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I'm Questioning If What I Said Was Even Close

 

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  #1  
Old May 18, 2017, 03:32 PM
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I'm Questioning If What I Said Was Even Close

I was relating an event to my Spanish-speaking neighbor today, but I was getting lost in my sentence. What I was trying to convey was:

When I was in the panadería today, the line was very long and an elderly gentleman motioned for me to go first in line. I said to him, "No, you go first. You were the first in line; you were here first."

What I said in Spanish was:

Cuando yo estaba en la panadería hoy, la fila era muy larga y un caballero mayor hizo señas para que yo vaya primero en la fila. Yo le dije: "No, pase usted primero. Usted fue el primero en la fila; usted estuvo aquí primero."

Now, after the fact, I completely question my word choices and what came out of my mouth:

Elderly gentleman:
Caballero mayor? Caballero anciano

He motioned for me to go first in line:
Hizo señas para que yo vaya primero en la fila.
Hizo señas para que yo fuera primero en la fila.
Me hizo señas para que / de que yo vaya / yo fuera primero.

You were the first in line:
Usted fue el primero en la fila.
Usted era el primero en la fila.

1. Please tell me how close I was initially.
2. Please tell me the correct way(s) to say what I underlined above.


As always, ALL corrections and comments are appreciated.
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  #2  
Old May 18, 2017, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbert View Post
I was relating an event to my Spanish-speaking neighbor today, but I was getting lost in my sentence. What I was trying to convey was:

When I was in the panadería today, the line was very long and an elderly gentleman motioned for me to go first in line. I said to him, "No, you go first. You were the first in line; you were here first."

What I said in Spanish was:

Cuando yo estaba en la panadería hoy, la fila era muy larga y un caballero mayor hizo señas para que yo vaya primero en la fila. Yo le dije: "No, pase usted primero. Usted fue el primero en la fila; usted estuvo aquí primero."

Now, after the fact, I completely question my word choices and what came out of my mouth:

Elderly gentleman:
Caballero mayor? Caballero anciano

He motioned for me to go first in line:
Hizo señas para que yo vaya primero en la fila.
Hizo señas para que yo fuera primero en la fila.
Me hizo señas para que / de que yo vaya / yo fuera primero.

You were the first in line:
Usted fue el primero en la fila.
Usted era el primero en la fila.

1. Please tell me how close I was initially.
2. Please tell me the correct way(s) to say what I underlined above.


As always, ALL corrections and comments are appreciated.
I'd use "un señor mayor" ("anciano" conveys a nuance of decrepitude and inability to care for oneself)

"para que yo pasara primero" (you could use "fuera", but not "vaya" because the action is already completed -or discarded- at the time you are narrating it) ["pasara" doesn't necessary mean here "went in" but "went forward" or "...to the front" or "...to the counter"]

"Usted era el primero de la fila" or "usted estaba primero en la fila" (or "usted estaba antes que yo")

"usted llegó primero" instead of "usted estaba aquí primero", which is not wrong per se.

The only bit that sounds un-Spanish in your text is that "fue" in "usted fue el primero..." which only makes perfect sense if the gentleman left and returned later. The rest is either perfect or contains native-like "mistakes", like "hizo el gesto de que vaya primero" (I'd say about 60% of my fellow Argentines talk that way, which is not totally incorrect now because of the "time of the story" thing in the New Grammar)

[by the way, you frequently say "que corrijan mis errores españoles"... well it's "errores en español", otherwise you would be talking of the nationality of those mistakes, which is a funny concept ]
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  #3  
Old May 20, 2017, 12:24 PM
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Gracias por tu ayuda.
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