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"Estaban cocinando" versus "cocinaban"?


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Old December 15, 2021, 11:18 PM
createdamadman createdamadman is offline
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"Estaban cocinando" versus "cocinaban"?

I just read the phrase "estaban cocinando" in a story, meaning "they were cooking", and I couldn't help but wonder if one could simply use the word "cocinaban" instead?

For better context, the sentence is "Cuando llegamos al acampamento, los guías estaban cocinando la cena".

I know that "cocinaban" can also mean "used to cook" or "would cook", and "estaban cocinando" could not be used to mean either of those. But in the case of meaning "were cooking", I feel like the terms are interchangeable. Is this true or is there a difference I don't understand?

Last edited by createdamadman; December 16, 2021 at 04:40 PM.
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Old December 16, 2021, 12:24 AM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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I think you are right that both expressions may mean the same.
The usage here, however, underlines the action that the guides performing at the very same time we were arriving. "Cocinaban" may be preferred when using a more formal language or when it's a repeated action or a habit: "cuando llegábamos al campamento, los guías cocinaban la cena" (When we would arrive to the camp, the guides would cook dinner).

Note: I changed the thread title for you.
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Old December 16, 2021, 04:42 PM
createdamadman createdamadman is offline
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Okay, thank you!
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