"We can start walking."
Translation:Podemos comenzar a caminar.
I am also confused about the use of caminar and andar, but I found this reply in a forum that I am going to use for myself until I get told any different: "Andar, it has a different use, is similar to GO. You can say: Andar en auto (go by car), andar en bote (go by boat), is when u move from one point to another one. With this word u r not specifying if u were walking or not, may be u were driving your car to get to the place."
So in the "We can start walking." example, if the people you are with know that you will be walking it seems like it would be absolutely fine to say "Podemos comenzar a andar" as you would be saying "We can start to go", but this would also work if you were travelling by any other means, so it does not mean "walking" as such, it seems to depend entirely on the situation.
I have a different opinion about that because a spanish guy once told me about the difference of andar and ir. He said ir means you go to a place. This can be by car, bike or whatever. Ir just means you want to go somewhere. Andar means you literally use your own legs to walk. You do not use a car or any other transports. Caminas means you walk. Andas means you go by foot.
It's subtle but I think caminar refers explicitly to walking, while andar can mean to walk, or to go somewhere via some other means (Anda por bicicleta)
Why is there an "a" in this sentence?. Is it attached to "comenzar" or "caminar?.
You always need the a after comenzar when it is followed by an infinitive (in this case caminar). But when it is alone comenzar still means 'to start', 'to begin' etc.
Hi! I was just wondering: In what cases is 'empezar' more appropriate to use than 'comenzar' and vice versa? :)
I have always understood them to be the same, no real difference between them.
Depends on the dialect which is used most often. And by the way, in English, start and begin are close to 100% interchangeable.
Yesterday I was having a hard time beginning my lawn mower. I see what you mean.
Except that would be encender el cortacésped. Neither empezar nor comenzar would work in that application. You might be able to use iniciar.
I have to say, i never know when to use 'a'. I always seem to either leave it out or use it wrongly. Can anyone help?
Why do we have to put "a" because the literal translation is now "We can start to walking" or "We can start to walk?"
Comenzar needs the a in front of infinitives, You just have to learn which verbs do this and which don't. We can start to walk should be a correct translation, it is good English, but the "to" in that sentence is actually translated by caminar, which means to walk. If you did that literally it would be we can start to to walk. We can start to walking isn't good English.
Not exactly - in Spanish the infinitive is used instead of the gerund ("ando/iendo") where the verb being done is the subject.
"Reading is good" - in Spanish it would not be "Leyendo es bueno" - it would be "Leer es bueno"
The gerunds in spanish are mostly just used with the helping verb "estar" - I am walking "Estoy caminando"