Imperfect Tense

KiênC1Kwiziq community member

Imperfect Tense

May I ask why do you need to use imperfect tense for this sentence: Después de hacer el check-in, he comprado algo de ropa en la boutique porque no traía nada conmigo. 

I guess if we use prétérito perfect for the whole story it should be it as well.

Asked 1 year ago
JohnC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hola Kiên, 

Just for clarity, the sentence that you quoted is given in the Pretérito Perfecto, so I think you are asking whether the whole story could alternatively be given in the imperfect tense - yes? 

At the beginning of this writing exercise, the narrator says "What a big surprise I got today." This tells you straight away that for the speaker, the time period is current and still ongoing i.e. it is set in today. Whenever we speak in Spanish about something that happened today, or this week, or this month, or this year [note that the word "this" makes it current and ongoing] we always use the Pretérito Perfecto. 

So she is saying "After checking in, I bought ....). Literally "I have bought" but in Spanish  - unlike English - this tense only rarely uses the translation "I have ......" You will learn later on when that rule is used. 

So to your question about whether you could use the Pretérito Imperfecto instead. Basically no. Spanish has very clear rules about the past tenses so hang in there. You will very soon come to lessons which will explain more about the differences. I hope this helps.

Saludos. John

InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Kiên

I wonder if you are referring to "traía", not the other verbs. 

We are using the imperfect there because it is describing a situation "I had nothing/I brought nothing" in the sense that I "wasn't having anything with me at that moment when I was at the hotel" - it is an action that is not referring to a sudden/completed action (maybe the use of the verb traer, to bring, makes that suggestion) but to the more ongoing action of not having anything with you. 

Was this verb the one you were referring to?

Saludos

Inma

Imperfect Tense

May I ask why do you need to use imperfect tense for this sentence: Después de hacer el check-in, he comprado algo de ropa en la boutique porque no traía nada conmigo. 

I guess if we use prétérito perfect for the whole story it should be it as well.

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