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  5. "I often have to work on Satu…

"I often have to work on Saturdays."

Translation:A menudo tengo que trabajar los sábados.

April 20, 2018



Any tips on placement of 'a menudo' within a sentence?

I tried 'Yo tengo que trabajar a menudo los sabados' and it didn't work.


The English sentence starts with "I often have to" so the Spanish sentence starts similarly. "I have to work often on Saturdays" doesn't sound right when spoken out loud so that's an unlikely translation, anyway.

I've never seen a sentence start with "Yo a menudo tener" so I adjusted the English sentence to start as "Often I have to" since it has the same meaning and can easily be translated to "A menudo tengo que". I'm a super beginner but that's how I worked it out in my head!

"A menudo tengo que trabajar los sábados" was accepted as of 4/18/20


When I translate the English sentence into Spanish, I often neglect to make the sentence subjunctive. Is there a trick to knowing when to do that?


Make sure you're familiar with the phrases that trigger subjunctive. Then as you encounter authentic Spanish you'll get used to hearing/seeing them followed by subjunctive, and it'll come to seem natural. No subjunctive in this sentence, though.

Particularly seeing you're a retired English teacher, a useful starting point is just to note that if a verb or expression in modern (demanded, requested, asked that, it's important that) or historical English (until, before) triggered subjunctive, the analogous one probably does in Spanish, too (of course, Spanish has many additional ones). That said, the tense of the subjunctive may not be analogous. The most frequent use I see of the English subjunctive is following an independent clause in the past tense, followed by an English present subjunctive ("The teacher demanded he pay attention" / "Congress requested that the Inspector General investigate"). This would require a past subjunctive in Spanish, as would sentences introduced by a conditional ("I'd prefer Sam do it" / "Preferiría que lo hiciera Sam"). You may hear some speakers substituting present subjunctive in these cases, but I think that's the kind of thing that's a long way from being accepted by the RAE.


Thanks ever so much, PigGuy. You've given me a glimmer of light for sure. Have a lingot for your trouble and time.


only one 'g'....got it.


Instead of writing a post with a correction, you can just edit your incorrect post. Click on Edit.


A menudo yo tengo que trabajar en los sábados

why is this wrong?


Yes, that's what I wrote too and I am also puzzeled why that is considered incorrect.

I will report anyway and hopefully someone who is better in the Spanish grammar can tell us why it is totally wrong to use "en" before los sábados in this case, because I'm pretty sure it's ok with the yo.


I think "tengo que trabajar los sábados a menudo" should be correct. The correct answer on a similar sentence put the "a menudo" last. Am I misunderstanding something?


This is my question.


Why isn't a menudo yo tengo..right?


Where do you put 'a menudo' in a sentence please? I haven't understood that.


I treat a menudo like siempre. It goes between the subject pronoun and the verb.

Yo siempre tengo que salir en la tarde.- I always have to leave in the afternoon.

Yo a menudo tengo que dormir en la tarde,- I often have to sleep in the afternoon.


why is "to" "que" and not "a"


This is an example of a case where the advice not to translate word-by-word is important. You have to identify units of meaning that are more than one word long. "To have to" is quite a bit different than "to have" by itself, and the equivalent in Spanish used here is "tener que."


Well said. I try to look at the entire phrase. When I don't, I have problems.


I wrote trabajar on a previous one ans was wrong. They wanted trabajo. The inconsistencies are driving me insane.


The endings of Spanish nouns and verbs confer meaning. Accordingly, those endings are very important and you need to use the right one. They are not "inconsistencies" but parts of the word that are appropriate to what is being said. When learning Spanish, you need to learn these things. Spanish is not just about words. The words alone won't get you far in Spanish.

Duolingo teaches by example (mostly). They do it that way because they know most people don't like grammar. It drives folks away. So instead they just introduce new words and concepts and give you the opportunity to learn them.

But avoiding grammar creates a new problem. People don't understand what is going on and get confused. Often they think DL is wrong or playing tricks, and go into the discussions and complain.

Why trabajar in one case and trabajo in another? Some learners think it is inconsistency, but that is wrong. It is grammar.

Despite basing their teaching on examples, DL does delve into grammar in the Tips. They are watered down quite a bit and avoid technical language - you know, like predicated conjunctive and such. The Tips are very helpful and easy to understand.

So read the tips! All of them! There is one for each Skill.

To the point, trabajo has more than one meaning. It can be a noun or a verb. El trabajo means "the work", and yo trabajo means "I work." Trabajar is a verb and means "to work" or sometimes just "work."




"Tengo que trabajar a menudo los sabados" marked wrong. Obviously word order very important here.


Solution given as this - Yo a menudo debo trabajar los sabados. Haven't been introduced to 'debo'


When your answer isn't accepted for whatever reason, I think any accepted answer can appear.


I think that is right. I have received corrected answers several times that have words that I haven't been introduced to yet.


Sometimes they might not even be taught in the tree at all, so it can be a way to be exposed to some "bonus" vocab :)


That is a great way to see it!


Why not yo menudo?


@Sal: "A menudo" is a set phrase that means "often".

Interesting, though, to think that menudo might be first person singular of the verb menudar, which might mean to frequent, as in "I frequent this bar...". However - - there is no such verb. :(


When all shud we use que


This uses 'tenir que' which means 'to have to' as in 'Tengo que comprar más libros'. I believe.


Why is trabajo wrong.. they said it can be used as a noun and a verb


Yes, trabajo can be a noun or a verb. In "I have to work", to work is clearly a verb, and it is the infinitive. The Spanish in its infinitive form is trabajar.

Trabajo as a verb means "I work".

In English, "work" can also be a noun or a verb. If we say "go to my work", it is a noun, and the Spanish would be "voy a mi trabajo". But that is not what we have in our source sentence here.


If trabajar means "to work" then why cant we just write tengo instead of tengo que? Do we really need 2 "its"?


Languages don't translate word-for-word like that. Tengo que = I have to. That is a phrase you need to know. Trabajar means work or to work depending on the sentence. It is an oddity of English that we include "to" so often with infinitives. Why do we do that? Other languages don't do that.


Should also accept things like "tengo que trabajar seguido los sábados". Reported.


Why not A menudo tengo trabajar los sabados? trabajar means to work?

This translates: to to work on Saturdays? Que trabajar los sabados? Haaaaalppppppp


The verbal structure being used here is a form of tener que. This is the expression that corresponds to the idea of to have to [do something]. Tener on its own does not.

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