Actually, once you put the para in there, I don't think you can promote the clitic out of the secondary clause, so only your latter translation works. See example 21 here: http://www.staff.ncl.ac.uk/i.e.mackenzie/clitics.htm
There is a theory that the "natural" or "underlying" position of the clitic pronouns (me, te, lo, la, le, se, nos, os, los, las, les) is for them to be a part of the verb. This is what you see with infinitives and commands.
Voy a hacerlo. I'm going to do it.
¡Cállate! Shut up! (Literally: Quiet yourself!)
When you have an infinitive form compounded with a conjugated verb, you are also allowed to promote the clitic, moving it to the left of the conjugated verb: Lo voy a hacer.
When you only have a conjugated verb, the promotion is mandatory. Lo hago. I do it. You cannot say, "Hágolo." That's considered ungrammatical. But the theory says that this is actually what's in the "deep structure" in a native speaker's mind.
Part of the evidence linguists point to for this theory is that you cannot promote a clitic beyond the boundary of a clause. It can only be promoted within an inflectional structure. As soon as you start a new clause, with a subordinating conjunction like "que" or a preposition like "para", it becomes illegal to move the clitic leftwards past that point.
Have a look at the examples offered on the site I linked to if you want to know more.
If you want to get even more abstract: This comes from analysis of Spanish under X-bar Theory. The object relationships of a verb, whether simple or compound, are taken to be a feature not of the verb phrase, but rather of the inflectional phrase wrapped around it. You're allowed to drop the true object pronouns (stuff like the "mí" in "a mí me gusta bailar") and just use these inflectional tokens, for the same reason you can drop the subject pronoun and let it be indicated by the primary verb conjugation.
I love jonnyhewer's comment. Funny. Personally, I have found aurosharman's linguistic commentary on many sentences to be very helpful and insighful. At first, I was fairly confused by "clitics," but I stayed with him because I've been a Noam Chomsky fan for decades. I've found myself learning Spanish from him, as well as a linguist's approach to language in general. Gracias.
Although everyone may not understand this or wish to, it is still appreciated by those of us (maybe the minority) who want to understand how the language works. It's not as if this is compulsory reading for anyone! That's why I gave Margaret-- a negative response (with respect nonetheless). I'm actually just as interested in issues like this as I am speaking the language, weird as that may be!
Thank you for this post eben if it might ne too technical for some in the audience. I am trying to learn languages as naturally as possible without reference to (ie memorizing) grammatical rules. A post like this is actually helpful because it helps me get into the mental processes of a native speaker (with a little bit of help from Noam Chomsky of course).
I'll answer in reverse - for those two versions of the sentence, there is no difference. I can't say which is more common because many people use both forms and many people prefer the use of one, for example "No lo puedo creer" vs. "No puedo creerlo" have no difference in meaning.
All that said, I wouldn't translate "Lo vas a volver hacer" or the other version as coming back "to" do something. That sounds as if he returned in order to do the thing, but in Spanish that would use the word "para." You could translate it into English as "Return to doing it" or something like that but that simply is synonymous with "Do it again."
I was recently trying to figure out from the context of a sentence that used the "volver a [inf verb]" structure, whether it makes sense to think of it as something more like "to resume [verb]ing", rather than "to [verb] again". I think this conversation suggests that's right... In particular, the native speakers discussing the issue there seem to be saying that you cannot "volver a hacer algo" unless you had stopped doing the something for a while. This matches up with English "resume". (This would, I think, make "reanudar" a pretty close synonym, though I think it may be more used as a transitive taking an object representing an activity. Like: Reanudé el viaje tras un breve descanso. I resumed the journey after a short rest. I think you also could say: Reanudé viajar tras un breve descanso. And that would be valid, and basically equivalent to: Volví a viajar tras un breve descanso.)
In contrast, you can "do it again" right after doing it, as Röyksopp and Robyn have so eloquently explained. (Parents of small children are also familiar with this principle. The LEGO Movie is barely over, before the enraptured kidlet is shouting "again! again!")
From the conversation cited earlier, it sounds like "una y otra vez" matches up with this immediate-repetition / over-and-over flavor of "again".
I wrote, "You are going to go back to doing it," and was marked wrong. Is it the case that one would use "volver a hacer" for a continuing action? It seems like the more literal translation involves restarting an activity which someone stopped, or at least intended to stop, and a simple "again" doesn't quite cover that.
That works but the most natural way to say it would be "Vamos a practicarlo otra vez.." "Otra vez" is far more common than "volver a hacer". However when you are referring to an ongoing practice, such as drinking or gambling, "volver a hacer" fits better because the literal meaning of "otra vez" is "another time".
It's unfair to teach you a commonly-used expression? Losing a heart here and there, or failing a lesson and needing to re-do it, isn't a punishment, it's just a recognition that you don't know everything yet.
I still run into something completely novel that throws me for a loop, once in a while. It rather delights me, given that most of the time I only expect Duo to be a way to force myself to do vocab and basic-grammar drills, to keep my Spanish up to the level of being able to survive as a tourist in areas where the locals don't learn any English. I'm happy to repeat a lesson, if it means I actually learned something new that day.
I'm not sure this would qualify as an idiom. The definition of an idiom is "a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words". In this case, even though the translation is not word for word, I believe that volver's meaning of "to return" or "to come back" is closely related to the meaning "again" and is deducible. Many (most?) Spanish verbs have various meanings (sometimes vastly different) depending on where they are in the sentence and what words you combine them with. It's part of learning them.
In this case, we are learning that "volver a" = again. I think what is important here is that it is a kind of rule that needs reinforced so that we understand the meaning of that verb in that sentence structure:
"volver + a + infinitive verb" = verb again
volver a estudier = study again
volver a comer = eat again
volver a jugar = play again
vover a aprender = learn again
I have always been taught that hacer can generally be translated as "to make" or "to do" in English. This is why native Spanish speakers sometimes have difficulty choosing which one ("to do" or "to make") to use when speaking English.
I believe we should look at the given example phrase as an expression that we just need to know.
Well, for a start, "You are going to return making it," is not a grammatical English sentence. (Or at least, in order to interpret it as one, you'd have to infer "return [while] making". You'd be saying, "You are going to engage in the process of making it, during the period in the future you are returning here." Which would be really weird.)
More importantly, "volver a hacer" is a Spanish idiom for "redo". (It might also be remake, in some cases.) Volver a (infinitive), in general, means "to do (whatever) again".
Edited to add, almost a year later: I think "redo" was a poor choice here, in light of this conversation, which strongly suggests that the "volver a [inf]" construction requires that the activity stops for a period, before it is done again. A redo could occur immediately.
I think for that I'd use reanudar (to resume) or continuar (to continue). So, something like "Tu vas a reanudar hacerlo." Possibly a native speaker will come by and give a better suggestion. (I was at one time a reasonably fluent student, but then stopped using my Spanish for the better part of two decades, so I'm pretty rusty.)
Edited: I now believe that "volver a hacerlo" would be a perfectly good way to say "return to doing it". (See comments above.) Not that "reanudar" or "continuar" would be [i]bad[/i], but the "volver" version seems at least acceptable here.
I would like to ask about sentence structure/word order. If I had to come up with this sentence I would likely have said 'lo vas a hacer a volver'. What rule applies here if any that tells us to place 'a hacer' at the end of the sentence. We have two infinitives in a row. Is one dominant over the other? Or is it a matter of 'hacer' always second? Or just the way it is best understood in Spanish?
I think "liarse" is the verb used for the English idiom "to make out with". (Or can also be "to hook up with".) Nos liamos la semana pasada. We hooked up last week. Me gusta liarme contigo. I enjoy making out with you. :-)
(At least, that's the one I know for Castellano. Seems like the sort of thing that's going to vary across dialects a lot.)
It's important to know the phrases we will use the most!
BTW, “español” and “castellano” are synonyms according to La Real Academia Española: “Castellano - Lengua española, especialmente cuando se quiere introducir una distinción respecto a otras lenguas habladas también como propias en España.” Spanish law refers to all the languages spoken in Spain as “las lenguas españolas”, which means the languages of Spain. REA also tells us that castellano may also refer to a specific dialect: “Variedad de la lengua española hablada modernamente en Castilla la Vieja.” I guess this is what you meant, but I’m troubled when people say that Spanish spoken outside of Spain does not qualify as “castellano”.
Well, sure, but even the speakers of various dialects in Spain, outside of Castilla y León, don't seem to be amenable to that definition. (Once Català broke free, everybody wanted their differences recognized. So now you can also find people speaking and writing Valencià, Gallego, Aragonés, Asturianu, Llionés, and maybe more, for all I know. And, of course, Euskara, but that's not even related to Spanish at all. Or Proto-Indo-European, for that matter.) I'm dubious that the Academia is going to be able to enforce their opinion on farther flung communities in the Americas. :-)
To be clear, my point is that the dialect I've learned is most strongly influenced by Castellano, the language you'd see in El País or hear in Madrid. I'm saying that the verb I was using might not be the preferred one in other dialects of Español, e.g. Español mexicano o Español chileno.
Relax, learning sentence fragments (phrases) often proves to be helpful in recognizing them in everyday conversation. It is somewhat similar to transmitting data in packets as opposed to individual bytes.
By observing/listening to music, news, novelas and daily conversation, we are better capable of integrating these packets into our speech patterns.
This forum is an additional tool to be used in figuring out how phrases may be implemented. Native speakers will often chime in to help us gain a deeper understanding, as we assemble these seemingly unrelated parts into a recognizable picture.
Rompecabezas (puzzles) work well in teaching us this process. In working them, they first "Break Heads" and then we marvel how the parts fly together as the picture nears completion.