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Present Tense verb help

 

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  #1  
Old March 15, 2017, 09:57 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, 10:07 AM
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Perikles Perikles is offline
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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 10:09 AM.
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Old March 16, 2017, 04:28 PM
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wrholt wrholt is online now
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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, 05:15 AM
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aleCcowaN aleCcowaN is offline
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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, 07:53 AM
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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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