussion can be categorized as sociolinguistics or ethnolinguistics. It happens a lot on Duo because when you remove many sentences from their social context one tends to be more aware of the range of meanings and shades of meaning that could be involved. That makes the use of the imperfect significant. But there aren't any difficult concepts here.
That would be Él necesitaba un tratamiento. Necesitar is not a verb like tener which doesn't always require require the indefinite article, and this wouldn't be a situation where that would be applicable anyway, since treatment is not something that a person generally only has one of. So the rule here is the same as in English.