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"The boy has to try to eat."

Translation:El niño tiene que tratar de comer.

1
4 years ago

55 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ese311
ese311
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"tratar de + inf verb" means "to try to + verb"

notice that tratar has many different meanings

plain "tratar" could mean giving medical attention, "tratar como" means "to be treated like", then you have "tratar" to ask what something is about like "de que se trata?" = "what is it about?"

i recommend you reading this http://spanish.about.com/od/usingparticularverbs/a/tratar.htm

100
Reply64 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mijdahl

Thank you very much, ese311. That article you provided was fantastic. However, I do have a question for you or anyone else that might be of assistance. For sometime now, I've struggled to understand the difference between intentar and tratar de infinitivo. They mean the same, more or less, correct? Is there any clear explication how I can differentiate between the two? Would it be safe to say if I'm trying to do something + a verb, I would use tratar de ? I'm having difficulties differentiating between the two in conversation. Thanks everyone!

4
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bgardner2006

This is a very helpful reply. Thanks a lot

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alethea436961

Many thanks. you get a lingo

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Katie7511

thanks

0
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nivkotzer
Nivkotzer
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How to I know when a combination of infinitives should be made with "a" or "de"? Is there some logic to it or does it just change with every verb?

13
Reply14 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/afrostewie

Came here to get the answer too. When to use 'de', 'a', 'que'?

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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I don't think there is any real logic to it. We get our sense of what prepositions combine with which verbs to create expressions, so if the Spanish is similar to the English we think it makes sense, but I don't think a lot of English combinations actually have any intrinsic sense to them either. Ultimately you just have to learn the combinations. With time what is correct will sound "right" to you without even having to think about it.

3
Reply11 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nicholasalan

Why can't I use "tener," just "deber" here?

6
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuevesHuevos

It shouldn't be "deber" - deber is must/should, and "tener + que" means "to have to"

3
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jbauer1414
Jbauer1414
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Is this just one example that I need to remember? Tratar DE comer....instead of Tratar A comer....or Tratar comer? I thought that 'comer' was an action, so I used 'a'. Thoughts? Thanks!

4
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

It's always "tratar de hacer algo" = "Intentar hacer algo". For example: "Voy a tratar de aprender inglés" = "Voy a intentar aprender inglés".

9
Reply14 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Narella75

With that, do you know the difference between tratar and intentar when using the word "try"?

1
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elissaf1
elissaf1
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Tratar means to treat. Tratar de means to try. And yes, this is something you need to remember, as if it were a whole new verb.

4
Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/josue64
josue64
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Thank you. I am going to repeat it: Tratar de means to try.

3
Reply11 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Max.imilian

why doesnt "probar" work?

3
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Janpot
Janpot
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Probar only means "try" when you try something on in the store or when you try some new food/beverage

10
Reply14 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Janpot
Janpot
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What I am trying to say is that you cannot "probar" a verb. Only a noun. (Is my understanding)

3
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rob782574

Probar is to try in a "test" sense. When you try a food, you are testing it for taste; try clothes, test for fit. Probar seems to be a test for acceptability.

5
Reply13 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carlosdelo10

Because Probar and Tratar are synonims in only one meaning of Tratar, one that is not being used here.

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A.Pruitt

Think of probar as being 'probe'. You can 'probe' (taste) food, but you don't probe eating.

0
Reply11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kristinoe

"El niño debe intentar comer" was also correct

3
Reply11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Duo likes to have tener que as have to and deber as must or ought to, but in reality it would be hard to define any difference between have to and must.

2
Reply11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/busycat
busycat
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There is no que in the list when I clicked "to".

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Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuevesHuevos

Yeah, the hints/drop down translations are not always correct/accurate/complete.

Tener + que + infinitive verb = to have to (do verb)

Tengo que comer = I have to eat

6
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/daisytuck

Tener is marked as incorrect. Dl says it should be "debe"

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuevesHuevos

Either debe or tiene que - Duo uses these intercheangably.

4
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/busycat
busycat
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Thanks that's really helpful :-)

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zutot
zutot
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One word of caution here. Speaking to a Spanish native, he told me that 'tratar' as in 'to try' as opposed to 'to treat' isn't commonly used in Spain and is more a Latin America expression. I'm not sure how accurate it is, but it's certainly something that I keep in mind as I am trying to learn continental Spanish.

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cqmsch
Cqmsch
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having learned in Latin America, I have also heard there, intentar used for to try (as attempt) or probar (as taste or try something on like clothing) and tratar as how you treat someone.

3
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elissaf1
elissaf1
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Can you ask the same Spaniard whether 'tratar de' is used? Tratar by itself doesn't mean try.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/peterbrady616

How do you know when to use que there instead of a for to?

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuevesHuevos

Tener + que + infinitive verb = "to have to do something"

Some verbs/expression will require a preposition like que (sometimes de, con, or a, depending on the verb. Google "linked verbs in Spanish" for more details)

3
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VaporWill
VaporWill
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I got "el muchacho bebé" in one of my multiple choice options, somone had way too much fun making fake answers. xD

1
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pauloxxxx

Google translates that as 'the baby boy'

0
Reply10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anomalousjack

Why not simply 'trata comer'?

Like the other similar constructions... puedo cantar = I can sing sabes hablar espanol = you know how to speak Spanish

1
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Well of course here you have tiene que so tratar appears in the infinitive. But all the verbs you listed are considered modal verbs in Spanish and do not require a preposition before the infinitive. But tratar de is a set expression for to to try to like ir a is to be going to or tener que for to have to. It's easiest to learn it that way because intentar, another verb for to try, doesn't take a preposition. El niño tiene que intentar comer. But tratar has a wider range of meanings which may explain the need to formulate a set expression. But you will find many verbs will take either a or de when placed before an infinitive. You just have to learn the combinations.

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anomalousjack

Thanks. Very helpful. And of course, you are right, tiene+que does dictate the use of the infinitive ;)

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

Why do you say "try to eat" and not simply "try eat" like other similar constructions (can eat, for example)?

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anomalousjack

Is that Spanish sarcasm? Or an attempt to answer the question?

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

Sorry if it sounded like sarcasm, but it was a way of showing that some things doesn't have an explanation when we are learning a language. Like in English, some verbs in Spanish are followed by certain prepositions. Why do we say "tratar de comer" with "de", but "intentar comer" without "de"? As far as I know, there isn't a reason. It just sounds better that way. I'm sorry, but you will have to learn this by heart.

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anomalousjack

Thanks. That's a far better answer - rather than simply answering the first question with another question.

BTW One of the reasons we have the preposition 'to' in 'try to eat' is because 'try' is not an auxiliary verbs -- unlike 'can' which is, and therefore more readily allows for the construction 'can eat.'

However, my reason for asking the initial question was that since it is possible to force 'saber' to become an auxiliary verb like 'poder', 'haber' etc (AND without adding a preposition!) there may be times when that might apply with other verbs like 'tratar'. Now I see that is not the case.

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Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DylanRMarshall

Why not que instead of de? De is not even an offered solution.

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Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

Just because it is that way. No reason. I'm sorry, but you need to learn each verb with its preposition/s, and "tratar" is always followed by "de".

I don't know about your Spanish level, but try to read the first point:

http://lema.rae.es/dpd/srv/search?key=tratar

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DylanRMarshall

Thank you for that concise explanation. I didn't know that rule and I was getting my ass kicked...not now! LOL

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ShriramRav

Is this an excerpt from one of National Geographic's Africa shows?

0
Reply11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Angry_Mongoose

Do I really need to explain how I got this? lol :)

0
Reply8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tuminu

Why can't i use intentar here?

0
Reply8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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I thought it did accept it, but I might be wrong, or it might be just fluking. But you do have to remember that intentar does NOT use a preposition before the infinitive. So you have either

El niño tiene que tratar de comer Or

Él niño tiene que intentar comer.

0
Reply8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Geert498532

My translation "El niño tiene que tratar de comer." was considered wrong, instead Duolingo says it has to be "El niño debe tratar de comer". Where does the "debe" come from?

0
Reply7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JulieLeonelli

I don't understand when the correct word in English isn't even a choice when I click on the Spanish word for a clue. For example, I used "tiene" for "has" and I was wrong, it said I should have used "debe". NOW, the translation above uses "tiene". WHY?! They are frustrating a beginner.

0
Reply5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Deber indicates a necessity or an obligation to do something, so it can be translated as to have to. In fact, in other Romance languages like French and Italian on Duo the related words devoir and dovere are almost exclusively translated as such in the present tense. But Spanish also has the expression tener que which means to have to and obviously is a lot more similar to our expression. But if you didn't include the que, it doesn't make any sense in Spanish. The major problem is that Duo can't devise a better algorithm for determining which correct answer to show the user when an error is made. I am assuming it is quite complex. It seems to me that they try to provide a totally different word or expression if you make an error on the one they accept. I know that, for example, if you mistakenly use the feminine article with a masculine noun the will often come up with a less common feminine noun rather than simply correcting your article. My only advice is to ALWAYS come in here to the discussion if you got the exercise wrong, except if it was a careless error that you catch yourself. Check the translation shown above the discussion, which is generally the one preferred by Duo, and read the discussion if you have a question. You should also be aware that Duo will occasionally mark a correct answer wrong. It doesn't happen very often often to any one user unless there is an error which was made when editing the program, but it probably happens almost every day to someone doing the 100s of thousands or millions of exercises done on Duo in all the languages they teach. But those are random events. But most importantly never attempt to learn any foreign language without access to a GOOD bilingual dictionary, not simply a translator. For Spanish I highly recommend Spanishdict.com which is a dictionary, a verb conjugater and also has grammar lessons. I haven't been able to find a resource nearly as good for the other languages I am studying.

0
Reply5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ZhangtheGreat

Shouldn't "intentar" be acceptable as a synonym for "tratar" in this case?

0
Reply1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Yes intentar should be acceptable. But intentar combines with an infinitive without the intervening de. So the options are El niño tiene que tratar de comer and El niño tiene que intentar comer.

But in the spirit of no two words being exactly synonymous, my instinct tells me a native speaker might be more inclined to use tratar de than intentar here. I say that because tratar de is also used to mean to deal with. Eating is something that you don't generally speak about having to try to do, unless there is some sort of problem or challenge with eating in the current situation. So if the implication is that the boy has to deal with the issue he is having in eating, tratar de might be the more natural choice. But I don't believe that choice would rise to the level of even noticing that someone said intentar instead of tratar de.

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Reply1 month ago