Word Order

Dan-H24

Dan-H24

While studying lesson 12.9 this morning I encountered the following statement: El lago en que nadaron ustedes está contaminado. It seems like when I have seen ustedes or usted used in the past, it has preceded the verb that it clarifies, as in, El lago en que ustedes nadaron está contaminado. Is either construction correct, or is this an error?
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

The lake that you (plural) swim or swam is polluted. The verb is nadaron and the subject is ustedes. I was going to say "No se", but I decided to give it a shot. I hope someone will explain and go into more detail about the construction of this sentence. I also hope lago is lake.
Robert-C7

Robert-C7

El lago = the lake. I don't know why ustedes is following the verb even though it is the subject. I looked at the lesson and it seems that since a formal structure is being used, i.e. "que nadaron", maybe there can't be any separation between 'que' and the verb "nadaron". Perhaps that is why ustedes follows the verb and this is for disambiguation.
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

Either one sounds correct to me.
Darius-R1

Darius-R1

Yes the both are correct. While doing another program which teaches sentence structure very well...I've learned that the subject can go before or after the noun or even at the end of the sentence. My professor also has clarified that this is correct. That's the beauty of spanish...sentence structure is much more flexible than In English . Hope this helps !!!
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

I am glad to know that my supposition is correct and that I would be correct in putting the subject ahead of the sentence. I am sure that for a native speaker or someone fluent in the language variety is very useful, for a new learner keeping things simple is good. Okay, here is another one from the same lesson: María devolvió el libro que pidió prestado. Maria returned the book that she borrowed. It is not the word order that confuses me but the words in the the clause "that she borrowed." que is "that," obviously. prestado is the past participle of borrowed. What is the function of pidío... ...never mind, I just found in my Barron's Dictionary that "pedir prestado" means to borrow. So pidió prestado is the 3rd person singular imperfect conjugation of that phrase. ¡Lo entiendo ahora!
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

I know pedir is to ask for but pedir prestado just goes to my list of memorized words and phrases without fully understanding it. And its okay.
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

Yes, I think it just one of those phrases that just is, with no literal translation. You are right to just accept that it is without knowing why. Those who feel they must understand the mechanics of every phrase cause themselves lots of trouble and frustration, I think. To repeat my favorite saying about this adventure: languages are arts not sciences, so they don't have absolute rules.
Darius-R1

Darius-R1

Pidió prestado is imperfecto? I thought that would be preterito? Since the preterito endings are "ió" and the imperfecto endings are "ía" . Now I'm confused hahaha.
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

Darius: You are absolutely correct. I wrote imperfecto instead of preterito. Thanks for catching this and sorry for confusing you! Dan
Darius-R1

Darius-R1

No problem
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

https://www.academia.edu/4065229/Subject_Verb_word-order_in_Spanish_interrogatives_Brown_and_Rivas_2011
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

I saw this link and it looks interesting. A study on word order.
ricardo-rich

ricardo-rich

Hola Aurora, Great link! I've only skimmed it, but I am going to read it in depth. Muchas gracias por la información. Saludos, Ricardo
Dan-H24

Dan-H24

OK, time for another question on Lesson 12.9. This one is on vocab rather than word order but the same sentence that I posted previously: María devolvió el libro que pidió prestado. When I was presented with the English translation in Know it: Maria returned the book that she borrowed. I forgot that "devolver" was the verb used, and answered with: María volvió el libro que pidió prestado. Why devolver and not just volver? Both are defined as "to return" in my dictionary. Are they synonymous or are there important differences? This sort of reminds me of seeing gasoline tankers with the word "inflammable" on them when I was a child. My little mind always wondered if the contents would or would not burn.
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

Dan, I have only seen "devolver" used with respect to something and "volver" used with respect to a person. Cristian? Ricardo?
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

My instinct says, returning books to the library is a recurring thing, hence the de in devolver. I'm just guessing.
Ava Dawn

Ava Dawn

This is a good question. Thanks Dan. Now I will always remember volver from devolver. I even checked online which I generally don't do. I just keep doing the lessons in RS, hence the high scores. The problem is when I go back for review, I forgot the vocab and the grammar but it still looks familiar. volver means "to come back", as in I will return= Yo volvere Devolver means "to return", as in return that shirt = devuelve esa camisa.
Cristian-Montes-de-Oca

Cristian-Montes-de-Oca

Hola!, It has to do with the construction of the sentence, and both are correct. The thing is that , the 2nd one comes more natural (or the normal sentence structure) and the first one is a little bit more 'poetic' sounding. I don't recall the name of this effect, but it basically relies on changing the order of the words on a sentence. So the sentence " El lago en que nadaron ustedes está contaminado." would be "The lake, in which you swim (or swam), is contaminated" Of course we could change it to " The lake you swan in, is contaminted" Saludos!

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