"We are going to start eating."

Translation:Nosotros vamos a empezar a comer.

1/17/2013, 3:50:24 PM

60 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/TCAC2
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"vamos a empezar a comer" "vamos a acabar de comer"

When do I use "a" and when do I use "de"? Is there a rule?

8/31/2013, 5:30:58 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/JoeSchroed

The important thing to remember is that the "a" in "empezar a comer" is attached to "empezar" and not to "comer". (Empezar + a + infinitive). The "de" in "acabar de comer" is attached to "acubar". (Acubar + de + infinitive). "Empezar" always needs the "a" and "acubar" needs "de". It is just a rule of Spanish that certain verbs need the "a" and others need "de" (and some do not need either)

3/18/2014, 3:07:50 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Platachica

Is there a chart or list of the words that need the "a", the " de" , etc.?

10/17/2015, 12:38:22 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/gordonjackson1

Is there a rule that governs when to use "a" and when to use "de"? Or do we just have to remember them, and is the usage consistent?

3/29/2016, 9:51:42 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_dos

In other activities within this same lesson, phrases such as "Ellos van a terminar de comer" have been translated as They are going to finish eating. Why was that not considered incorrect? Why no need for the "a" between the infinitive "terminar" and the infinitive "comer" in this case? The inconsistent translations are maddening.

9/5/2014, 7:52:14 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Casiquire
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Terminar is a different verb from empezar. It is treated differently. Empezar a, terminar de.

3/14/2015, 1:32:48 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/akili.alex

Is this based on the rules about prepositional phrases?

1/14/2018, 10:27:12 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Matteo573535

Acabar not acubar!

7/1/2018, 9:06:59 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/TrentBrandie

This is how I remember. When starting something or going to somewhere use "a". When completing something or coming from somewhere use "de".

5/23/2014, 8:45:47 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/jjcthorpe

really?...that's a good trick. Thanks.

7/9/2014, 1:50:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/efaryna
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Bingo. I was going to say the same. It has less to do with the specific verb and more to do with the intent.

5/6/2016, 2:19:53 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/MystyrNile
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kind of like start to, keep from, i guess

2/5/2014, 11:42:03 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/danproud

This site was pretty helpful for me - it shows a list of verbs and the use of prepositions with each. http://www.cliffsnotes.com/foreign-languages/spanish/spanish-i/prepositions/preposition-use-with-verbs

6/15/2014, 4:31:45 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_dos

I have the same question. This translations seem to be arbitrary. How the heck can one gain confidence? Is Spanish grammar that inconsistent?

9/5/2014, 7:48:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/elissaf1
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Someone pointed out that when starting an action, you're moving to ('a') the time frame in which it occurs. When ending, you're moving out of/from ('de') the time frame.

It's a helpful concept, I think.

1/14/2016, 10:08:33 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/dbaldauf147

could this also be vamos a empezar de comer

1/17/2013, 3:50:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/gro_com

no it can't 'empezar' needs 'a' if it is a human action.

1/17/2013, 5:12:25 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/estevekim

Yes, I'd like to know as well if there is a rule. I've seen 'de' in front of the second infinitive verb in other cases and would like to know if there is a rule of thumb to help you remember.

11/26/2013, 8:04:58 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SeanMacAonghusa
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is that true for all verbs in this instance? 'a' for human action, 'de' otherwise?

9/18/2013, 4:16:41 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
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No. Some verbs take certain prepositions, that's just how it is.

2/25/2014, 5:29:47 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/lphoenix

I just learned the other day from a commenter elsewhere that at least two verbs always take "de" - terminar and acabar.

2/28/2014, 1:41:16 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Rayhunter
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then why is it 'vamos a terminar de comer'?

2/19/2014, 6:05:02 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/lphoenix

It would be 'vamos a terminar de comer' just because of that rule that terminar and acabar (and who knows what else) always take "de."

2/28/2014, 1:41:58 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/efaryna
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They both take "de" because they both indicate the completion "of" something, not simply because it's a rule. Here's an example using one verb: Vamos a la playa - we are going TO the beach; Vamos de la playa - we are going FROM the beach.

5/6/2016, 2:26:53 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/grey_turtle

Why can't it be comiendo? And, the program accepts de comer in another question.

1/20/2013, 8:36:49 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/gro_com

can you write the whole sentence? but i aticipate you that 'comiendo' means a continous action and we are talking about an event.

1/20/2013, 9:04:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/droma
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"comiendo" refers to an action taking place a the very moment. Also the proper construction would "estar + the gerundio" in this case it would be "estamos comiendo. (comiendo is the gerundio of the verb comer)

8/25/2013, 1:22:46 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/EricForsythe

Such a weird sentence. Nobody talks like that. Vamos a comer!

5/26/2013, 12:26:48 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/craig.zar210

vamos a empezar comiendo?

5/23/2013, 3:47:12 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/tessbee
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No, they just don't structure this expression that way. For Spanish, that's just bad grammar. (But you probably know this by now. I don't know when you posted; I'm using the app right now :))

7/27/2016, 5:43:32 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/shuttlecock

why the 'a' before comer?

8/6/2013, 8:44:30 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/TilEulenspiegel

"Empezar" requires an "a" before the infinitive of the verb / action that is being started.

8/8/2013, 11:36:55 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/daisy211
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I always get my de's and a's mixed up.

12/17/2013, 5:50:35 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/WarrenEsch
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I've noticed 'de' normally meaning 'from' & 'of' (eg: from a country, or son of mr. whatever); and 'a' meaning 'to', something like direction or when someone is going to do something. Hope this helps:)

7/16/2014, 9:24:14 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/MrKyleBaker
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Why not "Nosotros nos vamos a empezar a comer."?

Also, comencar vs empezar? any comment?

2/8/2014, 3:01:52 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/glazewg

That would translate, "We are going to start eating us." Not a very tasty thought.

2/25/2014, 8:28:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

since empezar and comer already have a built in "to", why not "Vamos empazar comer"= We are going- to start- to eat

2/25/2014, 3:04:02 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
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Voy a and vamos a are idioms. "I am going to ..." "We are going to ...." That is why the first "a' cannot be omitted. #2 The second "a" cannot be omitted because empezar takes the preposition "a" before an infinitive. There are about 20 verbs which follow that rule. My grammar books list them all. In addition, there is another verb group that demand a "de" before an infinitive. Elos empezaron a estudiar anoche. (They began to study last night.) 54 day streak. Looks like you' re hooked.

2/25/2014, 3:31:41 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

Thanks for the help. Re the streak. I pretty much got hooked from day one. I really enjoy doing DL and would miss it if I didn't get a chance to "play".

2/25/2014, 1:51:41 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/lphoenix

I enjoy it too although often it leaves me completely worn out and shell-shocked. Yet I come back for more.

2/28/2014, 1:45:17 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

Me too. I see some of our fellow DL folks that are 10+ in five or more languages. We are in a good place to learn, and enjoy learning languages. I don't know when they sleep...

2/28/2014, 2:16:59 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/lphoenix

And lots of people seem to be using a lot of other language sites too. For me just plowing or crawling through all the DL lessons is all I can handle right now, and translations are just so impossibly time-consuming I can't even go there yet. One reason I've been slowing down in the lessons is that I've started writing things down, tons of things, for future reference, and that's been so helpful, but makes it really slow.

2/28/2014, 2:44:33 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/WarrenEsch
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Sleep is for dead people, hehehe... B-)

7/16/2014, 9:13:38 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/WarrenEsch
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Where does dl get 'iniciaremos'?? The sentence is talking about eating, not launching a rocket into outer space. Unless this is a speed eating contest...

7/16/2014, 9:17:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RoarieG

So you "terminar" de comer and "empezar" a comer. Now, if i can only find a way to remember which one goes with which! LoL Maybe writing it here will help! :)

2/13/2015, 8:33:30 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/efaryna
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You begin TO eat or finish OF eating. The "finish of" isn't commonly said in English but it does make sense and I hope it helps.

5/6/2016, 2:33:47 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/RollingCompass

Why is it not "Vamos a empezar CON comer"? It is suggested in brackets in the solutions.

1/20/2017, 7:23:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Lina-Ruth

I wrote "Vamos a empezar comer", but it was marked wrong. The correct translation given was "Vamos a empezar comiendo." Why is this?

4/26/2017, 7:11:29 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SaskiaBruy

The site tells me it should have been "Nosotros vamos a comenzar comiendo". But I'm not familiar with that conjugation, it has not been covered yet.

4/27/2017, 6:34:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SonjiaED

Why doesn't "vamos a comienza comer" work?

10/8/2017, 11:55:18 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SaskiaBruy

AFAIK, you need the infinitive after an 'ir a'-construction, so that would make 'vamos a comenzar a comer'.

10/9/2017, 7:25:14 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/WalterLope11

nos vamos a empezar a comer was marked wrong. can anyone tell me why?

10/26/2017, 3:41:13 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/akili.alex

Whats interesting is that in direct translation "We're going to begin to eat the food".. The act of eating isnt given a verb, its used as a noun because "going to begin" is what we are going to begin to do, and not necessarily "eat."

1/14/2018, 10:32:47 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/mgbryant

Vamos a empezar de comer

2/12/2019, 7:22:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/mgbryant

Is "de comer" a valid translation for "eating" or not ?

2/12/2019, 7:24:35 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Lynwood234

Duolingo should include all these little grammar rules before during or after. Up til now when there are 3 verbs it was vamos a empezar de nadar. Now im not sure when to use de or a. Perhaps a native speaker can explain

2/16/2014, 7:34:41 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/MystyrNile
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Depends on the verb. Some take a bare infinitive, some take a particular preposition.

Some words can have both, with different meanings. An English example: keep eating, keep from eating

2/16/2014, 8:37:20 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SaskiaBruy

From what I've understood (and it's logical) you use 'a' when going towards or starting something, and 'de' when moving away or ending it.

10/9/2017, 7:27:05 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/00101010
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Empezar comiendo

6/12/2017, 1:00:43 AM
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