2

I want to say: Learning spanish is hard.

I figure I can say:

Aprendiendo español es muy dura.

or

Aprender español es muy dura.

Or are they both appropriate? Google translate gives me the latter but I know that you can use gerund on its own.

5

Just the second one. When a verb is used as a noun, it needs to go in the infinitive. Also, as infinitives agree in the neuter (whose adjective form is the same as the masculine): "Aprender español es muy difícil". Typically you'll also want to use difícil as duro typical means hard as in solid and contrasted with soft or bland, rather than easy.

Using the gerund leaves a feeling like something is missing, that is to say Aprendiendo español es muy difícil … aprender también el portugués. (It's hard to learn Portuguese while learning Spanish). Without it, the English would be "It (what?) is very hard while learning Spanish", although if that "it" had already been mentioned, then it would make sense.

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  • So you can use gerunds on their own in the beginning of a statement (I've seen it). For example "Nunca vas a terminar. Trabajando. " from here fluentu.com/spanish/blog/spanish-gerund. But it still has to follow previous statements that talk about a subject that it is involved in. – munchschair Feb 17 '16 at 3:50
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    @munchschair I would be be careful using the infinitive as a command. It certainly isn't part of any of the dialects I'm familiar with (in Spain, you'll hear the bare infinitive for that — also considered incorrect — but the easiest way for commands if you don't want to conjugate is "a + inf" which is, AFAIK, universally recognized). – user0721090601 Feb 17 '16 at 3:56
  • @munchschair In "Aprendiendo español, es muy difícil aprender también el portugués" note the syntactic structure changes. Now, "aprender también el portugués" is the subject, not "aprendiendo español". I daresay a gerund can never be a subject. Also, don't trust that page too much. It seems to be biased towards a specific regional dialect of Spanish, not a general one. I've found a couple of expressions there I would never use (and some I'd hardly understand) – Yay Feb 17 '16 at 11:31
  • My understanding is that this use of the gerund is common in north america (the USA and at least parts of México). But it is much less common anywhere else. Therefore this answer is right; the second is correct and the first is a regionalism. – roberto tomás Feb 18 '16 at 13:54
3

Second one is the correct answer. First one makes no sense.

Aprendiendo español es muy duro. ✘

Aprender español es muy duro. ✔

Notice the "o".

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