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Spanish expressions for time

 

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  #1  
Old January 23, 2010, 05:12 PM
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Spanish expressions for time

If this has been discussed in another thread, I'm having trouble finding it. But I find it hard to believe that I'm the first to ask. I'll go ahead anyway. If you know of another appropriate thread, please point me in that direction........

If I want to say that something started in the past and is ongoing, I can say:
Estudio español hace un año.
Or
Hace un año que estudio español.

Now, a book that I'm using to study says that it would also be equivalent to say:
Estudio español desde hace un año.

But I have a friend, born and raised in the United States, but who now lives in Bolivia (for quite a few years now) ... and this friend insists that you cannot use "desde" with "hace" for time phrases. She insists that "desde" means that something happened "from" a certain time. She tells me that you can use one or the other but not both. So that is my first question. Is my phrase with "desde hace" equivalent to the other two phrases?

My next question is how to express something in the past that also ended in the past. If I want to say that I studied Spanish in college 20 years ago, could I also say:
Estudié español hace veinte años en la universidad.

For some reason I seem to remember being told that this is how to say it. But then how do you distinguish between the action that hasn't yet ended and the action that ended twenty years ago?
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  #2  
Old January 23, 2010, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
If this has been discussed in another thread, I'm having trouble finding it. But I find it hard to believe that I'm the first to ask. I'll go ahead anyway. If you know of another appropriate thread, please point me in that direction........

If I want to say that something started in the past and is ongoing, I can say:
Estudio español hace un año.
Or
Hace un año que estudio español.

Now, a book that I'm using to study says that it would also be equivalent to say:
Estudio español desde hace un año.

But I have a friend, born and raised in the United States, but who now lives in Bolivia (for quite a few years now) ... and this friend insists that you cannot use "desde" with "hace" for time phrases. She insists that "desde" means that something happened "from" a certain time. She tells me that you can use one or the other but not both. So that is my first question. Is my phrase with "desde hace" equivalent to the other two phrases?

My next question is how to express something in the past that also ended in the past. If I want to say that I studied Spanish in college 20 years ago, could I also say:
Estudié español hace veinte años en la universidad.

For some reason I seem to remember being told that this is how to say it. But then how do you distinguish between the action that hasn't yet ended and the action that ended twenty years ago?

Very easy.

He estado estudiando inglés por un año - I have been studying English for a year.

He estado estudiando inglés desde un año atrás - I have been studying English since a year ago.
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  #3  
Old January 23, 2010, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chileno View Post
Very easy.

He estado estudiando inglés por un año - I have been studying English for a year.

He estado estudiando inglés desde un año atrás - I have been studying English since a year ago.
Huh? You didn't answer either of my questions...... ???
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  #4  
Old January 23, 2010, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
Huh? You didn't answer either of my questions...... ???
You are right. I forgot to include one more sentence.

He estado estudiando inglés por un año - I have been studying English for a year.

He estado estudiando inglés desde un año atrás - I have been studying English since a year ago.

Hace un año empecé a estudiar Inglés. - It's been a year since I started to study English.



Try to use my mistakes and those of others when writing English to see how certain terms are used in Spanish.
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  #5  
Old January 23, 2010, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chileno View Post
You are right. I forgot to include one more sentence.

He estado estudiando inglés por un año - I have been studying English for a year.

He estado estudiando inglés desde un año atrás - I have been studying English since a year ago.

Hace un año empecé a estudiar Inglés. - It's been a year since I started to study English.



Try to use my mistakes and those of others when writing English to see how certain terms are used in Spanish.
You still didn't answer either of my questions..............
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  #6  
Old January 23, 2010, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
You still didn't answer either of my questions..............
Ok Lou Ann:

You tell me how would you write what you are asking in English.

Use a phrase of your preference, do not even try to mix Spanish here.
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  #7  
Old January 23, 2010, 05:52 PM
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In my first question, I was saying "I have been studying Spanish for one year." I gave two ways that I believe are correct to say that. My question was about "desde hace".

Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
My next question is how to express something in the past that also ended in the past. If I want to say that I studied Spanish in college 20 years ago, could I also say:
Estudié español hace veinte años en la universidad.

For some reason I seem to remember being told that this is how to say it. But then how do you distinguish between the action that hasn't yet ended and the action that ended twenty years ago?
For my second question, I stated what I wanted to say. "I studied Spanish in college 20 years ago."
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  #8  
Old January 23, 2010, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
In my first question, I was saying "I have been studying Spanish for one year." I gave two ways that I believe are correct to say that. My question was about "desde hace".

Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba
My next question is how to express something in the past that also ended in the past. If I want to say that I studied Spanish in college 20 years ago, could I also say:
Estudié español hace veinte años en la universidad.

For some reason I seem to remember being told that this is how to say it. But then how do you distinguish between the action that hasn't yet ended and the action that ended twenty years ago?

For my second question, I stated what I wanted to say. "I studied Spanish in college 20 years ago."
I added 4 to your quote on this one, on the original I only added 1

Then I made a mistake on the phrase:

I have been studying Spanish for one year - He estado estudiando español (desde) hace un año. Con desde o sin, es lo mismo.

There.

I am not asking you to have patience with me, but with yourself.

One more thing. When you get into that state of mind where you cannot even stand yourself, please do not try to write other posts, just get up, go outside the room, take sip of water and then come back. That usually works wonders.

It makes you see thing you had in front of you, and could not see.

Last edited by AngelicaDeAlquezar; January 23, 2010 at 07:05 PM. Reason: Merged back-to-back posts
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  #9  
Old January 23, 2010, 06:06 PM
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laepelba laepelba is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
My next question is how to express something in the past that also ended in the past. If I want to say that I studied Spanish in college 20 years ago, could I also say:
Estudié español hace veinte años en la universidad.

For some reason I seem to remember being told that this is how to say it. But then how do you distinguish between the action that hasn't yet ended and the action that ended twenty years ago?
Quote:
Originally Posted by chileno View Post
I added 4 to your quote on this one, on the original I only added 1

Then I made a mistake on the phrase:

I have been studying Spanish for one year - He estado estudiando español (desde) hace un año. Con desde o sin, es lo mismo.

There.

I am not asking you to have patience with me, but with yourself.
Thanks for the answer to the first question. I'm still not sure about the second. I've highlighted what I wanted to know in red above.

I'm always patient with you, Hernán. I always appreciate your encouragement!
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  #10  
Old January 23, 2010, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
Thanks for the answer to the first question. I'm still not sure about the second. I've highlighted what I wanted to know in red above.

I'm always patient with you, Hernán. I always appreciate your encouragement!
You are welcome.

Now, I am sending the ball to your court and ask you the same thing but in English.

Please provide, in English, a couple of phrases that will reflect an action that started in the past and still is happening, and another where the action ended already a year or 20 years ago.

Just plain English.
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