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Present Tense verb help

 

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  #1  
Old March 15, 2017, 10:57 PM
1990991 1990991 is offline
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Present Tense verb help

Hi,

I'm not sure if ALL Spanish verbs work like this or just some. Don't even know what these different ways of phrasing things are called so just going to give an example.

Ellas no dan comida.

Does this mean only one of "they don't give food" or "they are not giving food" or does this mean both?

Practicing on DuoLingo and it seemed like verbs could be translated both ways throughout the whole thing up until tonight where now a phrase like this can only mean one or the other (but how would you know which and why?).

How would you know when a verb can be read as I/you/he/she/whatever (does) something or IS (doing) something?

Here's another example, and the website would take either translation:

Tu bebes agua.

You drink water.
You are drinking water.

Which one is right, or are they both right?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old March 16, 2017, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1990991 View Post
Hi,

I'm not sure if ALL Spanish verbs work like this or just some. Don't even know what these different ways of phrasing things are called so just going to give an example.

Ellas no dan comida.

Does this mean only one of "they don't give food" or "they are not giving food" or does this mean both?

Practicing on DuoLingo and it seemed like verbs could be translated both ways throughout the whole thing up until tonight where now a phrase like this can only mean one or the other (but how would you know which and why?).

How would you know when a verb can be read as I/you/he/she/whatever (does) something or IS (doing) something?

Here's another example, and the website would take either translation:

Tu bebes agua.

You drink water.
You are drinking water.

Which one is right, or are they both right?

Thanks.
They are both right. Spanish has only one form of the present tense, whereas English has three:

I run
I am running
I do run

The Spanish present could mean any of these, depending on the context.

(I'm making it simple and ignoring the Spanish continuous present)

Last edited by Perikles; March 16, 2017 at 11:09 AM.
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  #3  
Old March 16, 2017, 05:28 PM
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Adding a bit to Perikles's response:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1990991 View Post
Hi,

I'm not sure if ALL Spanish verbs work like this or just some.
...
This is generally true of most verbs in Spanish, depending on context.
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Old March 17, 2017, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1990991 View Post

Tu bebes agua.

You drink water.
You are drinking water.

Which one is right, or are they both right?
You're welcome to ask here for examples, if you want them, but beware it may get a little confusing for English speakers if you try to master both present and present continuous in Spanish. If you're Spanish level is "absolute beginner", the replies you got are right enough.
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Old March 17, 2017, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
If you're Spanish level is "absolute beginner", the replies you got are right enough.
Now your English is far higher than "absolute beginner", so let's have your and not you are.
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Old March 27, 2017, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1990991 View Post
Tu bebes agua.

You drink water.
You are drinking water.

Which one is right, or are they both right?
Quote:
Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
You're welcome to ask here for examples, if you want them, but beware it may get a little confusing for English speakers if you try to master both present and present continuous in Spanish. If you're your Spanish level is "absolute beginner", the replies you got are right enough.
I would like to expand on this, for my own education and perhaps a help to others. I would like some verification if what I have written below is correct.

You drink water (Present Simple) means it is something you do, it doesn't necessarily mean you are doing it at the moment. Just your routine.

You are drinking water (Present Continuous) means you are currently drinking water and you will soon stop. It is not necessarily a routine of yours.

Is this the same in Spanish?

Bebes agua. (Present Simple)
Estas bebiendo agua (Present Continuous)

Do they have the same general descriptions as I provided for English?
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Old March 27, 2017, 09:29 PM
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The present tense can be ambiguous as you display. You drink water can mean something that you customarily do, or it may mean you currently drink water. In English we most frequently use the present progressive or continuous tense to avoid confusion.

In Spanish, the same is true, but the present progressive is used less. If overused, it sounds foreign.
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Old March 27, 2017, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poli View Post
The present tense can be ambiguous as you display. You drink water can mean something that you customarily do, or it may mean you currently drink water. In English we most frequently use the present progressive or continuous tense to avoid confusion.

In Spanish, the same is true, but the present progressive is used less. If overused, it sounds foreign.
That is very helpful, thank you
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Old March 27, 2017, 10:36 PM
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The Spanish presente de indicativo corresponds to SEVERAL English tenses.
This site explains this pretty well, so I won't repeat it here. Read it all the way through.

Note that the present progressive (continuous) is mentioned on that page, but it is noted as another form; it is not the same as the tiempo presente. The progressive form, as poli mentions, is used less often in Spanish than it is in English.
It means that you are currently in the act of doing the action represented. You'll see, if you look at the examples, and others elsewhere, that it doesn't always mean the same thing as the Spanish presente de indicativo.

One thing not mentioned on the site is that the Spanish present indicative tense also corresponds to the affirmative or emphatic use of 'do' + verb.
I do eat. = (yo) sí como. | Yo como.

There is an amusing riddle in Spanish. It is a string of six words, all spelled the same: como como como como como como

See if you can add proper accent marks and punctuation to have the string make sense and ensure its proper intonation.
The answer is below. One possible translation into English follows the answer.

Hidden Text: Show/Hide
Click to show hidden text - Da click para revelar el texto oculto

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Old March 28, 2017, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
Now your English is far higher than "absolute beginner", so let's have your and not you are.
Sorry, your right! Bad grammer and reading bad English makes you nauseous Irregardless what you think, this forum is supposably and for all intensive purposes a place to conversate those mistaken errors . We may meet and drink sherberts. I suggest doing it in the northern hemisphere becuase here the foilage has follen and that announciate the wintry seasonal. But it could be vice a versa.

I know its a whole nother thing, but all these I have learned in web forums. I swear to it, and if you dont beleive me, i could care less
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