Translation:They would spend all Saturday sleeping.
I do not believe very many English people would would translate the sentence this way nor would they talk this way they would probably say all day Saturday or they would say all of Saturday
It may be setting the scene. "Ellos pasaban todo el sábado durmiendo. Entonces, un terremoto sacudió la ciudad esa tarde."
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 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?
what's wrong with 'they spent the whole of Saturday sleeping' - it's much more natural
That's what I was thinking. It would make better English too, or at least it looks better to me.
On reflection, I think "asleep" would translate as "dormido". Didn't look it up, so not sure.
IMHO, "They were passing the whole of saturday sleeping" should be treated as correct.
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.
"They were spending all day Saturday sleeping" was accepted. It's possible to pass time, but spending time is probably more common.
Yes, exactly. But "used to" gives more the idea of the imperfect here, i.e. it was something they did repeatedly in the past.
"They used to pass all Saturday sleeping" was accepted. I couldn't think of spent.
I saw it as "They used to spend all day Saturday sleeping" which was fortunately accepted.
Pigslew: I put it the duolingo way but was thinking, to sound correct to my US English ear, that it should say "I spent/used to sleep" all day Saturday, as well!
"Would spend" = conditional tense. I think the translation should be: "they used to spend" or "they were spending."
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."
So if this sentence was not setting the scene, could it simply be preterite?
The English version could remain the same: "They spent all Saturday sleeping." I think the Spanish version would have to change to: "Ellos pasaron todo el sábado durmiendo."
I do not believe any English person would translate this sentence this way an English person would say all of Saturday or all day Saturday
er...why can't it be: They spent Saturday sleeping..? Saturday means Saturday ie implies all saturday not part thereof. Is it a preterite v imperfect choice?
Is there any reason "They used to sleep all Saturday" should be wrong? That's how I would say this sentence in English.
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."
I put "they have spent all Saturday sleeping." Though that maybn I t be what they were looking for, it says the same thing to me. Input please?
Yep, it's basically the same meaning, but it's in perfect tense. This would be "Han pasado" in Spanish.
"They spent all [OF] Saturday sleeping" is correct, I think. The woed "of" is missing in the translation