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Nareed
Nareed
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November 10th, 2011 at 11:58:01 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

However, why is it estar and not ser? Ser is more permanent in nature, right, and once the library is made of bricks, it is going to remain that way.



Again I can just tell you "because that's how it is."

I can add that "la biblioteca es hecha..." would translate back to English as "the library be made of..." And that would be wrong.
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Nareed
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November 10th, 2011 at 12:29:03 PM permalink
Ok, I'm done breaking up with a bank. We lasted a long time, btu he was never more than just adequate. Oh, well.

Paco, the expression "un ojo de la cara" applies to something that cost too much or was too expensive. I'm not aware of an English expression using the term eye or face (and where else would your eyes be?), but the equivalent would be "It cost me an arm and a leg."
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pacomartin
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November 10th, 2011 at 2:37:45 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Quote: Wizard

However, why is it estar and not ser? Ser is more permanent in nature, right, and once the library is made of bricks, it is going to remain that way.



Again I can just tell you "because that's how it is."

I can add that "la biblioteca es hecha..." would translate back to English as "the library be made of..." And that would be wrong.



Perhaps I can try to explain the grammar, but I can't do it quickly.

The two following sentences are both correct, even though they seem to be expressing the same idea.
La biblioteca es de madera.
La biblioteca está hecho de ladrillos.

The first sentence says "the library is wood" which is a essential quality so you use the verb "ser".
The second sentence looks like it is expressing the same idea, except using bricks instead of wood. But you are using the "past participle" of the verb "hacer". Normally a "past participle" is made by for an -er verb is made by dropping the -er and adding -ido, (comer becomes comido) but "hacer" is an irregular verb, and it's past participle is "hecho".

Review of grammar in English
A present participle in English is the -ing form of the verb. We use them for progressive tense and to make verbs into nouns.
A past participle has several different uses, but one is to use the verb as an adjective.

For instance in the following sentences the former verbs "open" and "close" become the adjectives "opened" and "closed".
The door is closed.
The doors are closed.
The restaurant is open.
The restaurants are open.

In Spanish you always use the verb "estar" with past participle (with no exceptions). Since the word is no longer a verb, and is now an adjective you use "estar" because you are describing a "state of being".
La puerta está cerrada.
Las puertas están cerradas.
El restaurante está abierto.
Los restaurantes están abiertos.

The problem is further complicated because in English a regular verb uses the same conjugation for "simple past" and "past participle". If you are trying to find the "past participle" of a verb, just complete the following sentence in your mind: "I have ......". For most verbs you will use the same form as the simple past:
For example the verb "to make"
I make bread (present is "make")
I made bread (past is "made")
I have made bread (past participle is "made")

But the most commonly used verbs in English are irregular and you use a different form for "past participle" and "simple past". For example "to do", becomes "I do","I did", and "I have done". The past participle of "to do" is "done".

Another use of the "past participle" is to form the "passive voice" by coupling the verb "be" and the past participle. For example "You need to be done with that project". Nareed was talking about this use. Since "hecho" is a past participle, it would be used in the passive voice. In Spanish the passive voice always uses a conjugation of "ser". So when Nareed was translating the Wizard's sentence he came up with "be made".



I've said this statement several times in the past (which I got from the above book). Although "ser" and "estar" are frequently taught to English speakers as "permanent" and "temporary" version of the verb "to be", that is a shortcut in your thought process and is frequently misleading. The subtitle of the book is "key to mastering the language".
pacomartin
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November 10th, 2011 at 4:00:49 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Ok, I'm done breaking up with a bank. We lasted a long time, btu he was never more than just adequate. Oh, well.

Paco, the expression "un ojo de la cara" applies to something that cost too much or was too expensive. I'm not aware of an English expression using the term eye or face (and where else would your eyes be?), but the equivalent would be "It cost me an arm and a leg."



Well, I meant that the two idioms are the same in that they both say that in order to acquire something it will cost you a body part. If in Spanish you must give up your eyes, and in English you give up an arm and a leg, the choice of body parts is a minor semantic difference.

English speakers sometimes say it will cost you "a pound of flesh". It's a slightly different idiomatic expression because it comes from Shakespeare's play "Merchent of Venice". It is a little more menacing than "an arm and a leg" because in the play when the merchant is unable to pay back the money, Shylock goes to court and demands payment in full. The arguments made in the court case include the well known line - "The quality of mercy is not strained".

My native Spanish speaking friend who was speaking English for over 40 years. Her English was flawless, but she still had trouble with idiomatic expressions. I remember that she always hated "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink". She could never remember it because she thought it was stupid. She also had trouble with Grimm's fairy tale characters since she had never heard them. If she heard "Rapunzel" or "Rumpelstiltskin" she would forget who they are.

You seem to have good grasp of idiomatic English. I sometimes wonder if there are equivalent idiomatic expressions in Spanish
(1) "get your foot in the door"
(2) "a bakerís dozen"
(3) "along for the ride"
(4) "the early bird gets the worm"
(5) "looks like a duck"
(6) "dressed to the nines"

I do remember us discussing idioms earlier in this thread.
Nareed
Nareed
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November 10th, 2011 at 4:17:06 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

English speakers sometimes say it will cost you "a pound of flesh". It's a slightly different idiomatic expression because it comes from Shakespeare's play "Merchent of Venice".



Ah, the gratuitious anti-semitism of the time.

I never understood what Shylock is supposed to get out of killing the borrower. Certainly not his money back.

Quote:

She also had trouble with Grimm's fairy tale characters since she had never heard them. If she heard "Rapunzel" or "Rumpelstiltskin" she would forget who they are.



Odd. Granted some of those tales aren't common here, didn't she ever watch "Rocky and Bulwinkle"? The fractured fairy tales were rife with pretty much every fairy tale ever, inlcuding Rapunzel and Rumpelstilskin. Others like Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Goldilocks, the Three Pigs, etc were very well known.

Quote:

You seem to have good grasp of idiomatic English. I sometimes wonder if there are equivalent idiomatic expressions in Spanish



I've an excelent grasp of idiomatic English. I learned the langauge through popular culture,a fter all, and idiom is a staple of TV shows of all kinds (so much so it becomes cliche rather quickly). I don't have a good grasp of idiomatic Spanish, though. Much of it is vulgar. Still, lets see:

Quote:

(1) "get your foot in the door"



None

Quote:

(2) "a bakerís dozen"



None. But it's common in street markets to be given an item or two extra when buying, for example, fruit or vegetables. They'll weigh, say, a kilo of lemons, and then add two more. That's called "pilón." The seller might say "Un kilo y el pilón." The idea is to show they're not cheating you. I gather that's the intent of a baker's dozen as well.

Quote:

(3) "along for the ride"



Nomás fuiste (fue/fueron/fuí) a pasear.

Quote:

(4) "the early bird gets the worm"
(5) "looks like a duck"
(6) "dressed to the nines"



None I can think of.

I can add one:

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush = más vale pájaro en mano que cientos volando.
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pacomartin
pacomartin
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November 10th, 2011 at 6:00:47 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Ah, the gratuitious anti-semitism of the time. I never understood what Shylock is supposed to get out of killing the borrower. Certainly not his money back.



Well compared to the burning alive of 900 Jews in the 14th century Strasbourg as an attempt to ward off the plague, the vitriol of Martin Luthur, and the cannonization of Simon Trent, I would say Shakespeare's anti semitism was fairly mild for the era. I know that the play has been used to bolster anti-semitism for centuries, but the eloquence of the speech given to Shylock must mean that Shakespeare had some sense of their humanity.

Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs,
dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with
the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means,
warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer
as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us,
do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

I don't know if there is any anti-semitism in Latin America. According to Wikipedia the only Latin American country with a decent size Sephardic population is Argentina.
Wizard
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November 10th, 2011 at 6:50:22 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

I don't know if there is any anti-semitism in Latin America. According to Wikipedia the only Latin American country with a decent size Sephardic population is Argentina.



There was a major bombing of a Jewish temple in Argentina not too long ago. It may have been the largest act of terrorism in Latin America.

The Cangrejo section of Panama City is both the center of the night life as well the Jewish part of the city.
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Wizard
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November 10th, 2011 at 8:50:57 PM permalink
Thanks for the continued help with ser y estar, but it is a new day. That doesn't mean we can't continue discussing things from ayer.

Fecha: 11 de Noviembre, 2011
Estado: Tamaulipas
Palabra: Palpitar




Today's state is Tamaulipas. The SWD of the day comes from a line from the state anthem:

La sangre palpita en el pecho mío, al recuerdo glorioso de sus héroes y su honor. = The blood beats in my chest, to the glorious memory of your heroes and your honor.

Palpita comes from the verb palpitar, which means to beat. I'm sure this is where we get "heart palpitations."

Intermission: I was writing this while watching the Raiders vs. Chargers game. I had Oakland money line (yeah!)

Ejemplo time.

Mi corazón palpita más rápido cada vez que veo Ginger nadar en la laguna. = My heart beats faster each time I see Ginger swim in the lagoon.
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Nareed
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November 10th, 2011 at 8:53:04 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

I would say Shakespeare's anti semitism was fairly mild for the era.



Yes, that's why I called it gratuitous. The damage, though, comes from placing it in a play that has endured this long.

Quote:

I don't know if there is any anti-semitism in Latin America.



Some. Not the violent kind you see in Europe, and not much in the way of hate crimes, but there is some. There aren't many Jews int he region to begin with.

The bombing in Argentina the Wizard mentioned was carried out by Iran. But give Chavez and his ilk some time, and you'll see some changes in that respect.
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pacomartin
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November 11th, 2011 at 9:51:55 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Palpita comes from the verb palpitar, which means to beat. I'm sure this is where we get "heart palpitations."



Yes, it is the same word. The literal meaning is more to "throb" or to "flutter".
As usual the Latin/Spanish word is more specific than the Anglo Saxon word.

beat could mean
(1) "strike cover to rouse or drive game" (c.1400) is source of beat around the bush (1570s),
(2) "inflict blows on" is closely related to original meaning of beating bushes
(3) "to overcome in a contest" is from 1610s
(4) "dead-beat" (originally "tired-out") preserves the old past participle.
(5) the metaphoric sense of which has shifted from "make preliminary motions" to "avoid, evade."
(6) "beat it" first recorded 1906 (though "action of feet upon the ground" was a sense of O.E. betan).
(7) "beat generation"
(8) "beat the charges", etc., attested from c.1920 in underworld slang.
(9) "beat off" is recorded by 1960s.
(10) "beating of the heart", about the year 1200, from notion of it striking against the breast.

Although you can find examples in Spanish, it seems to me that most of the Old English words have acquired a plethora of meanings, that are only loosely related to one another. You can see how writing a maintenance manual in English for an airplane could be dangerous.

================
Wizard
As a side note, I hope you ask your tutor my previous questions about the use of the subjunctive mood for the verb "ser". I am curious if she follows Nareed's translation, or on this point if there is a difference between Argentine and Mexican Spanish.

Keep in mind that many writers are very hostile to the subjunctive mood in English. They read common sentences like "If I were you ..." where you use a plural version of the verb "to be" is very confusing. As we discussed in earlier threads in the British versus American English, the seeming mismatch of I (single person) and were (plural person) is only grammatically correct because you are in the subjunctive mood. Many writers would look to see it dead.
I would not be surprised if there is some disagreement among Spanish writers/speakers about it's use.

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