Why is WAS/ WERE in Portuguese always driving me nuts?
Oh no, not the verb TO BE again!
First thing to remember: TO BE is either SER or ESTAR, so take your pick.*
Then, decide whether it is PERFEITO or IMPERFEITO.**
In a nutshell, you have to contend with TWENTY verb forms.
If this sounds like a hard nut to crack, check out the table below:
ESTAR - PERFEITO
ESTAR - IMPERFEITO
*[Quick note: SER indicates inherent characteristics that are unlikely to change and permanent geographical location; ESTAR indicates changeable conditions, including temporary places and weather conditions.]
** [Quick note: PERFEITO indicates a completed action in the past; IMPERFEITO is a more “elastic” tense, which is used to express continuous actions or habits in the past, and to describe or “paint the picture”.]
Is this still driving you a little nutty? Imagine a blissful summer holiday that happened as follows:
No verão passado estive no Algarve de férias com a minha família. Estivemos num hotel perto da praia. O hotel era grande e antigo e os quartos eram muito espaçosos. O tempo estava ótimo, por isso fartámo-nos de ir à praia e de nadar no mar. Foram umas férias espetaculares!
Last summer I was in the Algarve on holiday with my family. We were in a hotel near the beach. The hotel was big and old and the rooms were very spacious. The weather was great, so we went to the beach a lot and swam in the sea again and again. The holidays were fabulous!
It would be great to hear your thoughts on this!