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"Eran las ocho cuando los niños comían."

Translation:It was eight o'clock when the children were eating.

5 years ago

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelOrr

Why not "They were eight when the children ate" In this sense there were 8 at the table when the children ate. Perhaps two parents and 6 children or perhaps an aunt and uncle, two parents, and four children. Also I like my English translation which contains the homonyms "eight" and "ate" ! ( I really knew what DL wanted as the correct answer but I could not resist my ingenious answer even though I knew it would be rejected!) If you say my translation out loud, i believe you will appreciate the humor.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RadiS.
RadiS.
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"Eran las ocho" generally indicates time, if the sentence is about people, it would most likely be something along the lines of "Habían las ocho" or even "Estaban las ocho". Also, "ser" cannot be used to describe the people in this case, as they are not permanently sitting and eating, but are instead just sitting there for dinner, and we can therefore deduce that the sentence is referring to the fact that it was eight when the children sat down to eat dinner. Correct me if I'm wrong or if I misunderstand :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisFowle1

My answer was accepted "it was eight when the children ate"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MetalGear95

its not talking about how many children there are its talking about time

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woozie
Woozie
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Why should the ser verb be 'Eran' in this instance - couldn't we use 'fueron' instead? Or do all the verbs in the sentence have to use the past imperfect?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

my grammar book tells me 'when telling time in the past, use the imperfect indicative of 'ser'

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogduo
rogduo
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It has to be imperfect, not preterite. Just one of those rules. I think it´s maybe best viewed as an implicit linguistic nod to time being continually flowing and not granular. i.e. they didn´t eat at an exact nanosecond at 8-sharp, but over a period of time not well defined. hth

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RadiS.
RadiS.
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In this case, all verbs go in the imperfecto. For the time, the reason for this is that it is a description, therefore the indefinido is incorrect (same thing with the "hubo" vs "había", and why you shouldn't use "hubo" as this is usually description, therefore requiring the imperfecto). Comer is in the imperfecto as it is a continuous action.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EllevenG
EllevenG
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"It was eight when the children ate" was marked wrong for me (but right for someone else above so idk!)

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Leon_MM
Leon_MM
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For me "It was eight when the children ate." was marked incorrect while "It was 8:00 when the children ate." was marked correct. Reported 28/02/2018

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duolearner12345

Isn't the "it" conjugation of past imperfect ser era, not eran?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogduo
rogduo
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Yes, but you can't translate literally like that. Es/era la una. Son/eran las dos. Son/eran las nueve. Son/eran las once. I bet you have already seen that in present, but juat arent used to it in past yet. Hope that helps.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ScottBoggs3

Interesting. I haven't come across that in duo, but when i refer to time in person, i say "es la hora de nueve" or whatever. Is that incorrect?

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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It used to be eight o'clock when the children ate. NOT accepted, but it should be. it could be referring to a schedule that used to be kept. Now, for example, they eat at 7 o'clock.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RadiS.
RadiS.
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It could be, but thinking about it I am under the impression that it would sound "more correct" to say this ^^ as something along the lines of "Los niños [siempre] comían a las ocho", as this keeps the fact that they always ate at 8 o'clock in the past quite clear. In this case the use of ser in imperfecto implies that it was 8 o'clock in the background while the children ate. Hope this shed some light on it, I certainly do see your point though :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hesolomon

Is "era las ocho" correct?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RadiS.
RadiS.
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Nope, when talking about time you use the plural, the ONLY exception is when talking about 1 o'clock, in which case you say "es la una" or "era la una", etc.. Otherwise, when talking about time it's always the plural: "eran las ocho", "son las ocho", etc. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pleiadian53
pleiadian53
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"It was at eight o'clock when the children were eating" was considered incorrect with an additional 'at.'

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RadiS.
RadiS.
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It would be: the additional "at" would be used if the sentence were something like "Siempre comían a las ocho", or "They always ate AT eight", or "Los niños siempre comían A LAS ocho", "The kids always ate AT eight". However like this, "Eran las ocho cuando...", the translation would be "It was eight when..." If you need a quick rule of thumb for this, use "at" when you see "a las" (or "a la" in the case of 1:00 or 13:00 ;) ), when that's not there, eliminate the "at". Hope this helps, you pose a good question/point :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertMurp
RobertMurp
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"It was eight when the children would eat" should work, no?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DomingoCSlay
DomingoCSlay
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This sentence is used when you ask for the time, it's the answer to the sentence «what time your children ate yesterday?» in Spanish: «a qué hora comieron tus hijos ayer?»

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NoamSteiner

Can the preterige "comieron" be used instead of "comían"? Does it change the meaning?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RadiS.
RadiS.
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Grammatically that's correct, so yes, you can. However, it would change the meaning of the sentence. With "comían" it's as DL says it, "It was 8 o'clock when the children were eating," whereas with "comieron" it becomes "It was 8 o'clock when the children ate." Hope this make sense, and good question! :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DomingoCSlay
DomingoCSlay
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thatt´s correct

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hannaesp

The children used to eat at eight,should be accepted

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LorettaHal1

The answer was already written out and it said I had a typo. All I did was press the green button.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/grandmompam

audiosounds like "cocho".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alethea436961

It was 8:00 when the boys ate. was NOT accepted . reported 4/9/2017

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gorg346283

"The children were eating at eight." was marked wrong?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anitavs1941

Ridiculous!

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_M_M_.
_M_M_.
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"It was eight when the children were eating" should be accepted.

The "o'clock" isn't needed.

5 months ago