Tricky Ones

Gustar verbo

Me gusta el perro. (I like the dog)
A mí me gusta el perro. (‘A mí’ – to give emphasis)
Notice the change in verb when ‘dog’ changes to ‘dogs’:
Me gustan los perros. (I like the dogs)
A mí me gustan los perros. (‘A mí’ – to give emphasis)


Notice no change in verb even when we say ‘They like the dog’:
A ella le gusta el perro.
A él le gusta el perro.
A ellas les gusta el perro.
A ellos les gusta el perro.


‘They like the dogs’ translates to:
A ellos les gustan los perros.
(‘les’ because of ‘ellos’ and ‘gustan’ because of ‘perros’)

yo – me
me gusta (one thing); me gustan (more than one thing)
nosotros/nosotras – nos
nos gusta (one thing); nos gustan (more than one thing)
tú – te
te gusta (one thing); te gustan (more than one thing)
vosotros/vosotras – os
os gusta (one thing); os gustan (more than one thing)
él/ella/usted – le
le gusta (one thing); le gustan (more than one thing)
ellos/ellas/ustedes – les
les gusta (one thing); les gustan (more than one thing)



Indirect and direct object pronouns in a sentence

Let’s analyze this sentence made up of a few tiny words:
Él no te lo va a dar.

Find the main verb first (in this case ‘va’), then proceed:
Él va a dar – he is going to give
Él no va a dar – he is not going to give
‘lo’ – direct object pronoun (what? – it; ‘lo – el libro’ or ‘los – los libros’ or ‘la – la manzana’ or ‘las – las manzanas’)
‘te’ – indirect object pronoun (to whom? – you; other possibilities: ‘me’, ‘le’, ‘nos’, ‘os’, ‘les’)
Él no te lo va a dar. – He is not going to give it to you.
If ‘lo’ is for ‘el libro’ – Él no te va a dar el libro.- He is not going to give the book to you.

Let’s analyze another sentence:
Tienes que dárselo.

tienes que – you have to
dárselo – dar se lo; ‘se’ is for ‘le’ indirect object pronoun (change indirect object pronoun le, les to ‘se’ if the direct object pronoun is ‘lo’, los’, ‘la’ or ‘las’).

tienes que dar – you have to give
Tienes que dárselo – You have to give it to him/her/them. (You have to give it (lo) to him/her/them (se).

Let’s change it a little bit:
Tengo que dárselo. – I have to give it to him/her/them/you/you all. ‘se’ can be for any third person pronoun -‘él’, ‘ella’, ‘usted’, ‘ellos’ ‘ellas’, ‘ustedes’.
It’s confusing, let’s clarify:
Tengo que dárselo a ella.- I have to give it to her.
Tengo que dárselo a ellos.- I have to give it to them.
To change ‘it’ to ‘them’:
Tengo que dárselos a ella.- I have to give them to her.

You can attach pronouns to a verb only if the verb is: a) infinitive: Tengo que dárselo, b) affirmative command ¡Dénselo! (ustedes), and c) gerund (present participle) explicándoselo. In other cases, just separate them. Indirect object pronoun always precedes direct object pronoun.:
Se lo di a ella. (Find the main verb first which is ‘di’ which has to mean ‘I gave’ – I gave it (lo – direct object pronoun) to her (se – indirect object pronoun). (‘le’ changed to ‘se’ not to make it ‘le lo’). ‘a ella’ is there just to clarify the recipient.



Some irregular affirmative informal (tú) commands (imperative)

decir – di (yo preterite of ‘dar’ is also ‘di’)
Di la verdad – Tell the truth
Dime la verdad – Tell me the truth

ser – (yo indicative present of ‘saber’ is also ‘sé’ (Yo) lo sé – I know.)

venir – ven (the third person plural indicative present of ‘ver’ is also ‘ven’)



Subjunctive highlighted in red
Quisiera un vaso de agua. I’d like a glass of water. Polite request.

Debieras esperar un poco. You should wait a bit. Polite request/suggestion.

¿Pudieras darme un poco de dinero? Could you give me some money? Polite request.

No coma mucho. (Formal).
No comas mucho. (Informal). Don’t eat too much.
Bailemos. Let’s dance.
¡Sentémonos aquí! (Let’s sit here!)
¡No nos vayamos! (Let’s not go)

Cuando termines la tarea iremos a la tienda. When you finish the homework, we’ll go the store. (we don’t know when you’ll finish your hw). Anticipatory action.

Buscamos un camarero que hable chino. We’re looking for a waiter who speaks chinese. (Such a waiter may not exist there) indefinite antecedent.

Imperfect Subjunctive of irregular verb Ir (to go) or Ser (to be) que yo fuera , que tú fueras, que usted/él/ella fuera, que nosotros/as fuéramos, que ustedes/ellos/ellas fueran.

Present Subjunctive of irregular verb Ir (to go) que yo vaya, que tú vayas, que usted/él/ella vaya, que nosotros/as vayamos, que ustedes/ellos/ellas vayan.

When there are at least two verbs in a sentence and the main verb is “WEIRDO: Wishes, Emotions, Impersonal expressions, Recommendations, Doubt/Denial, Ojalá”, then the main verb triggers subjunctive. – Quiero que sepas.

a fin de que (so that), a menos que (unless), antes de que (before), con tal de que (provided that), para que (so that), sin que (without) always trigger Subjunctive.




to be continued….




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