Home Products Downloads Buy Now Corporate Developer Translation Services Community About Us

TIP #130 - This tip was sent on the week: 1st - 7th Apr, 2007

130

English-Spanish Differences That Can Be Generalized - Part II

 

This tip applies to the following programs:

• ESI Professional

  • The verb gustar, which in Spanish is constructed in such a way that what is liked is the subject (Me gustan los perros) vs. the English construction like, in which the direct object is what is liked (I like dogs, y no “Dogs like me” –unless the latter is true and is actually what you mean to say).
  • The future or present plus subjunctive future in Spanish (Lo voy a hacer/hago cuando lleguemos) vs. the future with will plus present in English (I’ll do it when we arrive).
  • The use of the present and ‘desde hace’ in Spanish (Vivo aquí desde hace dos años) vs. present perfect and for in English (I’ve lived here for two years). Regarding the verb form ‘hace’, its equivalent in English is the adverb: ‘ago’.
  • The use of ser or estar with the past participle in Spanish (Soy aburrido is very different from Estoy aburrido). Its equivalent in English is the alternation between the gerund and the past participle: I’m boring/ interesting/ etc. vs. I’m bored/ interested/ etc.
  • The use of the definite article with plural generic nouns in Spanish (Los pingüinos no vuelan) vs. omission of the article in English (Penguins don’t fly, not “The penguins don’t fly”).
  • The use of lo + adjective in Spanish (Lo importante es...) vs.the + adjective + noun‘thing’ in English (The important thing is…).
  • The adjectives and possessive pronouns coincide in Spanish with what is possessed and with the possessor (¿Usted  fue su esposo? / esposo suyo?/ esposo de ella?, where the possessive coincides in the singular and the masculine with ‘esposo’). In contrast, the agreement in English has only to do with the possessor (Were you her husband? and not “Were you his husband?” --which would perhaps be possible in a different situation nowadays).

It gets more complicated with the multiple uses in Spanish of su/sus, which correspond in English to your/ his/ her/ its/ their.

  • The use of the infinitive as a noun in Spanish (Fumar es peligroso) vs. the use of the gerund as noun in English (Smoking is dangerous).
  • The use of más as the only comparative adverb of superiority and the superlative in Spanish (más consciente/ más sabio) vs. the forms more/-er/most/-est in English: more conscious/ wiser; most conscious/ wisest).
   
 

NOTE: To view an index of all tips click here. To download the complete collection of tips click here.

What's new  |   Support   |   Contact Us   |   Privacy Policy   |  Press Center   |   Links
Copyright © 2007 Word Magic Software Inc. All Rights Reserved
Copyright (c) 1996-2004 Roving Software Incorporated d/b/a Constant Contact. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under a separate written agreement with Constant Contact, neither the Constant Contact software, nor any content that appears on any Constant Contact site, including but not limited to, web pages, newsletters, or templates may be reproduced, republished, repurposed, or distributed without the prior written permission of Constant Contact. For inquiries regarding reproduction or distribution of any Constant Contact material, please contact legal@constantcontact.com.