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Infinitive vs. Subjunctive

 

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  #1  
Old February 13, 2017, 09:22 PM
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Infinitive vs. Subjunctive

"How do I teach my cat not to scratch my furniture?"


¿Cómo le enseño a mi gato que no rasguñe mis muebles?

¿Cómo le enseño a mi gato a no rasguñar mis muebles?



1. Are both of my translations grammatically correct? If not, please correct them.
2. Are both just different ways of saying the same thing?

Thanks for any input and/or corrections.
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  #2  
Old February 16, 2017, 02:58 PM
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¿Cómo logro que mi gato no rasguñe los muebles?

¿Cómo le enseño a mi gato a no rasguñar los muebles?

lograr que
enseñar a

the problem here is that you were using "que" with the wrong type of sentence, so the infinitive/subjunctive dichotomy was moot.
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Old February 16, 2017, 04:20 PM
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Thanks, aleCcowaN. I’ll just have to memorize which word is associated with each verb.

For me, ¿Cómo logro que mi gato no rasguñe los muebles? has more of a feeling of “How do I get my cat not to scratch the furniture,” and “¿Cómo le enseño a mi gato a no rasguñar los muebles? as “How do I teach my cat not to scratch the furniture.” Since I wanted to emphasize “teach my cat,” I’ll use the sentence with the infinitive.

Thank you for clearing that up for me.
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Old February 17, 2017, 07:03 AM
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Allow me to comment further on your original sentence, which wasn't 100% wrong; furthermore, it looks like an anacoluthon most native speakers would do every third day.

¿Cómo le enseño a mi gato que no rasguñe mis muebles?

Enseñar a, aprender a,
require a verb in noun form. It's the abstract action and nobody is doing it at any time: enseñar a no arañar.

You have also the personal a there: enseñar a mi gato.

You can link a clause starting with "que...", but you have to introduce a new verb or a new "subject" in order "clean the slate"

¿Cómo le enseño a mi gato que los muebles no se rasguñan?
¿Cómo le enseño a mi gato que no hay que rasguñar los muebles?
¿Cómo le enseño a mi gato que los muebles no están para que los raguñe?
¿Cómo le enseño a mi gato que un mueble no es un árbol con corteza?

The most common "untidy" phrase would be

¿Cómo le enseño a mi gato a que no rasguñe mis muebles?

with two a's to make it work. If you used that kind of phrases you wouldn't get a literary prize, but there's nothing more "native sounding" like that. Use it when and where you have to be sure the message went through and some lack of formality is tolerated.
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  #5  
Old February 17, 2017, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
¿Cómo le enseño a mi gato que no hay que rasguñar los muebles?
Does this one not mean "How can I teach my cat that it does not have to scratch the furniture?"

?
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  #6  
Old February 17, 2017, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
Does this one not mean "How can I teach my cat that it does not have to scratch the furniture?"

?
More like "how can I teach my cat that the furniture is not to be scratched?"

Obligation introduced by "hay" is general and impersonal.
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Old February 17, 2017, 11:52 AM
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You can't just say, ¿Cómo enseño a mi gato no arañar los muebles?
That's the way I would say it. Does it sound foreign?
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Old February 17, 2017, 03:44 PM
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It is read "¿Cómo enseño a mi gato (stone wall separating two phrases) no arañar los muebles?"

You need at least to insert a second "a". Any conjunction would help, even that "que" in the OP.
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