Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

18

Usted comes from Vuestra Merced (later Vuesarced), meaning "Your Grace". Since this was an indirect way of addressing someone, it was inflected in the third person. That is, strictly speaking, you are not addressing the person, but "Their Grace". As time went on, the person inflection was kept, even though its origins became opaque. In a study entitled El ...


13

This confusion is easy to resolve once you understand that Spanish is an inflected language, so verbs are marked (that is, changed) to reflect things like tense, person, and number. (See Wikipedia: Spanish Grammar.) Describing all of the diffrent types of inflections and verb changes is a lengthy process and beyond the scope of a single answer, so I'll try ...


5

I'm spanish and the correction of your teacher doesn't make any sense to me neither. It should be: Juan es el único de nuestra clase al que le gusta el helado Or in case you want me to correct your original answer: Juan es el ÚNICO en nuestra clase AL que LE gusta el helado Where the uppercase words are the words I changed.


4

The verb "gustar" is Spanish means "to be pleasing." We use the form "gustarse", which means to be pleasing to someone. There is no verb which literally means "to like" in Spanish. Instead of saying "he likes", we say "to him it is pleasing", or "(a él) le gusta." So, when we are saying "John is the only one in our class who likes ice cream" we would say ...


3

Whether a clause needs subjunctive or not depends exclusively on (for subordinates) the clause immediately superior to it in the sentence hierarchy, (for relatives/adjective clauses) the noun that it modifies, and (for noun clauses) the surety and subjectivity thereof.1 que encontrarás/encuentras/vas a encontrar a un secretario is a noun clause which is ...


2

There are a number of things that need to be corrected before answer. You example sentence ought to be Mis padres (me) exigen que lea tres libros cada día. The reality is, it's virtually always optional from a grammatical standpoint.1 It's useful when there could be confusion in the subordinate clause: Mis padres exigen que lean tres libros cada ...


2

An effective way to identify a subjunctive sentence is via its conjugation. Identifying when you need to use it is much more complex, at times obligatory, at others verboten, and of course with an occasion for it to be more or less optional based on intended meaning and a very complex topic. In your examples, the answers are straightforward and fall in the ...


2

Questions about subjunctive mood are rarely simple or quick. I found that better understanding the English subjunctive goes a long way to understanding the nuance presented by subjunctive mood in Spanish. Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_subjunctive Examples: I insist (that) he leave (not 'leaves') now. We asked that it be (not 'was') done ...


2

The personal a is meant most of the time for emphasis. Your sentence lacks the emphasis Si una abeja le pica a usted le va a salir una roncha


2

Your first example is wrong: Se frotan las manos por José. Literally, this might mean They rub their hands because of José; quite absurd, probably, but this is the literal meaning of this sentence. In fact, this would mean They have high expectations because of José. If you mean The hands are rubbed by José, or better, José rubs his hands, we would ...


2

A reflexive verb is indicating that the object of the action matches the subject performs the action. For example, the following sentence illustrates the significance of reflexivity (although not a sentence you can actually use): Juan frota loción en el cuerpo del mismo Juan. Juan frota loción en él mismo. (Your teacher's option) Syntactically ...


2

"Vostede" (galego) & "vusté" (català) & "você" (português) all come from the same medieval expression "vo(ue)stra/vossa merced(e)/mercê," as it was customary in the Middle ages to speak to those with titles, honors or age in the third person (your honor, your highness, your grace). "Vos" is original to Latin (vous in French & voi in Italian) ...


1

In Spanish, we only use double negatives when the negative word comes after the verb. For example: When saying "nobody knows", we would say "No sabe nadie" or "Nadie sabe", but not "Nadie no sabe."


1

You use the masculine articles "el" and "un" before nouns that start with a stressed "a" sound (source: Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas), independently of their true gender, which can be revealed by (1) changing the noun to plural or by (2) adding an adjective. For example, ábaco is masculine, but hacha (which also starts with an "a" sound because the h ...


1

Feminine words that use masculine articles are explained thoroughly in paragraph two of this articles from the DPD. It also explains the exceptions to the general rule (feminine nouns starting in a stressed a- use the masculine article). But, in any case, words like alma don't change their gender; alma is feminine, even if it uses a masculine article: Juan ...


1

"Who is the third who walks always beside you?" (T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land, line 359). The redoubtable and relentlessly ingenious Luigi Barzini's answer is the most precise, vivid, and memorable: "The very form of address, the third person singular, is also a Spanish left-over. It is a conventional way of talking not to a man but to his aura, so to ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible