I was wondering this as well. 'Al' and 'del' are really messing me up so far. I feel like they pop up in the most random instances.
Basically you are right: prepositions are essentially random--in English as well as Spanish. There are some rules, such as the "Personal A" which is required in Spanish whenever the action is done to a person or domestic animal. (I'm not sure about wild animals.) "Yo beso la cruz" is "I kiss the cross". But "Yo beso a mi gato" is "I kiss my cat". (NOTE: the sentence in question above is not an example of the "Personal A"; that was just the one rule I could recall offhand.)
But before we get annoyed, we should remember we can meet on a boat or in a boat or at a boat. In NYC they stand "on" line; most the rest of the US stands "in" line, etc. That's why we drill: until the wrong answer comes to feel wrong.
It's because it is Spanish. There are lots of things about English which if you asked the same question about the answer would be, because it is English. There are so many weird things about English we never think of as being weird just because we take them for granted as being the way it is done.
Language learning is always a slow process of getting used to idioms. Then when one travels to a country that speaks that language, it's an adventure in adjusting to the idioms of that particular country. One can learn Spanish well and speak it decently in Mexico and Guatemala, for instance, but still have a hard time in Cuba until adjusting. The Spanish of Spain is incredibly obvious once you get used to CA Spanish. Pacientia y poco a poco
Sometimes it is, in Mexico I think I read recently, and probably other parts of Latin America.
Yes, after like, love, hate, and several others, the infinitive can be translated as to + verb, or verb + ing.
Dúo has always accepted "like to play" and "like playing" in the past. You can use the Report button if they didn't accept your translation.
Yet another example of duo requiring "a lot", which is not the only way of translating this sentence.
I like very much to play baseball is better english than I like playing baseball a lot.
It is a good English sentence but not an accurate translation of the Spanish sences. It is not our place to change what the Spanish sentences mean.
Correct or not, "I like very much to play baseball" does not sound like a native speaker to me. In fact, it sounds very much like the product of an ESL class.
This is what works for me: think of gustar as "to please". In English, we say "I like oranges." In Spanish, we say (en español), "Oranges please me." Me gusta las naranjas.
So when used as a verb:
gusto = "I please." (I've rarely if ever seen this used.)
gusta = "It pleases."
gustan = "They please."
Me gustan las películas. = "The movies please me" or "I like the movies."
When used as a noun:
Mucho gusto. = (Used in introductions) "Much pleasure", or as we would normally say in English, "Pleased to meet you."
Used as a noun meaning "pleasure", the noun is always masculine, i.e., gusto.
I'm sure there are other uses, but these are the ones I've seen covered in DL.
If you imply that you are playing a "game", then "I really like playing at the baseball (game)" makes sense to me and is easier to remember.
When it modifies a verb like gustar. "I really like" and "I like a lot" are pretty much synonyms.
No. For one thing, we haven't gotten to gerunds on the topics map.
More importantly, you would still need the "a + el" construction, because in Spanish, one plays "at the" sport. So using the present participle, you would say "Me gusta mucho jugando al béisbol."
The problem is the incorrect use of the gerundio, the sentence is OK with or without al.
Never mind. Upon rereading, I see your point is that the construction in question takes the infinitive not the gerund. Got it.
Guillermo is correct. A small lesson about gerunds is a long ways ahead so NO thought should be given to them for now. That means none. Besides, gerunds are rarely used in Spanish. The present tense is utilized instead. How can it do that? Simple. It's Spanish. Can't apply the way English works to understand Spanish.
Well said. Where I erred was in thinking that ALL "ing" ("ando" or "iendo" in Spanish) words were gerunds. I've since learned that "ing" words are gerunds only when they stand in for a noun, as in "I like swimming." In Spanish, the most common use of such words is in the present progressive tense: Yo estoy nadando en la piscina. "I like swimming" should be Me gusta nadar.
Well, which is it? In another thread, you told me to just trust Duolingo. Now you are telling me to ignore Duolingo's consistent usage of jugar + a + el/la + name of sport.
I translated: "I very much like to play baseball", but this was rejected. Should it be?
Sounds correct to me. I'd report it.
(ETA I think the problem is that DL translates "very much" as "muy mucho", which is not what you were given in the prompt. I see the point, but it's a shame because IMHO "I very much like" is actually the best English equivalent for "Me gusta mucho".
No. it is not an accurate translation. You need to see a muy to have a very.
Can anyone tell me why SpanishDict translates this sentence "Me gusta jugar béisbol mucho"? Not only is mucho at the end, there is no "al" before beisbol. There must be a reason.
I think computer translators tend to the literal. We often put "a lot" at the end of a sentence such as the one in question: "I like to play baseball a lot." My guess is the "al" got left out because it has no English equivalent. (Well, obviously one could say, "I like to play AT THE baseball" but nobody does.)
thank you. I still would rather put mucho at the end. Since I asked this question, I now think that al is in front of beisbol because it is referring to a sport in general rather than a specific game. Again thanks.
Absolutely your choice. But obviously we all have to recognize "mucho" when it is placed directly after the verb by others. The other advantage to putting "mucho" immediately after the verb is to remind us it is an ADVERB: it modifies the verb, not the subject, so it doesn't change number or gender.
Of course, the above only applies when "mucho" is, in fact, modifying the verb. It can also be an adjective and modify a noun, in which case it DOES agree in number and gender ("mucha, muchos, etc.).
I have to admit, while I am a professional writer for our company, I never learned why I write is grammatically correct...I only know what sounds correct. This is how I am learning Spanish as well. WHY I am using words grammatically make little since to me (could not use Babble) but I really appreciate your response. I can understand, however, that when you put it this way: "It pleases me a lot to play baseball", I can relate as to why mucho would not be at the end of the sentence. That's just the way I will need to learn- not because it's grammatically so. Many thanks...worth a lingot!
Many professional writers if not most are not well skilled educated in grammar. Being creative with words and being an expert in grammar concern two entirely different worlds of thought. Most writers need editors who are skilled in grammar. When both the writer and the editor are skilled in makes for a power and high quality result.
Thanks. I, too, am privileged to come from a family where everyone spoke a dialect then considered "Standard American English", so I just tested out of every grammar lesson up through high school. What grammar I know comes from studying foreign languages. Myself, I wouldn't know what to do with words like "mucho" if I didn't understand adjectives v. adverbs. But lots of immigrants learn English from watching TV; obviously, they aren't studying English grammar formally. (Of course, most of them aren't my age either. LOL)
Eugene, I too am a professional writer, focused at the moment on theatrical works (where the issue is "What would the character say?", not necessarily what is grammatically correct). But I've also done nonfiction writing, everything from press releases to theater programs to academic journals. But I've usually been my own editor and had to learn the rules for myself. I still don't claim to know every rule for every usage.
Duolingo uses people to write the sentences, not computers. The sentences have human authors The idea that they are computer generated is in error. A mistaken notion.
It's a ways back now, Eugene, but I was discussing on-line translators, not DL.
No wonder! If you said that to me, I would immediately assume you spoke limited English. While I can't say it is grammatically incorrect, it just isn't the way we construct that sentence in English. In case you haven't noticed, DL often takes "really" for the emphasis connoted by "mucho" as an adverb. Unless there is a glitch, you probably would have gotten credit for "I really like playing baseball."
And since it is too late to make this post brief, let me add that, "I like playing baseball a lot." is a weak English sentence because "a lot" in this usage can mean "with great enthusiasm" or "frequently". "I really like" is a better translation, though not what DL gave us,
Why not, "I like a lot playing baseball"? This was not accepted by Duolingo.
Maybe because I can't imagine any native English speaker uttering that sentence. We do say "I really like" to add emphasis (but not as much emphasis as "I love"); and that's what DL usually accepts.
But as you've written it, you might mean you like a lot that plays baseball, or that a lot is your favorite place to play baseball: "I like a lot (while) playing baseball." Your placement would probably work for a lot of adverbs, but it just seems confusing to my ear when used with "a lot".