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  #1  
Old January 15, 2017, 01:02 PM
lordhelmit lordhelmit is offline
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Multiple ways to say the same thing

Hola, este sólo es mi tercero mensaje aquí, así que corregir cualquier errores que veas.

Mi pregunta esta sobre diciendo algo que tiene más que una forma decirlo. Por ejemplo, "estoy tratando entender español mejor para ti" y "estoy intentando comprender español para ti". Como me sabría que forma es corrija? Eran ambos corrija?

Como siempre, gracias por su (tu?) ayuda.

I only used a spanish-english dictionary for "ambos" y "cualquier", so do correct me if I used them wrong. I did copy/paste the whole message into Google translate just to make sure it looks right, and according to the Googles, it is...but I know the Googles doesn't really do it all that well. This sort of thing I encounter relatively frequently, too - seemingly multiple ways to say the same thing. Don't worry about correcting my English grammatical errors, I'm a native english speaker and don't care about that. I do for Spanish though of course.

Si tu recuerdame, soy el hombre con una novia nueva que es de Puerto Rico. (We have been dating?) para tres meses ahora.

In case you see this like really soon, I'm about to go on my phone to edit the post to put the appropriate accent marks. It's a pain to do on my laptop.

Last edited by lordhelmit; January 15, 2017 at 01:10 PM.
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  #2  
Old January 15, 2017, 01:10 PM
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aleCcowaN aleCcowaN is offline
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Google thingamagig and other translators aren't good.

Your texts contain too many mistakes, mostly made because you think Spanish is like English: in a lot of cases you can use the same word as a verb, adjective or noun, and even as an adverb. That's hardly never the case in Spanish.

Maybe if you ask in the translation sub-forum and add the original texts in English too, we may help you.
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Old January 15, 2017, 01:13 PM
lordhelmit lordhelmit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
Google thingamagig and other translators aren't good.

Your texts contain too many mistakes, mostly made because you think Spanish is like English: in a lot of cases you can use the same word as a verb, adjective or noun, and even as an adverb. That's hardly never the case in Spanish.

Maybe if you ask in the translation sub-forum and add the original texts in English too, we may help you.
Yes, this is the case. I know that direct word-for-word translations don't really work, but I don't really know how to work on that. Any suggestions? Also, if you have the time, I would greatly appreciate you copy/pasting my texts and correcting the errors, or explaining why it's incorrect or what the correct way should be, even if there are many.

But are you telling me that you don't even know what my message is supposed to say? I would be surprised if you can't even understand any of it.

Last edited by lordhelmit; January 15, 2017 at 01:16 PM.
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  #4  
Old January 15, 2017, 02:50 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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Your sentences would be one more appropriate than the other, depending on the context, but those aren't the ones that need corrections, I think, except probably a confusion between "para" and "por".

You did a good job with your text; here are some hints and comments for improvement:
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordhelmit View Post
Hola, este sólo es mi tercero (When "tercero" is placed before the word, then you must use "tercer") mensaje aquí, así que corregir (You need to conjugate this verb) cualquier (You have a plural, so it's either that you change "errores" to singular or "cualquier" to plural) errores que veas.

Mi pregunta esta (Check spelling and take a look here for the differences between "ser" and "estar") sobre diciendo (English "-ing" forms are very rarely translated into "-ando"/"-iendo" in Spanish; try using an infinitive or reword your sentence) algo que tiene más que (For this kind of construction, we use "más de". Take a look here) una forma *** (Preposition needed here) decirlo. Por ejemplo, "estoy tratando *** (Same preposition needed here) entender español mejor para ti" y "estoy intentando comprender español para ti". *** (Never forget opening question marks) Como (This is a question, so there's an accent missing) me sabría que forma es corrija (Try rewording this, it doesn't make sense the way it is, and it's hard to suggest corrections? *** (Question mark) Eran ambos corrija (This is a verb conjugated either in the subjunctive or in the imperative form, so it's clearly not the word you meant to insert here, so please check your dictionary)?

Como siempre, gracias por su (tu?) (It depends on how you want to talk to your reader) ayuda.

I only used a spanish-english dictionary for "ambos" y "cualquier", so do correct me if I used them wrong.
--> Both are fine, except for what I said about the plural with "cualquier".


Si tu (Spelling) recuerdame (Spelling and wrong conjugation), soy el hombre con una novia nueva que es de Puerto Rico. (We have been dating (For this idea we use the verb "salir con alguien")?) para (The use of "para" needs some idea of purpose; it's not appropriate for duration; check here the differences between "por" and "para") tres meses ahora (Ahora is "at this very moment", but you're using it in a sentence where a period of time is not exactly right now, so try using "ya" instead).
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Old January 15, 2017, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordhelmit View Post
But are you telling me that you don't even know what my message is supposed to say? I would be surprised if you can't even understand any of it.
It's your message. I'm doing no favour if I start to suppose what are you trying to say and offer you translations. I learnt that the hard way.
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Old January 16, 2017, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordhelmit View Post
Yes, this is the case. I know that direct word-for-word translations don't really work, but I don't really know how to work on that. Any suggestions?
Start of continue studying with:

*CDs / Digital Spanish programs: I liked Ultimate Spanish, Living Language, and Pimsleur, and others.

*Find a private teacher in person or on the internet ( study on the internet).

*Watch youtube grammar lessons: just type in the grammar point you have difficulty with or want to learn and it's there.

*Read newspapers in Spanish (e.g. from Puerto Rico) about topics you are interested in. You don't have to understand it at all, or even 30%. Focus on the headlines first and first 2 paragraphs.

*Songs in Spanish: traditional, pop, rock, rap, etc.
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Old January 19, 2017, 06:06 AM
lordhelmit lordhelmit is offline
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Gracias para la ayuda, mis amigos.

Still curious about the question I asked in the OP, though. Tratando entender o intentando comprender? Or should I not even be using gerunds at all, since they don't seem to be that common in spanish?

Also, this is the type of stuff that confuses me right here. If I wanted to say:
"and how about in your bed?" It would be
"¿Y que tal en tu cama?"

But as far as the dictionary says, each of these words means the same thing...but it isn't correct to say in a sentence.
"¿Como" (how) "sobre" (about) en tu cama?"

So what makes the que tal correct and not como sobre, and how am I supposed to know these things for future phrases with other words? Now I did know before even attempting that "como sobre" was not correct, but it was more of a feeling than knowing why.

De nuevo y como siempre, gracias para tu ayuda y dime si lo dije bien

Last edited by lordhelmit; January 19, 2017 at 07:16 AM.
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Old January 19, 2017, 11:11 AM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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Your "gerundio" is alright. "Estar + gerundio" is the present progressive, and you're using it correctly, but things are trickier when you have a third verb, so now need a linking preposition between "tratando" and "comprender"/"entender".
The general formula for the verb "tratar" is "tratar de hacer algo".


As for "cómo" and "qué tal", my recommendation is never trying to translate word for word; this hardly ever works.
In English you are asking "how about" (to ask for an opinion on a suggestion), which is not the same as "how" (to ask the way something would be done). In this context, that's the same difference in Spanish between "qué tal" and "cómo".

"Sobre", in this context, is not "about" but "over" or "above", so you may see why "sobre" doesn't match your sentence.


The most efficient way I know to understand when an expression or a word is appropriate for some context, is learning expressions and words in specific contexts and practicing their use in many different sentences. Relying on dictionaries is too confusing, because they only give a number of meanings without explanations. Yet, if you want to stick to bilingual dictionaries, check each word in the Spanish dictionary so you'll find out if the definition works for your purposes or if you have to pick another word from the bilingual one.

I am a "classroom advocate", so I'd suggest taking some formal course to study more systematically and to learn how to start thinking in Spanish rather than trying to translate from English. But if you prefer not to take any courses, try following some grammar lessons (online or in books); that will help you follow how Spanish sentences are constructed.


Final note: "Para" needs some idea of a purpose, but you're saying thanks for something that is rather a cause. Check again the differences between "por" and "para".


I'm glad to help. Let me know if you need clarification or more explanations.
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  #9  
Old January 21, 2017, 02:51 PM
lordhelmit lordhelmit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
Your "gerundio" is alright. "Estar + gerundio" is the present progressive, and you're using it correctly, but things are trickier when you have a third verb, so now need a linking preposition between "tratando" and "comprender"/"entender".
The general formula for the verb "tratar" is "tratar de hacer algo".


As for "cómo" and "qué tal", my recommendation is never trying to translate word for word; this hardly ever works.
In English you are asking "how about" (to ask for an opinion on a suggestion), which is not the same as "how" (to ask the way something would be done). In this context, that's the same difference in Spanish between "qué tal" and "cómo".

"Sobre", in this context, is not "about" but "over" or "above", so you may see why "sobre" doesn't match your sentence.


The most efficient way I know to understand when an expression or a word is appropriate for some context, is learning expressions and words in specific contexts and practicing their use in many different sentences. Relying on dictionaries is too confusing, because they only give a number of meanings without explanations. Yet, if you want to stick to bilingual dictionaries, check each word in the Spanish dictionary so you'll find out if the definition works for your purposes or if you have to pick another word from the bilingual one.

I am a "classroom advocate", so I'd suggest taking some formal course to study more systematically and to learn how to start thinking in Spanish rather than trying to translate from English. But if you prefer not to take any courses, try following some grammar lessons (online or in books); that will help you follow how Spanish sentences are constructed.


Final note: "Para" needs some idea of a purpose, but you're saying thanks for something that is rather a cause. Check again the differences between "por" and "para".


I'm glad to help. Let me know if you need clarification or more explanations.
Very helpful post, thank you very much for your insight. I have been watching videos and reading about all these tenses and by far the most conusing for me is when to use preterite vs imperfect, but conditional vs subjunctive is confusing as well. Seems like instead of trying word for word translations, I need to focus on the idea of what I'm trying to aay, and try to think of it with Spanish syntax and grammar, not just translating from English. I know I have a lot to learn, but this is fun! I'm prolly going to be posting lots more questiobs...
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  #10  
Old January 21, 2017, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Seems like instead of trying word for word translations, I need to focus on the idea of what I'm trying to aay, and try to think of it with Spanish syntax and grammar, not just translating from English.
Correct.

Conjugation is tough, but practice makes perfect.
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