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Fueras or eras?

 

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  #1  
Old October 07, 2008, 03:58 PM
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Fueras or eras?

yesterday at the supermarket i thought i had skipped a spanish girl and i turned around and asked her "fueras aqui antes?"

she replied "no" and said it was ok

im wondering if i asked her the right thing

should i have asked "ERAS aqui antes?" i keep thinking i should have

or was i correct by using "FUERAS"
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  #2  
Old October 07, 2008, 05:17 PM
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Neither is correct. The infinitive form of fueras and eras is ser. Ser is not used to indicate location. The infinitive you should have used is estar.
To indicate location in the past, a started and ended (a done deal), you would use the preterite (estuviste). To indicate a past location, but one that is still occurring, you would use the imperfect (estabas).

¿Estabas aquí antes?
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  #3  
Old October 07, 2008, 05:39 PM
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fueras or eras...???

thank you Rusty. so what did i ask her?
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  #4  
Old October 07, 2008, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Neither is correct. The infinitive form of fueras and eras is ser. Ser is not used to indicate location. The infinitive you should have used is estar.
To indicate location in the past, a started and ended (a done deal), you would use the preterite (estuviste). To indicate a past location, but one that is still occurring, you would use the imperfect (estabas).

¿Estabas aquí antes?
I agree with Rusty, because you didn't use the way correct when you asked her the questions, you must use the word or sentence Estuviste or Estabas as you can translate this in English Was, and were, for example, How you can to say these examples in itself correct.

Ayer estuviste corriendo This example is the way correct, Yesterday you was running.
Fueras ayer corriendo, This example is a wrote.


Estabas aqui antes.

You was here before.

Estubiste llendo a clases.

You was going to class.


I hope my examples cans help you if you believe that I'm a wrote, please correct to me.
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  #5  
Old October 07, 2008, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hola View Post
thank you Rusty. so what did i ask her?
The aquí antes (here before) part of your question was understood, and the girl may have deduced the correct meaning from that context alone.

Just so we're on the same page, have a look at the verb chart for ser. Find block 7 (Imperfecto del Subjuntivo). Fueras is a subjunctive mood, imperfect tense, second person conjugation.
Now scroll up to block 2 (Imperfecto del Indicativo). Eras is an indicative mood, imperfect tense, second person conjugation. This is closer to what you need, but the verb isn't correct.

Now have a look at the verb you should have used - estar. Look in block 2 (Imperfecto del Indicativo). There you'll find estabas.

It's difficult to say what the girl in the supermarket 'heard,' but I think she understood you.

There is no real translation of what you said into English. The subjunctive was used instead of the indicative. This mood has almost disappeard in English, but it has perfectly good uses in Spanish and must be learned.
The subjunctive can appear at the beginning of a sentence, where it takes on the idea of 'wishful thinking'.

If only you had been here before, ...
Had you been here earlier, ...
= Estuvieras aquí antes, ...

Had you been from Mexico, you would have known him.
= Fueras de México, lo habrías conocido.

I used estuvieras in the first sentence to show you two of its possible translations. The verb estuvieras is subjunctive mood, imperfect tense, second person of the verb estar (to be located).

I used fueras in the last sentence to show you one of its translations. The verb fueras is subjunctive mood, imperfect tense, second person of the verb ser (to be from).
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  #6  
Old October 07, 2008, 11:28 PM
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Rusty I don't know anyone who does as good a job analyzing and breaking it down as you. thank you too Croalito. You're a native so you're an automatic expert so I always have to consider what you say. it is so hard trying to understand when to use SER or ESTAR. it's the hardest part about spanish. for instance "you are polite" they say ser is permanent while estar is not permanent. well if someone is polite how do you know if thats how they are naturally or if that is how they are for now? so naturally you don't know if you should say estas cortes or eres cortes. you could be right or wrong either way. its tough.
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  #7  
Old October 07, 2008, 11:37 PM
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There's a sticky note (a post that stays on top so it's easy to find) in the Grammar Forum that has a very good explanation of when to use ser and estar. Many people are quick to quote permanent and temporary 'rules' when teaching Spanish, but these rules are misleading. Learn what has been posted, and you can stop worrying about it.

Thank you for your comments!
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  #8  
Old October 08, 2008, 04:02 PM
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hey Rusty, Diamond said that puedes ser cortes is you can be polite
but i was reading the sticky and it said estar is for changeable conditions
this is what can make it confusing
don't you think that whether or not somebody is polite is a changeable condition?
a person can be polite now and rude later
a person could have been polite 2yrs ago but is now rude
would you be able to explain this?
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Old October 08, 2008, 06:29 PM
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I agree that being courteous is a personal characteristic that can be learned, and forgotten!
It is up to you to make an assessment of the person's character and use the form of 'to be' that you deem is most appropriate when you are describing the person to others. Be careful, some adjectives change meaning when the other 'to be' verb is used. For example:
estar listo = to be ready
ser listo = to be clever/smart/bright
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  #10  
Old October 08, 2008, 09:48 PM
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I should add that David (who you called Diamond) is right when he said to use ser. Sosia introduced the idea that someone could temporarily be courteous to serve some selfish whim. Now, taking those two ideas into consideration, I would use ser to describe a characteristic. If someone were courteous only when it served their purposes, but were not courteous otherwise, you could use estar to describe the temporary condition.
Note condition versus characteristic. I think those are important differences. If someone is sick, we usually think of it as a temporary condition. If someone is mentally ill, that is a characteristic (even if the person may be cured at some future time). The condition requires estar and the characteristic requires ser.
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