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  5. "Ya me había tomado un café."

"Ya me había tomado un café."

Translation:I had already drunk a coffee.

February 3, 2013



why "me" here? Is "tomar" a reflexive verb? ("tomarse") I don't understand


With verbs of eating/drinking and knowing/learning, a reflexive form can (and is very frequently) used. It implies "complete" or "all". Yo me tomé un café. = I drank the (whole) cup of coffee. Yo me aprendí el poema. = I learned the poem (by heart). In speech, I think, it is the more common form.

  • 2571

Gracias por tu ayuda!


Thank you, I was confused because I could see the subject the verb and the object (caf'e) and couldn't understand why there was reflexive verb in there. I've learned more about grammar learning Spanish than I ever did taking English classes.


thanks. but it still seems strange :))


Wow! Thank you for your help! That was a great answer! You have helped me understand more of the Spanish language! Take some lingots!


"I had already drunk a whole cup of coffee." Not accepted 12/2/16


Because there is no "whole cup of" in the Spanish sentence, just "a coffee"


It means that you have taken it "inside of you". In german tomarse would be "zu sich nehmen". That also includes food (in both languages).


as a german, i thank you for that example =)


It's not actually needed.

  • Querés un te?
  • No gracias, ya había tomado un café.

But you could use it to reinforce the object (to me).

  • Deberías tomar algo para el frio.
  • Ya me había tomado un café.


Haha, it's funny when you get it wrong because your colloquial native language usage is incorrect :)


I know right? My ESL and English teachers seriously never emphasized the differences between drink, drank, and drunk. Whereas in my native language they did lol.


Haha yep. It may be technically grammatically incorrect, but never in my life have I said "I had drunk a coffee". It's always "drank". Same goes for how everyone I know speaks.


It is a regional thing. In the Northeastern USA, the indefinite article is used more. Elsewhere, it is dropped. There is actually a cartoon spoofing New Yorkers about going for "a coffee". It is definitely used in NYC.


In French it is also a regional thing. In the South the reflexive form of verbs like take, encounter, eat, put on, is a familiar structure.


Does "i have already drank a coffee" work here as well. Now i'm doubting my native English.


No, it's commonly used, but it is not actually correct. Drink, Drank, Drunk are the tenses of "to drink" in English. Drink is present, drank is simple past and drunk is the past participle. When you use "have" you need the past participle after it. I almost never hear this used correctly in English, but it definitely should be "I have drunk" and NOT "I have drank".


Have and had are different as well. Because we are using habia (had), we should deduce that drunk is the right tense of "to drink"....


Yes, I wasn't remembering the exact sentence here when I wrote this. But have and had both take the past participle, generally speaking. Thanks for the clarification.


"I drank"( my ) coffee already or "I have drunk" but I know what you mean. I can't type any more, either.

  • 2035

Why not - Already I had taken a coffee


Remember, you should always translate "thought for thought" NOT "word for word". While I guess it could technically be translated that way, it's not practical and would be very uncommon to hear in regular use.


In American English, one does not "take" food, only medicine.


Can you explain why it is a reflexive or the ME is there in the sentence? I think the subject has come up but not clearly. Gracias


Yes, but she had taken to the bottle.


I take a drink every now and then.


"Already" sounds awkward when it opens a sentence in English.


I can't find "already" in this sentence.


"Ya" means "already" in the context of the sentence. Although you could say "Already I had drunk ...", putting the English sentence in the same order, it sounds better to say "I had already drunk ..."


Couldn't the sentence also mean "He had already taken me for a coffee."? or She had ??


No. "for" is not present in the spanish sentence, and to take someone or something to some other place is "llevar."


You look nothing like coffee.


I was reading a biography about Eva Peron. She refused coffee when the waiter offered it to her, and then put a political enemy in his place by making HIM fetch the coffee. From the book:

"Pardon, Doctor, now I really want a coffee," she told the statesman in the tones a B-girl might use to an uncertain swain. "Come on, little rabbit, fetch me a coffee."


"I had already drunk a whole cup of coffee." Not accepted 12/2/16.


'Ya yo habia tomado un cafe' incorrect?


This is correct and should be reported.


Any thoughts on "I had a coffee already." as a translation?


That's the simple past tense, not the past perfect. It would need to be, "I had had a coffee already. (Or, "I'd had a coffee already.")

frenchnero's suggestion has the same issue. The problem isn't the placement of "already", it's the lack of the first "had".


or I already had a coffee


According to SpanishDict (https://www.spanishdict.com/translate/tomar), there are several senses of tomar/tomarse that are relevant to this question: 2b, 3, and 7 of tomar, and 10 of tomarse (technically as pronomial, rather than reflexive, but I'm not clear on that distinction.

Duolingo's insertion of me into its suggested answer is mainly confusing, since it's optional to use sense 10. Duo does this a lot, that is, gives an answer that's confusingly far away from one of my almost right answers (here I omitted ya, of all silly mistakes). That did get me here into the discussion and into SpanishDict, which wound up being beneficial, but I don't think intentionally confusing students away from the focus topic is good pedagogy.


Reading an excellent previous post by a native speaker, they said if a defined amount of coffee, use "me" while if undefined, use 'Yo". So "tomado un café" is a defined amount while "tomado café" is undefined. Gosh, we have so very much to learn.


Would it be wrong to say "I had already taken my coffee"? I know that there's no actual "my" in that sentence, but many times I've seen the possesive pronoun implied in Spanish in sentences such as "Me pongo los zapatos"/"I wear my shoes" or "Me lavo las manos"/"I was my hands".


Why not yo ya habia tomado in cafe?

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