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Tutor profile: Emma F.

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Emma F.
Experienced Spanish Language Teacher/Tutor
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Questions

Subject: Spanish

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Question:

Explain the differences between the usage of the preterite and imperfect tenses in Spanish.

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Emma F.
Answer:

The preterite and imperfect tenses are both past tenses used in Spanish. They are used in different contexts to convey different meanings that normally take more words in English. Having two past tenses in Spanish gives us a concise and simple way to make these distinctions. In short, the preterite is used to portray an event as being completed at a specific point in time. It is often indicated or triggered by words such as "ayer, esta mañana, anoche, el jueves pasado, etc.) These words let us know that the action occurred and was completed at a specific point in time. Here are some examples: El sábado yo jugué con mi vecino. Ayer él llegó temprano. Mi madre me preparó desayuno esta mañana. The imperfect tense is used to portray an event as happening over a period of time, where the exact starting and ending points don’t matter. This is often used to talk about actions that one "always used to do" or that were habitual. Here are some examples: Mi familia siempre viajaba a la playa durante el verano. Yo tenía un perro cuando era niña. Normalmente llegábamos temprano. When the preterite and imperfect are used in a sentence together, the imperfect verb portrays an ongoing action happening in the background, while the preterite verb portrays an action that “interrupts” it, something that happens and is completed while the background action is still going on. When both verbs in a sentence are in the imperfect, it means that the two events happened at the same time, or at least overlapped. When both verbs in a sentence are preterite, it means that both events were completed, usually one after the other.

Subject: Portuguese

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Question:

In what situations in the Portuguese future subjunctive used, and how is it formed?

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Emma F.
Answer:

The easiest way to form the Portuguese future subjunctive is to begin with the 3rd person plural form (eles/elas/vocês) of the preterite. trabalhar --> trabalharam escrever --> escreveram assistir --> assistiram estar --> estiveram Next, remove the -am ending and add the appropriate future subjunctive ending, depending on the subject that is performing the action. The endings are: eu --> *nothing added* tu --> -es ele/ela/você --> *nothing added* nós --> -mos eles/elas/vocês --> -em So, finally let's add it all together and conjugate our verbs in the future subjunctive. trabalhar --> trabalharam eu --> trabalhar tu --> trabalhares ele/ela/você --> trabalhar nós --> trabalharmos eles/elas/vocês --> trabalharem escrever --> escreveram eu --> escerver tu --> escreveres ele/ela/você --> escrever nós --> escrevermos eles/elas/vocês --> escreverem assistir --> assistiram eu --> assistir tu --> assistires ele/ela/você --> assistir nós --> assistirmos eles/elas/vocês --> assistirem estar --> estiveram eu --> estiver tu --> estiveres ele/ela/você --> estiver nós --> estivermos eles/elas/vocês --> estiverem The future subjunctive is used when speaking about future actions that we are not certain will actually take place. It is most common to use the future subjunctive after the words 'se" (if) and "quando" (when). Here a a few examples: Se eu trabalhar a noite toda, estarei cansado amanhã. (If I work all night, I will be tired tomorrow.) Quando você assistir o novo filme, me diga o que pensa. (When you watch the new film, tell me what you think. Se não escreverem seus ensaios, obterão notas ruins. (If they don't write their essays, they will get bad grades.)

Subject: English as a Second Language

TutorMe
Question:

How are questions formed in English? Explain the rules of this grammar point in a way that will help ESL learners understand and practice the skill on their own.

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Emma F.
Answer:

In short, to form a question in English, we invert the order of the subject and the first auxiliary verb in a sentence. For example: Statement: The soccer game *is* today. Question: *Is* the soccer game today? If there is no auxiliary verb in a sentence, we use a form of the verb "to do." For example: Statement: You speak Portuguese. Question: Do you speak Portuguese? Questions that require "question words" such as who, what, when, where, why, how, etc. are formed in the same way, with a form of the verb "to do." For example: Where do you live? What does she want? Who did you meet with?

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