"Hemos visto" versus "Vimos"

RosemaryA2Kwiziq community member

"Hemos visto" versus "Vimos"

In the example, "We saw a very interesting film at the cinema", why isn't el Pretérito Indefinido used, i.e. "Vimos" instead of "Hemos visto"?   I would think that hemos visto would be used in the following case, "We have seen a very interesting film at the cinema". I can't tell which tense to use.

Asked 11 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Rosemary

The Spanish perfect tense (hemos visto) is more often translated in English as the simple past (saw) if there isn't much context and it'd sound less natural to say "have seen". This is why you're finding different tenses on each language, to make it sound more natural.

I hope that clarified it.

Saludos

RosemaryA2Kwiziq community member

Hi, Inma, thanks for answering. That is helpful;  Kwiziq starts with Spanish in examples and translates to English. However, because I only know English, I am trying to translate English to Spanish, not the reverse, so my perspective is different. If I see the sentence, "We saw an interesting film" , which is a completed action in the past, I am going to translate it "Vimos" and that would be correct, right? Would there ever be a reason to translate a completed action in the past to Haber + past participle? Thanks.

InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Rosemary

Yes, I completely see how you would see it from your perspective. 

In Spanish we are always going to use the perfect tense, with haber + participle for actions that we see/consider/feel are still connected to the present (to the moment of speaking) like when we use time phrases like "hoy", "esta mañana", "este verano"...; these however, from the point of view of an English speaker, would be seen as completed and detached from the present so you'd more often use the preterite instead. 

Here is a lesson that explains some of these differences, but this is from a European Spanish perspective. For a Latin American perspective, things in this department are a bit more similar to the English use. Have a look here: lesson

I hope it's useful. 

Saludos

"Hemos visto" versus "Vimos"

In the example, "We saw a very interesting film at the cinema", why isn't el Pretérito Indefinido used, i.e. "Vimos" instead of "Hemos visto"?   I would think that hemos visto would be used in the following case, "We have seen a very interesting film at the cinema". I can't tell which tense to use.

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