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Past tense - dormir - translation

 

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  #1  
Old January 09, 2012, 01:11 PM
pacomartin123 pacomartin123 is offline
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Past tense - dormir - translation

1) Mi mayordomo estaba durmiendo en el trabajo ayer.
2) Mi mayordomo dormía en el trabajo ayer.
3) Mi mayordomo durmió en el trabajo ayer.

How would I translate into English? Is phrase 1) or 2) more natural? I am guessing that 1) and 2) translate the same way.
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  #2  
Old January 09, 2012, 09:16 PM
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Rusty Rusty is offline
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1) My butler was (in the process of) sleeping at work yesterday ... *
*Usually used when setting the scene for something else that happened
2) My butler was sleeping at work yesterday ... *
*Usually used when setting the scene - the event started but no end was noted
3) My butler slept at work yesterday.
* The event had its beginning and ending in the past

All three mean something slightly different, otherwise there'd be no reason to use different tenses.
No sentence is more natural than the others, since you could actually mean to say each one.
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Old January 10, 2012, 12:47 AM
jrivera jrivera is offline
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In these sentences you have to consider that, probably, the butler is not supposed to sleep at work. In this sense it would sound better to say:

Mi mayordomo se durmió ayer en el trabajo.

We usually use "dormir" in a reflexive mode: "dormirse" or "se durmió"

But all of the sentences you wrote are right, they have slight differences just as Rusty said. Anyway the 2) one does not sound very common to me.
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Old January 10, 2012, 04:45 AM
pacomartin123 pacomartin123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrivera View Post
In these sentences you have to consider that, probably, the butler is not supposed to sleep at work.
I am trying to convey that the butler is not supposed to sleep at work. But I am confused about the pronominal definition. When I look it up in the DRAE the pronomial definition implies it used in the sense of having your arm or your leg fall asleep and go numb.

11. prnl. Dicho de un miembro: adormecerse (‖ entorpecerse).

I don't see how that would imply that the Butler is not supposed to sleep on the job.
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Old January 10, 2012, 05:11 AM
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Translate the pronominal form as 'to fall asleep'.

The butler fell asleep at work.
The butler was nodding off at work.

The pronominal form implies that the butler wasn't supposed to be sleeping at work and that he fell asleep.
The non-pronominal form doesn't give you this nuance.
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Old January 18, 2012, 11:42 AM
jrivera jrivera is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Translate the pronominal form as 'to fall asleep'.

The pronominal form implies that the butler wasn't supposed to be sleeping at work and that he fell asleep.
The non-pronominal form doesn't give you this nuance.

Yes, is like that in this example, but in general the pronominal form is just more usual, and not allways means that you're not supposed to fell asleep.

I would say:
- you fell asleep = tu te duermes (with pronominal form) - or - tu te quedas dormido
- you sleep = tu duermes
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