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How do I say ‘Watching him eat makes me hungry’ in Spanish?

Lo veo comer me tiene hambre.

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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Verlo comer me da hambre or Verlo comer me pone hambriento

The first one uses the noun 'famine/hunger' and the second one uses the adjective 'hungry'

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The first one would be much more common, in my experience. –  Flimzy Dec 11 '13 at 11:52
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Watching him eat makes me hungry.

  1. To properly translate this sentence requires some basic understanding of both English and Spanish. The word "watching" looks like a verb here, which leads the Spanish beginner to try to conjugate it as a verb, but it's really not a verb. It's a noun. Consider a slight variation, which helps to illustrate this point:

    Ice cream makes me hungry.

    In English, when we use a verb as a noun, as in "watching", we use the gerund:

    • I like swimming.

    In Spanish, when we use a verb as a noun, we use the infinitive.

    • Me gusta nadar.

    We actually use the same construct in English as well, and if you mentally convert the gerund form of a verb-as-a-noun into the infinitive in English before translating, the translation into Spanish will be easier.

    • I like to swim.

    So armed with this bit of knowledge, we can rule out the conjugation of "ver" in your first attempt. This leaves us with the infinitive form, verlo in place of lo veo.

  2. To make one hungry is an idiomatic expression in Spanish. It doesn't translate literally. I don't know of any way to know this, except to learn it. To make one hungry in Spanish is to "give hunger", or dar hambre.

So that leaves us with:

Verlo comer me da hambre.

Literally:

To see him eat gives me hunger.

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"De sólo verlo comer me da hambre"

More cryptic but academic:

"No bien lo veo comer, me da hambre"

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