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Old December 19, 2016, 04:56 PM
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Nada

I am confused about the word nada.

Rosetta Stone is telling me that nada means swim. "nada como un pez" | "she swims like a fish."

When I look in the dictionary it tells me that nada means nothing.

I went to Google Translator and entered "nada como un pez" and it says "nothing like a fish". When I enter "nadar como un pez", it says "swim like a fish."

Another dictionary also makes "nada como un pez" | "she swims like a fish".

I'm getting different answers no matter where I look, and some are randomly adding she/female into it.

Maybe nada can mean swim or nothing, depending on how its used, but the dictionary doesn't show that. It says nada is nothing and nadar is swim.

However, under the dictionary's definition of nadar it says:

"nadar (swim) Example: nada como un pez" ... So it makes no sense to me. Why it lists nadar as swim, but then uses nada (nothing) in the example usage of nadar.
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  #2  
Old December 19, 2016, 05:39 PM
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You're almost there Depilego, in seeing the verb nadar. All that's needed now is to check how it's conjugated, in this case third person singular [he, she or it] which is nada. The similarity between verb and noun provides material for the catchy saying ¿Qué hace el pez? ¡Nada! (What does a fish do? It swims!)

Last edited by Glen; December 19, 2016 at 05:43 PM.
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Old December 19, 2016, 05:40 PM
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nadar (infinitive (unconjugated verb)) = (to) swim
nada (3rd-person singular present indicative tense (conjugated verb)) = he swims, she swims, it swims and you (formal) swim

Look here to see the other conjugations of the verb nadar.

The noun nada means 'nothing', but you'll see that it is translated to 'anything' in English, because English doesn't allow a double negative.
No veo nada. = I don't see anything.

The adverb nada means 'not at all'.
Ella no nada nada. = She doesn't swim at all.
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Old December 19, 2016, 05:49 PM
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Rusty explained it far better than I did. You're well on your way now!
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Old December 19, 2016, 05:58 PM
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Your dictionary must designate the role of the word, as in whether it is a verb, a noun, an adjective, an adverb, etc. Without knowing the role of a word, it's impossible to translate it into English.
You caught on to this, I suppose, or you wouldn't have written, "depending on how it's used."
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Old December 19, 2016, 06:56 PM
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I don't really know how the dictionary works. It has a lot of things in it that I don't understand. I'm going to start the second lesson now, and see what happens.

I think I kind of understand why there are differences, but I don't know why I understand. Hopefully, I will be able to make sense of something soon.

I wonder if there is an English example similar to nada.

https://1drv.ms/i/s!AmL8aIYnOOzplI8rwHAVdSvqD-wybQ

Last edited by Depilego; December 19, 2016 at 07:01 PM.
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Old December 19, 2016, 07:21 PM
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The dictionary entry shows, at Roman numeral I, right at the top, that you are looking an an intransitive verb (vi = verbo intransitivo). It is common for a verb to be listed in its infinitive form (nadar = to swim). The three entries under it give three different ways the infinitive can be used.
The section you're looking at is for someone who knows Spanish and is trying to learn English. The first example shows a tilde (~) in the question. This is where the infinitive form can be used to ask if 'you' (familiar) know how to swim.
The second example is showing how someone would say that a 'persona' (person) swims (conjugated form of nadar) como un pez (like a fish). The dictionary added 'she' because the English sentence must have a subject. The subject of the Spanish sentence could be anyone that is conveyed by the third person (he, she, it, you (formal) or anybody that has already been referenced).

I won't describe the rest.

The dictionary will also list 'nada'. In that entry, you should see at least two roles - noun (abbreviated n) and adverb (abbreviated adv). Those will most likely give examples of a noun and adverb usage, something like I gave above.
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Old December 22, 2016, 12:28 AM
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Don't want to confuse the issue, as Rusty is doing a great job.

But, following Glen's lead,

¿Qué le dice un pez a otro?

(What does one fish say to another fish?)

¡Nada!

(Ie., - Swim! or Nothing!)

And one person at the swimming pool,

¿Usted no nada nada?

Are you not swimming at all?

No, no traje traje.

No, I didn't bring my swimming trunks.

Traje = "traje de baño" = swimming trunks

"traje" = 1st person past tense of the verb "traer".

http://dle.rae.es/?id=aE26oeU

(Correct my Henglish, please!)
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Old December 22, 2016, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPablo View Post

¿Usted no nada nada?

No, no traje traje.
Very good, one I'll have to remember when the time comes.
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Old December 22, 2016, 04:45 PM
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I'm never going to learn Spanish. Those don't make sense.
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