How would I know to use the “a” here when “volvar” already means “to pilot”?
Certain verbs need the "a" when the next word is an infinitive. "Aprender" and "empezar" are two examples.
AFAIK you can't "fly airplanes" in Spanish. Duo needs to correct this. "Volar aviones" no suena correcto en castellano.
What's the correct way to say this?
I get a lot of google hits searching for "volar aviones". Not saying they are correct, of course, but it seems to get a lot of usage. :)
OK, sounds like it's pilotar if you're the pilot, and volar if you're a passenger, right?
Volar aviones have few meanings in Spain. You are a pilot and you "vuelas aviones" but that sounds not very good in spanish Or you made a plane with paper or wood. It's quite common and make sense. The last option I can give is volar as blow up. In that sentence also make sense if they're terrorists
according to the general meaning of the text all the translations are correct
I got "we want" wrong...said it's "we fancy!" Oh please. Above, however, the translation says "we want." What??
In this example we have two verbs one after the other so how do you decide which on you attach the A to?
By the verbs themselves.
When in Spanish you talk about "learn to (do something)" you always say aprender a (verb). Aprender a correr (learn to run), aprender a cocinar (learn to cook), aprender a nadar (learn to swim).
When you "want (something)" it's always just querer followed by what you want. If you want to do something, you use the infinitive verb. "I want to swim" == quiero nadar. "She wants to cook", Ella quiere cocinar.
If you want to learn to do something, just combine the two. "I want to learn to swim" == quiero aprender a nadar.
Does that help?
Yes that's a big help thanks. Now i've just got to learn which verbs this applies to.
Here's literally the Cliff's Notes on it: https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/spanish/spanish-i/prepositions/preposition-use-with-verbs
WOW thanks for that. I think i'm opening pandoras box. Lots to digest i think. Cheers
There are two verbs, but one is conjugated and the other is in the infinitive (to do) form. There will (normally) only be one conjugated verb per independent clause. You conjugate the verb according to the subject (who is doing the verb). Find the conjugated verb and you've found the key to the sentence.
Some conjugated verbs always take a preposition. This lesson (Activ. 3) is about those verbs that take the form: conjVerb + a + infinitive.
There appear to be no clear rules to indicate when a verb needs to have an 'a' before a subsequent infinitive, although verbs that indicate some sort of motion — such as venir (to come) and llegar (to leave) — usually do. So do some verbs that indicate a change in action, such as empezar (to begin).
The complete list of the conjVerb + a + infinitive is: acceder + a + infinitive acercarse + a + infinitive acostumbrarse + a + infinitive alcanzar + a + infinitive aprender + a + infinitive apresurarse + a + infinitive aspirar + a + infinitive bajarse + a + infinitive comenzar + a + infinitive comprometerse + a + infinitive decidirse + a + infinitive dedicarse + a + infinitive detenerse + a + infinitive echar + a + infinitive empezar + a + infinitive inclinarse + a + infinitive ir + a + infinitive llegar + a + infinitive negarse + a + infinitive parar + a + infinitive pasar + a + infinitive ponerse + a + infinitive quedarse + a + infinitive resignarse + a + infinitive resistirse + a + infinitive romper + a + infinitive sentarse + a + infinitive tender + a + infinitive venir + a + infinitive volver + a + infinitive
We want to learn how to fly plane. (should be appropriate translation, it might not be word-by-word)
Except in English we can't just use "plane" that way without an article (either definite or indefinite).
It means that they want to learn how to pilot an airplane. In english they use the verb "to fly" for that. I had no idea that you could say that in spanish too. In my native portuguese it doesn't make any sense.