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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.


estuvo = was estaba = used to be



Estuvo is preterite and estaba a imperfect. Estuvo = it was there and now is not, and estaba = it was there for a while, might still be. In this sentence either carry pretty much the same meaning, since there is little context.


Yes, in the Duo sentences we never know the context, but usually this type of situation would be imperfect because as rspreng says the car was there, maybe still is, we don't know, but most likely it just wasn't there one instant and then disappeared which would be preterite


Thanks alot for helping


Thank you for the explanation. Makes sense to me now. You deserve a lingot. I have done this sentence over and over ... just seemed to me that the car was on the street and now it is not. Like you say, not a lot of context. So I will stop worrying about this sentence and why it did not make sense to me using 'estaba and not estuvo'. Gives me peace of mind. LOL!


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".

  • 265

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.


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.

  • 265

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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