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32 votes

All about datives, or: What's that funny "le" or "me" doing in there?

The dative case is commonly known as the grammatical case of indirect objects (the secondary object of ditransitive verbs like dar), and it is marked in Spanish by the use of special pronouns (me, te, ...
26 votes
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Mismatching word gender in Spanish

Well, your teachers might get upset if I tell you this but: it's a lie, you will be understood. I guess they say it to encourage you to correct your mistakes. You should correct them anyways. I trust ...
FGSUZ's user avatar
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21 votes
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What is the grammatical explanation of "sí" in "entre sí"?

"Sí" is also the reflexive form of the third person pronouns (él, ella, ellos, ellas), which must always be preceded by a preposition. This "sí" is completely unrelated (has different etymology) to ...
wimi's user avatar
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19 votes
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¿Es "la azúcar" o "el azúcar"?

The Diccionario panhispánico de dudas tells us: azúcar 1. ‘Sustancia cristalizada usada para endulzar’. Es válido su uso en ambos géneros, aunque, si va sin especificativo, es mayoritario su empleo ...
fedorqui's user avatar
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19 votes
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Would you use "llamarse" for an animal's name?

While one of the uses of se is indeed to make a verb reflexive, it has a number of other uses. One of those other uses is — in third person — to make the verb passive. Thus, El perro se llama ...
user0721090601's user avatar
18 votes
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Starting a sentence instantly with a noun

Bare nouns starting a sentence in Spanish are not ungrammatical. They are however restricted to specific circumstances (leaving aside poetry and other registers where one has more freedom to move ...
pablodf76's user avatar
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17 votes

Why is "agua" masculine in singular form and feminine in plural? "El agua" / "Las aguas" ¿Por qué decimos "el agua" si es una palabra femenina?

Actually it's not a gender reversal but a tradition that survives (inherited from Latin). The complete rules are intrincate and arbitrary, kind of "well that sounds good to me", full of exceptions ...
cdlvcdlv's user avatar
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17 votes
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¿Es correcto mantener "de" y "el" separados en algún caso?

En este caso me parece correcto. Es evidente que hay una pausa, aunque brevísima, porque la locución «el diablo sabe qué manejos» no es parte íntegra de la oración principal, sino un elemento ...
user0721090601's user avatar
17 votes

Why is it "Tengo un libro para ti" instead of "Tengo un libro por ti"? Isn't "por" used for exchanges?

Something that has helped me to distinguish when to use para and when to use por is the idea of "direction." Use para to indicate that whatever the sentence is saying is directed towards ...
hcbowman's user avatar
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16 votes
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Is the phrase "Me siento mal" grammatically correct in Spanish?

Sí, es gramaticalmente correcta. Efectivamente, el DPD y la Nueva gramática española dicen que malo (adjetivo) solo se apocopa en mal cuando precede a un sustantivo. Y aquí no va precediendo a nada, ...
Charlie's user avatar
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15 votes
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Can someone explain why "lo" is required in this sentence?

If the sentence, as RubioRic rightly suggested, is: El calpulli lo formaban personas que estaban unidas familiarmente. "lo" is an obligatory duplicate direct object. This occurs, among ...
Gustavson's user avatar
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14 votes
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Gender of adjectives when no noun is defined

Colors in Spanish usually work as nouns, besides being adjectives. Color nouns are always masculine: el blanco, el negro, el azul, el rojo; even color nouns derived from feminine nouns are masculine: ...
pablodf76's user avatar
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14 votes

How do verbs like 'gustar' actually function?

Your supposition that the translation would be Las manzanas no le gusta a Sonia is almost correct. With the apples being the subject, the verb simply needs to agree to be perfectly cromulent. ...
user0721090601's user avatar
14 votes
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Cuidarse in Spanish

You have understood the text perfectly and I can see why you find it a bit difficult. When in doubt, you should check the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española de la Lengua, the DRAE. There you'll ...
RubioRic's user avatar
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14 votes
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What is the "a" in ¿"A dónde vamos?"?

It's not 'we'; the 'we' is implied by 'vamos', which is the first person plural form of the verb 'ir' ('to go'). It's 'to', as @Traveller mentions in the comments, so it literally translates as 'To ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
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13 votes
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Why is the cycle race called La Vuelta "a" España, not "de"?

There's a subtle difference between using 'a' and 'de'. If you say 'La Vuelta de España', it means the object of this sentence, 'La Vuelta' belongs to Spain and it pertains to it. Like saying 'The ...
alonso.torres's user avatar
13 votes
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¿Es "la amoladora" o "el amoladora"?

El agua lleva el porque, a pesar de que agua es palabra femenina (decimos que está fría), la primera sílaba es tónica y el primer fonema es /a/. Si colocamos un adjetivo entre el artículo y el ...
user0721090601's user avatar
13 votes

Why is "a" needed in "Jugaba al tenis todos los días"?

According to the DLE, the verb jugar is used with that meaning followed by the a preposition: intr. Entretenerse, divertirse tomando parte en uno de los juegos sometidos a reglas, medie o no en ...
Charlie's user avatar
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12 votes
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¿"Países miembro" o "países miembros"?

No siempre tiene que haber "la" forma correcta de decir algo. Me refiero a que en este caso considero que las dos formas son correctas. Considero que se pueden usar ambas. No obstante a lo anterior (...
Adriana Hernández's user avatar
12 votes
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¿Mi cumpleaños es el "uno" o "un" de agosto?

We say: Mi cumpleaños es el uno un de agosto And of course primero is also correct: Mi cumpleaños es el primero de agosto In its entry on uno, RAE says: Apóc. un1 ante s. m. sing. y, por lo ...
fedorqui's user avatar
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12 votes

What's the difference between "ti" and "te"?

Ti and te are both second person singular pronouns, the equivalent of English singular you in object position. The difference has to do with emphasis. Te is the non-emphatic pronoun. It is clitic, i. ...
pablodf76's user avatar
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12 votes
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Redundant indirect object pronoun: is "le" redundant in "preguntémosle al estúpido / a él"?

TL;DR The redundant le is only optional if a noun acts as indirect object and that noun is placed after the verb: otherwise, it is mandatory. However, in spoken speech, the redundant le is almost ...
11 votes

Why don't we put subject pronouns "you", "I" in questions? e.g."¿cómo tú estás?"

In Spanish you can omit the subject in sentences when it is known or it can be inferred from context or the verb. In the case you show, the subject is inferred from the verb. This is the present ...
Charlie's user avatar
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11 votes
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Why say "dame la mano" instead of "dame tu mano"?

"dar la mano" is an idiom. Although we can hear: Dame tu mano. it's more idiomatic, as well as more logical, to say: Dame la mano. (Who else's hand would you give me if not yours? -- that is, ...
Gustavson's user avatar
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11 votes

Using “ser” without "un/una"?

That's an interesting use of broma. You know that the verb ser does not need an article when the word following is an adjective: El coche es azul. Ha sido divertido. In the case of broma, the ...
Charlie's user avatar
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10 votes

¿Es correcto mantener "de" y "el" separados en algún caso?

A guifa le interesará saber que su respuesta acaba de ser avalada por el señor Pérez-Reverte. Como no me convenció la respuesta de la RAE, probé a escribir al maestro en Twitter. En este enlace podéis ...
Charlie's user avatar
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10 votes
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Using "están" vs "estás" when refering to "you"

The sentence given by memrise is correct, since the implied subject is "ustedes." Think of the case where a waiter was asking a group of patrons at a restaurant. I'm assuming your confusion is simply ...
Emily 's user avatar
  • 156
10 votes

How can this sentence have a negative meaning without a "no"?

You may find this answer interesting: ¿Cuándo adquirió la locución adverbial “en la vida” un sentido negativo? Basically, "En mi vida" or "en la vida" is a locution or expression that means "never" ...
Diego's user avatar
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