"Mi hermana comía pescado ese día."
Translation:My sister was eating fish that day.
Used to in English is used to express something that happened over a somewhat vague period of time. She used to eat fish as a child. This will always use the imperfect in Spanish. But I can't think of a case when someone would say used to for that day. But the imperfect also sort of sets tstage for other past events. Why did she break out in hives? She was eating (or ate) fish that day. Imperfect. More general than what did she eat last night.
What if it was the anniversary of the first fish she ever caught, and from then on, every year, she used to eat fish that day?
You get the prize for the most creative but very improbable scenario! Have a lingot for that.
I agree with you because the sister "used to eat" fish on Fridays because she "used to be" a Catholic but no longer is!
comia = imperfect, describing that she was in the process of eating, and would be used to describe a situation: "My sister was eating when the roof fell in." ate = comio = preterite and describes an event that has ended "She ate a fish before the roof fell in." Using these two verb tenses = considerable consternation for many students
rspreng - After reading your reply to "cheerfuldave" I am wondering why duolingo accepted my translation "My sister ate fish that day."
They shouldn't have. It's just they get a lot of reports, and I guess they got enough that it was automatically changed.
DL accepts it. But it shouldn`t because it is a single event and should in the preterite
Even though I answer the Spanish sentence correctly, the response tells me to pay attention to the accents. There's no provision for applying accents. Am I graded down for lack of accents?
If they just tell you to watch the accents or that you have a typo you still get full credit. But when you say there is no provision for applying accents, that is probably not true. All smartphones, tablets, and computer operating systems nowadays have some system for creating accented characters, although many of them are not really convenient. Here is an article about using alternative codes. https://www.google.com/amp/www.howtogeek.com/210824/how-to-quickly-type-special-characters-on-any-computer-smartphone-or-tablet/amp/
Windows 10 has made it easier, but the older versions of Windows also had third party software to do it.
This is important because many times the purpose of the accent in Spanish is to distinguish one word from another and you may get marked down if they say you used the wrong word.
It took me a long time to learn to do the accents. Learning this is for me like adding layers. at first I just ignored typing them but attended to trying to learn where they were needed. My fingers ached really at first trying to bend them in new ways and now it's nearly automatic.
To be honest, that is one reason why I always use my smartphone for Duo. If you press down on a letter it allows you to select all the various accented or special character options related to that letter. Then I found the SwiftKey keyboard. It allows you to have simultaneous predictive text for 5 languages so it generally gives me the accented option without extra work.
my non i-phone can do accents but it is too hard and not worth it. I am happy to be reminded that I needed an accent, but usually knew it. I do not know how to report problems via my phone but also live with that for the sake of convenience when taking care of a child or in line....
Do you know why there is no personal "a" before "mi hermana" so the sentence would start with "A mi hermana..."?
Is Mi hermana comió pescado ese día correct too for the translation of my sister ate fish that day?
Yes. That would be the normal translation for that sentence. The preferred translation for the this sentence is was eating fish, as setting the scene is the most likely usage of the imperfect when talking about a single occurrence of eating on a particular day. Theoretically if the sister até several meals of fish on the same day you would also used the imperfect, but that's not likely.