Perdón for mis errors. Esto a principiante.

Leí el sitio web "elpair.com," cuándo vi este titular "El exilio armenio clama contra Obama al recordar el genocidio".

Pienso que él significa "The Armenian exile calls for Obama to remember the genocide", a cause de las traducción automático. Sin embargo, no comprendo por qué la frase español no es "El exilio armenio clama Obama recordar el genocidio". ¿Qué hacer la "contra" y "al"?

Si una respuesta que es en inglés esta posible, la prefiero.


(If a difference in meaning exists between the Spanish and English versions, then the English version is what I meant. I have most of my practise with reading news articles, so I am bad at writing Spanish.)

I was reading the website "elpais.com", when I saw this headline: "El exilio armenio clama contra Obama al recordar el genocidio".

From looking at the automatic translations of it, I think it means "The Armenian exile calls for Obama to remember the genocide". However, I don't understand why the Spanish sentence isn't "El exilio armenio clama Obama recordar el genocidio". What does the "contra" and "al" do? I understand that "al" means "a el".

If the answer is long and it is possible answer in English, I prefer an English answer.


"Clamar" can either be transitive or intransitive, having slightly different meanings, and with each you would use different prepositions. Among these meanings would be: demand, clamor for, complain, call out and cry out (for).

The sentence you took as an example could thus have different meanings depending on how we use the prepositions (like contra) or an article (like al).

Clama contra Obama al recordar el genocidio

Here the meaning conveys "cry out against Obama when remembering the genocide".

If you want to use the article al instead of the preposition contra, be aware that since the function of the particle changes we have to change the sententce a little bit. You would not say "El Obama The Obama " (well, Ok, you actually can in certain situations). You would be saying something like "El presidente de Estados Unidos" and the sentence could be:

El pueblo armenio clama al presidente de Estados Unidos al recordar el genocidio

And here the meaning would be more or less the same, they cry out for something to or against this person.

If you said

El pueblo armenio clama Obama al recodar el genocidio

The meaning would change to

El pueblo armenio clama "Obama" al recodar el genocidio The Armenians cry out /hail "Obama" when remembering the genocide

So you can "clamar a" and "clamar contra", meaning call out or cry out. If you just "clamar something" then you are yelling, demanding or calling for that something.

Similarly, this two sentences change in meaning

The Armenian exile calls for Obama to remember the genocide

The Armenian exile calls for Obama when remembering the genocide

I think that "al recodar el genocidio" is closer to "when remembering the genocide". If I wanted to convey "to remember the genocide" I would have favored

El exilio armenio clama a Obama (para) que recuerde el genocidio

Conveying, "they were calling out this guy for him to remember the genocide". I used "clamar a" and not "clamar contra" because it wouldn't have the connotation of being upset with Obama (just trying to call his attention to remember something, not calling against him demanding justice for something).


A dictionary should help :)

As WordReference shows (click on the Collins tab), clamar contra means to protest against, cry out against.

Regarding al, "al" + infinitive means "when". Al recordar is somewhat translatable as when remembering. See this answer.

  • This does not address the OP's question.
    – Paul
    Apr 25 '15 at 15:13
  • @Paul - it does (otherwise I wouldn't have posted it), since his whole question is based on a mistaken assumption. "If this means that, why isn't it said so?" → "Well, it doesn't mean that."
    – angus
    Apr 25 '15 at 16:19
  • The question clearly emphasizes the use of "al" in the sentence, not the meaning of "clamar contra".
    – Paul
    Apr 25 '15 at 16:51
  • @Paul - I get you. I added that now.
    – angus
    Apr 25 '15 at 18:20

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