Sunday, 21 October 2012

What Did You Do In Barcelona?

Introduction


This post deals with talking about the past in general, and saying what you did when you were in Barcelona last year in particular.





SCENARIO


Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or colleague. You are talking about past activities. You visited Barcelona last year and the other person wants to know what you did whilst there and says to you: "what did you do in Barcelona?"

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
¿Qué hiciste en Barcelona?

Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say:
¿Qué hizo (usted) en Barcelona?


OUR TIP

The question is an invitation for you to say what you did when you were in Barcelona last year. When you say what you have done, you DO NOT need to be concerned about the level of formality in the other person's question.


Here are some examples of how you could reply:
  • El año pasado en Barcelona hice turismo (last year in Barcelona I did some tourism)
  • El año pasado en Barcelona fui al parque Güell (last year in Barcelona I went to Park Güell)
  • El año pasado en Barcelona fui al teatro (last year in Barcelona I went to the theatre)
  • El año pasado en Barcelona vi un partido de fútbol (last year in Barcelona I watched a football game)
  • El año pasado en Barcelona fui de compras (last year in Barcelona I went shopping)
  • El año pasado en Barcelona tomé un buen vino (last year in Barcelona I drank a good wine)
  • El año pasado en Barcelona fui a la playa (last year in Barcelona I went to the beach)


Notes
Talking about the past
Please note that the all the examples above refer to past actions which were completed at a time which also belongs in the past. In other words, the period of time in which the actions in the examples above were completed, i.e. last year, is also in the past.

However, sometimes you may wish to talk about past actions which were completed at a time which in Spanish belongs in the present. In other words, the period of time in which the actions were completed is still ongoing. Examples of periods of time which in Spanish belong in the present are: today/ this week/ this month/ this year/ etc. In such cases, it is common to use an alternative form of referring to completed actions, as follows:
  • Hoy he ido de compras en Barcelona (today I have been shopping in the Barcelona)
  • Esta semana he ido al teatro en Barcelona (this week I have been to the theatre in Barcelona)
  • Este año no he ido a la playa en Barcelona (this year I have not gone to the beach in Barcelona)


Now you should practise answering the question:
¿Qué hiciste en Barcelona?

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