abrió/daba al cesped

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Senior Member
British English
Hi Everyone,
I was recommended to open a new thread about this issue which I came across. In terms of "opened onto the lawn" I was presented with 2 different translations (abrió al césped/daba al césped) and I'm curious as to which is better to use given that one is preterite and the other is imperfect

"You may wonder why we keep that window wide open on an October afternoon," said the niece, indicating a large French window that opened on to a lawn.

My attempt:

“Puedes preguntarte por qué dejamos la ventana abierta de par en par en una tarde de octubre,” dijo la sobrina señalando a la ventana francesa grande que abrió/daba al césped.

I hope that someone can explain the differences in the tense usage and which is appropriate,
  • murciana

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    As I was on the thread too… may I? :D

    First of all, the tense difference:
    Pretérito imperfecto: action which happened once in the past = que abrió/dio al césped
    Pretérito perfecto: Recurrent action in the past = que abría/daba

    Secondly, dar is frequently used when describing:
    From the RAE dictionary:
    40. intr. Dicho de una cosa: Estar situada, mirar, hacia esta o la otra parte. La puerta da a la calle. La ventana da al norte

    The use of abrir is also correct but doesn’t sound as perfect to me as with dar.

    Please wait for other comments.


    Senior Member
    Spain. Left seven years ago

    I wouldn't say 'que abrió/abría´but e.g. 'la gran puerta acristalada que daba'. The French window opened on to a lawn at all times, not at that moment. So, I think Murciana and I agree.:)

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