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pacomartin
pacomartin
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December 28th, 2011 at 7:41:34 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard


On another topic, I finally heard from my tutor about the Se puede/pueden ver muchas estrellas en noche clara. You may recall that she said puede. Then I challenged her on the argument behind pueden. She said technically pueden is correct, but also says puede isn't incorrect. She said that when she was a teacher she would have never taken away points for puede, and some rules in Spanish could justify it. However, if one were to have a heavy academic debate on it, pueden would win.



That is a confusing paragraph.

The mediopassive is almost nonexistent in English. In English we use the "impersonal pronoun". I think if you wrote the sentence in English first as "One can see many stars ..." and then ask someone to translate it into Spanish retaining not just meaning but grammatical structure it must translate as "Uno puede ver muchas estrellas ...".

But if you write the sentence in Spanish as "se puede ver muchas estrellas ..." then it is natural to see that mediopassive construct (and not the impersonal pronoun) which requires the plural verb to match the plural noun "estrellas".

In English the phrases "One can see many stars ..." and "Many stars can be seen..." have different grammar constructions, but identical meanings. If you just say to translate the sentence into Spanish, the translator is free to use whichever voice or verb tense sounds natural in the language.

From the Beverly Cleary translations you gave as examples, there are several cases where the translator changed the tense so that it reads more naturally in Spanish. I think with regard to the 'many stars' sentence, it just feels more natural in passive voice (technically mediopassive voice).
pacomartin
pacomartin
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December 28th, 2011 at 8:03:45 PM permalink
I am not hijacking the thread, but the Wizard did mention the complexities of verb forms in Spanish.

I asked JesicaPM which way are you most likely to say the phrase:
Si yo fuera
Si yo fuese

She answered:
I had never thought about this. The meaning is the same, but "fuera" sounds more natural and less formal to me, and "fuese" sounds more formal. I've noticed that many people, young people in particular, use this verb tense incorrectly, especially when speaking, and they say: "Si yo sería tú".

I thought that comment would be a good start to discuss the conditional mood in present tense (potencial simple). I don't think that we have mentioned it at all.

My book says that one of the uses of this tense is for conjecture regarding the past. The usual translation is into English is to use the word would.

I would not yell as much, if only you let me defend myself.

But as Spanish is merciless, it means another whole set of inflections to learn, and all the cases of irregularities.
Wizard
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Wizard 
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December 29th, 2011 at 8:10:34 AM permalink
The conditional tense is one I haven't tried to absorb yet. I know it is out there, but I'm still working on some of the most common tenses.

Perhaps you could give us some more examples or questions to chew on to get the ball rolling.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Nareed
Nareed
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December 30th, 2011 at 6:35:39 AM permalink
Hi,

I've been too busy to post. But, yes Paco, I get lost in long grammar discussions. I don't speak Grammarese :)

Quote: pacomartin

The literal translation of the English verb to be is either ser or a ser.



A ser is not a verb. The translation of "to be" is "ser" o "estar"

Quote:

Could we use that form of the verb instead of era in the translation? Would it still make sense?

The snack turned out to be pineapple juice.
(1) Resultó que la merienda era un jugo de piña.
(2) Resultó que la merienda a ser un jugo de piña.



Number two is wrong. You'd say "La merienda resultó ser...."

I think I've said before tranlsations need to first convey the meaning accurately, then the feel of the original, and lastly the style. In children's books, I imagine, style can count more since they're supposed to be easier to comprehend.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Wizard
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Wizard 
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December 30th, 2011 at 7:38:20 AM permalink
Fecha: 31-12-11
Palabra del día: Avergonzado


Today's SWD, avergonzado means embarrassed. There are lots of related words:

avergonzar = to embarrass.
avergonzarse = to be embarrassed.
vergüenza = shame (which you may remember from the Gilligan's Island series)

A question for the advanced readers would be whether the ver in these words comes from the truthful ver in words like verify, verdad, and verdict, or the verb ver, meaning to see.

Ramona time.

Quote: English

"Tell me Ramona," she said, "don't you ever try to show off?" Ramona was embarrassed.



Quote: Spanish

"A ver, Ramona," dijo, "¿Tú nunca tratas de llamar la atención? Ramona se sintió avergonzada."

It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
pacomartin
pacomartin
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December 30th, 2011 at 8:27:56 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

A question for the advanced readers would be whether the ver in these words comes from the truthful ver in words like verify, verdad, and verdict, or the verb ver, meaning to see.



Gonzar is a city only a day's walk from Santiago de Compostella,Galicia Spain. As we discussed, this city was the endpoint of the pilgrimage of the faithful Christians for well over a thousand years. It's tempting to say that the word looks like if you "See Gonzar" you are nearing the end of your journey to atone for your sins. But that is a fanciful etymology. I can't see any known relation between the words.

==============
Note that proponents of e-prime would say that Ramona was embarrassed should be restated as Ramona felt embarrassed . In general they argue that every time we say "to be" in English, we could substitute a more descriptive verb. The Spanish translation does exactly that substitution.
Wizard
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December 30th, 2011 at 9:09:37 AM permalink
Does the se in Ramona se sintió avergonzada imply that Ramona felt embarrassed for herself? Would the sentence mean Ramona embarrassed herself if it didn't have the se?
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
pacomartin
pacomartin
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December 30th, 2011 at 9:18:24 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

The conditional tense is one I haven't tried to absorb yet. I know it is out there, but I'm still working on some of the most common tenses.

Perhaps you could give us some more examples or questions to chew on to get the ball rolling.



Possibly the most common use would be:
Me gustaría tomar un cerveza.

It's a little more polite than saying Yo quiero un cerveza.
You would say "I would like a beer" in English anyway. You don't normally say "I like beer".

Ejemplo 2:
¿Quién sería?
I wonder who that was? (Conjecture regarding the past)


For -er and -ir verbs, the endings are the same as the imperfect indicative (continuing past). But they are appended to a different base word

Vebo creer or "to believe"
yo creía, tú creías, usted/él/ella creía, nosotros/as creíamos, ustedes/ellos/ellas creían (imperfecto del indicativo)
yo creería, tú creerías, usted/él/ella creería, nosotros/as creeríamos, ustedes/ellos/ellas creerían (condicional)
pacomartin
pacomartin
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December 30th, 2011 at 11:48:14 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Does the se in Ramona se sintió avergonzada imply that Ramona felt embarrassed for herself? Would the sentence mean Ramona embarrassed herself if it didn't have the se?




sentir means to feel (or sometimes to feel sorry)
sentirse mean to feel either well or ill

Short Anwer: The verb is being used reflexively. She doesn't feel some emotion about someone else.

More details

Quote: Direct/Indirect objects (refresher)


John sold the book (John subject; book is direct object)
John sold the book to Mary (John subject; book is direct object; Mary is indirect object) Indirect object tells where direct object is going)
He sold it to her: Same sentence with pronouns.



In Spanish
direct object pronouns
me, te, lo/la, nos, os/vos, los/las
indirect object pronouns
me, te, le/se, nos, os/vos, les/se

Lo siento is "I feel sorry" (direct object pronoun: the lo stands for you - formal)
¿Cómo Se Siente Hoy? means "How do you feel today?" (reflexive se)
Me Siento is "I feel bad" (reflexive me)
Wizard
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December 30th, 2011 at 12:17:46 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

¿Cómo Se Siente Hoy? means "How do you feel today?" (reflexive se)



I'm still confused. If it is reflexive then I would interpret the construction to be "How do you feel about yourself today?" In that case, since you used the formal "you" wouldn't it be ¿Cómo Lo Siente Hoy?

I'm still not sure what the se adds to this sentence, Ramona se sintió avergonzada. Could I say that it is just redundant? Like we don't need the yo in Yo hablo Español.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.

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