I am frequently puzzled around whether I need to use "fue" or "era" as soon as I am describing things. I understand that making use of the preterite suggests that the action was completed in the previous and also making use of the imperfect means that the activity was continuous for a duration of time in the previous, was habitual, and/or can still be developing. I feel choose unless there are particular conmessage hints (ayer, el año pasaperform, etc) that show usage of preterite (and therefore fue), imperfect must be used.

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For example:Fue estudiante.Period estudiante.

My gut here would be to say era, bereason they were either a) a student for a duration of time or b) still a student.

Fue bonita.Era bonita.

Same deal...

I think I just feel favor if its a desctiption, imperfect need to be offered, bereason it taken place for a while or is still happening? I don"t recognize...please help me!!!

updated NOV 14, 2011
posted by ajrouse96
I think you're doing incredibly well, I'm grappling with the very same difficulty je je - Whatchalooki has some good information listed below for you :) - Kiwi-Girl, NOV 13, 2011

1 Answer


I answered this question on Yahoo Answers a LONG while ago. Hope you have the right to usage it

FUI / FUE / FUIMOS....... is the previous tense of the verb TO BE or TO GO. TO BE is the one you want to know about...... "El fue estudiante de este instituto en 1990": he was a student at this institute in 1990. "ellos fueron perseguidos por la policia": they were chased by the cops. This is offered for an activity which taken place (and also ENDED) in the previous. The man is no much longer a student tbelow..... and "they" were chased by the police yesterday, last month or last year, yet it"s over.

ERA, ERAMOS, etc...... would be the tantamount of "USED TO BE"........ which is supplied to define a specific problem or situation that happened simultaneously via another, or when there"s a readjust in the situations. Examples:

ELLA ERA MUY LISTA -- she used to be exceptionally smart, which indicates that she no longer is.JOSE ERA JUGADOR DE FUTBOL CUANDO ESTUDIABA LA PREPARATORIA -- Jose used to be a footround player when he remained in high school.YO ERA MUY BUENO EN MATEMATICAS -- I used to be exceptionally good at math --- however this implies I no longer am.VERONICA Y YO ERAMOS AMIGAS -- Veronica and I supplied to be friends -- yet not anymore. Mind you, you can additionally use FUIMOS in this situation, cause it"s something that began and ended in the past. But in the other situations you perform have to usage era, eramos, etc.

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updated NOV 14, 2011
edited by whatchalookinat
posted by whatchalookinat
great answer I review it on Yahoo also a while back and included it to a file I'm making on Ser vs Estar in the past - it was exceptionally advantageous , gracias - Kiwi-Girl, NOV 13, 2011
So useful..Almethods wanted to understand. Its been on my mind these days..Thanks for the great explanation whatchalooki - Peas, NOV 14, 2011
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