1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "I went there to meet my boss…

"I went there to meet my boss."

Translation:Fui allí para conocer a mi jefe.

March 17, 2013



Is the same verb (conocer) used to meet someone that you already know, or only when you are meeting them for the first time?


Nope, not at all.

Meet as first time is conocer. Have you meet our new colleague? ¿Te han presentado a nuestro nuevo compañero? Lit, have they introduced the new colleague to you?

Meet as see somebody : he quedado con X para tomar unas cervezas. Voy a ver (visitar) a X (normally meet somebody at their place)

to have a meeting: tener una reunión.

There are more variations, local uses and so on, but this is, I think, a complete overview


I was thinking "reunirse" might be the right verb for how I'm interpreting this sentence. "encontrarse con" seems more like an unplanned meeting.


I do believe this is a sentence open to interpretation, and probably this interpretation resides on the verb itself. Meet in English can have a broad meaning. It can be translated as conocer, as in the solution given, but it may also be interpreted as "to have a meeting", which could be interpreted as "tener una reunión". Probably it would have been wise from DL to add "new" before boss, to drop a hint for the first scenario.

Reunirse as, to have a meeeting is somewhat an ad hoc solution for the translation of meet. However, reunirse may also mean join and reunite, specially the second.

  • Alice travels from A and Bob from B towards D, they may join up at C and do the last leg together; when planning, reunir(se) might be used. Juntar(se) can also be an alternative, although both verbs bear other connotations (those of reunite and "mix" respectively) It could be argued that when Alice and Bob plan, they are "together", even if not physically needed and for the latter they were two units travelling and become one.

  • It might be used as you suggest: what if we meet after lunch and talk about this issue? ¿Por qué no nos reunimos después de comer y hablamos de este asunto?. Note that the "reunite" connotation is here also present.

As for encontrarse con, it is legitimate to be used. You mentioned the unplanned meeting. That is fair, it is used with that intent: Cuando estuve en la tienda, me encontré con el vecino del 4º y me dijo que van a derribar nuestro edificio. However, when used in the future it can be planned: La semana que viene nos encontraremos con los representantes de la otra empresa.

More over, watch out for encotrar(se) "En estos momentos me encuentro en el ojo del huracán y detrás de mí pueden ver un camión cisterna siendo levantado por el viento" can be a legitimate (alas sensationalist) description, stating where the speaker is at the current moment. It can be used figuratively as in, "me encuentro hecho polvo" which can be "I am dead tired" or "I'm feeling bad".


That's a great (and much more detailed) explanation of some of those shades of meaning. :-)

BTW, English has almost precisely the expression you're describing in your last paragraph, with "[one] finds [oneself]"

At that moment, I found myself in the eye of the hurricane...

After all that work, I find myself dead tired, so I'd rather not go out to the bar, I'm just going to go home and rest.


Any idea why DL likes "reunirme" instead of "reunirse"?


Because we're in a 1st-singular context. Reflexive verbs are expressed generically using the -se ending. But since this particular instance shows up in a sentence where we've established a first-person subject -- "I went there to..." / "Yo fui allí para..." -- if we use a reflexive verb here, it will have -me on the end, to agree with yo.

Similarly, with a basic reflexive verb like "lavarse" (to wash oneself), I would say something like, "Voy a lavarme las manos." I'm going to wash my hands. If I wanted to tell you to clean your hands, I'd say, "¡Lávate las manos!"

Of course, "Voy a lavarme las manos," is also equivalent to "Me voy a lavar las manos," because with the verbs directly chained together, you can do clitic promotion. You can't promote the clitic pronoun across a word that introduces a whole new phrase, like "para". So, "Me fui allí para reunir con mi jefe," would be invalid. The "me fui" would have to be interpreted as a form of "irse", and the rest of the sentence wouldn't make much sense.



Why is "a conocer" correct, and not just "concocer?" Do I just have to learn usage?


I just assume conocer always has to have an "a"


It's called "a personal", the personal "a". It's because the action is going TO the boss. "Fui allí para conocer A mi jefe." The action (conocer) is going TO the boss.


That's not the "a" he was asking about. "Fui allí A conocer a mi jefe."


Is that an accepted answer? I think it's "Fui allí PARA conocer a mi jefe."


Both are accepted according to the correct answers at the bottom of the screen.


Huh. Interesting. "Para", which is more about intentionality or purpose, still feels like the better choice, but I guess the sense of directionality (in time or space) of "a" kinda fits the semantics of the sentence as well.


I still can not decide when to use "a" and when not. And when to use de? Can someone please explain what is the difference of these sentences. Puedo ganar, trata de alcanzar and voy a comer


why is "he ido a conocer a mi jefe" wrong?


That would be a different tense, and a somewhat different meaning: "I have gone there to meet my boss."


I had a multiple answer question for this one and I also checked "Fui allí para encontrar a mi jefe". Why is it wrong?


"Fui allí para encontrar a mi jefe" = "I went there to find my boss"


Thanks, but I had another sentence "I went to the station to meet my boss" and in that one, "encontrar" was accepted... I don't quite understand the difference?


This is another glitch, to call it something...

The thing is that encontrar truly means "to find". In Spanish you say that you find people (in the street, in the supermarket) in a "stumble upon somebody" manner. However it may well (and so it does often) have the idea of "meeting somebody": We'll meet under the tower; nos encontraremos bajo la torre. (often vernos is used as well).

However, it is not used when you meet somebody the first time, there is not same token equivalent for "have you met your boss yet? come over and we'll meet him" there concer or presentar would be used in Spanish instead Has conocido a tu jefe? although I would recommend presentar (introduce) because conocer has a broader idea of "knowing somebody well" nothing to do with the idea of "introducing".... but there you go


Ok thanks for the explanation. Then I will tell you it should be accepted here, since for me the sentence doesn't really imply it's a first time meeting :-)


That's the point... the Spanish translation falls for it and gives quite an incomplete version. Some weird sentences are making DL famous, which is all right, but some others are minefields and the lack of guidance results in... well a rain of limbs sometimes :P. I guess that the sentences should not be open to interpretation and, if so, guidance should be provided.


I think historically stations are crowded, so in Spanish people who meet people at stations had to also find them, which is why the two could be used interchangeably when you say it to someone. As I see it "encontrar" can only be used to mean "meet" when the meeting requires some effort of finding each other, for example in public places.


Why para not por ?


Before you can choose between por and para you need to know what aisle of the Spanish supermarket you're on.

These are the only five confusing aisles, the ones that contain both por and para:

  • Purpose (para) vs. Reason (por) (to meet a boss is a purpose)
  • Normal recipient (para) vs. Favor recipient (por)
  • Moment in time (para) vs. Amount of time (por)
  • Destination (para) vs. Route (por)
  • Opinion (para) vs. Indifference (por)

If you're not in any of these five aisles (or if you are, but para doesn't fit), use por.

I go deep into the usage of por and para in this post: http://itsnachotime.com/blog/por-para


Can anyone point me to a good guide explaining the use of "a" and "de" following infinitives? I'm really pretty baffled on that. Other than rote memorization, I don't have a clue.


Check out studyspanish.com for an explanation. "A" is used when the action is being performed on a person or pet

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.