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  5. "Ellos pasaban todo el sábado…

"Ellos pasaban todo el sábado durmiendo."

Translation:They would spend all Saturday sleeping.

August 25, 2013



This seems very preterite to me.


It may be setting the scene. "Ellos pasaban todo el sábado durmiendo. Entonces, un terremoto sacudió la ciudad esa tarde."


Would can mean used to, I think.


If it were this Saturday, yes, I think you're right, but not if they habitually slept their Saturdays away for a period of time. The use of "pasaban" conveys that idea, I think.


It's just one Saturday though, otherwise it would be "los sábados".


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?


I'm really glad it accepted "spent" for "pasaban."


what's wrong with 'they spent the whole of Saturday sleeping' - it's much more natural


Native here. That would be "Ellos pasaron todo el sábado durmiendo"


"Dormidos" could also work


I relax but don't sleep all day


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!


You didn't mean "I" did you, Connie?


finally! :D a sentence about me. Ha! xD

  • 1963

"They used to pass all Saturday sleeping" was accepted. I couldn't think of spent.


They spent all of saturday asleep should be allowed


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.


No, "asleep" = "dormido".

"durmiendo" = "sleeping"


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?


What is 'they used to spend all Saturdays sleeping" ??


all Saturdays = los sabados. this is all of one Saturday


all Saturdays = TODOS los sábados


IMHO, "They were passing the whole of saturday sleeping" should be treated as correct.


That doesn't sound right to me


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.


This is me on monday


Saturday well spent.


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


"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."


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.


Then, How do we would say in English?: Ellos pasarían todo el sábado durmiendo.

And; Ellos pasarían todo el sábado durmiendo si tuvieran una cama


I don't even understand the English sentence LOL. It is conditional is it not? It's almost a run-on sentence. If it rained they would spend all saturday sleeping...


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.


Pasaban is past continuous? Not conditional?


Correct. "Pasaban" is the indicative imperfect of "pasar".

The indicative conditional form of "pasar" would be "pasarían".



What do my fellow Duolinguists think about "They used to spend every Saturday sleeping" as an answer?


It would be wrong. For that you'd need: Ellos pasaban todos los sábados durmiendo.


"every Saturday" is not the same as "all of Saturday".


"I used to spend all Saturday sleeping" sounds incomplete. All day Saturday would be ok.


why "would" and not "used to"? Any thoughts


It's just another way of saying the same thing. In this case, "would " is synonymous with "used to."

See item no 8 here: https://www.thefreedictionary.com/would


"They used to spend their Saturdays sleeping" should be accepted too. I know what they were saying, and I put how I would say it in English.


Then, what is the difference between "todo el sábado" and "todos los sábados?" Is this about their Saturdays in general, or about all of one particular Saturday (singular)?


"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.


Why isn't "They used to spend every Saturday sleeping" correct?


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.


I think you've just reinforced what I said. There is a natural implication / inference, but this doesn't specifically match the text, which is why DL is currently rejecting it.


I mis-typed 'sleeping'. The suggested corrected spelling was 'saturated'. What a Saturday!!


this use of 'would do' shows repeated action - so does 'used to'


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."


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?


That's in perfect tense. It would be "Han pasado" in Spanish.


The voice says 'dormiendo' though the right word is dUrmiendo.


There are two examples on Forvo, one from Mexico which sounds just like Miss DL, the other from Spain which does sound a little more like "durmiendo" but the difference is slight.


"They spent all [OF] Saturday sleeping" is correct, I think. The woed "of" is missing in the translation


As with "all the King's men," you don't need "of" following "all" unless the next word is a pronoun.



I am typing it exactly right and it is still marking it incorrect


In Americsn English, it would be "all day Saturday," not all Saturday


They passed the whole day sleeping on Saturday.


In this case, pasar is to spend TIME.


I was wrong with this piece 7 times in a row. Had to use the word bank finally. Spend is not in the translation.


I put ellas because there was no hint of gender and was marked wrong. It could have been either. Report

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