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I do not understand what is meant by 'va a dar detrás' in 'Joaquin tenia la llave del jardin y como no habian cerrado la puerta que va a dar detrás, pasamos por el jardin.'.

Can anyone provide me with the English translation of the sentence?

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  • dar alguna parte means: to give onto or lead to. But they have the wrong tense here: there is no need for the va. That will give onto the back. See what mean?
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 20:37
  • No habían cerrado la puerta que va a dar a la cocina (colloquial) = no habían cerrado la puerta que da a la cocina = no habían cerrado la puerta que daba (el) acceso a la cocina desde el jardín de atrás = The back door leading to the kitchen had not been locked.
    – cocteau
    Commented Nov 5, 2021 at 7:20
  • There is a mistake in the Spanish: que va a dar is not que da. One is future, the other is present.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 5, 2021 at 23:07
  • @Lambie "...con un ventanal que da a la otra sala con un vídeo del artista..", "en la terraza que da a la Avenida" "El final de la calle va a dar a los muros de un cementerio musulmán erigido a orillas del mar y cerrado por saturación desde hace decenios." What about this? It was built years ago.
    – cocteau
    Commented Nov 6, 2021 at 0:06
  • "Escucha, José, cuando pasas por el salón, llegarás a la cocina. La puerta de la cocina va a dar al jardín." It's about description and the speaker's intention, it is not about when the structure was built historically.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 6, 2021 at 15:01

3 Answers 3

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The verb ir is not used here to build a futuro perifrástico (ir a) but simply states a present:

La puerta que va a dar detrás

word by word translates to something like

The door "that goes to give access to" behind

but actually means

The door leading to the back area/back yard
The door that goes to the back yard

or simply:

The back door

It is equivalent to:

La puerta que va detrás
La puerta que da detrás

and definitely not a future tense like:

La puerta que dará detrás
The door "that will lead to" the back yard

This expression is for example used when talking about flowing water:

Un arroyo que va a dar al río (= que va al río)
A creek that flows into the river

French and Italian use the same construction:

Fr: Un ruisseau qui va se jeter dans la rivière ( = qui se jette dans la rivière)
It: Un ruscello che va a gettarsi nel fiume ( = che si getta nel fiume)

Here are some examples:

Por entre los castaños hay un sendero que va a dar a la carretera y otro que va a dar al mirador: el mirador tiene un balconcillo de hierro, un banco de madera y una cúpula de trepadora y de madreselva, cuyo olor era ya tan penetrante que casi levantaba dolor de cabeza.

Camilo José Cela, Nuevo retablo de Don Cristobita, 1957

Pero los soldados y el jefe, guiados por el sacristán, se desviaron hacia la puertecita donde comienza la escalera en caracol que va a dar al campanario y empezaron a subir uno tras otro. Piedrafiel respiró. Tendría tiempo de contarle al Padre lo de las camelias rojas.

Miguel Ángel Asturias, Los ojos de los enterrados, 1968

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  • Yes, that's what I'm talking about. 'leading to' reached 0.0023%. 'Goes to give access to behind'? This is the first I've heard of. books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – cocteau
    Commented Nov 6, 2021 at 4:11
  • 1
    @cocteau That's expected. This form doesn't exist in English which is why I used quotation marks. My goal was just show what a literal translation (word by word) leads to.
    – Gavatx
    Commented Nov 6, 2021 at 10:28
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Maybe there's another explanation for all this. Maybe an unexpected idea crossed his mind, i.e. there's a garden behind the house, so when he said, "La puerta que va a dar detrás" what he actually meant was, "la puerta que da acceso a/en la parte de atrás de la casa" or "La puerta que va a dar a (pausa) detrás de la cocina", "esa puerta de acceso te conduce a (pausa) detrás de la cocina", but these are apparently ungrammatical expressions. So, it could be translated as 'the door leading from the backyard to the kitchen. You'd better say:

  • No habían cerrado la puerta del jardín de atrás que da/daba a la cocina.
  • No habían cerrado la puerta del patio de atrás que te lleva/llevaba a la cocina.
  • No habían cerrado la puerta de acceso de atrás de la casa que te conduce a la cocina.
  • La puerta que va/iba del patio trasero a la cocina no había sido/estaba cerrada.
  • No habían cerrado la puerta que (te) lleva a la cocina.
  • No habían cerrado la puerta que (te) da paso hacia la cocina.
  • The back door leading to the kitchen had not been locked.
  • The back door leading from the backyard to the kitchen had not been locked.
  • The back door that gave access to the kitchen from the backyard had not been locked.
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  • Es un simples error de tiempo de verbo.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 20:37
  • An alternative translation of "la puerta que va a dar detrás" might also be: The door leading from the backyard to the kitchen.
    – cocteau
    Commented Nov 5, 2021 at 6:22
  • No, I think there is a mistake. Va a dar detras has to be: will lead onto, and that is clearly incorrect here in Spanish.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 5, 2021 at 15:46
  • @Lambie There's no direct translation to English tenses. It will depend on the context(not an absolute usage)(...que va directamente a...= ... is situated right by.../...that reaches../ ...take you straight from the...to / will take you to) corpus.rae.es ...una de las urbanizaciones que va a dar a la autopista..., que va a dar a la terraza/a door that gets on to a terrace. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks!
    – cocteau
    Commented Nov 5, 2021 at 22:44
  • Excuse me, but what you say it not quite right. Estoy construyendo un sendero que "va a dar al jardin". que va a dar (that will lead) is not "que da" (that leads) to the garden. We don't say here: gets on to the terrrace. We say: that gives onto the terrace or that leads to the terrace. Este chico va a dar problemas en la escuela. is not: Este chico da problemas en la escuela. One is present tense, the other is future.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 5, 2021 at 23:06
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'Joaquin tenia la llave del jardin y como no habian cerrado la puerta que va a dar detrás, pasamos por el jardin.'

Joaquin had the garden key and as they had not locked the door that will lead or "is going to lead** to the back, we went through the garden. [BUZZER]

This mistake I just described in English is exactly the same in Spanish: a mistaken verb form.

Contra:

'Joaquin tenia la llave del jardin y como no habian cerrado la puerta que da detrás, pasamos por el jardin.'.

Joaquin had the garden key and as they had not locked the door that leads [or leading] to the back, we went through the garden. [OK]

Please note: If you are describing a situation to a person who doesn't know the layout, you could use que "va a dar detrás", just like in English in certain situations, as shown below:

For example:
"Escucha, José, cuando pasas por el salón, llegarás a la cocina. La puerta de la cocina va a dar al jardín."

"Listen, José, when you go through the living room, you'll get to the kitchen. The door to the kitchen will lead onto or will give (or is going to lead or is going to give)onto the garden.

  1. ir a + infinitivo. Perífrasis verbal que indica que la acción designada por el infinitivo se va a producir en un futuro más o menos inmediato: «Vas a tener miles de problemas» (Gamboa Páginas [Col. 1998]); muy a menudo implica propósito o intención por parte del sujeto: «Te voy a leer una carta de mi padre» (Jodorowsky Pájaro [Chile 1992]); a veces se emplea con finalidad exhortativa: «Para empezar, vas a sentarte como un niño bueno» (Vilalta Nada [Méx. 1975]); en ocasiones se emplea, especialmente en pasado, para indicar que lo expresado por el infinitivo es un hecho inesperado o inoportuno: El asunto fue a salir por donde menos se esperaba. En ningún caso debe suprimirse, en el habla culta, la preposición a: «Pero ¿se lo vas plantear ya?» (FnGómez Bicicletas [Esp. 1982]); Vamos hablar del asunto.

Typically, ir a plus infinitive is: going to [infinitive ] in English, but the future can also be used.

Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  1. ir a por. → a2, 2.
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  • 1
    The speaker description is in imperfect tense "Joaquin tenía la llave del jardin" about how things were in the past, but instead "will lead onto" indicates the route to follow in the future, however, in this instance, "va a dar" means "the door leading to", that is, you might get there by following the route at anytime.
    – cocteau
    Commented Nov 7, 2021 at 15:18

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