I believe the first would be preterite and the second would be imperfect. The people only said this one time(the time of the survey), but they were referring to a time(when I assume) was for a while that the americans treated the immigrants some way. Also, I don't think you should use sentir. They felt in English means they thought or believed. In spanish I don't think it translates the same. You should probly use creer. Also, another picky thing, it's not good to use personas too often. Try to say the type of people they were, los estudiantes o los medicos.
Las personas creyeron que los americanos trataban
another picky thing, if you're referring to people from the united states, say norteamericanos because it doesnt include central america and what not. weird i know.
And if you say Pienso que, you just use indicative, NOT subjunctive. It's hard to grasp that in English, but if you say I believe or I think (Creo o pienso) then you are saying from your perspective it is completely true, no uncertainty. In English, believe and think are sometimes used to express uncertainty which then you would use subjunctive.
Sorry for making this so lengthy.
· 1 decade ago