#21  
Old January 31, 2009, 04:40 PM
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Welcome I'm not Rusty, but I'll give you a few answers anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
I have done some reading on "hace ... [tiempo] ... que", including a link that I found that you posted in a different thread, and I think that I'm good with that construction. One quick question, though. If the verb that follows "que" is present tense, then it indicates something that has been ongoing? Like "Hace unas semanas que uso este foro..." where "uso" is present tense, so my use of the forum has been ongoing for several weeks. Right? But later in that same first paragraph, it says "Hace veinte años que estudié español...", the verb estudié is past tense, therefore this is something that happened twenty years ago and is NOT ongoing. Right?
Yes, by using the present tense, you are indicating that the action is ongoing. In your second example, when using the preterit, the "que" is optional.

Hace veinte años que estudio español = I have been studying Spanish for 20 years.
Hace veinte años (que) estudié español = I studied Spanish 20 years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
In the first sentence, I wrote "pero no me presenté todavía" and you changed it to "pero todavía no me he presentado". I have two questions about that construction. First - is the "todavía" always at the beginning of the phrase where it's used? Second - what does the "he" signify? Is it "here"? Or is it a conjugated verb that goes with the "presentar" (does it mean something like "have")? If so, what is the infinitive of that verb? And is the infinitive of "presentado" actually "presentarse"? AND ... is it similar in use to what you said a couple sentences later when you change what I wrote to "pero se me ha olvidado todo".
"todavía" can be used either before or after the verb, but using it before the verb might be more common. "he" is the first person singular conjugation of "haber"; "presentado" is the past participle of "presentar":

No me presenté = I didn't introduce myself.
No me he presentado = I haven't introduced myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
Finally (for now), in that last sentence to which I just referred ("pero se me ha ovidado todo"), why is there both a "se" and a "me"? Is that a unique thing with "ovidar"?
In Spanish it's more common to use a passive construction (which looks just like a reflexive construction) for some verbs, for example olvidar. It's not very common to say in Spanish "I forgot it". You would basically say "It was fogotten on me". In other words, it wasn't your fault, or you didn't forget intentionally. If you say "I forgot it" (Lo olvidé), you're implying a willful forgetfullness. Instead of doing this, you use this passive construction:

Se me olvidó = I forgot it = (literally) It was fogotten on me.

"se olvidó" is the "it was forgotten" part, and you insert "me" meaning that you were the affected party.

"se me ha olvidado" is exactly the same, but it's using the perfect tense:

Se me olvidó = I forgot it
Se me ha olvidado = I have forgotten it

Hope that helps a bit. (Or maybe Rusty should answer )
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  #22  
Old January 31, 2009, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
- I have done some reading on "hace ... [tiempo] ... que", including a link that I found that you posted in a different thread, and I think that I'm good with that construction. One quick question, though. If the verb that follows "que" is present tense, then it indicates something that has been ongoing? Like "Hace unas semanas que uso este foro..." where "uso" is present tense, so my use of the forum has been ongoing for several weeks. Right? (Right. Usually the translation is I have been using.) But later in that same first paragraph, it says "Hace veinte años que estudié español...", the verb estudié is past tense, therefore this is something that happened twenty years ago and is NOT ongoing. Right? (Right again. Usually the translation is since I studied.)

- In the first sentence, I wrote "pero no me presenté todavía" and you changed it to "pero todavía no me he presentado". I have two questions about that construction. First - is the "todavía" always at the beginning of the phrase where it's used? (No, but it sounded better to put it there.)Second - what does the "he" signify? Is it "here"? (No.) Or is it a conjugated verb that goes with the "presentar" (does it mean something like "have")? (Yes. This is the present perfect tense of presentarse. The present perfect tense employs the auxiliary verb haber.) If so, what is the infinitive of that verb? (The infinitive form is haberse presentado, which consists of both the auxiliary verb haber and the past participle presentado. And, since presentarse is reflexive, the reflexive pronoun goes on the auxiliary verb in the present perfect infinitive (it can't go on the participle).)
I changed me olvidé to se me ha olvidado because the Spanish don't forget things, especially themselves . The object did the forgetting, not the subject. Whenever you want to say I forgot something, the construction is se me olvidó algo. I used the present perfect tense here because the what you accidentally forgot didn't just occur in the past. This is why "pero se me ha olvidado todo" appears. Is that a unique thing with "olvidar"? (Yes, and with other verbs where blame can be shifted away from the person. )
Here is a link that will introduce you to the use of se with an unplanned occurrence (as in se me olvidó). There are many web sites that cover this topic if you want to investigate further.
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  #23  
Old February 02, 2009, 06:29 PM
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I'm still working through this, slowly but surely.

Where I wrote about meeting some people at the conference who have become close friends, you changed it to: "...nos hicimos muy buenas amigas." Now, I have only a very little understanding of the Spanish verb tenses beyond the present. But I thought that the preterite tense (isn't "hicimos" preterite?) means that something happened once in the past. So why wouldn't it be better to say "...nos hacíamos muy buenas amigas" - in the imperfect (?) to indicate that it was a process (albeit a quick one) to become good friends with these people?

A few sentences later, I wrote "Quisieran que se ofreciera voluntariamente para trabajar en una conferencia en la Ciudad de México en mayo..." You changed it to "Nos gustaría que se ofreciera trabajo voluntario en una conferencia en la Ciudad de México en mayo..." I meant to say that THEY want ME to volunteer at a conference in Mexico City. So, using your construction, would "Me gustarían que se ofreciera trabajo voluntario......." be a correct re-statement of this idea?

More questions will follow. Thank you again and again!!
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Last edited by laepelba; February 02, 2009 at 06:30 PM. Reason: added italics
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  #24  
Old February 02, 2009, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
I'm still working through this, slowly but surely.

Where I wrote about meeting some people at the conference who have become close friends, you changed it to: "...nos hicimos muy buenas amigas." Now, I have only a very little understanding of the Spanish verb tenses beyond the present. But I thought that the preterite tense (isn't "hicimos" preterite?) (yes) means that something happened once (not so much once, but started and ended) in the past. So why wouldn't it be better to say "...nos hacíamos muy buenas amigas" - in the imperfect (?) (yes) to indicate that it was a process (albeit a quick one) to become good friends with these people? (If you want to dwell on the fact that you were becoming very good friends throughout the conference, it's OK to use the imperfect tense. It's also OK to use other wording, like hemos llegado a ser muy buenas amigas. This means that you have become very good friends since then.)

A few sentences later, I wrote "Quisieran que se ofreciera voluntariamente para trabajar en una conferencia en la Ciudad de México en mayo..." You changed it to "Nos gustaría que se ofreciera trabajo voluntario en una conferencia en la Ciudad de México en mayo..." I meant to say that THEY want ME to volunteer at a conference in Mexico City. So, using your construction, would "Me gustarían que se ofreciera trabajo voluntario......." be a correct re-statement of this idea? (No. They would like me to volunteer = Les gustaría que yo me ofreciera voluntaria - let's throw out the word trabajo. It doesn't need to be there.)
Answers above.

Gustar is a very troublesome verb for us English speakers. You were using this verb in the conditional mood.
The Spanish don't like anything; something is pleasing to them. So, instead of the English they would like it, you need to twist things around a bit and say it would be pleasing to them.
Note that the English subject (they) becomes the Spanish indirect object (les) and the English direct object becomes the Spanish subject. The verb is conjugated to agree with the subject. In your sentence, the subjuct happens to be a noun clause. In this case, the third-person singular ending is used.
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  #25  
Old February 02, 2009, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
The Spanish don't like anything...
Funny, Rusty! It will take me awhile to work through the gustar stuff. I'm sure I'll find a webpage somewhere that analyzes it thoroughly. Is Tomísimo working on completing the Grammar section? I have found that the articles which DO exist there are very helpful.

OH! And is the "ofreciera" the subjunctive mood (about which I know absolutely nothing...)?? So it comes after the first part of the sentence which expresses an emotion (that of being pleased by something) and then "que" ... and then the subjunctive? That is a brand new idea to me - and I'm also reading up on that as well!!

Thank you, Rusty - you have been, as always, very helpful!
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Last edited by laepelba; February 02, 2009 at 07:33 PM. Reason: added the bit about the subjunctive...
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  #26  
Old February 02, 2009, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
It will take me awhile to work through the gustar stuff. I'm sure I'll find a webpage somewhere that analyzes it thoroughly. (I'll send you something via PM, in two parts.)

OH! And is the "ofreciera" the subjunctive mood (about which I know absolutely nothing...)?? So it comes after the first part of the sentence which expresses an emotion (that of being pleased by something) and then "que" ... and then the subjunctive? (Yep! The imperfect subjunctive, as a matter of fact. The conditional mood in the main clause and the emotion make the imperfect subjunctive necessary in the subordinate clause. Good job! )
Answers above.

Last edited by Rusty; February 02, 2009 at 08:12 PM.
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