HomeQ&AWhat is the difference between, "Yo estuvo viajando" y "yo estaba viajando?" Is one permanent and one temporary?

What is the difference between, "Yo estuvo viajando" y "yo estaba viajando?" Is one permanent and one temporary?

2
votes

What is the difference between, "Yo estuvo viajando" y "yo estaba viajando?" Is one permanent and one temporary?

9639 views
updated AGO 13, 2012
posted by Safe
''Yo estuve viajando" - Gekkosan, JUL 8, 2010

2 Answers

3
votes

The preterite is used to show the beginning, end, span of a momentary or defined duration in the past. The the action is completed and over with.

On June 1st I was traveling to Mexico. (action completed at present time)

The imperfect is used to show ongoing or habitual actions in the past. The start, end, duration of the action isn't stressed.

I was traveling to Mexico when I witnessed an accident.

No emphasis is placed on how long I was traveling, when I started traveling, if I stopped or still am traveling, etc.

The fact that these are progressive tenses does not effect the contrast between the preterite (estuve+gerund) and the imperfect (estaba+gerund)

¡Bienvenido al foro!

Welcome to the forum!

updated AGO 13, 2012
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
This was a very helpful explanation for me...an explanation that seems to make the most sense and the one I suspected to be true all along. - jag75austin, AGO 13, 2012
In this case we're comparing estuve and estaba but I've also had difficulties with fui and era. But my understanding is that I'll use the imperfect if the timeframe in the sentence is not relevant, not mentioned or simply not the point of what I'm saying - jag75austin, AGO 13, 2012
Clinton fue el presidente por 8 años (preterite). Cuando Clinton era presidente, aprendí a usar la internet (imperfect). - jag75austin, AGO 13, 2012
0
votes

I really like your answer Q.

The trick for me was when using "estaba", it would make sense to use a clause beginning with "cuando".

Estaba manejando cuando se ponchó la llanta.

Estuve manejando y luego, me di cuenta que la llanta estaba ponchada.

updated JUL 8, 2010
posted by petersenkid2
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