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I saw these sentences on a pamphlet recently:

La vida no es un deporte para expectadores. Es un juego que hay que jugar.

This is how I'd translate the sentence into English:

Life is not a sport for spectators. It is a game that you have to play.

However in English, you can (and, in speech, likely would) remove the word that in the second sentence (leaving it to read "It is a game you have to play.")

I'm wondering if this is permissible in the Spanish as well. Can I remove the first que in that sentence? Is this version acceptable, and if so, which is more likely to be said in casual conversation?

La vida no es un deporte para expectadores. Es un juego hay que jugar.

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2 Answers

In short: you can not.

In long: in english, 'that' may be understood even when not present. In spanish, it must be present as the introducing particle.

Note that even changing it for a comma changes meaning:

"Es un juego que hay que jugar" -> "It is a game that one must play"

"Es un juego, hay que jugar" -> "It is a game so one must play"

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Es uno de las cosas que siempre confundo en el ingles a todo le quiero poner el that delante. Como se usa en español –  Emilio Gort Dec 5 '13 at 1:14
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I would translate it as:

Life is not a sport for spectators. It is a game that has to be played.

In the first sentence, Life is not a sport; Then the second says that "it [life] has to be played". The overall meaning of the sentence is, "Do not watch life, live it".

"Es un juego que hay que jugar" -> "It is a game that one must play"

"Es un juego, hay que jugar" -> "It is a game so one must play"

These translations do not work exactly. The word "one" is a bit awkward. The sentences describe "the game", which is life, not that a person has to play the game, but there can be different interpretations of the entire meaning as a whole.

I hope this helps.

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So you do think the first que is necessary, then? If you don't like the one translation, what do you think the version with the comma means? –  WendiKidd Dec 8 '13 at 19:27
    
I am certain that "que" is necessary. My translation of the sentence with commas is: "It is a game, so it (instead of "one") has to be played." The overall sentence describes the game of life. Envite knows that life has to be played by someone, so he uses the word "one". –  AppleNuke Dec 8 '13 at 19:50
    
Ohh, I see! That's very insightful. Thank you very much for sharing! +1! –  WendiKidd Dec 8 '13 at 20:03
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