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."
Who pays for a single strawberry? Some very wealthy people in Hong Kong, apparently...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
‘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.
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".
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.
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.
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:
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?
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.
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".
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.
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.
Elaztical: Click on the following link https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/quick-tips-for-understanding-por-and-para
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.
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.)
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.
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.