She was very afraid and died

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barryglick

Senior Member
English - USA
In the famous scene from the movie Psycho, I am trying to explain, in Spanish, what happened during the shower scene. I don´t know whether to say "Ella tenía miedo y murió," or "Ella tuvo miedo y murió." What is the right past tense to use? It certainly is an action that started and was completed in the past, which would be simple past, don't you think? Thanks for any help,

Barry
 
  • barryglick

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Yes, sorry! I want to say "She was very afraid and died (or was killed)."

    My questions for the proper Spanish are these:

    First: Would I use "Tuvo mucho miedo y murió" or "Tenía much miedo y murió" In other words, would I use the preterite or imperfect.

    Second: Which is the better usage? Ella tuvo (tenía?) mucho miedo o Ella Estuvo asustada?

    I think that I have answered the first question, though. Since the person was killed, the act of being afraid WAS completed, so it would be the preterite, not the imperfect. Is that right? I have so much difficulty with these two tenses!!

    So to recap, do I use the preterite or imperfect tense, and which form, Tener miedo or Estar asustado is the best?

    Thank you!

    Barry
     

    Lyrica_Soundbite

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Argentina
    Tuvo miedo y murió sounds like she was scared and that's why she died. Like saying "I studied and passed the exam". Besides, she didn't stop having fear, she was interrupted in the midst of it because she was killed.
    Anyway, I would try to reformulate the phrase, maybe adding the way she was expressing her fear:
    Ella gritaba de terror/aterrorizada cuando la mataron.
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    I'm not sure why the two clauses are in the same sentence.
    As Lyrica_Soundbite points out, putting them together like that suggests that there is a cause-and-effect relationship.
     

    gvergara

    Senior Member
    Español
    Sin más contexto, pienso que ambas alternativas son correctas.

    Tuvo/Tenía miedo, y murió.

    Con el verbo asesinar, sólo el imperfecto.

    Tenía mucho miedo/Estaba muy asustada, y/cuando fue asesinada.

    Asesinar necesariamente viene a interrumpir el estado de tener miedo, no así la oración previa. Aunque claro, como dicen, lo mejor sería reformular la idea para que quede más natural.
     

    User With No Name

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    I hope this comment doesn't annoy anyone, but I think the problem here is that the original phrase in English ("She was very afraid and died") is a rather odd way to describe that scene. I would have said something like "She became very afraid and then he killed her," which would, I think, call for the preterite in Spanish for both verbs, and would make more sense in both languages.
     

    gvergara

    Senior Member
    Español
    Claro, pero más allá de reformular, la pregunta era qué pretérito emplear. En tu propuesta She became very afraid and then he killed her, se entendería como (Ella) Se asustó mucho, y (luego) él la mató/asesinó.
     

    User With No Name

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    Claro, pero más allá de reformular, la pregunta era qué pretérito emplear. En tu propuesta She became very afraid and then he killed her, se entendería como (Ella) Se asustó mucho, y (luego) él la mató/asesinó.
    En inglés solemos llamar "preterit(e)" al pretérito perfecto e "imperfect" al pretérito imperfecto.
     
    Last edited:

    barryglick

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    OP here. It’s an awkward sentence because I am trying to make a short subtitle to fit beneath a video clip of someone getting stabbed in the shower, so I have no space to properly construct the sentence. Let’s forget the “he killed her” part and just say “she was very afraid”

    tuvo mucho miedo?

    Or

    tenía mucho miedo?

    If both are correct, which tense would be used most often?

    And beyond that, which way of saying “to be afraid” is used most often in all your opinions?

    tener miedo

    O

    Estar asustado?

    Thanks!

    Warmly,

    Barry
     

    gvergara

    Senior Member
    Español
    Both tener miedo and estar asustado/a are used for particular situations such as this, whereas only the former is used for general statements such as He is afraid of spiders (tiene miedo a/le dan miedo las arañas).

    As to the subtitle for your video clip, leaving out the he killed her part makes it even more difficult to give a precise answer and sounds weirder. I'd say that in that case either tense would be used, but without further context I couldn't tell you which I would most likely use. How about Terror en la ducha?
     
    Last edited:

    aldonzalorenzo

    Senior Member
    Castellano
    Let’s forget the “he killed her” part and just say “she was very afraid”
    tuvo mucho miedo? Or tenía mucho miedo?
    If both are correct, which tense would be used most often?
    And beyond that, which way of saying “to be afraid” is used most often in all your opinions?
    tener miedo o Estar asustado?
    Well, she's going to be stabbed, so I don't think "miedo" works here.
    I'd say something like "estaba aterrada".
     
    Last edited:

    barryglick

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Both tener miedo and estar asustado/a are used for particular situations such as this, whereas only the former is used for general statements such as He is afraid of spiders (tiene miedo a/le dan miedo las arañas).

    As to the subtitle for your video clip, leaving out the he killed her part makes it even more difficult to give a precise answer and sounds weirder. I'd say that in that case either tense would be used, but without further context I couldn't tell you which I would most likely use. How about Terror en la ducha?
    Well, no since it’s an instructional video on facial expressions and this clip (the shower scene from Psycho) is about fear or expressing fear. In the clip, of course, she IS killed so I could say “she was afraid and then he killed her.” or “When she saw the knife”. What would that do to the tuvo/tenía question?
     
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