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  5. "El coche que estaba en la ca…

"El coche que estaba en la calle era rojo."

Translation:The car that was on the street was red.

August 11, 2013



Surely I can say "The car which was on the street"?


You probably could, but please don't call me Shirley.


Which should really be used within commas, with car on the street being extra info. "That" is used to identify a car i.e. The one on the street. But this isn't an English test!


I was marked wrong for "which", much to my annoyance. To my mind "which" and "that" are interchangeable in this context and both should be accepted. I have reported this on 17th October 2015.


They are not actually interchangeable, but since people do interchange them all the time, and most native speakers don't know when to use each one, and since we are learning Spanish not English.. I tend to agree.


"which" is still marked wrong on 22/03/18. Does DL EVER read our reports? I have reported it AGAIN, for what it's worth.


So I've seen both fue and era and their derivatives for past tense of ser. What's the difference? i.e. should one say "cuando fui joven" or "cuando era joven"?


I'm pretty sure this is just preterite (past) tense fue vs imperfect tense era. Imperfect is used for something which was continually happening.


Do you feel the sentence "The car which was on the road was red" is incorrect in English? It was marked wrong, and I had to replace 'which' with 'that'.


Yes, same think here. I would have said that was perfectly acceptable in English


Itastudent: Native speaker here. Your sentence is correct regardless of what Duolingo computer answer is.


I would say that 'that' is actually less correct than 'which' in this case.


Joshua.mcf - you would be wrong! ; )

Technically, "that" is used in restrictive clauses, and "which" is used in non-restrictive clauses. Restrictive means the information is necessary for meaning, whereas non-restrictive means you can leave it out.

In this example, it is the car that was in the street that was red--as opposed to the car that was in the driveway, for instance. If the location of the car is not important, you could say, "The car, which was in the street, was red." Note that the words between the commas could be removed without changing the fact that the car was red (see Winmar's comment above).

But as wazzie noted above, most people don't know when to use that and when to use which, so they use what sounds best to them (which is subjective). You'll be understood either way, but please don't say "'that' is actually less correct than 'which' in this case," because it isn't true.


I believe these three translations would be accepted: "The car that was on the street was red." "The car that used to be on the street was red." "The car that was on the street used to be red."

While they mean a lot different to each other.


Why is 'era' used in this context? Isn't that the imperfect tense? Wouldn't that mean it tried to be red or something like that? I would think fue would be used in this sentence.


As a British "native English speaker" I feel that "the car which" should be accepted just as readily as "the car that".

  • 636

I have not seen this discussed so I am putting it out there. Why are two different forms of 'was' being used. What is the difference between estaba and era?


It's the difference between ser and estar, which you already know :) Estaba is from the imperfect indicative of estar. Era is from the imperfect indicative of ser.

  • 1294

When to use estaba and when to use era? Both mean "was"? And what about fue?


Isn't it "in the street" instead of "on the street"?


"In the street" is most likely acceptable in British English. "On the street" is both British and American. The Brits say, "I live in Harrington Street." Americans use on.


You're right, man! Here's a lingot!


"in" means "inside" in that context.

  • 636

How English uses prepositions is not going to be identical to how Spanish uses them. En sometimes is in, sometimes is on. It is not a one to one mapping.


why is "the car in the street used to be red" not allowed?


Because this is the PAST imperfect tense not the present. We are unsure if the car is still in the street or not, thus you must translate it as: The car that was [not "is"] in the street...


Do you think that "The car that was on the street" was red, but now a different color?


Can someone help me why this could not be the indefinido? I still get confused now and then.


Is it necessary the word "that" in this sentence?

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