1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Mi padre me enseña a cocinar…

"Mi padre me enseña a cocinar."

Translation:My father is teaching me to cook.

February 28, 2018

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rowith

In Spanish, vowels are clipped. It can be difficult to hear them, especially when a word ends with a vowel followed by a word beginning with a vowel. Also, some words, for example "un", recieve very little stress (my observation). Keep listening carefully and you might start hearing them. I've gotten better, but I still have trouble sometimes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leon_MM

At normal speed does anyone else not hear the "a" in "enseña a cocinar"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rowith

In Spanish, vowels are clipped. It can be difficult to hear them, especially when a word ends with a vowel followed by a word beginning with a vowel. Also, some words, for example "un", recieve very little stress (my observation). Keep listening carefully and you might start hearing them. I've gotten better, but I still have trouble sometimes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alezzzix

Un is actually an unstressed word, so it should definitely not receive any stress.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ray865422

Finally a reasonable explanation for the difficult to hear pronunciations. I never considered it to be normal. Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvgeniyChe3

Why this "a" is here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Johngt44

It is "to" required for most auxiliary verbs (the conjugated one) before the infinitive. You have probably come across querer which is one of the few that do not reqiire "a" - eg quiero cocinar. Good idea to learn the preposition with the verb eg "going to" do something - very common gorm.of the future- it is "ir a" - eg él va a cocinar. Hope this helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmmaMitche89062

Really good explanation. Of course "querer" does take "a" in other circumstances, "quiero a mi padre porque me enseña a cocinar".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bishop6

Except in that case the "a" is attached to "mi padre", not attached to "querer".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SidneyWade

This really means "my father teaches me to cook," doesn't it? the Spanish is in the present and the English translation is in the present progressive. Why doesn't duolingo distinguish between them?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bishop6

Because in many cases where we use present progressive in English, the Spanish present tense is more appropriate. In Spanish the present progressive is used only when the action is happening RIGHT NOW, and not over a broader period of time.

For example, "I am working in Paris this month" is present progressive in English, but would more appropriately be present tense in Spanish ("Trabajo en Paris este mes") because the action is not happening immediately at this moment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SidneyWade

Thanks. This was helpful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaoloAllievy

Is teaching me HOW to cook?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyagonIV

Yeah, sure.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

The BEST translation of "Mi padre me enseña a cocinar" is "My father is teaching me how to cook." These two sentences most precisely convey the same meaning in Spanish and English respectively. Your father is teaching you on an on-going basis how to cook. Hence, in English the present progressive "is teaching" is more appropriate. Also, your father could teach you to cook by refusing to do any cooking. Out of necessity you would learn to cook. But that's not what's happening. Your father is actually actively teaching you HOW to cook. Hence, the idea conveyed in the Spanish sentence is best expressed in English by "My father is teaching me how to cook." Ideally, this would be Duolingo's featured English translation. Of course, all the possibilities in the following should be accepted: My [father, dad] [is teaching, teaches] me [how, ... ] to cook. Duo has simply chosen the wrong one to feature. Ideally, a course teaching language A from language B would be equally accurate in the target language A and the source language B, but realistically, you can expect Duolingo's courses to be more accurate in A than in B. (In this course, A = Spanish, and B = English.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Debasish731654

What is the difference between Mi and Me?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bishop6

"Mi" can be either a possessive adjective ("mi carro", my car) or the object of a preposition ("Esto es para mí, this is for me - although this has an accent on the i).

"Me" is a direct object, indirect object, or reflexive pronoun. Examples of these would be, in order, "Me ayudaste" (you helped me), "Me das el libro" (You give me the book), and "Me lavo la cara" (I wash my face).

In this particular sentence, mi is a possessive adjective ("my father") and me is an indirect object ("he taught me something")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kathy658972

Does anyone else hear cocinar-a


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vita484540

Still don't understand why the 'a' is used


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bishop6

There are certain verbs in Spanish that require a specific preposition (such as "a" or "de") to connect to an infinitive verb. You always use "a" to connect "enseñar" (teach) to a verb telling what you are teaching.

Other verbs use other prepositions; insistir uses "en", for example: "Yo insisto en confirmar tu identidad" means "I insist on confirming your identity."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyagonIV

Bishop, if you want to give an example with "insistir de", you should also use the de. "Insistir en" is more common, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bishop6

Yeah, I think I meant to give another verb that uses "de" but then switched the verb to "insistir" but forgot to change the "de"!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grandma0202

When is the gerund verb form used? This seems to be an active now situation as well as an ongoing process of teaching someone to cook. Thanks to all our maestros from a confused estudiante!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bishop6

In general, when in English the gerund is being used as a noun, Spanish typically will use the infinitive.

Spanish will use the gerund with estar to form the present progressive (for example, "estoy cocinando") and with certain verbs to express ongoing action, as you noted. But that's typically done with particular verbs such as ir, seguir, and venir, that already have the idea of motion or action. That is, the gerund form is more being used to describe how the actual action verb is being done, or something being done while the action verb is being done. For example, "El caminó por la calle cantando", He walked through the street singing.

But also what we're dealing with here is a pretty standard verb construction. When the verb enseñar is used to mean to teach an action (how to do something), the construction is enseñar + a + infinitive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Urbanus1

my father is learning me (how) to cook????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bishop6

"To learn" is aprender.

This uses the verb enseñar, to teach.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johnpioli

I take issue with "dad" not being an acceptable translation of "padre."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elcazador1967

It should be " My father is teaching me HOW to cook!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartinMoll3

Should that not have been "how to cook"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Donald919821

Google translates "teaches me to" and "teaches me how to" identically. In English the meaning is different, but mostly ignored.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyagonIV

That is also an appropriate translation.

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