question about para tomar

nosaji

nosaji

In lesson 1-3 why is _para_ necessary in _queiro algo para tomar_? Also, when should you use _tomar_ and when should you use _beber_? I thought _tomar_ was 'to take' and _beber_ was 'to drink'. Then In the next lesson you use _sacar_ for 'to take' instead of _tomar_ in _puedo sacar su foto_. I assumed it was _puedo tomar su foto_. Now _puedo tomar su foto_ sounds like I am going to drink someone's photo. My head is spinning. :) Does it depend on how it is used? Can someone explain this to me? Thanks

Great questions! When you're starting out a foreign language, your only frame of reference is how your own language works. So, when you're trying to say an English sentence in Spanish, it's perfectly natural to want to translate each word by its dictionary definition and form a sentence that feels comfortable to you as an English speaker. Unfortunately, in most situations, you can't. That's why online translators do such a poor job. All languages have their own unique sentence constructions and ways of saying things that seem to us to have no rhyme or reason. PARA One of those instances is the sentence, "I want something to drink." "I want" is translated easily enough: _Quiero_. "Something" is translated easily enough: _algo._ "To drink" will cause a problem for the English speaker. In Spanish, you can't just use the infinitive "tomar." Drinking is actually the *purpose* of the something that you want, e.g., the reason you want something is to be able to drink it. To indicate this, you use the purpose word "para." _Quiero algo para tomar._ The sentence then looks something like this, "I want something in order to drink (it)," or "I want something for the purpose of drinking." TO DRINK The word "beber" is what most dictionaries will give as the translation of "to drink." However, in actual practice, if you use the word "beber," you'll sound if you're talking schoolbook Spanish! The more commonly used word is "tomar," which also means to drink. "Tomar" has two meanings: to drink and to take. You'll be able to tell which meaning it has by the context of the sentence. For example, you may hear someone tell you, _¡Vamos a tomar!_ This means, Let's _go drinking!_ SACAR UNA FOTO Not only is there is more than one Spanish word for the English meaning, "to drink." There are also more than one Spanish word for "to take." Look up "take" in any Spanish-English dictionary and you'll see "tomar," "sacar," "agarrar," "coger" (be careful when using this word in Mexico!), and more. There is only one appropriate Spanish word for "taking" a photo, and that is the word "sacar." "Sacar" also means to take out, as in "sacar algo del bolsillo" (to take something out of one's pocket) or "sacar dinero del banco" (to take out or withdraw money from the bank). It may be easier for new Spanish learners just to memorize these useful phrases without trying to translate them directly into English! An essential part of becoming fluent is thinking in terms of the new language and avoiding any reference back to English. Most schools DON'T teach Spanish this way, but that is the natural way a person would learn a language. It's what you would do if you moved to a Spanish-speaking country without knowing a word of the language and were forced to sink or swim. You'd begin to associate words and phrases with certain contexts or situations, and you'd even find yourself starting to use them without even knowing what exactly they mean in English!
nosaji

nosaji

Thanks for that through explanation. I have another question. In lesson 1-7 the phrase 'What will we do' sounds something like _quer emos_. How is that actually written? I am having problems pronouncing it because I don't know exactly what I am suppose to say. The only thing I can think of is _qué hacemos_ 'what do we do' or _qué haceremos_ 'What will we do'. I have looked in the Conversations Course book for the dialog in the tapes, but it seems to be a bit different than the audio course. If I can see it written I think it will help me out. Thanks!!!

You almost got it yourself! Check your verb conjugations one more time for the future tense of "hacer." You'll notice that it isn't "haceremos" but rather "haremos." That's because "hacer" is an irregular verb in the future tense. _What will I do?_ *¿Qué haré?* _What will we do?_ *¿Qué haremos?* It's a wonderful phrase that you'll hear often. _What will we do tomorrow?_ *¿Qué haremos mañana? * _What will we do for her birthday? _ *¿Qué haremos para su cumpleaños? * _They canceled class. What will we do?_ *Cancelaron las clases. ¿Qué haremos?*

aggg.... those irregulars. Thanks again.

Amy, You say:"There is only one appropriate Spanish word for "taking" a photo, and that is the word "sacar." Here in Granada. in the South of Spain, the word "tomar" is used for "taking" photos. I have never heard the word "sacar" used in this context. "Carro" (car) is another term that nobody here seems to have heard of. The word "coche" is used for car here. And "tiempo" is used in relation to the weather, never "clima". And while I'm here.... I've been told by local Spaniards that it is rude or demanding to ask for something using the word "quiero" - as in "Quiero una cerveza". (Every Spanish language book I read before coming to spain recommended using this term, and I used it in restaurants, bars etc for over a year before I discovered it was considered impolite!) On the other hand "quisiera" is rarely if ever used at all, as it is considered pompous or "posh". "Me gustaría" works in some situations, but not all. For example, it works if one is ordering a coffee in a cafetería: "Me gustaría un café"; but it somehow doesn't sound right if one is asking for a bag of nails in a hardware store - or am I wrong? I'm never sure which term to use when ordering something in a restaurant or asking for something in a shop. I noticed that the phrase "necesito tener..." ("I need like to have...") is given in your course. When I arrived here first I used the phrase "Quiero tener...." or "Me gustería tener..." to order food in restaurants etc., but I was told that this was incorrect. What is your opinion on this? It seems odd that one apparently cannot say "I would like to have..." in Spanish. One last question. There doesn't seem to be any Spanish language equivalent for the very useful, all-purpose word "get", in the sense "Where did you get that key?" or "Did you get that glass in the kitchen?" The only word that I can find which come close to the meaning of "get" is "conseguir" ("to obtain") - but I don't think I have ever actually heard this word used. Instead, people here use a slang word, "pillar", when they talk about "getting" something in the sense described above. I wonder what you think about this? Martin PS - I have big problems with Ser and Estar. For example, if "estar" applies to termorary conditions, why is it used to describe a person who has died (as in "está muerto")?
Mauricio

Mauricio

Hello Martin, Thanks for your questions, don't worry you are not alone. It looks to me you are in the right track. Learning spanish is a continous experience and depending on where in the world you are at, you will find many differences in the way things work. So what you are doing is great, just ask the locals how they say something and stick to it. Another way of asking for something is "¿Me puede dar..... por favor? so for a bag of nails it would be... ¿Me puede dar una bolsa de clavos por favor?... ask about this way and see what they say, back in South America this is considered as a very polite way of asking for something you want. Do watch it though as "Me puede dar..." does mean "Can you give me" so in some situations people might interpret it as if you want something for free... We will be looking into the rest of your question shortly unfortunately we will be out for the next few days but don't worry, you will get an answer. In the mean time if anyone else wants to have a go please do so... All the best Mauricio.
nohablo

nohablo

[quo]*Quote from * Martin PS - I have big problems with Ser and Estar. For example, if "estar" applies to termorary conditions, why is it used to describe a person who has died (as in "está muerto")?[/quo] Hola, Martin. I just found this site in trying to get more information about Rocket Spanish. I saw your questions, and while I don't know enough Spanish to answer most of them, I may be able to help with "está muerto". In a terrific book entitled _Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish_, Joseph Keenan explains that one use of _ser_ is to describe someone's essential nature. In his words, "being dead may be a lasting experience, but it's not an essential aspect of the individual's nature. When the person is remembered and eulogized years later, people won't say 'He [or she] was a good person, a kind person, and a dead person.'" Since it's not part of the person's essential nature, use _estar_. Hope this helps.
taalibeen

taalibeen

Estar is used to indicate states as I understand it, while ser is used to indicate essential aspects of a thing. For instance, estoy feliz and soy feliz can both seem to mean "I am happy." However, estoy feliz means, "I am in a state of happiness (at the moment)." Soy feliz, though, would mean "I am a happy person," thereby indicating the type of person I am by nature.
Mariposa

Mariposa

It could also be that, due to their Catholic roots, spanish-speaking people regard death as a "temporary" condition .. so "está muerto" (but not forever...)
AnthonyLouis

AnthonyLouis

It is misleading to think of estar as referrring to temporary conditions. *Estar* refers to "__conditions__" (temporary or long-lasting) and to the __location of concrete objects__. Ej: Mi reloj está atrasado. It may be "atrasado" (behind) for the rest of its (and my) life, but being behind is not a characteristic of a watch, thus 'estar'. Being dead is also a long-lasting condition of a person that is not an essential characteristic of being a person. *Ser *refers to __time __(es la una), __events__ (el concierto es en el teatro), and more or less defining or essential __characteristics __of a person or thing (es alto, es inteligente, es estudiante, es padre, etc.). I would assume (but I'm not sure) that it would be correct to say: los momias son muertos, pero el rey que ahora es momia está muerto. A defining characteristic of a mummy is to be dead (hence "son" from ser) but a defining characteristic of being a king is not to be dead(hence "estar").
Lon-D

Lon-D

I realize that it has already been explained that using "beber" instead of "para tomar" is considered "schoolbook" Spanish. However, for someone like myself, who needs literal meanings to learn a language, I will stick with beber unless I end up spending extended periods of time in a Spanish speaking country or community where "para tomar" is used. It has always been necessary for me to know the literal meanings of words (and the exact way that formulas work in math, exactly how the theory of gravity works in science, etc). Simply memorizing terms, theorems, and formulas has never worked for me. It's not how I'm "wired." Of course, this made learning even my native language, English, extremely difficult when parents and teachers either did not know the answers to my "why" questions or did not want to take the time to explain the answers to me. I am not trying to be difficult, it's just the way I learn (as do many others). Also, thank you to Anthony Louis for the explanation of Estar and Ser. It helped me greatly in understanding the uses of those verbs. Regards, Lon
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

Lon, I have only been seriously learning Spanish for less than a year, so I am probably not qualified to comment on this. But I'm going to anyway, and hope that other, more learned students than I chime in. I am like you: I like to know why something is the way that it is. When I encounter a word, or especially a phrase that doesn't seem to make sense, I research it. Sometimes I find a meaning that does make some sense, or is at least related in some way. Other times I do not, and that, I think is where the problems come in. We need to remember that English and Spanish developed separately over many centuries, and different frames of reference formed the languages in some very different ways. For instance, some english words have several unrelated meanings that make perfect sense to you and I, because we have always used them in those ways. I think Spanish is the same: certain words can mean several different, unrelated things that, because we are native English speakers, make absolutely no sense. We just have to learn to accept those things. Remember, language is an art, not a science, and so lacks the hard and fast "rules" of math or physics. Language, in the words of Captain Hector Barbossa, has "more guidelines than actual rules." A few lessons back I learned a phrase that I like: "Así es," so it is. Some things just are what they are. Así es. I will get off of my soap box now.
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola amigos, Dan, ¡Bien dicho! Estoy de acuerdo contigo. I might add that getting hung up trying to translate literally can actually impede learning, and the development of your "Spanish mind" in other words, learning to think in Spanish and not having to translate in your head. Saludos, Rich
Lon-D

Lon-D

Dan and Rich, Although "getting hung up" on the literal meaning of words may hinder your learning, it is the way I learn best as I stated previously. Not every person learns the same way. And for me it is necessary to connect the dots instead of memorizing. If I cannot find the history of a particular phrase, I will create one simply so it makes sense to me. I am sorry if my method of learning seems so implausible to you, but it is what works for me. And I do not appreciate being demeaned and criticized for it. Regards, Lon
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola Lon, My intention was only to offer my thoughts regarding learning, in the lessons it is also stated that literal translation can confuse things. I don't see how this could be construed as critical or demeaning and in addition, I wasn't addressing you personally. I'm sorry if you were offended and of course we all learn in own way and I wish you the best in learning in which ever way you choose. Saludos, Rich
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

Lon: if you took my comments as being demeaning and critical of you, I sincerely apologize. It was not my intention. I was only offering my thoughts in reply to your comments. I hope that your quest to learn a new language is successful and enriching as mine is. Dan
Lon-D

Lon-D

Dan and Rich, If I read into your responses something that was not there, I apologize. My experience has been tainted with many people wanting me to learn the "right way" or "best way" and their ways were never the best for me. With all of that judgement weighing on me, learning has always been a struggle. Thanks for your kind responses. I will be continuing my efforts to allow past experiences to remain in the past and not judge the present by them. Obviously, I did not do a good job of that here. Regards, Lon
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

Lon: I am glad that we cleared the air on this. My experiences with this forum have been very positive. Everyone with whom I have interacted has been helpful and supportive, and by participating I am improving my knowledge of Spanish every day. I would hate to see it take a negative tone that would diminish the value of our little community here. Best, Dan
Lon-D

Lon-D

I will add one final comment to this thread... I found a number of other threads in the forum on the same subject of para tomar and beber but thought one in particular to be very helpful. In order not to violate any forum rules about posting links, simply do a search for "tomar vs beber?" The second result in the list should have the same heading. Hope it helps. Bendiciones, Lon
Cristian-Montes-de-Oca

Cristian-Montes-de-Oca

Ice-breaker : Vamos todos a TOMAR unas cervecitas,¡¡¡ Yo invito!!! ¡BEBAMOS hasta el amanecer! Saludos!
Patrice-B

Patrice-B

Hola Christian, Soy demasiada vieja para usar esta frase! Jajajaj Pero, tengo una pregunta. ¿Qué quiere decir? "Yo invito". Does this mean: my treat? Gracias una otra vez.
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

¡Pienso que Cristian es invitando a todos a su casa para las cervesas!
Cristian-Montes-de-Oca

Cristian-Montes-de-Oca

¡Hola! Exacto, los estoy invitando a todos a tomar cerveza y tequila en mi casa jaja. También podemos comer tacos :) my treat
Patrice-B

Patrice-B

Bien! Yo nunca será demasiado vieja para tacos. El diciembre pasado yo compré tequila se llama "Herradura" por nueve pesos! ¡Ayudame! I was trying to say that I will never be too old for tacos. Also, I did buy tequila (the brand was Herradura) for .90 last December. Holiday special! ¡Que ganga! Hey, I also now know the word for horeseshoe!
marry--4

marry--4

please I want to know how to speak and write Spanish ... some one can teach me? easily .... gracias mucho . guys
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

Marry 4: It is good that you want to know how to communicate in Spanish, and being here is certainly a good start. But no one can "teach" you a language. You must "learn" it. In other words, becoming fluent in a language is not passive, something done to you. It is active, something you do. And sorry to disappoint you, but as the old saying goes, nothing worthwhile is easy. Learning a language is hard work, plain and simple. Buen suerte, Dan
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

Just keep trying. When I go back to earlier lessons, I am pleasantly surprised to know that I actually have learned them. So now, I just expect that with new lessons, I have to just keep trying to HEAR, WRITE, and KNOW them. It is just fun to read articles and actually start to understand the gist of it. I just hope that with all these exercises, it would eventually pay off and then buy a ticket for either Madrid or Barcelona to actually try out all these hard work.
o.h.

o.h.

para is for

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Spanish trial here .