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De -vs - Para

 

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  #1  
Old August 04, 2008, 09:22 AM
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Question De -vs - Para

Hay una frase......

Yo no tengo la habilidad de manejar camiones grandes pero tengo la habilidad para manejar mi automovil.

Primero...está correcta la frase?

Segundo... que determina el uso de de y para.

Is their use interchangeable? Is there a rule as to when to use one and not the other?

I appreciate your assistance.
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  #2  
Old August 04, 2008, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elaina View Post
Hay una frase......

Yo no tengo la habilidad de manejar camiones grandes pero tengo la habilidad para manejar mi automovil.

Primero...está correcta la frase?

Segundo... que determina el uso de de y para.

Is their use interchangeable? Is there a rule as to when to use one and not the other?

I appreciate your assistance.
I'm sorry,Elaina, but I feel totally powerless. I guess your sentence is correct, but I cannot tell you for sure because I would say it in a completely different way. Something along the lines of:
No sé conducir camiones grandes, pero sé conducir mi coche.
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  #3  
Old August 04, 2008, 10:59 AM
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I was waiting on a native speaker to speak at length on the differences, or similarities, between the words, but I can offer my opinion.

The words don't seem to be interchangeable, in my view. The most difficult hurdle we English speakers face is that we don't use a preposition in either instance and cannot, therefore, make an easy comparison.

It seems de is used when a characteristic of an item is being communicated and para is used when an action is linked to the item.
For example, in your original sentence, driving skill is la habilidad de manejar, while the ability to drive is la habilidad para manejar. The former describes the type of skill (what function or characteristic the skill has). The latter, with the use of the infinitive, conveys an action.

Have a look at this example:
En ocasiones usamos una taza de medir para medir la cantidad de harina que necesitamos para hacer el pan.
Usamos una taza de medir para medir la cantidad ...
=We use a measuring cup to measure the amount ...
Usamos una taza para medir la cantidad ...
=We use a cup to measure the amount ...

My .
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  #4  
Old August 04, 2008, 12:41 PM
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Creo que entiendo lo que estas diciendo.......

En sí no estamos hablando de......

de manejar sino en la habilidad de = I have the ability (the subject is skill), right?

para manejar = I can drive (I can do the action)

Does this make sense?

UGH
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  #5  
Old August 04, 2008, 01:48 PM
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I think de and para are very different, but in some cases can be used almost interchangeably.

Not interchangeable:
Taza de café - Cup of coffee
Taza para café - Coffee cup

Almost interchangeable:
Women's Retreat
Retiro para Mujeres
Retiro de Mujeres
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Old August 04, 2008, 02:17 PM
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I agree with David. In the case you mentioned, Elaina, you can use both prepositions. These are an exigency of the noun habilidad, which can be habilidad para or habilidad de. But I don't think the sense changes at all.

What it is really weird in your sentence is that the speaker used both very close to each other, as its stylistic choice wasn't sure.

I also agree with Gemma, as I would say something like: Sé conducir camiones y coches.


In the case I had to use habilidad, I would use:
  • No tengo la habilidad de cocinar.
  • Tengo una gran habilidad para cocinar.
But the above is a stylistic distribution that varies from speaker to speaker.

There is another weird thing in your sentence: pero. Why are adversed conditions to be able to drive one or another? This makes me think that this Spanish is not very good, so you shouldn't have it as an example of right usage. You saw it and you understood it, sure, but you don't need to imitate it, as it can be confusing. Sure the speaker is not meaning different things by habilidad para / habilidad de.
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Last edited by Alfonso; August 04, 2008 at 02:20 PM. Reason: minor corrections
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  #7  
Old August 04, 2008, 03:55 PM
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so the grammar men have already spoken, so my 2 cents...
The easy way is to say (Like Gemma)
"Yo no sé manejar camiones grandes, pero puedo conducir coches."
Is a sentence a truck-job-looker (with no knowledge) will say in order to get a job.
If you want to say it your way, it can be so:
"Aunque no tengo habilidad en el manejo de camiones grandes, la tengo para automóviles"
Althoug "de" and "para" is OK, I usually use "habilidad en el manejo" skip the second for not saying "habilidad" two times.
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PD: your sentence is clear and understandable, but sounds forced.
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Old August 04, 2008, 04:10 PM
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I understand that the sentence itself is not correct........I was mostly interested in the usage of de and para which I think I am beginning to grasp.....

Alas, the sentence is not mine it was borrowed but only for demonstration purposes.

As far as the usage of but......I don't think its usage is that of being a negative word always...I guess it depends on the contents of the sentence it is being used in.

i.e.
1. Are you an Englishman?
But of course!

2. I feel freedom and excitement as I secretly skinny-dip in my neighbor's pool but the possibility of being seen or discovered sends shivers up my spine in erotic pleasure.

Is the word "pero" always used for negativity?

Thank you for your patience.

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Old August 05, 2008, 04:24 AM
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I think "pero" has always a "changing condition".
-Eres bueno, pero tienes que mejorar.
-Se ha incendiado la casa, pero no hay heridos.
I fear hearing "peroW because usually it's an excuse
-Me encantaría ir al cine, pero tengo que cuidar a mi abuela
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  #10  
Old August 05, 2008, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elaina View Post
I understand that the sentence itself is not correct........I was mostly interested in the usage of de and para which I think I am beginning to grasp.....

Alas, the sentence is not mine it was borrowed but only for demonstration purposes.

As far as the usage of but......I don't think its usage is that of being a negative word always...I guess it depends on the contents of the sentence it is being used in.

i.e.
1. Are you an Englishman?
But of course!

2. I feel freedom and excitement as I secretly skinny-dip in my neighbor's pool but the possibility of being seen or discovered sends shivers up my spine in erotic pleasure.

Is the word "pero" always used for negativity?

Thank you for your patience.
Well, but you are giving an example with but and your conclussions are about pero. You cannot translate it literally into Spanish:

-¿Eres inglés?
-¡Pero desde luego! (here, pero doesn't make sense).

On your second example (a really beautiful one; a borrowed one or a personal feelling?) you use but as in Spanish pero could be used. And there exists a meaning of adverseness on it. Negativeness is a different thing. (I'm using adverseness for the Spanish carácter adversativo, frases adversativas, etc. It's a technical term I don't know if I'm using correctly. Any help?)

Anyway, I was wrong, as I read the the sentence wrongly:

Yo no tengo la habilidad de manejar camiones grandes pero tengo la habilidad para manejar mi automovil.

The first phrase is a negative one, so the adversed character is fully justified. I've got nothing to object to pero here. I'm sorry I misunderstood the sentence.

I agree with what Sosia says, but the proper term to define the grammatical meaning of pero is, in Spanish, adversativo. So, you speak about frases adversativas when they show: pero, sino, en cambio, sin embargo, por el contrario, etc.
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