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Some Spanish Questions

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1. Does it matter whether a verb in Spanish is transitive or intransitive? I don't know enough of the language to add any meat to my question, but I'm sure it's important in some way. I'll just say that in Japanese, whether or not a verb is transitive/intransitive is extremely important.

transitive = can take a direct object (kick the ball)

intransitive = can't take a direct object (the verb think, you can't think the ball)

So other than the obvious (you can't put a direct object w/ an intransitive verb), I'm wondering if there's anything else to look out for.

2. How do you form causative or passive sentences?

causative = I made him write the report.

passive = I was deceived by Zero.

I'm just asking about the causative because there's a special verbal inflection in Japanese to make causative verbs.

The passive sounds great in Japanese, it sounds like crap in English, and even sounds pretentious if overused. I'm wondering if there is a similar case with Spanish.

3. Can I get clarification on what exactly "past participle" means?

http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/pastpart.htm

The lesson never explains it.

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1) Spanish is pretty much like english on that front, there are verbs which must generally take an object (dar) and verbs which don't.

2) unlike in english, the spanish passive more often avoids the english construction of to be + participle (in all its tenses). When used, the reflexive third person singular or plural is more common: se habla, se vende, se dicen. English uses the passive a lot! It's common when the agent of the sentence is unknown or not important, or the object is of more relevance to content/the context i.e. This painting was drawn (by x), the passive is used, taxes have been raised (by the government) etc.

3) The participle as I understand is a follows. Let's take two english verbs, one regular, one irregular. Thus, walk/walked/walked/walking & eat/ate/eaten/eating. The first is the infinitive, then past, then (past) participle, then gerund. Broadly speaking, the participle is generally used in present & past perfect constructions, the gerund with the verb to be (she is eating). Exactly the same format is used in spanish but note: the present perfect is used a lot more in spanish, the present continuous cannot be used as the future whereas in english it can, and the past continuous (she was eating/talking-ella estaba comiendo/hablando) is not nearlly used as much as ella com

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the past continuous (she was eating/talking-ella estaba comiendo/hablando) is not nearlly used as much as ella comía/hablaba

Good explanations ;) I would just add to this part that we use the past continuous when we want to stress the action that was happening in the first place, i.e., "She was eating when her mother called" → "(Ella) Estaba comiendo cuando su madre llamó"; but, "her mother called while she was eating" is commonly translated as "su madre llamó mientras (ella) comía".

Hope it helps.  :rolleyes:

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