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
Sue, a lot of any language is based on convention; i.e., the usages are essentially "random" in that they done a certain way just because they are. There may have been a logical reason for the usage at some point in the distant past, but unless one is a professional linguist, one will probably never know that reason.
Rather than trying "to get our heads around" such conventions, we just have to drill until they come to "feel" right--which is basically how we learned our native language.
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 gustan las naranjas. (Note: I originally wrote Me gusta las naranjas which was incorrect; thanks to dcl520863 for correcting me.)
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.
I don't know what you are looking at. If you want to say "I like oranges", you would indeed say Me gustan las naranjas.
But the singular noun naranja can also mean the color orange; since it is the noun denoting the fruit it does not conform in number or gender with the noun it modifies.
Yo quiero los gatos naranja. "I like orange cats."
I was looking at your reply from last year: 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.
But it should be " Me gustaN las naranjas" you are saying now? Thank you!!
I guess I've made common mistake for no native english speaker, teanslating 'I like playing basaball a lot' thanks to Guillermo now I understand my mistake... thanks Guillermo :) But on different note one thing that confuses me is 'al'but not in this sentence, (which by the way Guillermo explained somewhere below) but in following sentences: why say 'estacion de tren' and at the same time say 'parada del autobus' shouldent u say 'estacion del tren' following the concept del=de + el I'd appreciate your kind responce (and pls forgive my english:)
You are welcome and thank you for the mentions. I wish I could give you a simple answer, but to a great extent, the use of prepositions in any language is a product of convention not logic. In other words, they do it the way they do it and aren't necessarily consistent. This is why we drill phrases over and over until they just "feel" right: because there is no way to reason through to the correct usage.
But for the record, google translate says it's la estación de tren AND la parada de autobús. So those two, at least, are consistent according to google.
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".
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.)
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!
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.
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.
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,
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".
Always mucho ni mucha if you are using mucho as an adverb modifying the verb gustar or any other verb. Adverbs don't conform in number or gender. So:
Me gusta mucho la comedia. (I really like the play.)
Me gustan mucho esas camisas. (I really like those shirts.)
Me gustan mucho ustedes. (I really like you guys.)
Yo te quiero mucho. (I love you a lot. (Idiomatic: most Spanish speakers I hear seem to use Yo quiero (lit. "I want") to mean "I love") instead of Yo amo (lit. "I love"), though the latter is by no mean incorrect.))
I'm not 100% sure, but I think that if you put mucho after jugar, Spanish speakers will understand. So *Me gusta jugar mucho al beísbol."
I think. But if you want to be sure, you could write/say something like:
Me gusta jugar frecuentemente al beísbol. "I like to play baseball frequently."
It's the convention in Spanish. Based on my DL experience, it seems to apply to any sport. In Spanish, you "play AT a sport", where in English, you just "play the sport". Like many prepositions in both languages, the Spanish convention is essentially arbitrary and we just have to learn it.
I'm sorry nobody answered your question before now. I didn't see it.
Jugar is the infinitive, meaning "to play". So the sentence is "I really like to play baseball." Or you can think of jugar in this case as a gerund, a verb standing in for a noun: "I really like playing baseball."
I don't know what you mean by juge. Are you thinking of jugué, or "I played". (The u is inserted so that the g is pronounced as a "hard g" as in gustar.
Thanks, Ani. I'm going to answer here again because these discussion trees appear in different orders depending on choices most posters aren't even aware they have made.
ashik, the answer to "Why al béisbol?" is "just because". In Spanish, the verb jugar takes a between the verb and the name of the game. This isn't true of other verbs: Me gusta el béisbol. Yo odio el béisbol. But Yo jugo al béisbol, yo jugo al fútbol, yo jugo al baloncesto.
More or less, yes. But the difference between liking and loving is subjective, so I wouldn't expect everyone to use the same word you would use in any given sentence. Just think of them as relative: encantar is more emphatically fond than gustar.
(There are other ways to express attraction, such as Yo amo or Yo quiero, both of which can be translated as "I love", depending on context. But these "verbs like gustar" are VERY common in Spanish and DL is trying to get us used to them.)
Well, you are half right. Al = a + el. El is the article, but a is a preposition. I find asking why one preposition versus another or no preposition at all is usually a waste of time. The answer is usually that it's a matter of convention. I don't know why one plays "at the baseball" in Spanish, but one does.
You can say it, but then you are splitting "I like playing"--a verbal "phrase" (not the actual term)--that usually goes together. I have never heard a native speaker do anything but put "a lot" at the end of the sentence. (This is in ENGLISH. In SPANISH, Me gusta mucho jugar al béisbol sounds perfectly natural to me.)
So, yeah, you can say it your way, but you will sound like someone still learning English.
al is always a contraction of a + el, and it is here, too. The difference is that while in English, "I play baseball", in Spanish, Juego al béisbol. ("I play at the baseball.")
It's just the convention in Spanish. One plays "at" the game. If you think about English prepositions, most are just as random.
No, it's just Spanish. In English we "play the game", In Spanish they play "at the game" or "to the game". Both are products of convention, which is true most of the time with prepositions. Most of the USA stands "in" line, New Yorkers stand "on" line. Who knows why? (Probably scholars know, but we regular people just accept whatever is the convention.)
That just isn't where we put the adverb in American English. (I'm not sure about British or Australian English.) It makes perfect sense right after the verb in Spanish, but in English we throw that adverb at the end of the phrase: "I like playing baseball a lot."
You can translate it either way in many cases. DL is just trying to teach us that while English uses the present participle (jugando or "playing") A LOT, Spanish reserves it to emphasize that the action of the verb is occurring right now. More often, Spanish uses an infinitive (jugar) where English favors the participle ("playing").
No, it shouldn't. That is not a construction that is used in English (though it is very common in Spanish and French to put the adverb directly behind the verb).
In English, we say, "I like playing baseball a lot" or "I really like playing baseball." The latter is the more common.