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  5. "He tenido que oír a mi padre…

"He tenido que oír a mi padre tocar la flauta por años."

Translation:I have had to listen to my father play the flute for years.

February 3, 2013



In Spanish, is the implication of this sentence that the speaker does not like listening to his or her father playing? In British English, at least, it implies a degree of obligation and a lack of enthusiasm!


I think "tener que" implies a sort of obligation, but I don't have the experience to know that for a fact.


I hadn't thought to ask this question. This is a great question, and now I'm curious for an answer.


it would be like that you are in your house right? and then your father in the next room is playing the flute, in that case you are forced to listen him because both of you are under the same roof, it's not like your father is forcing you to listening him (sorry for muy english i'm still learning)


Your English is pretty good! Thanks for the answer, it's not easy to describe a language concept and it's harder in a language that isn't your mother tongue.You did well, gracias!


Duo's answer is very literal. However, in real life, in American use, we would just use the simple past even in circumstances when in Spanish "he tenido/tuve que/tenía que" was used. Of course, there is a difference: 'I've had to' implies you are still in that situation (living with your father) whereas 'had to' implies you've moved out. I did report it; we'll see if the owls agree. ;)


In the U.S. that sort of annoyace could be implied by context or intonation, but so could the sense that it was a pleasure to have heard him. No grammatical clues to it.


The father has been playing the flute for years! Continuously ? Kinda like a musical filibuster? Lo siento!!


It kind of makes more sense as "For years, I have had to listen to my father play the flute." He hasn't been playing it continuously, no.


Just curious, but if the English translation is "listen", why "oír" used and not "escuchar"?


Both words can mean "to listen." Strictly, escuchar is used for more active listening, when you're giving your attention to something, and oír is used for more passive listening (such as would be the case in this example sentence).

In practice though, usage varies by country and I think they are often used interchangeably.


But then the English verb should be "hear", not "listen", should it not?


Yes, in Spanish-English dictionaries you'll often see oir translated as "hear" and escuchar as "listen." But Spanish will use oir in places where English would use "listen" like in this sentence. As another example, in English we'd normally say "Oh my gosh I had to listen to my neighbor's music all night long" even though you're not actively listening to it, you're just hearing it, being forced to hear it.


"oir" and "escuchar" both are the same but we use more "escuchar" than "oir"


I agree with you.


Also, compare "ver la televisión," "to watch television" (not "to see [the] television").


Why is not "For years I have had to listen...." correct? I think it sounds better in English!


If it's not accepted as correct, and you believe it should be correct (and in this case I definitely agree with you), just click the "Report a problem" button; that way the staff can fix it quickly:)


I agree that i have listened is a positive act, but i have had to is a negative act


Why is TOCAR not conjugated to TOCA in order to match "mi padre(my father)"? I know many times the 2nd verb is in the infinitive, but the above sentence has 2 different people doing 2different actions. Why am i wrong and PLEASE explain. Thanks.


What might also help you make sense of it is to think about the sentence in english. "Mi padre TOCA la flauta" would translate to "my father playS the flute," whereas in the example we say in english "I have had to listen to my father play the flute," so you can see a difference. We don't conjugate it in english either ;)


eshewan, ¡Excelente!


very helpful thanks


Learn, this is a hard question to explain. If you want to conjugate "tocar", you would need the equivalent of "... listen to my father who is playing, who was playing, who has played..." ..."oir a mi padre que tocaba la flauta...". Otherwise it's two infinitives in a row.


great answer thanks


Dad is obviously a lousy musician.


I believe that a better translation is "For years I have had to listen to my father playing the flute." or perhaps "I have had to listen for years to my father playing the flute" "For years" modifies "to listen" rather than playing. I think putting "for years' at the end of the sentence may be considered a "misplaced modifier." !?


Sounds natural the way it is given, but after having read your post SamuelOrr, I would love it if a grammarian were to post a rely.


I totally agree. 'playing' is definitely better English IMHO, but DL marks it as wrong.


Is the QUE necessary? TENER QUE means "have to." In the above sentence tener is followed by the infinitive OIR, which means "to hear." What is the general rule regarding Tener que? Is it always necessary to have them together when saying "have to"...regardless of what verb/word fllows it?


Yes, if you "have to" do something, then it has to be "tener que" regardless of what comes after it. And be careful translating Spanish infinitives to English. The "to" doesn't always come with it.


Thank you hunter18288.


You can see some more of these linked verbs here: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/courses/VRBSPREP.HTM


At least it wasn't the bagpipe!


Pobre chico...


Shouldn't it be to my father's playing? Just like to my (rather than me) playing.


No me importa la flauta miserable.


playing not accepted - reported


'play flute' instead of 'play the flute'; does that sound acceptable?


why not hear instead of listen


why not playing for play surely both are correct


I cannot say that "tocar" can mean playing but certainly in english the sentence is fully acceptable using either "play" or "playing".

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