"I often have to work on Saturdays."
Translation:A menudo tengo que trabajar los sábados.
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.
Instead of writing a post with a correction, you can just edit your incorrect post. Click on Edit.
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.
Where do you put 'a menudo' in a sentence please? I haven't understood that.
"Tengo que trabajar a menudo los sabados" marked wrong. Obviously word order very important here.
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?
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 :)
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."