Frequent Doubts Mrs. O. Pacheco Spanish Language Dept. English vs Spanish



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Frequent Doubts

  • Mrs. O. Pacheco
  • Spanish Language Dept.

English vs Spanish

  • When learning a language, there are always more than a few aggravating issues that can cause speedbumps in the learning process. Don't feel like you're all alone in your frustration, however, as many of these issues tend to be the same for every student!
  • With our frequent grammar doubts section, we aim to resolve some of the language doubts that commonly arise amongst students learning Spanish. Check out the following pages for more:
    • Ser vs Estar
    • Saber vs Conocer
    • Preguntar vs Pedir
    • Entender vs Comprender
    • Oír vs Escuchar
    • Llevar vs Traer
    • Por vs Para
    • Pero vs Sino
    • De vs Desde
    • Spanish False Friends (frequent mistranslations)

Verbs Saber and Conocer

Verbs Saber and Conocer

  • As with the difficulties with verbs “ser” and “estar”, the verbs conocer and saber are equivalent to the English verb to know, but in Spanish, they have different meanings.
  • Conocer implies to have a deep knowledge about someone, something or someplace.
  • Saber denotes to be informed about an event, or about something that has happened to someone.

   

          •    
  • Objetivo Indirecto
  • Conocer
  • Saber
  • Yo 
  • conozco 
  • Tú  
  •  conoces
  • sabes
  • Ud./ella/él
  • conoce 
  •  sabe
  • Nos.
  • conocemos 
  • sabemos
  • Vos.    
  • conocéis
  • sabéis
  • Uds./
  • Ellos(as) 
  • conocen 
  • saben

The verb Conocer offers two possibilities:

  • It can be followed by preposition “a” to indicate it involves a person (Ella no conoce a mi madre), or a group of people (¿Quieren Uds. conocer a los artistas?).
  • It can be followed by a place in which case preposition “a” does not follow (e.g., - Yo conozco Canadá muy bien. Nosotros no conocemos México).

Conocer

  • ‘Conocer’ means that you are familiar with:
    • an individual
    • a group of individuals
    • a program
    • a place
  • Mi padre no conoce a mi novio.
  • ¿Conoce usted a los chicos que viajan por Ecuador? yo les conozco, ellos son Maite, Inés, Alex y Javier, pero mi mamá no les conoce.
  • ¿Conoce usted a los amigos de su hermana?
  • Todos conocemos la Sociedad protectora de animales (SPCA), ¿verdad?
  • ¿Conocieron ellos el antiguo edificio de la Universidad de Alberta?
  • Ellos no van a conocer todos los países sudamericanos, ... sólo van a recorrer algunas ciudades de Ecuador.
  • Me gustaría conocer Isla de Pascua.

Hints for a correct use of the verb ‘conocer’

  • When it means to meet a person, it is followed by ‘a’. Ex: ¿Conoces a Martín?
  • When it means to have been in a place and be familiar with such a place, it is followed by the place’s name (no personal ‘a’ is needed).
  • Ella quiere conocer solamente Cuba, pero él quiere conocer también otros países del Caribe.
  • Nosotros no quisimos conocer los países árabes, por miedo a los conflictos bélicos.

Saber

  • We use the verb ‘saber’ to denote someone’s skills or to denote that we have or seek information about something.
    • someone or something.
  • Ejemplos:
    • A) Ella sabe tocar el violin muy bien.
    • ¿Sabes nadar? No, no sé nadar ni flotar.
    • ¿Sabe cantar su mamá? Sí, ella sabe cantar.
    • Yo no supe qué comprarle a mi hermano para su cumpleaños.
    • Mi familia no sabe hablar español.
    • Mi padre sabe que mi hermano y yo estudiamos mucho.
    • Ellos no supieron que mi amiga tuvo un accidente.
    • ¿Supo usted que Carlos obtuvo una beca para estudiar inglés en Londres?
    • B) ¿Saben ustedes que en inglés el título de la película es Sea Inside y en español es Mar adentro?
    • Yo no sé si mi novio se va a graduar este año.

Hints for the correct use of the verb ‘saber’

  • It can be followed by a ‘question word’:
    • qué, cuál, dónde, cómo, por qué, quién, para quién, a quién, con quién, cuándo, a qué hora, adónde, para dónde, por dónde, etc.
  • Saber’ can be followed by an infinitive. (‘Conocer’ is never followed by an infinitive.)
    • Yo no sé por dónde viajan los chicos: creo que viajan por el interior de Ecuador. Carmen sabe por qué su hermana rompió con su novio, pero los padres de ellas no saben.

Cont.

  • ¿Sabes a qué hora es la reunión del centro de estudiantes?
  • La profesora no sabe por qué los chicos no estudian como deben.
  • ¿Sabe usted quién me llamó por teléfono?
  • Ellos saben cocinar la paella española.
  • ¿Sabe ella por dónde llegar a la universidad en Calgary?
  • Tú no sabes cómo cambiar el neumático de tu coche, ¿no?

Summary (Saber vs. Conocer)

  • Conocer means "to be familiar with, to be acquainted with”, while Saber means “to know a fact, information, data; to know how to do a skill".
  • Saber
    • We use Saber to express or describe what we know "how to do" by following it with an infinitive. Only Saber can be followed by an infinitive.
    • We use Saber only when talking about facts and information. We can use to it explain that we know the "what-when-how-why-who"s of situations and events.
    • Only Saber can be followed with que, qué, donde, dónde, si, cuándo [that, what?, where, where?, if, when?...] etc. These are words that introduce facts.
      • Don't forget that Saber has an irregular Yo form:
  • Conocer
    • We use Conocer when we talk about someone we know or places we are familiar with. When we talk about "knowing" a person, we have to remember to use the Personal "a".
    • We also use Conocer to talk about general concepts or subjects:
    • Conozco la poesía del Siglo de Oro.
        • I'm familiar with Golden Age Poetry.
    • Ella quiere conocer tú país
        • She wants to visit (become familiar with) your country
    • Conocíamos sus actividades.
        • We were aware of (knew about) his activities.

Practice: True or False

  • Conocer means "to be familiar with, to be acquainted with”.
  • Saber is used when we talk about someone we know or places we are familiar with.
  • Only Saber can be followed by an infinitive.
  • We use Conocer to express or describe what we know "how to do" by following it with an infinitive.
  • We use Conocer to talk about general concepts or subjects
  • With Saber, when we talk about "knowing" a person, we have to remember to use the Personal "a".
  • Saber has an irregular Yo form
  • Conocer only used when talking about facts and information.
  • We can use Conocer to explain that we know the "what-when- how-why-who"s of situations and events.
  • Only Saber can be followed with que, qué, donde, dónde, si, cuándo [that, what?, where, where?, if, when?...] etc.

Verbs Pedir and Preguntar

Practica: Saber o Conocer (Present Tense)

  • Yo no _________ dónde vive Ramón.
  • ¿__________ tú a los padres de Ramón?
  • Jaime no _________ la ciudad de Los Ángeles.
  • Carmen ________ francés, pero no inglés.
  • Federico y yo no ________ a la estudiante nueva.
  • Yo __________ a la Señora Domínguez; es mi vecina.
  • Los estudiantes no ________ la respuesta a la pregunta.
  • ¿__________ tú la fecha de hoy?

Pedir vs. Preguntar

  • The same sort of situation exists with respect to the two Spanish verbs pedir and preguntar. They both mean "to ask" but they are not interchangeable. Fortunately, the rules for using them are a bit more straightforward:
    • Pedir to ask for, or request an object, service or favor
    • Pido más carne. I ask for more meat.
    • Pedimos ahora. We order now (ask for service).
    • Preguntar to ask a question, or request information
    • Pregunto qué hora es. I ask what time it is.
    • Preguntamos a qué hora sirven la cena. We ask what time they serve dinner.

When to use "PREGUNTAR"

  • To ASK a question, to request information, to ask about something
  • Me pregunta cuántos años tengo. (He asks me how old I am.)
  • Vamos a preguntarle. (We're going to ask her.)
  • Preguntar por su coche. (She asks about his car.)

When to use "PEDIR"

  • To ASK FOR something (an object, a favor, a service..)
    • Quiero pedir su número de telefono. (I want to ask for her phone number.)
    • Voy a pedir otra cerveza. (I'm going to ask for another beer.)
    • Quiero pedirte un favor. (I want to ask you for a favor.)

Tips: Pedir vs Preguntar

  • Pedir to ask for something, or request an object, service or favor (followed by a noun):  me pidió dinero (he asked me for money “ to give him”).
  • Preguntar to ask a question, or request information (followed by si, donde, cuando, de quien, a qué hora, etc.)
    • Pregunté a qué hora llega el tren (I asked what time does the train arrive). Me preguntó por el dinero (he asked me about the money “what have I done with it”).

Practica: Pedir o Preguntar

  • 1. Did you ask your mama if you could go to the concert with us?
  • 2. Which drink did you order?
  • 3. My girlfriend asks too much of me.
  • 4. An elderly lady asked me one time to help her put her groceries in her car.
  • 5. She asked me if I was twenty-one when I bought the alcohol.
  • 6. I just ask that you wipe your feet before coming inside.
  • 7. I ordered two pairs of shoes from the Avon catalog.
  • 8. Don’t worry. I asked if I could use it.
  • 9. “Has she asked you about the other night?” asked Sandra. (2 answers)
  • 10. The teacher asked to speak with me after class.
  • 11. The guests asked the waitress for some more bread.
  • 12. We asked the host where the bathroom was.
  • 13. The father asked his children to be quiet.
  • 14. The mother asked her children if they could be quiet.
  • 15. The lawyer requested the information.

Prueba corta/Quiz

  • Saber vs. Conocer
  • Yo no _________ dónde vive Ramón.
  • Los estudiantes no ________ la respuesta a la pregunta.
  • Jaime no _________ la ciudad de Los Ángeles.
  • Federico y yo no ________ a la estudiante nueva.
  • Carmen ________ francés, pero no inglés.
  • Pedir vs. Preguntar
  • María _________ cuándo empieza la fiesta.
  • Did you ask your mama if you could go to the concert with us?
  • The lawyer requested the information.
  • El chico le _________ a la chica ¿cuál es tu número de teléfono?
  • Luis me _____ cuál fue la tarea de ayer.

Entender & Comprender

Entender vs. Comprender

  • The words entender and comprender both mean "to understand". They're largely considered to be synonyms and, in most cases, they are pretty interchangeable. However, in some contexts their meanings may differ slightly, just like the words "understand" and "comprehend" in English.
  • Entender can often be used over comprender in indicating a general understanding. Comprender, on the other hand, is sometimes used to highlight an understanding on a deeper level; to describe the comprehension of a concept, a situation, a purpose or the significance of something.
  • In simpler terms, some distinguish between the two by saying that you entender with your ears and comprender with your brain.

Examples

  • Entiendo las reglas del juego. I understand the rules of the game.
  • Ella quiere comprender el arte moderno. She wants to understand modern art.

Present tense

  • Entender
  • Yo
  • Entiendo
  • Entiendes
  • Usted
  • Entiende
  • Él/ella
  • Entiende
  • Ustedes
  • Entienden
  • Nosotros
  • entendemos
  • Ellos/ellas
  • entienden
  • Comprender
  • Yo
  • comprendo
  • Comprendes
  • usted
  • Comprende
  • Él/ella
  • Comprende
  • Ustedes
  • Comprenden
  • Nosotros
  • Comprendemos
  • Ellos/ellas
  • comprenden

Practica

  • I don't understand this word.
    • No entiendo esta palabra.
  • I don't understand a single word of this book!
    • ¡No entiendo ni una sola palabra de este libro!
  • I understand why he feels that way.
    • Comprendo por qué se siente así.
  • I don't understand war.
    • No comprendo la guerra.
  • I understand my Spanish teacher sometimes.
    • Yo entiendo a mi maestra de Español aveces.
  • I understand what you are going through.
    • Yo comprendo por lo que estas pasando.

Oír vs Escuchar

Oir vs Escuchar

  • As anyone in a typical relationship knows, there's a big difference between hearing and listening. For example, Jim hears Sarah say something but he decides not to listen to her request for him to take out the garbage.
  • Like in English, in Spanish there's a difference between oír(to hear) and escuchar (to listen to) that often gets a bit muddled by students learning Spanish as a foreign language.
  • Oír is the involuntary awareness of sound, while escuchar is the voluntary effort that one makes to actually pay attention and understand something or someone that you hear. When it comes down to it, you oír with your ears while you escuchar with your brain.

Oir vs Escuchar

  • Some few helpful examples are below which will help you distinguish the difference.
    • Oí unas voces en la calle. (I heard voices in the street.)
    • Escuchamos lo que decían las mujeres en la calle. (We listened to what the women in the street were saying.)
    • Oigo la radio pero no la estoy escuchando. (I hear the radio but I'm not listening to it.)
    • ¡No te oigo! (I can't hear you!)
    • ¡No te escucho! (I'm not listening to you!)

Similar terms for "escuchar (oír)" in English

  • oír {vb} = to hear {vb}
  • escuchar {vb} = to pay attention
  • escuchar {v.t.} = to listen {v.t.}
  • escuchar {vb} = to hark {vb} (to listen attentively)
  • escuchar a hurtadillas {vb} = to eavesdrop {vb} (to listen secretly to a private conversation.)
  • escuchar (un consejo) {vb} = to take {vb}

Conjugation (present/past)

  • Oír
  • Oigo/oí
  • Oyes/oiste
  • Oye/oyó
  • Oimos/oimos
  • Oyen/oyeron
  • Esuchar
  • Escucho/escuché
  • Escuchas/escuchaste
  • Escucha/escuchó
  • Escuchamos/escuchamos
  • Escuchan/escucharon

Practice (Translate)

  • I love to listen to the sound of the wind.
  • Taking my mom’s advice helped me.
  • Can you hear me now?
  • If you pay attention you will understand.
  • I do not want to hear that noise.
  • When I am not feeling well I talk to my friend and she listens.
  • The students hear the teacher speak but do not listen to what she is saying.
  • I wish I could hear his voice again.
  • My neighbor was eavesdropping when we arrived late.
  • Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, throw cares away ...”

Llevar vs Traer

Llevar vs Traer

  • Llevar and traer are very similar words, in that both refer to moving objects from one location to another. However, there is a difference. Let’s keep reading for more info and a couple of helpful examples!

LLEVAR" - Rules, Uses & Examples

  • Llevar means "to take", such as when an object is being taken (generally by you) to a place other than where you are.
  • Le voy a llevar el libro. I'm going to take the book to him. (I have the book, and I'm going to take it elsewhere to give to someone else)
  • Llevo a mi novio a la fiesta. I'm taking my boyfriend to the party. (My boyfriend is here, and I'm taking him with me to the party.)
  • Te van a llevar las cervezas. They're going to take the beers to you. (They're here right now, but they are going to take the beers to you.)

"TRAER" - Rules, Uses & Examples

  • Traer means "to bring", such as when an object is being transported to the place where you are. He's bringing me the keys.
  • Me va a traer el libro. He's going to bring the book to me. (He has the book, and he's going to bring it to wherever I am.)
  • Mi novio trae unos amigos a la fiesta. My boyfriend is bringing some friends to the party. (My boyfriend is bringing some friends with him to the party that I'm already at.)
  • Trajeron las cervezas. They brought the beers. (The brought the beers with them to wherever we were at the time.)

Traer (2)

Llevar (3)

Practice (fill-in the blanks)

  • _____ estas flores a tu abuela, por favor.
  • _____ tus fotos para verlas hoy.
  • ¿Te van a _____ a un restaurante para tu aniversario?
  • _____ le tus papeles a el maestro.
  • Nosotros ________ a un amigo ayer para que lo conocieras, pero no estabas.
  • Por favor, _______me al banco, necesito depositar mi cheque.

Por vs Para

Por vs Para (prepositions)

  • One issue in Spanish that causes a lot of confusion is "por vs para". Both mean "for" in English, but they are not interchangeable. To know whether to use por or para, you basically have to think about what purpose the it will be serving. Below you will find the rules and uses for using por and for using para.

"POR" - Rules, Uses & Examples

  • In Spanish, we use the word "por" in the following ways:
    • to express movement along, through, around, by or about Example: Dimos una vuelta por la ciudad. (We took a walk through the city.)
    • to indicate some sort of exchange Gracias por el regalo. (Thank you for the present.) Te doy 20 euros por el collar. (I'll give you 20 euros for the necklace.)
    • to indicate a time or duration when something occurs Example: Voy de vacaciones por 2 semanas. (I'm going on vacation for 2 weeks.)
    • to express the cause or reason for an action Example: Se engordó por falta de ejercicio. (He got fat for lack of exercise.)
    • to mean "in favor of", "on behalf of", "supporting" Example: Apuesta por el candidato demócrata. He supports the democratic candidate.
    • to express a means of transportation Example: Prefiero viajar por autobus. (I prefer to travel by bus.)
    • to express a means of communication Example: Habló con su abuela por teléfono. (She spoke with her grandmother on the phone.)
    • to express a general time, meaning "during" Example: Me gusta tomar un café por la mañana. (I like to have a coffee in the morning.)
    • "estar por" meaning to be in the mood or inclined to do something Example: Estoy por ir al cine. (I'm in the mood for going to the movies.)

"PARA" - Rules, Uses & Examples

  • In Spanish, we use the word "para" in the following ways:
    • to indicate destination Example: Voy para Nueva York. (I'm leaving for New York.)
    • to indicate an object's use or purpose Example: El plato es para la hamburguesa. (The plate is for the hamburger.)
    • to mean "in order to" or "for the purpose of" Example: Para hacer la tarta, hace falta 2 huevos. (To make the cake, you need 2 eggs)
    • to indicate a recipient or beneficiary Example: Este libro es para mi padre. (This book is for my father.)
    • to express a deadline or specific time Example: Mi ensayo es para el viernes. (My essay is due on Friday.)
    • "estar para" to express an action that is about to be completed Example: Estamos para salir. (We are about to go out.)

Practice: Translate & Apply Por or Para

  • We took a walk through the school campus.
  • Thank you for waiting for me.
  • This key is for my new house.
  • My research paper is due on Monday.
  • I like to have a nap in the afternoon.
  • To make the lasagna, you need a lot of cheese.
  • I'm in the mood for a walk at the park.
  • I'm going on a summer vacation for 2 months.
  • That dress is for my niece.
  • I am going to Puerto Rico in July.
  • Online

Pero vs Sino (conjunctions)

  • A frequent error that English-speakers make is translating the English conjunction "but" into Spanish. Why? Well, the confusion lies in that there are two words in Spanish for "but": pero and sino.
  • English-speakers tend to use "pero" in all situations for which, in English, they would use "but". However, while both pero and sino are used to express contrasting ideas, they have a slightly different meaning and usage.
  • Let’s keep on reading and find out how to know which "but" to use!

PERO" - Rules, Uses & Examples

  • We use "pero" to join two contrasting idea when the second phrase does not negate the first. Instead, you can think of it as adding on to the first idea. See below:
    • No soy española, pero hablo bien el idioma. (I'm not Spanish, but I speak the language well.)
    • Hace frío, pero también hace sol. (It's cold out, but it's also sunny.)
    • Estudiar no es divertido, pero es necesario. (Studying isn't fun, but it's necessary.)

"SINO" - Rules, Uses & Examples

  • We use sino, on the other hand, is used generally in negative sentences in which the second phrase negates or corrects the first. The equivalent in English would be "but rather" or "but on the contrary".
  • Hoy no voy a estudiar biología, sino matemáticas. (Today I'm not going to study biology, but rather math.)
  • If "sino" separates two conjugated verbs, we use "sino que", such as in the following example:
    • No voy al cine sino que ceno con mis padres. (I'm not going to the movies but (rather) I'm eating dinner with my parents.)
    • When we want to translate "not only... but also...", we use the Spanish construction "no solo... sino también...". Note: if "sino" comes before a clause with a conjugated verb, we must use "sino que". Check out the examples below:
    • Mi amigo no sólo es guapo, sino también simpático. (My friend is not only handsome, but also nice.)
    • No sólo corro en el gimnasio sino que también levanto pesas. (Not only do I run in the gym, but I also lift weights.)
  •  

Practica (Pero vs. Sino)

  • 1. No quiero salir, _______ quedarme en casa.
  • 2. Tal vez no sea muy inteligente, ______ sé lo que quiero.
  • 3. Diviértete, ______ ten cuidado.
  • 4. No es fácil escribir, _____ vale la pena.
  • 5. No vine a trabajar, ____ a descansar.
  • 6. El cielo no es verde, _____ azul.
  • 7. No puedo asistir al congreso, ______ voy a enviar mi ponencia.
  • Online

Reflexión Translate & fill-in the blanks with the correct words (pero, sino, or sino que):

  • Yo quisiera escribirte algo no original, _______ me nazca del corazón…quisiera expresártelo con mis actos, pues muchas veces lo que decimos no va de acuerdo con los hechos, ____ es ahí donde fallo.
  • -Silvia

De vs Desde

De vs Desde--How to say "FROM"

  • While "desde" can be translated as "since" and "de" as "of", both words can mean from. This can cause a bit of confusion for people learning Spanish, as the distinction between the two isn't always clear; in fact, in many cases the two are interchangeable. So how do you know which "from" to use?

DESDE" - Rules, Uses & Examples

  • Desde tends to indicate the origin of an action, even if a destination isn't mentioned. Desde is also used with several other prepositions, creating phrases that also indicate motion. Below you can see just a few:
    • El avión vuela desde Nueva York a Los Ángeles. (The plane flies from New York to Los Angeles.)
    • Desde abajo (From below)
    • Desde arriba (From above)
    • Desde dentro (From within)
    • Me llamó desde Italia. (He called me from Italy.)
    • Desde aqui se ve toda la ciudad (From here you can see the whole city.)

Here are some of the most common uses of desde:

  • Followed by a noun, to indicate when an action begins:
    • Desde niño fue su pasión y su anhelo ser un cantante. (Since he was a child it was his passion and longing to be a singer.)
  • Followed by a time, to indicate when an action begins:
    • Desde 1900 hasta 1945, las exportaciones netas se encontraban cercanas a cero. (From 1900 to 1945, net exports were found to be close to zero.)
  • To mean "from" when indicating where an action originates:
    • Hay vuelos especiales a Roma desde Madrid. (There are special flights to Rome from Madrid.)

“DE" - Rules, Uses & Examples

  • De which generally means "of", can also be translated as "from" when indicating the origin of something or someone. Even if it sounds a bit strange, one little trick to keep in mind is that if "from" can be switched out for "of", then you're likely going to be using de.
  • Soy de Francia. (I'm from France / I'm of France)
  • Sacó los libros de la mochila. (She took the books from the purse / She took the books of the purse)
  • Estoy cansado de estudiar. (I'm tired from studying / I'm tired of studying)
  • Recibí una carta de mi abuela. (I received a letter from my grandmom. / I received a letter of my grandmom.)

Question:

  • On interactive Spanish TV programs, when someone is put on the air, they ask him: "¿Desde dónde nos llamas?" (and not "¿de dónde nos llamas?") for "where are you calling from?" In what other cases should desde be used rather than de

Answer:

  • Desde and de, in addition to their common meanings of "since" and "of,” respectively, often are translated as "from." When used to mean "from," these two prepositions can be somewhat confusing, because the distinction, at least to foreign ears, isn't always clear. And in many cases they are interchangeable. For example, both de aquí al centro and desde aquí al centro can be used for "from here to downtown.”

Desde indicates…

  • However, as a general rule, it can be said that desde more strongly indicates motion from a location, although it is frequently used where no destination is given. To give two examples, desde would be commonly be used in sentences such as echó el libro desde el coche (he threw the book from the car) and corrió desde la playa (he ran from the beach).

Other Prepositions

  • Desde also is used with other prepositions: desde arriba (from above), desde dentro (from inside), desde abajo (from underneath). Note that these phrases tend to indicate motion from the specified area.

Translating "from"

  • There are numerous cases where de, not desde, must be used to translate "from." Many of those are instances where in translation "of" can be substituted for "from," even if awkwardly. Examples: Soy de los Estados Unidos. (I'm from the United States. I'm of the United States.) Sacó el dinero de la bolsa. (She took the money from the purse. She took the money of the purse.) Sometimes the preposition por can be used to mean "from": Está debilitado por hambre. (He is weak from hunger.)

Summary

  • In the case you mentioned ("¿Desde dónde nos llamas?"), perhaps the best explanation is that desde is the preposition of choice in that phrase; that's simply the way it is usually said (although sometimes you will hear de used instead). By the way, ¿Desde dónde nos llamas? means "Where are you calling us from?" Desde is similarly used with hablar¿desde dónde hablas? (where are you talking from?), although again de is often used instead.

Practice

  • He lifted me from below the water.
  • She saw him from far away.
  • Luis called them from France.
  • I’m from San Juan.
  • They received a gift from their boss.
  • I’m tired of waiting.
  • are you taking your friend from New York to the party?

Time Expressions with "hacer"

  • The verb "hacer" can be used in a number of ways to indicate the length of time an action has been taking place. The first way uses the formula:
    • Hace + time + que + present tense form of the verb
  • Example:
    • Hace un año que estudio español. I have been studying Spanish for one year.
    • Hace dos años que ellas estudian inglés. They have been studying English for two years.

Negative Expressions

  • To make this type of expression negative, just add the word "no" before the verb, as in the following formula:
    • Hace + time + que + no + present tense form of the verb
  • Example:
    • Hace un año que no estudio español. I haven't studied Spanish for a year.
    • Hace dos años que ellas no estudian inglés. They haven't studied English for two years.

Another way to use the verb "hacer" to express how long something has been taking place is to use the following formula:

  • Another way to use the verb "hacer" to express how long something has been taking place is to use the following formula:
    • Present tense form of the verb + desde hace + time
  • Example:
    • Estudio español desde hace un año. I have been studying Spanish for one year.
    • Ellas estudian inglés desde hace dos años. They have been studying English for two years.

To make this type of expression negative, again simply add the word "no" before the verb, as in the following formula:

  • To make this type of expression negative, again simply add the word "no" before the verb, as in the following formula:
    • No + present tense form of the verb + desde hace + time
  • Example:
    • No estudio español desde hace un año. I haven't studied Spanish for a year.
    • Ellas no estudian inglés desde hace dos años. They haven't studied English for two years.

Summary

  • So, when it comes to using the verb "hacer" to express the length of time an action has been taking place, there are two ways to say the same thing:
    • Estudio español desde hace un año.
    • Hace un año que estudio español. I have been studying Spanish for one year.
  • Online

Clue words that indicate a period of time:

  • hace poco = a little while ago
  • hace un mes = a month ago
  • Hace una hora = an hour ago
  • Hace tiempo = in a while
  • Desde ayer = since yesterday
  • Semana = week
  • Año = year
  • Dias = days
  • Mes(es) = month(s)
  • “Un” (a, an, one) can be change to a longer period of time.

Open Note-book Quiz

  • 1. _____ dos meses se investiga el caso de discriminación. (They have been investigating the discrimination case for two months.)
  • 2. _____ + a time expression +que + a verb phrase in the present.
  • 3. a verb phrase in the present+ _____ + a time expression, use…
    • a) desde hace
    • b) hacía, que
    • c) hace, desde
    • d) hace
  • 4. to express how long or since when an action has been going on, use…
    • a) hace, desde
    • b) desde hace
    • c) hace
    • d) hacía, que
  • 5. Ellas son feministas desde hace dos años. (True or False)
  • desde hace → Mirta and Ofelia have been feminists for two years.

“False Friends”

“False friends”

  • Learning a language always has its little hitches, and what we call "false friends" are one of them. What is a false friend? False friends are two words in two different languages - in this case English and Spanish - that look and/or sound alike but actually have completely different meanings.
  • In Spanish, for example, if you want to say that you are embarrassed, you might be inclined to say "Estoy embarazada". Sounds logical, right? However, what you're actually saying is that you are pregnant. Below you can look over some other commonly used - and commonly mistaken - "false friends":

Common Spanish False Friends

  • Spanish word
  • Often mistaken in English for...
  • Actually means...
  • actual
  • actual, real
  • current, at the present time
  • asistir
  • assist
  • to be present
  • atender
  • attend
  • To serve, to take care of
  • billón
  • billion
  • 1,000,000,000,000 (trillion, in American English)
  • campo
  • Camp
  • field, country (as opposed to city)
  • carpeta
  • Carpet
  • Folder
  • Constipado
  • constipated
  • has a cold, is stuffed up
  • Embarazada
  • embarrassed
  • pregnant
  • Emocionante
  • emotional
  • thrilling, exciting
  • en absoluto
  • absolutely
  • absolutely not

Common Spanish False Friends

  • Spanish word
  • Often mistaken in English for...
  • Actually means...
  • Éxito
  • exit
  • success, a hit
  • Largo
  • large
  • Long
  • Molestar
  • molest
  • bother, annoy (no sexual connotation)
  • Recordar
  • record
  • to remember, to remind
  • Sensible
  • sensible
  • sensitive, emotional
  • Sopa
  • soap
  • Soup
  • Suceso
  • success
  • event, happening

Practica

  • Create/write Spanish sentences with each “false friends” vocabulary words.

Online: Review game

  • http://www.quia.com/cb/757889.html


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