"Ella estaba tratando de comer."
Translation:She was trying to eat.
I still don't see why we can't use the perfect past of estar - 'Ella estuvo tratando de comer.' What's the difference?
the progressive forms are used to emphasize that something happened at a specific time, sort of in response to "what were you doing at 7 o'clock Friday night?" question. This sentence, lacking context, doesn't give enough background to make an informed decision about which tense to use, IMO.
Estaba is a tense that refers to a moment in the past closer to the present than estuvo. Even if it's the exact same moment which you are referring to, estaba is used to emphasise that you feel it closer to the present or when you want to say "... when sth happened". For example, "estaba tratando de comer cuando le golpeó la pelota" (I was trying to eat when the ball kicked her), "estuvo en la playa esta mañana" (She was on the beach this morning), "estaba en la playa esta mañana cuando me caí" (I was on the beach this morning when I fell down), "estaba aquí hace un año" (he was here a year ago, maybe referring to a loved person who passed out) but "estuvo aquí hace solo un año" (the same translation, but not as closer, maybe for someone who visited you, but than feeling is not as close to your present). Hope this helps you, but anyway, you have to know that in South America the line between this tenses is confusing sometimes. I'm from Spain.
Is like to say
El estaba tratando "de" pedir ayuda
He was trying of" ask help
He was trying to ask help.
Yo quiero tratar de" estudiar. But you don't let me . I want to try of study....
Dear i hope help you
I'm sorry about my english it is not my language
I am native spanish.. Thanks
Estaba se usa mas que todo en el tiempo pasado pero no tan lejano, mientras que estuvo es un poco mas lejano ....
Ella estaba comprando un regalo ayer
Ella estuvo comprando un regalo el mes pasado, la semana pasada etc.