Translation:We would spend the days of summer reading.
I thought the whole phrase sounded poetically nostalgic. In normal conversation, someone telling what they did over a summer break might say "we spent the summer days reading." Someone reminiscing might say "During those carefree days when we were young, we passed the days of summer reading on the beach."
Plus, "summer days" is simply standard way to translate the Spanish. Spanish uses the possessive "de" to turn a noun (summer) into an adjective.
Bus station - Estacion de autobuses NOT Station of busses
Car wash - Lavado de coches Not "wash of cars"
text book = libro de texto NOT "book of text"
Art work = Obra de arte
car mechanic = Mecánico de coches NOT "mechanic of cars"
Biomax is correct. We have 2 ways of using the word "would" in English. One of them could translate to the imperfect becausas e it can be interchangeable with "used to" as mentioned above (as a child I would (or I used to) play games: cuando yo era niño jugaba juegos). While the conditional "would" is used in hypothetical situations (if I had more time, I would play games: si yo tuviera más tiempo, jugaría juegos).
September 18, 1014 - I am neither a native English speaker nor a native Spanish speaker but I think the best translation for 'pasábamos' is not the Simple Past Tense (passed) but really "We used to pass" because 'pasábamos' is used in a situation of continuous action and so does 'We used to pass'. Another option: "We would pass". Greetings.
I'm tired of losing hearts (especially when DL makes me take the whole lesson over again), so I finally just gave in and translated it in stilted sounding English. If I were translating a novel for money however, I would have to make my editors happy. In that case I would have interpreted it like this: " We used to spend" or "We spent" or "we would spend" or "we'd spend our summers reading." DL dinged the heck out me for interpeting it like that! I do like DL though, so I guess I'll report it.
This structure in Spanish is exactly the same as in English. The phrase is "to spend time doing something" = infinitive + noun + present participle. In Spanish it is pasar tiempo haciendo algo. That is different from the structure you are suggesting "be ( either present or past) + present participle" e.g. I am/was reading, in Spanish *Estoy/estuve/estaba leyendo. So only in this example it is correct to stick the verb to be and the present participle together, same way in Spanish.
However, we could also say pasaba leyendo, then add por, but then it would mean to pass by + a place + reading. That is a strange sentence, though. It would be more natural to say "pasar caminando/corriendo/manejando por tu casa".
Hope it made sense. :)
It's tricky to translate the imperfect into English. This is because the meaning that the imperfect conveys doesn't have an exact translation. So, in English you could say, "We spent (or passed) the summer days reading". You could mean one of two things by this. First, you could mean that years ago, that's how we used to do it - that's how it usually was. In that case, you would use the imperfect in Spanish: "Pasábamos los días de verano leyendo". Second, you could mean that last year, that's how we spent our time. In that case, you would use the preterit: "(El año pasado) pasamos los días de verano leyendo".
It's the imperfect past tense, which is for things that habitually occurred in the past, or occurred over a period of time without a definite beginning and ending. -ar and -er verbs conjugate to -aba and -ía
hablar: hablaba, hablabas, hablaba, hablábamos, hablaban
beber: bebía, bebías, bebía, bebíamos, bebían