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I have tried to use importar in a sentence like this:

Mi madre importa mucho por mi

Para mí importa los diamantes muchos

The sentences above shall be equivalent to:

  1. My mother matters much for me
  2. The diamonds matters a lot to me

Is this the proper use?

  • Hello and welcome. I edited your question a little bit, because we don't really just correct texts or point out errors, we prefer to discuss and explain the grammar and rules since we think that by doing that you'll learn more. Please visit the Tour and Help sections, to get a better idea about the kind of questions we prefer in this site and how we operate. Welcome again, I'll hope you'll keep using this site as a learning resource! – Diego Jan 12 '17 at 17:32
  • @Diego Thank you for the edition. I will definitely look up the sections in order to understand how to ask questions in the future. – Rakozay Jan 12 '17 at 17:35
  • @Rakozay I think the answer already given is OK, so I'll only add that importar (intr.) is mostly gramatically parallel with gustar, which I'm sure as a student you'll be familiar with because it's so common. Semantically they're also related. Me gusta = "I like it", me importa = "it matters to me". – pablodf76 Jan 12 '17 at 21:50
  • @pablodf76 exactemente – Rakozay Jan 13 '17 at 1:43
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Importar has two main meanings:

  1. Intransitive verb equivalent to matter
  2. Transitive verb equivalent to bring inside and import

As a transitive the construction admits the objeto directo. e.g.

mi madre importa productos europeos

The subject (mother) acts (imports) over something (European goods)


Your question, however, is about the usage when it is intransitive. The catch is that intransitive verbs (the same happens in English) do not allow objects. For example:

yo camino (I walk)

There is no thing I could act upon with the act of walking: I just walk.

So if we used the form

mi madre importa

It means that mother is important by herself. There is no one else involved.

In order to use importa to express that someone is important to someone else we need to add a pronoun from the following list:

me, te, nos, os, se, (le, les)

Thus we need to write:

Mi madre me importa mucho (she is very important to me)

Me importan mucho los diamantes (they are very important to me)

Referring to another person we could write:

A mi madre le importo mucho (I am very important to her)

Other examples:

¿Te importa si hablamos de otra cosa? (Does it matter/would you mind if we talked about another subject?)

No nos importa el lugar (the place is unimportant)


Finally, importante can be used as an adjective. e.g.:

Mi madre es importante para mi

Los diamantes son importantes

El lugar no es importante

-1

Importar is a reflexive verb. If something matters to me, "me importa." If the weather matters to my wife, "la clima se importa a mi esposa." If it doesn't matter to me, "no me importa."

(Editting due to comment left by Nox - thank you for the feedback. I'm always open to learning.)

Importar is like the word gustar. The item to which you're referring (la clima, el libro, mi novia) is the subject and importar is the verb. So first and second person conjugations of this verb I think would be rare. This may be used with the "reflexive a" as in "importa a mi'" or the other method (I don't know what it's called) "me importa."

Disclaimer - Spanish is my second language - I learned the basics in a classroom and "learned to speak" while living in Central America for quite a while.

(I'm not sure where the error in my weather example is, but if I were to correct that statement, I would say "la clima se la importa a mi esposa", but further clarification is welcome.)

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    I don't want to be harsh, really, but "la clima se importa a mi esposa" is incorrect for various reasons, not only in the use of the reflexive verb. Also if you answer a question it would be nice to explain why, not only to give the answer. – Nox Jan 12 '17 at 19:54
  • The problem is that even when I'm a native spanish speaker, I'm not a teacher, so even when I know the correct phrase I don't have the right knowledge to explain it as it should be explained. The weather example should be "a mi esposa le importa el clima". First clima is masculine, that's a common mistake for an english speaker since the word end with a. Second, the order is "flipped" (is that the correct verb in english?). That doesn't matter with other verbs, but with reflexives it does matter. Your original phrase basically means that the weather is worried about your wife :D – Nox Jan 12 '17 at 20:25
  • Also se is the incorrect pronoun. And here comes the problem that I'm not a teacher, I can't explain correctly why. I can give several examples of how to use se correctly as a pronoun but i cannot give a formal and correct enough explanation. Sorry about that. – Nox Jan 12 '17 at 20:31
  • The pronoun is reflexive not the verb. The verb is intransitive. A pronoun + verb in Spanish is a "verbo pronomial". – Krauss Jan 12 '17 at 20:44

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