1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Voy a pagar por la fresa."

"Voy a pagar por la fresa."

Translation:I am going to pay for the strawberry.

January 16, 2013



"Una fresa"........that green owl is such a spendthrift. :-) :-)


maybe we should split the bill


...and by "the strawberry" I mean "the redhead."


In a sense, this is not too far off. "fresa" in Spanish doesn't have to mean the fruit. It can mean a kind of milling machine. They can be very expensive and you may not want to buy more than one at a time. Granted, it's not a use (m)any of us will ever encounter, but it makes quite a bit more sense.

And, for the kids who might be upset because buying a single milling machine doesn't make them lol as much, just mentally replace "milling machine" with "fart."


Dos fresas, por favor ;)


Whoa Nellie Furtado, Sara Quinn!


I could have used this that time I got busted at the mercado de frutas.


Yes, only one strawbery!


I haven't had any coffee this morning and I put strawberries twice despite seeing that it was singular.

Who pays for a single strawberry?


Who pays for a single strawberry? Some very wealthy people in Hong Kong, apparently...



If it refers to ice cream, I have done it often.


Except then it would be EL (helado de understood) fresa, although la fresa is fem., el helado is what the subject is. Like ordering a Pacífico beer...it's la Pacífico not el, unless you're ordering the Ocean. María Isabel restaurant is EL María Isabel, because restaurante is masc. ---etc.


I was thinking of Paletas de fresa.


And I pictured a strawberry milkshake! La malteada de fresa.


I actually just thought that maybe Duo bought ten, paid for nine, realized it, and came back to pay for the strawberry.


Yet another reasonable context for this sentence. I get so annoyed when people try to say that the phrases in these lessons make no sense when literally NONE of them have context. We have to provide our own.


Just be aware that the most likely meaning for this isn't related to a single strawberry. Read @LeoGirard's comments about this. For example, the comment beginning "I was at a tianguis yesterday", where he says that "las fresas" would refer to all the strawberries the vendor was selling, while "la fresa" refers to some portion of them, like a kilo.


Very true. But it's nice to see learners considering potential contexts rather than posting things like, "Who pays for one strawberry? That's ridiculous! What a stupid sentence!" without considering (or reading) what the phrase might suggest in a language other than English.


Good point, Squeezebox


Wait, I thought "pagar" had "for" built in, so "por" is unnecessary. That is: Voy a pagar la fresa. Is this true? Is it optional? Duolingo isn't consistent in this regard.


The verb ‘pagar’ can take either a purchase price or a purchase as a direct object, as in ‘Voy a pagar un céntimo.’ = “I'm going to pay one [euro] cent.”, or ‘Voy a pagar la fresa’ = “I'm going to pay for the strawberry.”. If both are included in the sentence, the price takes the direct-object slot, and the preposition ‘por’ must be used before the purchase, as in ‘Voy a pagar un céntimo por la fresa.’ = “I'm going to pay one [euro] cent for the strawberry.”. If the price is omitted, the preposition ‘por’ is optional.


If the price is omitted, the preposition changes the meaning of the verb. Pagar por (with no direct object) means to be punished, that's why you can find sentences like Él pago por su crimen. "Voy a pagar por la fresa" is an Anglicism.


Alexis, I would say if you diagrammed this sample sentence in English, * Él va a pagar por su crimen*, crime IS the direct object. But in America, it is very common to say "He is going to pay for his crime," using the term "pay" to mean "be punished" and then finish with the prepositional phrase "...for his crime," meaning to have justice meted out to him, just as you said.

There are too many rules and instances for por, so I suggest the site www.studyspanish.com


It lists only seven common uses for para, and gives examples - much easier to learn those and use por for all others! It also mentions when to use ¿por qué? and porque and ¿para qué?

Sorry the site didn't come through as a link, probably because I just referred to it from my computer screen and typed it in here. Hope it's helpful to the forum folks.


I thought Voy a pagar para la fresa is more apropiarte. Can any one throw some light?


‘Voy a pagar para la fresa.’ would mean “I'm going to pay on behalf of the strawberry.” — perhaps because the strawberry can't afford to pay for the drinks.


actually, that's not true... my strawberry can pay for its own strawberry smoothies


gasp! How barbaric!


Isn't "on behalf of" also translated with "por" and not "para"? Am I still confused?


Yeah like trabajo por Martín. Im confused too


I believe you're right (I don't think you're still confused). In fact, I just checked it again, and it says that (por means "on behalf of", and not para.)


I've read that por, and not para, means "on behalf of" or "in place of". Is this wrong?


Entiendo. Muchas gracias


"por" is used for exchange. When you pay for something you are exchanging money for it.


It would mean that the strawberry wanted to buy something , had no money, and you were paying for (por) it for (para) the berry. A good rule is that if there is an exchange of goods for money or other goods---use por. Te daré mi bicicleta por tus patines.


You are right, "por" is not necessary and sounds unnatural, but it is not incorrect.

  • It is unnatural because "pagar" is a transitive verb, that means that it needs a direct object (that is, an answer to the what? o whom? question) and "la fresa" is its direct object, let's see:

Voy a pagar...(what or whom?) la fresa.

  • But it is not incorrect, because it can be interpreted as a sentence with an omited direct object and a prepositional complement: Voy a pagar (a certain amount of money, supposedly) por la fresa. So, what is paid is an amount of money (omited direct object) in order to buy the strawberry (or for any other reason, really!).

I am Spanish, but I think in English you "pay for" something you are actually buying and you simply "pay" something you are not buying like, "pay the doctor", "pay taxes" "pay the bill" (I am not buying the bill, just paying for the meal). In Spanish we do not have this distinction, we feel that direct object of pagar can be what or whom we pay and/or buy.

Note: However, we can use pagar (omited direct object) + prepositional complement in many cases, and it does not sound unnatural because the "prepositional complement" does not carry the meaning of the thing being bought of paid for, in this case the prepositional complement answers "how" "why" "when" questions. For example, introduced by the preposition "por": "¡Pagarás por lo que hiciste!" = "You are gonna pay for what you did!" (We understand the omited direct object, the payment will be a punishment, money or not...) Other cases: "pagar en ❤❤❤❤❤" = pay in black, means the illegal practice of paying in cash without paying taxes, for example to pay workers or laborers "in black") "pagar bajo cuerda" = pay under rope, means to pay an illicit bribe, backhander.


Thank you for a very nice explanation, Montserrat!!! Please, have one more lingot.


Yes, you esta cierto in this regard. In other exercises you are penalized for 'adding' the 'unnecessary' POR. "Voy a pagar la fresa." is a perfect sentence. Latinos always use Voy a pagar la cuenta. I'm going pay the bill. I've heard this spoken by nativos many times.


I thought the same thing


Making some big decisions today, I see.


I've been laughing at this for like 20 minutes. Thank you for this comment.


strawberry plant is a suggested translation and would be more natural.


In my diccionary, they say that : fresa is also the name of the plant, so you can buy a plant and put it in your garden, that's probably what they mean.


It doesn't accept "strawberry plant". I reported it, since that's the only translation that makes sense. But I sure wouldn't want to have missed this discussion. "que big spender", "Fabergé strawberry", hehe.


The pagar sounded a lot like ahogar. Must have hit the repeat several times. anyone else have this issue?


Yes!!! I originally wrote pagar, then when I played it slowly and repeatedly to check I didn't hear pagar at all, but ahogar, so got it wrong!


There is something wrong with DL as this fault occurs elsewhere with words begining with "pa.." Always best to play back at full speed in case of doubt where "pa.." is clearly pronounced. Report the fault as it has not been fixed yet.


and doesn't 'ahogar' mean to drown?? so "i'm going to drown (something/someone?) on behalf of the strawberry" ???


Same computer word puke here also. And "voy" had a "b" sound. She is clearly saying "Boy ahogar...".


In Spanish, the letter v very often sounds like the letter b, similar to how the ll can sometimes sound like a soft j. (Also, I don't know how much variation there is between devices, but the audio on my phone clearly enunciates the p in "pagar.")


Ideas that helped me with B vs V: Generally there are two pronunciations for these two letters but they are dependent on their position in the word rather than on the letter itself. That is "initial" b's or v's are pronounced identically by most native speakers. This is the same for "intervocalic" and pre or post consonantal letters. After listening closely to hispanic friends and remembering a tip from an old teacher that neither b or v is "plosive" [no puff of air from the mouth as in English- practise with a small strip of paper held in front of your lips] I invented my own theory of "m-b's". If you close your lips as if to say "m" then maintain that position while saying "burro" [mmmburro] or "voy" [mmmvoy] [this works for 'p' as well---try "mmmpuedo"] you'll produce an acceptable sound. Vueno, me boy por el momento...nos bamos a ber pronto.


LeoGirard. I have had two native Spanish speakers as teachers. One insisted the "v" is always pronounced as a "b"; the other insisted equally that they should be pronounced as written. In a number of books, I've read that the "b" should be pronounced as a sort of soft meld of "b" and "v". Elsewhere, I've read that it depends on where the "b" occurs in the word as to whether it is pronounced as a normal "b" or as the softened variety. I live in Yucatan, Mexico, and the people here can't seem to make up their minds. Sometimes one thing; sometimes another. As a result of all this, I've been using the soft melded version on all occasions, as you seem to be doing.


MackPapi. Yes, I frequently have this problem with one particular speaker. Really irritating!


... but I'm not going to pay for the grape.


Only one strawberry? Tacaño! Stingy!


Sorry but has anyone ever bought just one strawberry


Please, allow me.


I'll just have one. I'm trying to get back to my fighting weight.


Doesn't sound like 'pagar'


the normal speed sounds fine but the slow version sounds like powgar. I reported it.


Someone is allergic to strawberries!


My thoughts exactly. Estoy comiendo la fresa, pero voy a pagerlo. (? Correct?)


Ouch. Who goes to the store for only one strawberry? Well , no voy a pagar por la gasolina.. haha


Paying for a strawberry is like paying for rice; it is assumed one will not buy a single grain or single fruit. When common sense and grammar collide, go with common sense.


The word strawberry is not inherently plural, the word rice is. To singularize rice one has to say a grain of rice. But I understand what you are getting at. Common sense is kind of an oxymoron; there's nothing common about it.


JoeSiguran. Kai_Guy: Someone, above, suggested it could be a strawberry plant, which is the same word, "fresa", in Spanish. This does actually make some sense...which is a nice change, although not as amusing!


This is secret agent talk.

The correct response is, "You have that much money?"


I will pay for the strawberry and you can pay for the trip to Paris.


That seems equitable. What's a plane ticket run these days... like, 3 bucks?


the common way to say it in Spain is "voy a pagar las fresas".


What's the difference between "yo voy" and "voy?" In what context is it used? I've tried hard to figure it out except on google. Help someone?


There is no real difference between them. In most situations "Voy" is perfectly fine on its own; the only time you might use "Yo voy" is when you want to emphasize that you are the one doing the thing, as opposed to someone else. For example, in the sentence "He's going to that party, but I'm going to the library to study," you would naturally emphasize the pronouns when you say it in English. In Spanish this would be a situation where you may choose to include the pronouns even if they're not strictly required.


Just to expand on what SqueezeboxSarah said, here's an article about when to use or omit subject pronouns in Spanish: https://www.thoughtco.com/use-of-subject-pronouns-in-spanish-3079375


One strawberry, two raisins and a cherry please. Oh, and if you could put those in separate bags.


I'm from Scotland and even we don't buy one strawberry at a time!


And where actually do you see "ONE" strawberry mentioned? In most Latin countries. the collective can be used. If you were buying party supplies and your helper needed five or six bottles of wine, would you offer to pay for the wineS?


Why can't I use "I go to pay for the strawberry?" There is an actual future tnse I know about.


“I go to pay…” isn't a future tense of “pay”, it's a narrative present tense of “go”,


+1, definitely present tense.


You probably mean, "I'm going to pay for the strawberry." You have to use the present participle of "to go" to express the future in English; what you've written is incorrect.


I think to say that you would say "Voy para pagar por la fresa. Ir+a+infinitive always equals future


Here verb without Yo is accepted but not in previous. When is it required and when not.


‘Yo’ as a subject is required when contrasting with another [potential] subject. It's also required, in conjugations where the verb form is ambiguous (i.e. indistinguishable from the third-person singular verb form), when not disambiguated by the context. Everywhere else, it's optional.


can't you simply say voy a pagar la fresa


See the reply to esmethe.


It is a strange sentence. Perhaps they are buying different flavors of ice cream, and one big spender says, " I will pay for the strawberry."


It's a strange sentence if you translate literally but in this case I believe la fresa is a collective. It could be a bushel of strawberries and it can still be "the strawberry". You and a friend buy a case of beer and a case of soda. I'll pay for the beer (not beers) if you'll pay for the soda (not sodas).


Hmm, I don't think you can use "strawberry" as a collective like beer or soda (which are always collective except colloquially when we say "a beer" meaning "a can/glass/drink of beer").

Although that's about English; maybe "la fresa" can mean "the strawberries". I don't know how to look that up.

But I think it's more likely that "fresa" means "strawberry plant" here. Or even better drill, or milling cutter. http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=fresa

Or ... I see that "fresa" is also Mexican slang for a preppy, so maybe it means "I'll pay for the preppy." :-)

I'm going to try "drill" next time I get this one.


I was at a tianguis yesterday. A gentleman was selling strawberries & other berries as well. If I had said to him "¿Cuánto valen las fresas?", he would have given me a price for all his strawberries. "¿Cuánto va pidiendo la fresa?" would have elicited "seis pesos el kilo". It doesn't mean one strawberry. No voy pagando una fresa. Voy pagando "la fresa".


Thanks Leo, that's good to know. Now the Spanish sentence makes sense.

And since English doesn't work that way, then for sure the given English translation (I'm going to pay for the strawberry) is wrong and it should be "I'm going to pay for the strawberries".


The experience was reinforced today in the same tianguis [native market] when a buyer shouted to the vendor ¿"A cómo está LA NARANJA hoy?"...not asking about any one orange but rather "what are you asking for oranges today?" Translating word for word and expecting Spanish should follow the same patterns as English seldom works.


Wow, how generous "I am going to pay for the strawberry" That is why I changed it to the strawberries. Nothing wrong with the sentence but I don't think anyone would ever pay for one strawberry.


This doesn't make sense: who buys one strawberry? The strawberry plant makes more sense...


The first thing I thought for fresa was a snobby rich or wanabe rich girl (or boy)


DL should change the fruit. Dl likes strawberry so much


they need siri to do a better pronunciation. most of the time i have to figure out a word she does not pronounce correctly.


Are you sure that a natural, authentic Latina voice is pronouncing badly? Distortions due to electronic transmission, reception (even "microaural blips" due alternating current) will eventually be assuaged by practice and repetition. One day soon you will accidently bump into a word or phrase you didn't understand at first and now, quite magically, you do.


I replayed her saying pagar that kept sounding like ogar over 6 times and minutes later when the word pagar was used again I could understand her. So I really don't know what the problem is but it happens many times with many words.


Tonycostar. Join the club!


Really enjoyed reading all of the above.


One would hardly buy one strawberry


maybe they got a soylent green kind'a thing going on.


®®®"La gente quien compro 'una fresa' tambien compro...'un grano de arroz' ...y 'una yema de huevo' ...y


Who buys one strawberry?


People in Hong Kong? This is a specially grown Japanese strawberry that is sold in Hong Kong as a Valentine's Day gift for approximately US $20:



que generosidad!!!!!!!!!!!!


I would just eat it and pay in rupees


A repeat from above: The experience was reinforced today in the same tianguis [native market] when a buyer shouted to the vendor ¿"A cómo está LA NARANJA hoy?"...not asking about any one orange but rather "what are you asking for oranges today?" Translating word for word and expecting Spanish should follow the same patterns as English seldom works. How about we try to learn what they actually say in Spanish and not try to overlay English grammar on to Spanish?


Last of the big spenders, una fresa eh !!


Ridiculous sentence. Who on earth would buy one strawberry?


The official English translation of "I am going to pay for the strawberry" is ridiculous. But the Spanish sentence isn't. Read this discussion to see different ways to interpret "la fresa".


Thank you for advocating reading (or at least skimming through) the comments before posting. So many people don't bother to check for clarification or see if their questions have already been answered, and I don't understand why, since it is quite literally the only reason the comment section exists in the first place.


I totally agree, Squeezebox Sarah. We keep seeing the same responses over and over again.


Why would they buy just one strawberry?


It reminds me of the two grapes scene from the Simpsons:



and you can pay for the rest


buy one strawberry?? lol seems like you can only buy them in packages of strawberries here.


Lots of funny comments about one strawberry here. Unfortunately, the best ever, "Fabergé strawberry", has been deleted for some reason. All that remains is my comment about it.

But "la fresa" doesn't necessarily only refer to one strawberry. Read LeoGirard's comments in this discussion; search for "tianguis".


interesting.. I did later occur to me that the sentence might be a fair response to a grocer after being caught or called out for "sampling" (stealing) a strawberry before buying some.


Well, that's all funny, but why after all this "clutter" that obvious mistake in answer is still not fixed? What's wrong with that green owl?


What obvious error?


Did you read all the commants? Some of them are serious, and some explain that this usage of "la fresa" to refer to more than one strawberry is normal. See the (more than one) comments by LeoGerard here.


Sure like I really have to pay for one strawberry


Do a little reading in the other comments --- nowhere does it say "voy a pagar por UNA fresa" but rather "la fresa" which means all the berries that we're buying. It is common use in Spanish to ask for example in a market "How much is the strawberry going for today" [¿Cuánto se pide la fresa hoy?/ ¿A cómo está la fresa hoy?] almost as if is a collective noun.


Just neef to get the hang of how to use the different terms based on context


Just one strawberry?!?! They can sell ONE strawberry?! Just one? XDD


No, it is not necessarily one strawberry. Read through the discussion here for an explanation of this sentence.


Aint no free samples over here! You better pay for that strawberry!


Wow just... Just one strawberry... Why?


Can someone tell me the difference between 'Para' and 'por'?


In a short, direct way that covers all the bases: NO. There are websites that give pages, chapters, volumes of examples but you just have to live with them a while then you won't ever be perfect. I view these burrs under the saddle as the hispanic revenge for the English make/do and at/to. To start learn that it is 100% that gracias is followed by POR. Gracias POR la cena. This exemplifies a transaction, an exchange, something for something "Quieres trocar tu bicicleta por este reloj?". Para usually is something targeted...something "out there" you intend to do. "Salgo para ir al cine". Live with them for a while, read and take notes, listen to music: "Dos gardenias para ti". When you say the following naturally you have won part of the battle: Voy PARA comprar leche but Voy POR la leche. It's a point of view...one seems to be a target, a destination, the other a push, a necessity. Generally PARA = in order to; POR = because of.


fr why only one strawberry .,.?


Nowhere did anyone say "A" or "ONE" strawberry. While I am in Mexico at the moment I verified AGAIN with a Dr friend who speaks elegant Spanish whether voy a pagar por la fresa could ever mean one strawberry when talking about fruit. No she said "la fresa" is a collective in this sense like if you were in a corner store and selected 6 or 8 bottles of beer, in English you could say I'll pay for the beer....not A beer but THE beer meaning all the beer you have selected. It's what they say. in Spanish. Learn what they say and copy it. It doesn't matter a bit what we say in English.


One. Singular. Strawberry.


This is something we would legit never say


Tal vez en inglés nunca se dijera pero estamos estudiando otro idioma. Si nunca vas a decir algo así en español te vas a parecer una persona muy coda. Por ejemplo: Te hallas sentado a una mesa con amigos en un bar. El mesero les presenta la cuenta. ¿No vas a decir una vez en tu vida voy a pagar LA cerveza?


Leo, I don't think your example works. "The beer" would be understood as collectively all the glasses of beer.

If everyone at the table had had strawberries, we wouldn't say "I'll pay for the strawberry". But in Spanish, "la fresa" can refer to strawberries collectively. I think this is just some thing we have to learn about Spanish rather than trying to find an English counterpart. (@TheArtsyWolf, read all the comments in this thread to find some good explanations of how this Spanish sentence can make sense.)


Living in Spain with some land we needed a rotivator. To our surprise the name for the rotating blades on the machine is fresa. Therefore you can buy a rotivator with 2,4 or 6 fresas however, even in this case, not one.


When listening to the slow version I can not hear the 'p' on pagar - is it me or is it there? I can hear it on the fast version


Will DL accept I am going to pay for the strawberries? Ive got a touch choice menu so i cant find out but that would establish if it is intended as a collective noun. DL?


Hmmm... my understanding is that "pager"means to pay... and to pay for... Why the "por" ?


Good question.

It seems "por" is mostly optional, but there may be instances when it sounds more natural to include it. See the last comment by zopilotes in this discussion thread. That one note seems to capture the idea succinctly. The idea of an implied exchange covers the use of "por" in this strawberry sentence.

There's another discussion on WordReference that reaches a similar conclusion.


Why por and not para?


Por is always used for "exchange" that is something in exchange for something else, in this case money for strawberries. The most common and basic use is gracias POR..


Did anyone else hear "vot al agar..." in the slower recording?


I'm curious: I first read "pay for the strawberry" not as "purchase the strawberry" but as "have revenge enacted upon me in exchange for an incident regarding a strawberry." In a situation where the latter meaning is intended, would it be written the same way?


I think so. One of the meanings for "pagar" in DRAE is "Satisfacer el delito, falta o yerro por medio de la pena correspondiente." (Settle the crime, lack or unintentionally by means of the corresponding penalty.)


Sounds like "agar" not "pagar"


These days strawberries like to pay for themselves. That way they feel less obliged and more respected.


Pretty much all sentences involving strawberries in the Duolingo Spanish course always mention "una fresa" or "la fresa." Is it very common in Spanish-speaking countries to only ever eat or buy or pay for one strawberry? I don't think so. Why not just use "las fresas" or "unas fresas"?


As covered in endless replies already, think of la fresa here as a collective noun. Unas fresas would suggest you're not paying for all the strawberries we have. Las fresas would work fine unless you were speaking to the vendor who would think you were buying ALL his fresas.


Nonsense! I’ve read all the 214 comments here and it still makes no sense whatsoever.

Is it a cultural thing, to buy just 1 strawberry, or 1 grape? I don't think so.

Where does it stop?

If we're carrying a bag of 6 apples, should we say, “voy a pagar por la manzana”, or "voy a pagar por las manzanas?"

Is it governed by the size of the fruit? Or the quantity being purchased?

How should we know, when to use singular? when to use plural?

There is no clear explanation yet.


The effect of Brexit taking its toll I see.


Yes,I did write "strawberries" in the plural thinking that " la fresa" might be a collective noun. But who, except in former Soviet Union some fifty years ago will pay for one strawberry?


I think "por" is incorrect as "pagar" is "to pay for" in this context.


Weird sentence. Who pays for 1 strawberry?


Why do we use "por" in this sentence when "pagar" means "to pay for" so I would not have thought it necessary for the another "por". Continuing the humorous previous comments; another strawberry perhaps?


Even though it's singular in English, one would never offer to pay for "the strawberry". In Spanish "la fresa" can be of the nature of a collective.


I put "the strawberry one" as opposed to the cherry one ???? No good ! Didn't think it could mean one straw berry!


Just to confuse everyone, Spanishdict.com says that a dentist’s drill is called a “fresa”. Why? Not a clue!

And (at least in Mexico) “fresa” is used colloquially to mean a “snob”, either female or male.

So, the word has at least 3 meanings. Translation isn’t always straightforward.

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.