"I have to return home."
Translation:Tengo que volver a casa.
Well first of all, you wouldn't ever say " al casa " because al = a el and seeing as though casa is feminine it would be "a la casa". So that should be a hint that casa wouldnt be used in this case.
Secondly there is a difference between casa and hogar. Casa literally means house where as hogar litterally means home. Although a home can be at a house, it can also be in a cave, van, street, tent or appartment etc.
Casa = house. Hogar = home. http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/146773/hogar-vs-casa
Yes. It is a little confusing at first, but not hard to learn. When used strictly as a noun hogar is generally the best translation for home. But there are a group of destination al nouns that act essentially like adverbs. They are used without a preposition and generally without an article. Home and downtown are two prime examples. Spanish doesn't do anything like that with centro for downtown, but it does do something similar with casa. When you see casa without an article in Spanish, that is the clue that the best translation is home. I have to return to the house, another valid option in both languages, the Spanish would be a la casa.
If you have to do something, you are probably doing it because you're forced to do it. You probably think it isn't a necessary thing to do, but something is preventing you from getting out of it.
If you need to do something, you're doing it based on your own decision. You think it is a necessary thing to do.
For example, "I need to turn in my homework". This person thinks that it is the right thing to do. "I have to turn in my homework". This people is probably doing it because they don't want to fail the class (a type of force).
The way the speaker feels about the action determines the usage of "to have to"(tener que) and "to need to"(necesitar).
It may be true that how one feels about the actions may affect the word choice. But as a native speaker of American English for over 60 years, I totally disagree with your criteria for making your own choice. Personally I use the terms pretty interchangeably. I would even use one to emphasize the other.
I suggest that 'a la casa' refers to a house. The 'a' is a preposition of movement. The 'la' is an indefinite article which means casa means 'a house'. On the other hand 'a casa' means movement toward a specific house that being 'home', For 'al hogar' it is 'a movement to a home'. It's just how I remember it so take it with a grain of salt.
It is now "a casa". I'm not sure why it's "al hogar" and "a casa" (and not "a la casa") but I'm guessing that this is just the way it is done. I guess it could be to do with the 'h' in hogar, and that "a hogar" is not as easy to say/understand.
Out of curiosity I did a quick Google search (it's not scientific as context does not come into play) and found the following: "a casa" has 100,000,000 results, "a la casa" has 1,930,000,000 results, "a hogar" has 313,000 results and "al hogar" has 2,510,000 results. Like I say, it is not scientific, but it looks as though "a la casa" and "al hogar" are...more correct.
rmcgwn's explanation (just above, in my log) is accurate, I think, or at least matches what I learned in school: "la casa" is "the house". But when you omit the article, it becomes "home". I don't remember if I ever learned "el hogar" in school but rmcgwn's explanation makes perfect sense to me linguistically.
That's a tricky one. In common every day expressions like go home, stay home, return home, etc, which are simply representing a location, casa without la is used to represent home. You are simply saying that the location is where you live. As on English it might not actually be a house. The Spanish word hogar is the one that embodies all those emotional connotations of home. It also means hearth. Those images of home and hearth are linked in English as well. That was a major focus of my course on D. H. Lawrence and Thomas Hardy in college, especially in Hardy's works. So saying Mi hogar es mi castillo would absolutely be more appropriate than Mi casa es mi castillo in translation of the English expression, although I don't know if it exists in Spanish or not. But all those expressions with home like to make a house a home or home is where the heart is definitely embody the sense of hogar.
In the last exercise 'a hogar' was corrected with al hogar, but you don't need to use a la casa. I was so shocked, I forgot to check until now!!!
Anybody know what I did wrong?
Actually, I have never heard of 'hogar' until a few lessons back, never got that word in Spanish class, so I thought that I would try to spread my wings -I guess I got too close to the sun, you know?
It would have to be Tengo que volver AL hogar. This usage here is sort of unique to casa. With the la it means return to the house, without la it means return home. But for the most part you will have the definite article and the noun. Volver a la escuela, volver al aeropuerto, etc. Of course you won't have the definite article before Cities, counties,, etc. But otherwise you should. But I am not certain that Duo will accept it. They can get a little myopic when the answer they want to teach is a different option from the most literal.
Duo accepts several options and debo and tengo que are generally considered synonymous. Which answer is suggested if you make an error is somewhat dependent on what error you made. The logic is at best strange and often non existent, but it is what it is. Because you omitted the que, Duo showed you an option without the que which is debo. You are not going to find all the accepted options in the hints, and some may be incorrect in the current sentence. In English must is probably viewed as somewhat stronger than have to, although they both are about obligation of some kind. I, unfortunately, cannot speak to whether any difference in degree exists between deber and tener que. But as I said, at least on our level of linguistic sophistication, they are essentially synonymous. Duo does tend to use have to for tener que and must for deber, but that's mostly a convention for convenience of controlling the answer
That que is part of the fixed expressions tenir que to have to, and of course que will always be followed by an infinitive as in this particular expression que functions like a preposition. So your sentence Tengo que comer pasta makes sense assuming that you are trying to say I have to eat pasta. Tengo que dormir, I have to sleep. Tengo que hacer mis tareas, I have to do my homework, etc. Of course tener que is geberally resaonably synonymous to either deber or necesitar.
Well that's a somewhat complex question. Que can be a subordinating conjugations and may separate two verbs in two clauses. But when you see two verbs together like this with the second verb in the infinitive you sometimes have no preposition at all, as with all modal verbs and some others, or you have a preposition. The most common ones are a, de and que, I would think that is listing the order in terms of frequency of use. It is the first verb which determines which preposition to use. In a few cases different preposition will work, and often there are set combinations for different expressions. Tener que (infinitive) is a set expression for to have to (perform the verb).
Here is a link listing some of the common verb phrases with prepositions. You will see that que is not really particularly common in this function beyond to have to.
I know what you are saying, but the trick is actually not pay too much attention to the English translation for prepositions. You just have to learn the preposition that goes with the verb or expression by rote. They will sometimes make consistent sense, and sometimes not. But that's pretty much the nature of prepositions. Try justifying the various prepositions to à foreigner for variations like stand up, stand down, stand in, stand out, stand to, stand for, stand about, stand of,