what is the difference between fue and era?
what is the difference between fue and era? I'd like to know clearly. Thank you.
Basically what you are asking is what is the difference between the imperfect and the preterite past tenses?
The simple answer is that the imperfect is used with habitual actions or actions where no beginning or end is stated in the past. The preterite is "perfected" or completed actions in the past.
I've always liked the analogy they use about the imperfect being a video of past action and the preterite being a snapshot of action in the past.
Of course, nothing's that simple when it comes to Spanish grammar. That's just the basic difference. You might wish to do some research or take the appropriate lessons here to see some of the more subtle differences.
With ser a possible difference might be: I used to be ...rather than I was.....in English.
And as far as your wanting to know clearly....Wouldn't we all!
For this particular verb you might find it useful to use "era" for descriptions (ie. how things were) and "fue" to recount (ie. what or how things happened).
But it is down to understand the difference between imperfect and preterite, which is a distinction that we are forced to make in our language when we talk about the past; a distinction that in English is purely optional.
Yea, as has been said, the difference between 'fue' and 'era' is really - knowing the difference between the preterit and the imperfect tenses, and THAT is a big concept to simply explain in a few short sentences.
The imperfect as qfreed mentioned can be seen as a video of a past action. As I learned it, it tells a story. You see the imperfect as a story that hasn't been given strict parameters. The preterit is more of a 'this is what happened'. A definite beginning and a definite end. The imperfect does not have these strict parameters which helps you remember its name and function. It is NOT describing a perfect action.
Yea, kinda theoretical stuff. Hope it kind of helped.
Anyway, a good way to remember that 'era' is the imperfect is to think of the english word 'era', as in 'It was a golden era'. Era, the english word describes a period of time. Not just a certain day, but an era. So you can kind of see how that fits into the 'imperfect' definition of not having a strict parameter.
Ah, I know it must be pretty confusing. I know it was a bit daunting for me when I was first learning it. I didn't even know there were 2 different kinds of past tenses. I was like 'What??? Ahh, more cra* we have to learn, noooooooooooooo'.
1.Era is the imperfect tense of the Spanish verb ser while fue is its preterite tense. 2.Era is used to describe how things were or how a person was while fue is used to narrate an event that happened in the past and how it happened. 3.Era is used to serve the first person and third person while fue is used to serve only the third person singular. 4.Era is translated as I/he/she/it used to be while fue is translated as he/she/it was.
I also have questions about the differences between "fue" and "era." I understand the grammar and rules behind the imperfect and preterite tenses; however, knowing all of that does not help in sentences such as these, "I was sad. IT was because my dog died." So, "Estaba triste. Fue porque mi perro murió." OR "Era porque mi perro murió." Also, if you describe going to a party or event in the past, do you say, "La fiesta anoche fue divertido." Or, "La fiesta era divertido." With general descriptions, I lean toward the use of the imperfect. But as an English speaker, I see the use of the preterite at times like these and it is very confusing! Insight on this?
what is the difference between fue and era? I'd like to know clearly.
Unfortunately your question cannot be answered so easily.
Your grammar book will tell you what the technical differences are, but for most people it takes a long time to able to use these correctly in conversation. There is no one explanation that will magically resolve all of your doubts.
In fact, in some cases fui and era are nearly interchangeable with only a slight (and sometimes insignificant) difference in meaning.
As others have already said, the core issue here is preterite vs imperfect. My recommendation is that you pay attention to how fui and era is used in real life conversations, and start attempting to use them yourself in conversations, even if you get them wrong at first. Also be sure to find as many practical exercises to do as you can.
I also recommend you give this book a try, Practice Makes Perfect: Spanish Past-Tense Verbs Up Close . It goes into really good detail about the past tenses.
And in conjunction with what I told you above, come back here and ask questions regarding specific examples, which will help you develop a better understanding of the why's and why's not.
@Marianne...again it goes to context which we are always talking about. If Lazarus and I were talking and he asking me if I went to the annual carnival, I would say (maybe) Si, yo fui cuando era jovencito. But him being who he is, he would understand it to mean "I used to got when I was young" (sorry if i'm putting words in your mouth, Lazarus). Now...If here were to ask me "Did you call Marianne yesterday?" I might say "Pues..yo iba a llamarle pero..." which is the difference. Again, I can't explain as well as you all can, but I hope that give you some clarity. As far that comment he made, he's talking as an educator, which I respect. But really, over dinner, I'd just say, Me fui cuando era joven and he would "fill in the blanks" as it were.
I cannot give you a technical expanation like some of the more learned of the site, but I can give you a sentence that may provide you some clarity: Yo fui al carnival cuando era joven. Which is to say I went to the carnival when I was young.