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  #1  
Old June 26, 2011, 07:18 PM
helpplease helpplease is offline
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Grammar question

Hey everybody!

This is my second post and I had a question with what my teacher told me a while ago:

The question was:
¿Cuántos días vienes a esta clase?
I answered:
Vengo a esta clase para veinte días.
But he said it should be:
Vengo a esta clase veinte días.

Could someone please help me clarify why you do not use para.
Shouldn't it be I come to this class FOR twenty days instead of I come to this class twenty days?

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old June 27, 2011, 02:44 AM
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Perikles Perikles is offline
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The preposition for is a multipurpose word in English, and can be confusing. Each individual meaning of for is expressed in a different way in Spanish.

For example: (por ejemplo)

1. for = intended for - it's a present for my son (=Spanish para)
2. for = on behalf of - I did it for you (=Spanish por)
3. for = in favour of - are you for or against
4. for indicates purpose - what's that for?
5. for = as - we're having chicken for dinner
6. for = represents - D is for David
7. for gives a reason - for that reason por esa razón
8. for = in exchange for - I bought the book for 10 cents
9. for = considering - she's tall for her age
10. for indicates duration - I've been learning Spanish for 3 weeks

plus a few more.

Anyway, rather than go through all of those above, note that your sentence is like no. 10 above. if you use para in your sentence, it would be understood as being like no. 1, which makes no sense.

Does that help?
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  #3  
Old June 27, 2011, 02:55 AM
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His teacher said that there would be no preposition at all, or at least no preposition was written by the OP.
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Old June 27, 2011, 04:07 AM
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Yes, I missed out the vital information that in case 10, no preposition is used in Spanish
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Old June 27, 2011, 05:54 AM
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aleCcowaN aleCcowaN is offline
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I think there's a problem with the notion in English that is rendered in Spanish. That's why all these kind of phrases look a bit strange in Spanish, with or without preposition.

Vengo a esta clase (para / por / ---) veinte días.

sounds like "Ayer conocí a la madre de usted".

Could you say it in English and add every other detail we should know?
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Old June 27, 2011, 09:28 AM
Luna Azul Luna Azul is offline
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"¿cuántos días vienes a esta clase?" sounds weird to me. It's not something we'd say.

Also the answer: "Vengo a esta clase 20 días". No, no.

If the action is taking place now it would be "He venido a esta clase ____ 20 días". If I were to fill in the blank I'd rather use "durante". "Por" is also used even though it sounds like borrowed from English to me.

If the action is going to take place in the future it would be "Voy a venir a esta clase 20 días".

In my opinion the present "vengo" is not used there.

Unless: "¿Cuántos días (a la semana) vienes a esta clase?" = "Vengo dos días: los lunes y los jueves".

In this case it's not taking about duration, of course.
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  #7  
Old June 27, 2011, 10:03 AM
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Venir/acudir are used much less than the English equivalent: to come. Often ir is used instead. This is why the sentence sounds odd to
Spanish speakers.
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Old June 27, 2011, 10:47 AM
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Either "vengo" or "voy" doesn't make much sense. Using "para", "por" or nothing doesn't help much either. To me, all those variations only convey the notion of some course scheduled in twenty classes or maybe in twenty calendar days or twenty working days, all in a confusing way with a person mixing up him/herself with the course. If the intended notion was other different then the sentence absolutely failed.

I suspect that there's something hidden there like some misunderstanding about Spanish indicative -which poses as many problems as Spanish subjunctive-. In my experience, English speakers can't avoid Spanish subjunctive during long time because it is like the elephant in the room, but they still manage to elude Spanish indicative even in highly advanced learning stages.

The Spanish preposition "durante" which denotes simultaneity, may be what would amend that, though the phrase lay-out is still wrong.
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Old June 27, 2011, 10:57 AM
Luna Azul Luna Azul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poli View Post
Venir/acudir are used much less than the English equivalent: to come. Often ir is used instead. This is why the sentence sounds odd to
Spanish speakers.
I understand what you're saying, there's a difference on how those two verbs are used in English and Spanish but that's not the problem here. Neither verb would sound correct in that sentence.
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Old June 27, 2011, 11:07 AM
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The almost literal translation of the sentence into Spanish is the problem. It doesn't work. The English question is about how long someone has been attending a certain class.

I think it would work better if it were said:
¿Cuánto tiempo llevas en la clase?
- Llevo veinte días.
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