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  5. "We are starting to study Jap…

"We are starting to study Japanese at school."

Translation:Empezamos a estudiar japonés en la escuela.

June 17, 2018

35 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gary981041

Why is there an a after ampazamos?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brandon970125

It is very common to see a preposition after a verb.

Here are some examples in English: "to looking for", "to meet at", "to come with", "to look up to", "to belong to", etc.

In spanish, there are also prepositional phrases: "terminar de", "empezar a", etc.

Some of the verb-preposition combinations make sense. For example, saying "moving toward", "moving away", and "moving through" all signify a specific direction of movement.

However, other verb-preposition combinations don't necessarily make logical sense. For these, you just have to use memorization.

"To approve of" is an example of a verb-preposition combination that doesn't make logical sense. Why would you say "approve of", instead of "approve in"?

Clearly, when an English verb is followed by a preposition, a Spanish verb may be followed by a different preposition. Moreover, when an English very is followed by a preposition, the Spanish verb may not have a preposition. The converse, in general, is also true (i.e., when a Spanish verb is followed by a preposition, the corresponding English verb may not be followed by a preposition).

Because of your familiarity with English, it might be difficult to accept other kinds of prepositional verbs. My advice, when learning Spanish prepositional verbs, is to not think about them too much. Just keep you mind open, and accept that a Spanish phrase is said how it is. As you gain more familiarity with Spanish, these things will become so ingrained in your mind that you will wonder how you were ever confused by them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brandon970125

Adding to the discussion for the particular example you are concerned with:

"Empezamos a" is a verb, followed by a preposition. This verb-preposition combination is very easy to translate, since we have to exact same verb-preposition combination in English ("to start to"). In fact, the above example uses this, when saying "starting to".

"To start" is translated as "empezar", and "a" is translated as "to".

As noted in my more comprehensive discussion post, not all verb-preposition combinations translate this easily. Just keep this in mind.

I wish you the best in your future studies.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jcz99

No it's different in English. "We are starting" = present progressive. "to study"= infinitive. There is no preposition. But in Spanish there is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mariner888

The primer for that lesson explains this. When you click on the lesson instead of choosing start choose the lightbulb icon.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David795289

"A la" = to the "En la" = in/at the


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alex713746

Thank you. En seems to be used for a number of words. Can you explain when to include le or la or is that just 'getting the ear' so you know which sounds right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David795289

(That was supposed to be in response to Alex)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryLee916340

Why not - Estamos comenzando . . . ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ProfesorAntonnio

That's a valid answer but still not accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alex713746

A la or en la (or male equivalent)) I thought I had understood it apparently not. Why is it en la here please can someone explain .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tommie-Yah

Why not el japonés like el espanol?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tinamclaren

Why is putting nosotros at the beginning of this phrase wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamerG9

can i say estamos empezaindo estudiar ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael307373

SamerG9, technically I believe that would be correct. Remember though that Spanish does not utilize the Present Progressive tense as widely as English does. In Spanish it is typically only used to emphasize that the event is happening at that moment. So using the Present Progressive on the Spanish side feels a little unlikely and odd to me here. I feel the context here is most likely talking about something that is ongoing but not actually happening at the moment.

In contrast on the English side... the Present Progressive is used in a more contexts than simply to indicate the action is happening at that moment. We also use it to indicate ongoing activities even if they aren't actually happening at that very moment. In either case I feel the use of the Simple Present tense is much more likely on the Spanish side of things.

I would love a second opinion here though from a native Spanish speaker.

Also, please note it would be 'estamos empezando'... no 'i' between the 'a' and the 'n'. 'ar' ending verbs do not add an 'i' to their endings for their gerundio forms... only 'ando'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Josiah639097

How do you know when to use a after the infinitive?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael307373

Josiah, this is simply something you must learn as you go as there aren't really cut and dried rules for this. The following link will help you get started with this:

Spanish Verbs that take Prepositions


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erin966618

What is the matter with estamos comenzando estudiar in scuola


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shay583126

Can't select right answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ld1WSb38

I was under the impression that you never separate the two verbs (I thought Duo taught me that somewhere in past lessons), so I entered empezamos estudiar a....It was wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael307373

Ld1WSb38, many verbs utilize a preposition to indicate a specific meaning or in specific structures. In this case the 'a' goes with 'empezamos' and so must immediately follow it. This takes precedence over the other rules. The correct structure for 'starting to {insert verb}' is 'empezar a {verb in its infinitive form}

I believe you are correct though in that other types of words (nouns, adjectives, etc...) would not be placed between the two verbs in this type of structure.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael307373

lol, now I know the kanji for 'lol'. Here's a lingot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katalina925321

Since a translates to at as well as to, why is a la escuela incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim8161

a la escuela means "to the school" not "at the school"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katalina925321

Thanks, Jim226018. When I looked at the definitions of a above the sentence, at was one of the definitions, but not right for this one, I see.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Traci116

I put "Estamos empezamos..." Would this mean, We are, we are starting? Is that why we don't need estamos?

Please help me to know how I would know that this question was not needing, 'Estamos Empiezendo?' Or something like that for present tense, please? Thank you VERY much for explaining this!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FriedgardS

Why "a estudiar"? I wrote: Estamos estudiar...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim8161

The closest English I can get from that is: "We are to study"
You haven't included a word for "starting" at all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShellyHend1

Doesn't estudiar mean "to study" why do we need another to? In previous lessons estudiar has meant to study, is this because it is the 2nd verb (i don't remember the word for it when it's not conjugated)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erin966618

That should have said why can't you say estamos coming sandal estudiar hapless en la Escuela


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erin966618

That should have said... why can't you say "estamos comenzando estudiar japonés en la escuela"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Q.u.e.e.n.D

Why not „Empezamos a aprender japonés en la escuela”?

In the first lessons I learned phrases like “yo aprendo español” so why “aprender” isn’t accepted in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dianeLown

Why did I need esta aprendiendo (are learning) but now empezamos ( we are starting) - is ok with no estamos.

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