yo estaba/estuve allí

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Yajaira, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Yajaira

    Yajaira Senior Member

    Texas, USA
    U.S. English
    OK...I know this question has been asked a million times, but I'm still a little confused. If I want to say, "I was here, but not anymore", would I say "Yo estuve aquí pero ya no" or "Yo estaba aquí pero ya no." After reading one post, it seems like I should use "estuve" because I am no longer at that place. According to another post, it looks like I should use "estaba" because I was here recently, whereas "estuve" means a long time ago. I'm so confused!
  2. estii New Member

    hi there! mm it depends on the situation for example if I wanted to say that was the chair where I was sitting on , then I would say "yo estaba ahí" (ya no lo estoy) ..but if I wanted to say for example.... while watching a photo's album,that I was in that place , I would say "yo estuve ahí" (ya no lo estoy)... or an example where you could use both : I was in the marine ( yo estaba/estuve en la marina)
    if you can desribe the situations where you have troubles it'll be very helpful to help you :D (hope you understand what I've written here , bye )
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  3. Yajaira

    Yajaira Senior Member

    Texas, USA
    U.S. English
    Hi estii,
    The context is for example, I was in the library (or cafeteria/principal's office/gym/classroom, etc.) but not anymore. The students are looking around the school for Spot (a character from a story) to learn where the things in the school are located. They go to the gym and there's a sign that says "I (Spot) was here, but not anymore. Look for me in the gym."

    Yajaira :)
  4. estii New Member

    ok,so they go to the gym and Spot told them to look for him going to the gim xD ahha :p , just kidding I understood you :D, in that case I would use, "yo estaba aquí, pero ya no , busquenme en el gimnasio" are you sure you have to use "allí"? it means something like "there" , not "Here" like "aquí" does ..
    aquí = the place where you found the sign. ( referring to the gym)
    allí= somewhere else, then when you go to the gym the sign will say "yo estaba allí, en la cocina, busquenme en el salon de clases" (I was there in the kitchen look for me in the classroom) wich makes no sense for me.
    oh well I was just looking at the post's title but you've written it fine in the post so it doesn't matter :p, chers
  5. juandiego

    juandiego Senior Member

    Granada. España
    Spanish from Spain
    Hi, Yajaira.
    Bienvenido a WR, Estii.

    In that precise context (and in others) both are possible. However, bearing in mind it's about a past and completed (perfected) action which is not interrupted to state anything else, I'd say a much safer side is the pretérito perfecto: estuvo. I could also agree with Estii on the imperfecto: estaba, because, on the other hand, the pero ya no. Busquenme en... bit could be considered as working like an interruption of the ongoing process of being there and not the end of it.

    The pretérito imperfecto narrates the past with a present mindset, as if the speaker was there in the past telling what's happening; whereas the pretérito perfecto simply states past things from the present viewpoint.
  6. Buk Member

    Spanish - Spain

    I agree with juandiego's explanation. This is why I still have doubts about.
    If I were Spot and I were writing the post "I was here, but not anymore"... in that moment my action of stay in the gym would be being interrupted.
    In that case, I would write "yo estaba aquí, pero ya no. Buscadme en el aula" or "he estado aquí, pero....".

    Or maybe I did too much mental masturbation with the situation. Igual pensar tanto en la situación ha sido una paja mental.


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