Romanian Am Fost, And Eram (etc..)

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Monday 17th of October 2005 02:50:58 AM
am fost, and eram (etc..): I'm still a little confused when to either use am fost, or eram based on context. Could someone tell me clearly how and when to use them? Like what is the difference between
"am fost ocupat" and "eram ocupat"


Monday 17th of October 2005 03:28:28 AM
As you probably already know, "am fost" is the Compound perfect form of "a fi" while "eram, etc." is the Imperfect form.
Now, the basic difference between these two past tenses is that while the Compound perfect describes a past finished action, the Imperfect is used to describe an action that took place in the past before another past action but is unfinished or is perceived as habitual. In this last function, the usage of Imperfect in Romanian corresponds to the "used to/would" forms in English.

The Compound perfect can be translated with either Past tense or Present Perfect (simple or continuous).
The Imperfect generally corresponds to the Past Perfect.

A few examples to illustrate my point:
Ieri am fost ocupat toată ziua.- I was busy the entire day yesterday. - past completed action
Am vorbit mult cu prietena mea săptamāna asta.- I have been talking to my friend a lot this week.
Cānd ai sunat la uşă nu eram ocupat,citeam o revistă.- When you rang at the door I was not busy, I was just reading a magazine.
Acum doi ani nu mă trezeam niciodată īnainte de ora 10- I would never get up before 10 o'clock two years ago.

Is it somewhat clearer now? Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions. :D

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