what is the phrase 'i used to be' in spanish? | SpanishDict Answers
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i'm writing my orals and ive had a mental block !

  • Posted Dec 2, 2009
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8 Answers

2 Vote

"Cuando yo era joven solía ser un cabeza dura" meaning: when I was young I used to be hard minded. (stubborn)

The same English sentence could be reasonably expressed in Spanish as "Cuando yo era joven era un cabeza dura". My personal preference for translating "solía" is "it was my custom/habit to ..."

I think that the primary difference between "solía" + infinitive and the simple use of the imperfect tense is one of rhythm/sound, rather than a serious difference in meaning.

1 Vote

The correct answer is the use of the imperfect tense. Yo era... or Yo estaba... depending if you want to use ser or estar. Usually you will want an adjective to follow era or estaba.

0 Vote

"Yo solía ser" is a way.

0 Vote

Hi Zoey, "yo fui" or "estuve" Like for instance (I used to be in love with) ... google says..yo solia estar ... but that isn't really totally right cuz solia gives a different feel... it pertains more to things like (I used to DO) than it does (I used to Be) but that's not 100% cuz come to think of it ...like if you were to say (I used to BE lazy) you could say.. yo solia ser peresoso(a) ..and for I used to be in love ..you would say... yo estaba enamorado(a) ..Know what I mean? So I guess you'd actually have to be familiar enough with Spanish/English to know when to say it one way or the other. tell me where you are using it in the complete context and I'll tell you which is the hippest way to say it! Cheers,

Edited Do not post website solicitations in your posts.

  • Same advice about not posting personal information - 0074b507 Dec 2, 2009 flag
0 Vote

I think it depends on the context. If you are saying I used to be a student, you would say era una estudiante. Solía ser means I tended to be this way. Like I tended to be grumpy. I agree with luhzon smile

0 Vote

Solía ser means I tended to be this way. Like I tended to be grumpy.

I have to disagree with you. "Solía ser" is the closest way to say I used to be and it does not mean I tended to. If you say "yo era" you are saying I was, not I used to be.

0 Vote

Cuando era joven, when I was young, meaning when I used to be young. I go along with Luhzon89 as this is what I have been taught with the use of the imperfecto.

Please don´t say I´ve misunderstood the use of the tense!

0 Vote

Cuando era joven, when I was young, meaning when I used to be young. I go along with Luhzon89 as this is what I have been taught with the use of the imperfecto.

Please don´t say I´ve misunderstood the use of the tense!

No. You have not. But it's not exactly the same case. By example, taking your words, you can say: "Cuando yo era joven solía ser un cabeza dura" meaning: when I was young I used to be hard minded.

Soy you are not wrong but it's not the same expression. I still believe "solia ser" is the closest considering the way it was asked.

Can yo see why we need more context?

  • Yes, I can see the on-going meaning, thanks for that. - caza Dec 2, 2009 flag
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