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  5. "The family goes to many conc…

"The family goes to many concerts."

Translation:La familia va a muchos conciertos.

June 15, 2018



If this is the family then surely it is van not va? Thanks


If it is "la/el", you use "va", if it is "las/los" you use "van". Simple as that. They consider a family as some unit of people, I guess...

And i'm not Shirley.


Typo not Shirley: "la / el".

Adding to your answer, the Spanish conjugation here is the same as our own:

The boys go / The sisters go / The family goes.


Thanks, you are right. Changed it.


Fantastic answer. Simply put. Now I get it. Thank you.


Tú está muy divertido, matey...


"Familia"is singular, like the word "gente", and takes the third person singular when you are conjugating verbs. It is singular despite being composed of a number of individual people.


when do I use ir and when do I use va? Aren't they interchangeable?


"Ir" is the Spanish base form of the English verb "go", it is also an infinitive that means "to go". "Va" is "ir" conjugated for the singular third person (él, ella, etc..) and "usted". "Va" means "(it) goes", "(he/she/etc.) goes". "(formal you) go".

  • Va desde aquí. - It goes from here.

  • Ella va al trabajo. - She goes to work.

  • Necesito ir ahora. - I need to go now.

  • Él no quiero ir al trabajo. - He doesn't want to go to work.


Ir - is an infinitive form. It is irregular. Here it's conjugation: https://www.spanishdict.com/conjugate/ir


Thanks PavelBoris2. I often get stuck on "ir" and when to conjugate it.


Why can't "ir" go in place of "va"?


Because the verb needs to be conjugated to the subject. "Ir" is the infinitive.


This sentence epitomizes what is confusing about spanish to an english speaker - why a but not a los or al and where to put muchos, not to mention va is singular. Eventually I have to think this way and not look up a rule.


It looks like you need to know some rules to see how the sentence came to be.

Let's try to break it down..

not to mention va is singular

"The family goes to many concerts" looks too confusing for now. Let's remove "to many concerts" first, and focus on "The family goes". "The family goes" literally translates to "La familia va". "The family" is singular in English and so is "La familia" in Spanish, that's why the verb is the singular "va".

why a but not a los or al

The original English sentence says "to many concerts", it doesn't have the definite article "the", so it should be the same for the Spanish, as a general rule. There are exceptions of course but for countable/count nouns, like "concert", the inclusion or exclusion of the definite article usually is analogous between English and Spanish. In other words, "to the concerts" --> "a los conciertos", or for "to concerts" --> "a conciertos". It cannot be "al" in this case, since "conciertos" is plural.

where to put muchos

In Spanish, "mucho/a" and "muchos/as" are placed before the modified noun. The English sentence says "many concerts" so the Spanish should be "muchos conciertos".

So to summarize, there are at least three rules to be noted here.

  1. The verb "va" has to agree with the subject "la familia".
  2. The Spanish doesn't have the definite article "the", so the English should follow. (a general rule for countable nouns, with exceptions)
  3. "Muchos" is placed before the modified noun "conciertos".



Very well explained. Thank you!

My challenge right now is in understanding when to include the "a" (for the preposition "to"). It seems that the preposition is often included with the primary verb, but not always. While I've been able to memorize it for some verbs, I think understanding the rule would help a lot. For example, "I want to eat" is just "Yo quiero comer"... Can you help?


Very generally "a" can be included for "to" when the English "to" relates a sense of movement / direction / location / change. I started to give examples, but quickly realised there would be a page full. There are exceptions, and many situations where "a" does not translate as "to", but again, trying to state them all would be difficult.

The major point of difference is in the example you have given: Quiero comer - I want to eat. Here the "to" is the infinitive "to" in English, and does not translate into Spanish as anything.


Thanks again. I think I need to study English grammar a bit more in order to better understand Spanish grammar.


I'm with you Julie, but when I came into learning Spanish, all I wanted was every day Spanish. The in depth grammar that comes with learning another language is quite intense, but would be very ignorant not to make an effort. I think when I go to Spain my ( disculpe mi Espanol es no muy bien , pero lo estoy intantendo lo siento) will be well used.


Me too, Julie143204


This was one of those things I had to wrap my head around when I started learning a foreign language - since we learn our first language intuitively, we don't always know the rules as intellectually. The unconjugated "comer" is "to eat" - we just don't think of our English verbs this way, because our conjugation is fairly simple. So, in that example, you don't add "a" because the "to" is included when you say "comer"



Try these:

  • Ser o no ser. - To be or not to be.
  • Errar es humano. - To err is human.
  • (Nosotros) podemos tocar las guitarras. - We are able to play the guitars. / We can play the guitars.


awesome breakdown. Thanks mayne. Keep it 300


Oh my God, that is probably the most clear, thought out and well done answer I have seen here. Great job breaking it down and explaining it. Even though I had the answer right, your answer helped me further understand why I was right. Thank you.


Why not "la familia ir a muchos conciertos"? Why "va" instead of "ir"?


"Ir" is the base, unconjugated form, which basically means "to go". Since in the sentence above, it's used as the verb for "la familia", it must be conjugated to the third person singular which is "va". "La familia ir" would mean "the family to go", as opposed to "la familia va" which means "the family goes".


Re: The family: Singular or plural.

US English speakers who follow Tour de France broadcasts know that our English cousins handle "collective" nouns as plurals. Phil, and, alas formerly, Paul, say "the team are," for example, instead of the US version, "the team is."


Hah another cycling fan! They are just bad at grammar: we shout at them when they say amount of riders instead of number!!


Should be van si?


No. "Family" is a collective singular noun. Admittedly, in English you could say either "the family goes to ..." or "the family go to ...", treating family as either singular or plural. In Spanish "familia" is always singular - hence "la" as the definite article preceding it.


Collective nouns work the same in English: eg a flock of birds is overhead where the verb agrees with flock (singular) and not birds (plural). Similarly, the family is leaving or the members of the family are leaving...


In US English, but not UK English. Please see my previous comment.


I dont get when to use va vs ir


You use "va" with singular third persons or objects.

  • Ella va a la escuela. - She goes / is going to school.
  • Juan va a dormir. - Juan will / is going to sleep.

You use "ir" on top of an existing verb..

  • Ella quiere ir a la escuela. - She wants to go to school.
  • Juan no necesita ir a casa. - Juan doesn't need to go home.
  • Yo tengo que ir ahora. - I have to go now.

..or as a gerund, a subject.

  • Ir a casa es el mejor. - Going home is the best.


Thanks for the clarification ... you're really quick! You answered my question before I asked!! Have a lingot!


In an earlier lesson, "they wear tshirts to the concert" required "en el concierto." Now we're required to use "a la concierto." I'd love to know why so I'll quit making dumb mistakes. Thanks.


I think the first one would be better as at the concert actually. If they were wearing t-shirts on the way to the concert and then changing, you would say al concierto (because the a denotes movement towards a destination.)


"La concierto" doesn't sound correct to me. "Concierto" is a masculine noun and so the article "el" should be used instead.


La familia va muchos "a" conciertos. Could "a" be here? Thanks!


Nope. "Muchos" is an adjective and (in the absence of a copulative verb) needs to be next to the noun it is modifying, just as it does in English. We know "muchos" is an adjective because it is matching number with "conciertos".

What may be possible is "La familia va mucho a conciertos" using "mucho" as an (invariable) adverb. This could be interpreted as "The family goes to concerts a lot" but I don't know how common / correct it would be.


Why wouldn't it be van verses va when talking about the family which is more than one?


A family is a group of people related by blood (or so). It is a collective noun, which means it's still singular. Same way with club, band, association, herd, crowd, committee, audience, faculty, conglomerate, aggregation, organization, clique, circle, party, staff, body, cartel, cluster, troop, fleet, army, navy, etc..

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