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One can see many stars

 

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  #11  
Old December 19, 2011, 05:13 PM
Don José Don José is offline
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I understand, according to Rusty, that two different English sentences should be translated in two different ways. But:

Quote:
De acuerdo con esta distribución de uso, la construcción impersonal no es normal ni aconsejable cuando el complemento directo denota cosa; no obstante, en algunas zonas de América, especialmente en los países del Cono Sur, se están extendiendo las construcciones impersonales con complemento directo de cosa, aunque su aparición es aún escasa en la lengua escrita: «Es frecuente que se venda materias primas de baja calidad» (FdzChiti Hornos [Arg. 1992]); en estos casos, la norma culta mayoritaria sigue prefiriendo la construcción de pasiva refleja: «A esa hora solo se vendían cosas de comer» (GaMárquez Crónica [Col. 1981]); «Se vendían papas fritas, caramelos y salchichas en cada esquina» (Allende Eva [Chile 1987]).
DICCIONARIO PANHISPÁNICO DE DUDAS

http://buscon.rae.es/dpdI/SrvltConsulta?lema=se
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  #12  
Old December 19, 2011, 05:58 PM
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aleCcowaN aleCcowaN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don José View Post
I understand, according to Rusty, that two different English sentences should be translated in two different ways. But:



DICCIONARIO PANHISPÁNICO DE DUDAS

http://buscon.rae.es/dpdI/SrvltConsulta?lema=se
Thank you for that. I speak that way and it was through language forums like these that I learnt during the last 6 years that it was not the standard way. Sometimes we ask too much to our language. Sentences like "desde aquí no se puede ver muchas estrellas" are border cases that seem to convey a nuance, maybe one of not-fulfilled need or one of all or nothing.

The problem seem to be mixing up "pasivas reflejas" with "impersonales reflejas" under some sort of tendency to hypercorrection. We are used to be told that we mustn't mix up both constructions when a complement introduced by "a" is used: "Se llamó a los padres" and not "Se llamaron a los padres", "se buscan a los asesinos", etc. But that is not true when things are involved and the verb is transitive: "se están buscando soluciones para el problema" (no "lo" there), "se está buscando soluciones para el problema" (some "lo" hidden there). Some mistakes come from rising that to the level of hypercorrection: "lo que se busca es soluciones", "lo que se busca son soluciones"
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  #13  
Old December 19, 2011, 08:49 PM
pacomartin123 pacomartin123 is offline
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Impersonal "se"

Can you please look at this short website: The Impersonal and Passive se in Spanish

The website makes the statement: Impersonal voice using se will use a singular verb since the se can be replaced by uno ("one").

If I am reading that instruction correctly, and I want to translate the English
One can see many stars, on a clear night., then either (1) or (2) is OK.
1) "Se puede ver muchas estrellas, en la noche clara."
2) "Uno puede ver muchas estrellas, en la noche clara."

========================
As a secondary question, I was under the impression that the passive voice in Spanish must involve the use of a conjugation of ser in the present indicative and a past participle of some verb. Is that correct? That's the way it is in English.

If that is the case, and I want to say Many Stars can be seen, on a clear night. then I must have a conjugation of ser and viendo in the sentence.

Last edited by pacomartin123; December 19, 2011 at 09:28 PM.
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  #14  
Old December 19, 2011, 09:09 PM
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Rusty Rusty is offline
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I agree with the first part, but would prefer to use sentence (1) (without the stuff after the comma, by the way).

The passive voice is one thing. La 'voz pasiva refleja' es otra.
The passive voice is rarely used in Spanish, but heavily used in English.
Instead of using the passive voice, the Spanish employ the passive 'se'.

Here is an example of the passive voice:
The thief was arrested.

The verb used in Spanish is ser (not estar), in any tense, followed by a past participle. For example:
El ladrón fue arrestado.

The preferred way to say this sentence in Spanish is to use the passive 'se':
Se arrestó al ladrón.

Last edited by Rusty; December 20, 2011 at 05:46 AM.
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  #15  
Old December 20, 2011, 03:40 AM
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aleCcowaN aleCcowaN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacomartin123 View Post
If that is the case, and I want to say Many Stars can be seen, on a clear night. then I must have a conjugation of ser and viendo in the sentence.
"Muchas estrellas pueden ser vistas en una noche clara."

son vistas/fueron vistas/pueden ser vistas/han sido vistas/... (pasiva)
se ven/se vieron/se pueden ver/se han visto/... (pasiva refleja)
(with a plural, not quite OK with this verb*) se ve/se vio/se puede ver/se ha visto... (impersonal refleja)

Passive voice looks very active to our brains (it puts the 'subject' under the spotlight), that's why "el ladrón opuso resistencia pero igualmente fue arrestado" (you may say "igualmente se lo arrestó" but although it's a fine description, it's not a good depiction of the facts); and "y se recuperaron los objetos robados" (you may say "y los objetos robados fueron recuperados", but again, not a good way to tell the story).

*"Se vio muchas estrellas" is a ridiculous phrase that disregards not only the agent subject but the very items: a bunch of M. Nobodies saw what they couldn't discriminate as being many separate objects. That specific formulation keeps such a distance that becomes completely aseptic, unless that is what you're specifically trying to convey.
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