Set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language.

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Why “se” in front of some verbs?

I get very confused when I see se in front of some verbs in Spanish or about when to put it in front of a verb when writing in Spanish. From my understanding I think it is used when someone is trying ...
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6answers
472 views

Spanish for “some” in this context

How would one translate the following sentence into Spanish? I made some hot chocolate for the kids. My attempt is: Preparé chocolate caliente para los niños. But I am unable to figure out ...
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2answers
51 views

“Has been” + <past participle>

How would one choose between ser and estar while translating this syntax into Spanish? Here's an example sentence: Those homes had been demolished. Which of the following would be a more ...
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1answer
42 views

Mexico is a feast for the eyes, correct grammar?

I am trying to say Mexico is a feast for the eyes. Would this be grammatically correct? Mexico es una festín para los ojos.
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3answers
97 views

Translating “have been doing something” into everyday Spanish

Consider the following construction: I have been learning German for two years. I have learned the following ways to translate this sentence and they seem to all mean the same thing despite ...
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1answer
47 views

“Para al que le apetezca” o “Para el que le apetezca”

Son ambas oraciones correctas? Estoy cocinando arroz para el que le apetezca. Estoy cocinando arroz para al que le apetezca.
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1answer
40 views

What is the difference between “saber” and “poder”?

In school we learned that you can use "saber" as well as "poder". Although we learned the grammar rule concerning this, I'm really unsure about the right usage. I know that you use "poder" if you are ...
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2answers
48 views

How does “presumir” work in this sentence?

I came across a comment on Facebook that went like this: Mira te presumo mis dientes de marfil. According to Google the sentence translates as: I think my teeth look like ivory. Although I ...
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2answers
48 views

Uso de “así que” y “por eso”

"El seto era demasiado alto _____ el jardinero lo recortó. Esta frase es de Josefa Martin Garcia. Creo que debe insertar "por eso" en vez de "así que". Por qué es mejor o correcto usar así que? ...
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3answers
53 views

Uso de ser o estar y tiempos verbales

"El abogado probó que su defendido sería/era/había sido/había estado inocente." La frase es de Josefa Martin Garcia. No entiendo porque usa era en vez de sería. ¿Puede usar el pluscuamperfecto ...
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2answers
57 views

¿“Mismo de” o “mismo que”?

Me acaban de corregir dos veces en un documento, y me pongo muy odioso cuando me critican la redacción. Yo siempre he dicho "mismo de": El mismo sistema de antes. Hay que instalarlo en el ...
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1answer
30 views

Subject Verb Agreement and Verb Tense

A los once años Miguel fue al campo, junto al padre y al hermano mayor. En los días más crudos del invierno aprovecharon para acudir a la escuela, donde aprendieron a leer. What does this ...
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1answer
31 views

Agreement of adjectives with nouns

¿Es correcta esta frase? Coge la bolsa por el asa pequeño.
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1answer
46 views

No possessive pronoun for body parts

"My head hurts" translates as "me duele la cabeza" and not "mi cabeza duele." I was taught that possessive pronouns are redundant and hence dropped when speaking of body parts. Does this rule apply to ...
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1answer
34 views

Dativo superfluo: Meaning of “Me cansé de que me tomes la cerveza”

Recently, I came across a song that went, "Me cansé de que me tomes la cerveza..." What exactly does it mean? Is it "I am tired of you drinking my beer"? Are both me's here what they call dativos ...
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4answers
130 views

Purpose of direct and indirect objects in “se te va el avión”

I came across this phrase in another SE question here: What's the meaning of the Mexican expression “se te va el avión”? While I understand the idiomatic reference the phrase makes, I don't ...
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1answer
46 views

Target word for “para que”

I was listening to news in slow Spanish today and came across the following sentence: Obama dijo que le había dado más de un año al Congreso para que actuara y nada había ocurrido. While I ...
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2answers
70 views

«Porque» después de «inclinarse por»

Según este enlace, la conjunción que debe ir separada de por cuando el verbo exija esa preposición. Como ejemplo pongo el verbo inclinarse por: Me inclino por que estés aquí. Se inclinaba por ...
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2answers
142 views

Difference between “cariciar” and “acariciar”

Both words mean "to caress" or "to fondle" according to the dictionaries. Is it really so? Are the exactly the same thing? If not, in what way does adding that "a" change the meaning? My question also ...
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4answers
172 views

“Quiero comprarlo” vs “Lo quiero comprar”

Wile studying grammar, I learned that the object pronoun could go in either of the places when the verb is being used as an infinitive. So, for "I want to buy it," both of these sentences would be ...
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4answers
103 views

Declension of the word “patán”

How does one decline (if at all) the adjective patán? We all know there's inconsistencies in languages and I was thinking about this adjective. My intuition tells me it should be declined, but it ...
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4answers
66 views

Hablar contigo vs Hablarte vs Hablar con tú

What's the difference in connotation between these three phrases? Are they all correct? I am trying to say I want to talk to you. Quiero hablarte. Quiero hablar contigo. Quiero hablar ...
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2answers
86 views

“Te tengo que decir adiós” o “tengo a decir adiós”

¡Buenas, amigos! Yo tengo una pregunta, yo escucho una canción, y algunas palabras son: "Te tengo que decir adios" ¿Cómo? Al decir "I have to say goodbye" en español, ¿por qué no dice "yo ...
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2answers
58 views

Mystery wrapped in an enigma

I am trying to say, in Spanish: A mystery wrapped in an enigma Would: Un misterio envuelto en un enigma be correct grammar?
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3answers
93 views

El uso de «se» en «se llevó los niños a rezar»

¿Qué significa el se en esta frase? Siempre didáctico, hizo [Melquíades] una sabia exposición sobre las virtudes diabólicas del cinabrio. Úrsula no le hizo caso, sino que se llevó los niños a ...
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3answers
84 views

When to use indefinite article?

I learned from my teacher that indefinite articles (un, una) are used only before modified nouns, that is nouns followed by adjectives. Does this apply to definite articles (el, la)? Another ...
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3answers
93 views

Is “cosas que [infinitive]” a special construction?

English A friend asked me today if this phrase was a special construction or if it had a name: Tengo una misión que cumplir The construction being [noun] que [infinitive]. Now, I coudn't really ...
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2answers
203 views

Verbos con sus respectivas preposiciones

Cada vez que busco en un diccionario inglés-español un verbo (en inglés), el diccionario muestra generalmente la preposición que acompaña a ese verbo, a veces suelen ser dos o más preposiciones. Es ...
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1answer
153 views

Why is there an interrogative pronoun in this sentence which is not a question?

I've seen the use of interrogative pronouns in ordinary statements, not just questions. For example, from the book "Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal": "Los Dursley se estremecían al pensar qué ...
3
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1answer
114 views

What does the ending “-ón” signify?

English: Consider the following: rata -> ratón puerta -> portón gata -> gatón Does the -ón ending change anything? Which word should I use and why? Español: Considere lo siguente: ...
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2answers
117 views

Grande vs Gran usage

Los grandes imperios han dominado la humanidad. Why not can't gran replace grandes in the sentence?
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3answers
127 views

Usage of porque, por qué, porqué, y por que

Trato de ayudarla +preposición+ no se deprima. Which form of "because" would you use to fill in the blank in the sentence to complete it?
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2answers
173 views

Estar vs Ser usage with muy bien

Está muy bien Why not say Es muy bien? In what context would you use está muy bien? What noun could you refer estar to? Could you refer estar to a person, place, or thing? Could you say él ...
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1answer
128 views

Use of ser vs estar with past participle

Se compró una figura que estaba hecho de madera. Why can't era be used in place of estaba?
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2answers
59 views

Use of subjunctive and presence of doubt

Colón dijo: "Aunque tenga que buscarlos en las cárceles, los encontraré." Why is the subjunctive for the verb tener used? Can't the indicative be used instead of the subjunctive?
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2answers
84 views

imperative or subjunctive

In my Spanish class I have learnt that only the second person (s & pl) has distinct forms for the imperative, but the forms for all other persons are the same as for the subjunctive. ...
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2answers
56 views

Uso de Ser vs Estar y objectos directos y indirectors

1.>Esta bolsa está rota. Por qué no puede usar "es" en vez de "estar" en esta frase?
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1answer
119 views

If soy and eres mean “I am” and “you are”, when should you use “yo soy” and “tú eres”? [duplicate]

Knowing that verbs imply the subject (unlike English), when is it necessary to be redundant and use the subject? I gathered that it is only used at the beginning of a conversation, but I'm not sure. ...
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2answers
194 views

Plural form of letters

What is the correct plural of single letters? I encountered three variants: veinte a's, una b, dieciséis c's, trece d's, treinta e's, dos f's, ... (Source) dieciséis «a», una «b», quince «c», once ...
2
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2answers
398 views

Bien vs buen/bueno/buena to describe something good

I have encountered phrases like these: La buena comida. El buen hombre. Buenos días. However in none of these instances is it grammatically correct to substitute bien even though it ...
2
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2answers
91 views

When and why is a “determiner” necessary for a subject?

This answer mentions that: In Spanish, for a number of reasons ... , a subject must have some sort of determiner attached to it. For cena that could be an article like una or la; a quantifier like ...
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2answers
124 views

Correction of Translations from English to Spanish [closed]

can you please correct my mistakes? My parents made me clean my room before allowing me to go out with my friends. Mis padres me obligan a limpiar mi habitación antes de permetirme salir con mis ...
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4answers
336 views

Can “mi” be used as a regular pronoun?

Mi is usually used like this: Esta es mi casa. --> This is my house. However, sometimes I've seen it used as a regular pronoun like this: Él tiene más libros que mi. --> He has more books ...
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2answers
137 views

definite article - and the use of “al”

I'm currently learning Spanish Grammar and hoping someone can help me out. I have a sentence in my book which is: Me gusta jugar al fútbol. And another sentence: Juega al fútbol todos los ...
2
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6answers
226 views

“echado” vs “echando”

Question 1: echado vs echando Observo al hombre echado en el suelo. I think this sentence translates into English as: He observed the person lying on the ground. Why does the Spanish ...
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1answer
146 views

diferente vs. otro/otra

I'm a bit confused about the differences in use of diferente and otro/otra. For example, I want to say "I'm a programmer like Javier, but I work for a different company." Would that be Soy un ...
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4answers
138 views

What's the function of 'a' in the following sentences?

"Mientras Pepe jugaba a el baloncesto": el baloncesto has no life nor related to human beings, why put "a" in the sentence, why not say like "mientras Pepe jUgaba el baloncesto". "Fue primero a la ...
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1answer
71 views

Some questions about Spanish tenses and sentence structure [closed]

"Mientras Marcos jugaba al baloncesto con sus companeros, sintió calor y se quitó la chaqueta", I wanna know if I can speak this sentence in such way like "Mientras Marcos estuvo jugando al ...
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1answer
33 views

How to deal with personal direct object and indirect object?

When I try to translate this sentence Juan send his daughter to his mother I got this Juan envía a su hija a su madre Considering the following facts: su hija is a personal direct object ...
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4answers
131 views

Translation of “can”

I know can is poder in Spanish. But generally it would indicate the ability to do something rather than the permission. You cannot drink. No puedo beber. The above sentence could imply: 1) ...