2

I have encountered words in Spanish that seem to be understood and as such omitted. For example (I´m trying to recall this usage by memory so the example sentences might be wrong.)

Hola don Pedro ¿Está Jose? ( for ¿Está allí Jose?)

Lo siento Jose ya no está. (for Jose ya no está aquí)

I understand this usage because we do the same in English sometimes for example

Does she like the food? - She does instead of (She does like the food)

However with the English example the information was already given previously so the thing being left out can be understood from the previous context.

Now consider the following sentences which seem to be missing words.

1.

El policía llevó a Paco a la estación de radio para que avisaran que ahí estaba

Example taken from Paco el chato. It seems like a noun (la gente, las personas, el público, la abuelita de paco) is missing after "avisaran".

2.

¿Puedes acomodar estos vegetales en el cajón del refrigerador? (Used as expected)

Vamos a acomodar nuestras cosas.

This sentence comes from a Youtube video called Buena gente. After talking about finding a house, Mateo says the quoted sentence. It seems like a noun (en la habitacion, la cocina, en el suelo?) is missing after "acomodar".

Am I misinterpreting these sentences or are the nouns actually missing?

5

Yes, Spanish often omits known or irrelevant information in sentences. This might be a broad question, as there are many different things that can be omitted and many that cannot, but here are some examples:

  1. The subject of a verb is almost always omitted if it is known. As verbs take different forms for each grammatical person (I, you, etc.), this means that "yo", "tú", "nosotros", and "vosotros" are very often omitted, as they are always obvious from the verb. These pronouns are only used whan the speaker wants to emphasize the person, for example when comparing themselves to the listener:
  • Mañana [nosotros] vamos al lago (here, "nosotros" is usually omitted).

  • Yo traigo la comida y tú traes la bebida (here, "yo" and "tu" are being compared, so they are usually left in place).

    For the third person ("él, ella, ellos, ellas"), the subject is also usually omitted if it is known or irrelevant, as in your example:

  • El policía llevó a Paco a la estación de radio para que [los empleados en la estación de radio] avisaran que ahí estaba.

    where the subject of "avisaran" is obviously the people at the radio station, and details about those people are irrelevant.

  1. The construction "¿Está Juan?" is almost a set phrase where the actual intention is "can I talk to Juan?": the location ("allí", "aquí", "en casa") is usually omitted.

  2. Other examples, such as "Vamos a acomodar nuestras cosas", are more case-specific, and also happen in English. Irrelevant information is omitted. For example, you can translate "Vamos a acomodar nuestras cosas" as

  • We are going to put our things away

    when the location where you will store the things is not important. Likewise, you might translate your example

  • El policía llevó a Paco a la estación de radio para que avisaran que ahí estaba

    as

  • The policeman took Paco to the radio station so that they could report that he was there

    where the indirect object ("to whom did they report it?") is omitted, and it is more or less understood as being "the public", or "anyone to whom it concerns".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.