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Old March 23, 2007, 07:45 PM
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"fue"

Hi everyone.... will someone help me with "fue" and it's other forms? Including some sample sentences and the different ways it is used would be helpful to me. Thank you much!
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Old March 24, 2007, 04:33 PM
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"fue" is the past (preterit) of both ser and ir. So it can mean

he/she/it/usted went or was

fui (I went, I was)
fuiste (You went, You were)
fue (You(usted) went, You(usted) were)
fue (She/he went, she/he was)
fuimos (We went, we were)
fueron (They/you all went, were)

Examples:

Fui a la tienda - I went to the store
Fui el presidente - I was the president
Fue el - He did it (It was him)
Fue a la tienda - She went to the store
Fue difícil - It was hard.

I hope that helps
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Old March 25, 2007, 08:18 PM
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Gracias otra vez.
Estoy haciendo progreso despacio. Y mi compresión de escucha es mejor todos los días.

(Please correct my spanish if this is not right) Thank you!
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Old March 26, 2007, 08:38 PM
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I would say that su comprensión oral mejora cada día...
o que te mejoras en comprender español cada día.
You have many options!
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Old March 27, 2007, 02:17 PM
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fue vs era

let's go further and discuss the correct use of fue and era. I know it's been done before, but since we're on the subject...
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Old March 27, 2007, 05:54 PM
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When talking to someone from Spain I said, Perdón, fui ocupado. The person then corrected me, saying I was supposed to instead say Perdón, yo estaba ocupado. Would anyone mind explaining this please?

Thanks!
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Old March 27, 2007, 10:50 PM
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It's the difference between ser and estar. Fui and estaba are preterite and imperfect conjugations of ser and estar, respectively. The use of estar instead of ser is, for me, easier to remember when you understand that estar is kind of related to the words status or state in english. When your personal state is at hand, you'll use estar. Being busy (ocupado) is a state and it's not permanent. Permanent characteristics are used with ser.

Yo soy perezoso. (I am lazy. a generally permanent characteristic)
Estoy en la carcel. (I'm in jail. location)

Yo era un estudiante (I was, in the past for an unspecified time, a student. Generally permanent characteristic)
Yo estaba en el despacho. (I was in the office. An unspecified amount of time, and location).

Él fue golpeado por un baloncesto (He was hit by a ball. The action is over and done with, preterite)

This kind of incorporates the differenced between preterite and imperfect conjugations as well as when to use ser and estar.
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Old March 28, 2007, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach View Post
When talking to someone from Spain I said, Perdón, fui ocupado. The person then corrected me, saying I was supposed to instead say Perdón, yo estaba ocupado. Would anyone mind explaining this please?

Thanks!
Felipe's answer is great, and I'll just post my explanation as well, in case it helps.

First, the difference between the preterit and the imperfect

The preterit is for things that are done, gone and finished in the past.

Fui a la tienda. (I went to the store)
Estuve afuera. (I was outside [for a certain amount of time])
Estuve ocupado. (I was busy [for a certain amount of time])
Comí arroz. (I ate rice.)
Canté la canción. (I sang the song.)
Escribí una carta. (I wrote a letter.)
Estuve comiendo arroz. (I was eating rice [for a certain amount of time])

The imperfect is for things that are either not done/finished in the past, or we don't know or we don't care if they were actually completed in the past.

Iba a la tienda. (I was going to the store [we don't know or care if you ever got there- it's irrelevant])
Estaba afuera. (I was outside [indefinitely, or we don't know or care how long you were outside])
Estaba ocupado. (I was busy [indefinitely, or we don't know or care how long you were busy])
Comía arroz. (I was eating rice. [but it's irrelevant how long you were eating, or if you finished etc.])
Cantaba la canción. (I was singing the song.)
Escribía una carta. (I was writing a letter.)
Estaba comiendo arroz. (I was [in the act of] eating rice.)

The imperfect is usually used to set the stage for some other action that happened in the past (preterit) and was finished. IE:

Comía arroz (imperfect, setting the stage) cuando ella entró (the action that took place).
(I was eating rice when she came in.)

Second, the difference between ser & estar


I think there are other threads on this (try searching), but I'll touch the point briefly. Ser is normally for more permanent things, and estar for more mutable (changeable) things. So when you're going to say "I was busy", you have to choose ser or estar for that "was". I'd say being busy is not a permanent condition, so I'd go with estar. Now, using the explanation above, choose the preterit or imperfect for the past tense. Were you busy for a certain amount of time, and you're not busy any more, and the fact that you were only busy for a certain amount of time is the important fact that you want to communicate, then use the preterite: "estuve ocupado". See also http://wikispanish.org/ws/Ser_and_estar

Estuve ocupado toda la mañana y no pude salir.
I was tied up all morning and couldn't get away.
(You're emphasizing the fact that you were busy)

Estaba ocupado toda la mañana y no pude salir.
I was busy all morning and wasn't able to get out.
(You're emphasizing the fact that you couldn't get away.)


Ser and the passive voice.

You didn't think your question would get such a long and involved answer did you?

When you use ser + the past participle of another verb, it's what is called the passive voice. For example:

The meat was ground. (La carne fue molida.)
The building was demolished. (El edificio fue destruído)

So, the verb "ocupar" means to occupy or to use. So....

Fue ocupado would mean "It was used" or "it was occupied"

You might say "Fuí ocupado" in a science fiction story where some aliens physically occupied your body, or maybe by stretching the imagination, you could also have been used for some evil purpose in a diabolical plan.....

Fui ocupado para traer abajo el reino del Rey X.
I was used to ruin King X's kingdom...

But note that none of these examples would be common by any stretch of the imagination.


Whew...
David signing off for awhile
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Old March 28, 2007, 04:52 PM
Julie Julie is offline
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Thank you, all, for this great help. None of my books explained this like so....

I am SOO grateful for Tomisimo!
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Old March 29, 2007, 01:48 PM
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Wow, some of you guys post really long answers- way to go!!
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