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I don’t understand this at all.

BriC1Kwiziq community member

I don’t understand this at all.

I don’t understand any of this at all, whatsoever. I’ve read it many, many times, including the comments. I know there is a difference between Spain Spanish and Latin American Spanish for has/have, but how can one differentiate between them? I am so lost. 

Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Bri

Sorry you feel confused when reading this topic. 

It is indeed one of the most difficult grammar points in Spanish. The use of the Spanish present perfect (he ido) as opposed to the preterite (fui) is easier to understand for European Spanish learners because the cases for using one or the other are more defined. However, in Latin America, it is more difficult to establish when and why to use one tense or the other. 

We will go back to this lesson and see how it could be maybe re-worded or add more clarification.

Saludos cordiales

Inma

MarcosC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Bri, it’s basically this:  use the preterite tense most of the time.  There are two exceptions: 

 (1) if the action started in the past and is still continuing and

 (2) if the past action was recent and the speaker is emphasizing that it was recent.  

For these exceptions we use the present perfect tense.  

It would also help to make a table for the uses.  Write the column headings “Latin America” and “Spain” across the top.  Then for the row headings write “action is still continuing”, “speaker wants to emphasize that the action just happened”, and so on.  In the table write the tense that is used in each case.  I often find that I have to make tables and brief summaries for Kwiziq lessons.

StevenA2Kwiziq community member

This is helpful.  I keep getting the wrong answer and ask my husband (who is a native spanish speaker from Nicaragua) and he says that I am correct and the test is wrong.  So, I kind of give up and just know I will get these wrong much of the time on these tests but that my usage is correct in person.  One of the most challenging things about learning spanish is the huge number of regional variations.  I do not care about vosotros - will probably never use that tense as I spend a lot of time in Mexico and practically none in Spain.  There are millions of spanish speakers here in NYC and I've never heard one use that tense.  Perhaps there needs to be an option on this platform that focuses on Euro and one that focuses on CA?  It would eliminate a lot of confusion, I am thinking.

InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Steven

I agree with you, there are lots of variants within Latin America and you may find that in Nicaragua for example, there are slightly different nuances when using the preterite or the perfect tense. This lesson is reflecting what we think is the most common usage of these two tenses, having revised this content with a native Latin American teacher, and not getting into very specific nuances, so it is there to have a general knowledge on a basic level (this is why it's A2) on the general uses of these tenses. However, we are aware that this topic and test can be improved and we are currently re-visiting it to see how we can offer more comprehensive information for learners. 

With regards to being able to choose an extra focus on Central America, I'm afraid we can only offer the differentiation between Peninsular Spanish and Latin American Spanish (general) because it would be impossible to make a programme tailored to each area or country in the whole Latin America. 

Saludos cordiales

I don’t understand this at all.

I don’t understand any of this at all, whatsoever. I’ve read it many, many times, including the comments. I know there is a difference between Spain Spanish and Latin American Spanish for has/have, but how can one differentiate between them? I am so lost. 

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