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Please read the following sentences:

Nos enteramos por las noticias que las flores valían más caras que los años anteriores.
Al comenzar este invierno me enteré de la noticia de que haría/iba a hacer mucho frío.

Questions:

  1. Are there any differences between "enterar por" and "enterar de"?
  2. Why should we need "de" in "la noticia de que haría/iba a hacer mucho frío"? Can we omit it?

2 Answers 2

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The correct construction is always :

Nos enteramos de [algo / something ]

If the "something" is a phrase constructed with a verb, then it's preceeded with "que"; and in this last case, the "de" is sometimes omitted.

Examples:

Nos enteramos de la noticia.

Nos enteramos de la muerte de Juan.

Nos enteramos de que Juan murió. (slightly less correct: Nos enteramos que Juan murió)

Regarding the examples in the original question:

In the first phrase "por las noticias" is just a complementary expression, ("por medio de las noticias", "a través de las noticias" = "via the news", "by means of the news"), it is not gramatically attached to the verb, it could be put inside commas, or parentheses:

Nos enteramos, por las noticias, que las flores valían más caras que los años anteriores.

or even removed:

Nos enteramos (...) que las flores valían más caras que los años anteriores.

By the way: this reveals that the construction is slightly incorrect (though acceptable), it should be better "nos enteramos ... de que..."

The second phrase it's equivalent to:

Nos enteramos de la siguiente noticia: iba a hacer mucho frío.

Nos enteramos de lo siguiente: iba a hacer mucho frío.

Nos enteramos de que iba a hacer mucho frío.

The expression "la noticia" is slightly redundant here, it just emphasizes that the information was news for us.

EDITED: Regarding the added question:

me enteré de la noticia de que iba a ...

me enteré de la noticia que iba a ...

The first sentence is the correct one, although it doesn't sound very nice. The omission of "de" in the second sentece is incorrect, but it's a minor error: in common speak both forms are accepted. A nicer alternative is: "me enteré de la noticia: iba a".

Some reading material:

http://www.lapatria.com/story/salvataje-miedo-al-deque%C3%ADsmo-has-haz-barista

http://www.udistrital.edu.co/wpmu/flrodriguezh/files/2011/12/Padece-usted-de-dequefobia.pdf

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  • @leonboy: Thanks for your detailed answer. I've edited my question again. In the second sentence, there are two "de", can I omit the second one? If not, why should we need it?
    – user468
    Feb 7, 2012 at 15:38
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1.- "Me enteré por X de Y" means "I learnt through X that Y is the case".

2.- You can't omit "de" in "la noticia de que iba a hacer frío".

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  • Thanks for your answer. I've edited my question again. In the second sentence, there are two "de", can I omit the second one? If not, why should we need it?
    – user468
    Feb 7, 2012 at 15:38
  • That's what I meant: you can't omit the "de" in "la noticia de que iba a hacer frío". More examples: "la razón de que vengas", "la excusa de que ibas a llegar tarde", "la importancia de que nos lo digas"... You see, it's a standard pattern in Spanish. :) Feb 7, 2012 at 19:28

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