Translation:They would spend all Saturday sleeping.
You are right about that. (I should have re-read the sentence.) However, if you can say "they used to spend all Saturday sleeping", which we sometimes say in English, then that implies more than one Saturday. Also, adding context, if the thought were to be rendered as "I tried to call them at noon, but they were spending all Saturday sleeping," then is that not an on-going situation, though brief?
To me neither. I put exactly what I would have said, "They used to spend the whole day Saturday sleeping," thinking to myself, "there goes a heart." But to my surprise, it was accepted. I opened up the page to give kudos to the contributors who must have typed in a lot of possible solutions.
Actually, in the context here, "would spend" is not conditional tense, but a form of past tense expressing repeated, habitual, or customary action in the past. As such, it is a perfectly valid translation of the imperfect as used in this sentence.
See sense no. 4 here: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/would
You are correct, however, in that "they used to spend" or "they were spending" are also valid.
A conditional use of the phrase would be (as my wife sometimes says): "If I didn't have to work on Saturday, I would spend all day sleeping."
This is what we get when people map actual tenses from other languages onto English, which really only has past and non-past tenses. Everything else in English that's called a tense by non-linguists is not a tense, but one of multiple flexible ways that use modals, auxiliaries, and particles to express in English what other languages might express with real tenses.
English has no conditional tense and "would" has various uses, some can be used to form the equivalent of the Spanish conditional, but not always.
No, it's not conditional, not at all. Even with your added "if clause," it is still a simple statement of past action.
"Would" has several functions aside from expressing the conditional, including that of repeated action in the past. In this case, "would spend" is basically synonymous with "used to spend."
See item no 8 here: https://www.thefreedictionary.com/would
By the way, it is also not a run-on sentence. Not even close.
Correct. "Pasaban" is the indicative imperfect of "pasar".
The indicative conditional form of "pasar" would be "pasarían".
"Todo el sábado" means the whole day of Saturday as in "I stayed in bed the whole day on Saturday" and "todos los sábados" means "every Saturday as in "I take a bath every Saturday".
In the former case it does not imply you stay in bed all day every Saturday, just one particular Saturday, but all of it. In the latter case it doesn't imply that you're in the bath for 24 hours straight, just that you spend some amount of time in the bath every Saturday.
Yes. Of course, all true. Thank you. But the OP, DarrylAlle1, had written that "'They used to spend their Saturdays sleeping' should be accepted too." I was trying to elicit an analysis from him, since "their Saturdays sleeping" specifies multiple Saturdays, rather than the singular implication of "todo el Sábado."
tejano and hippietrail
This lesson is about the imperfect tense. "Pasaban" means "would spend" or "used to spend" in the sense that it was an ongoing action, so yes, it specifies multiple Saturdays. In this sentence, it means that the action happened repeatedly - on many Saturdays.
"todo el sábado" means "all Saturday" or "all of Saturday" or "all Saturday long" or "the whole Saturday" or even "all day Saturday". So, it can also simply be translated as "Saturday", which is inherently the whole day unless you add "all morning" or "half the day" or some other qualifier.
And, since Spanish can leave off "his/her/their" and just use the article, "el sábado" can be interpreted as "their Saturday".
And since the verb is in the imperfect, it means repeatedly, so, combining that with the above, it makes sense that the phrase could be translated as "their Saturdays".
It seems to me, as an American, that "They would spend all Saturday sleeping." or "They used to pass all of Saturday sleeping." means exactly the same thing as "They used to spend their Saturdays sleeping." It's just a slightly different word usage, but identical in meaning - only maybe giving a slight focus on the intimacy of the day belonging to them personally to imply that other people might not spend the day that way, but without changing the meaning in any way.
This has been discussed a fair bit already, but it boils down to a difference between what the DL sentence is saying, and what people are assuming is being said.
Yes, if the sentence is interpreted as referring to a past habitual action, then "every Saturday" can be inferred, but the sentence doesn't state every Saturday. For that you'd need "todos los sábados".
What the DL sentence does say is "todo el sábado", which means "all Saturday", as in the whole day. This could be implied, and/or inferred, without being expressed, but it is expressed in the DL sentence and should therefore be expressed in the English.
In short, the DL sentence doesn't explicitly say "todos los sábados", so "every Saturday" is unnecessary, however, it does say "todo el sábado", so "all Saturday" is necessary.
Not saying you are wrong, but I do beg to differ on the grounds of what English speakers understand and how it is conveyed.
The use of the imperfect "pasaban" clearly implies a repeated action done every week on the same day. Since English does not use the conditional in the same way as other languages, it has to be interpreted. Therefore, the translation to "every Saturday" makes total sense and means the same thing.
And, since we can simply say the day of the week and mean all day unless we specify part of the day, the use of "Saturday" can mean "all Saturday".
Therefore, I believe that "They used to spend every Saturday sleeping", "They would spend every Saturday sleeping." or "They would spend all day every Saturday sleeping." all could be acceptable translations that mean exactly the same thing as "They would spend all Saturday sleeping." - if given the same context of an habitual act.
Since translation can be an art, not a science, I believe the intent is to get a phrase into the target language as accurately as possible in the target language. Sometimes that requires a full knowledge of how it would be said in that language, and not strict adherence to all the words in the originating language. I think MeredithKush did that.
Yes, there is. Although your response is a reasonable interpretation of the meaning of the sentence, at this point the object of the exercises is to solidify the various meanings of certain words and their usual meanings. That requires more or less literal (not necessarily word-for-word) translations. "Pasaban" does not mean "used to sleep;" it means "spent," "used to spend" or "were spending."
Also, if you think "that's how you would say this sentence in English," well, no, not exactly; that's how you would express the idea, but by using another sentence. I would probably say, as Pigslew says above, "They used to spend all day Saturday sleeping."