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Sentados o sentando

 

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  #1  
Old July 23, 2019, 08:03 AM
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Sentados o sentando

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Sentence of the Day (Intermediate):

Estaban sentados alrededor de la chimenea.
They were sitting around the fireplace.

Should this be:
They were seated..........

Qué tal estas?
Estaban sentando alrededor de la chimenea.
Estaban sentar alrededor de la chimenea.

Como siempre gracias. Realmente agradezco su ayuda.
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  #2  
Old July 23, 2019, 09:58 AM
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Estaban sentados = they were seated
However, another way to say that in English (conveying the same idea) is 'they were sitting'. That's what the translator chose to do, apparently. You are both conveying the same idea. Your proposal is the more literal of the two.

Estaban sentando = they were sitting

Estaban sentar
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Old July 24, 2019, 01:55 PM
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Estaban sentados. = They were seated. / They were sitting.
Se estaban sentando. = They were sitting down. (They were in the act of sitting down; implies motion even)

Note to non-native English speakers:

Estaban sentados. = They were seated. (sounds quite formal or even slightly archaic, depending on the situation and the speaker)
Estaban sentados. = They were sitting. (informal, extremely common usage, can be used even in writing, including relatively formal writing)

I would translate Se estaban sentando as They were sitting down or even They were in the act of sitting down.

Another example:
They were sitting around the fire. = Estaban sentados junto a la fogata.
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