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"He reaches for the hat."

Translation:Él alcanza el sombrero.

5 years ago

39 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AAnderson20

Could "El alcanza para el sombrero" be accepted?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SpookySqueeek

"Para" isn't necessary here the way "for" is in English, because alcanza already translates as "reaches for." The idea of for or toward is just included in the Spanish verb alcanzar.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OlavRG

So how does one then differentiate between reaching the hat, and reaching for the hat in Spanish?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgeT
GeorgeT
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It doesn't seem to translate directly. Looks like you can say "he stretches for the hat" if you mean to emphasize the physical reaching, per ramosraul = El se estira para coger/ tomar el sombrero. If the reaching actually gets the thing, looks like you just say use coger/tomar. I guess you could say "trying to take/get the hat" if you mean the almost-but-not-quite aspect of "reaches for": like "tratando de coger/tomar"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeninMage
GeninMage
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I would generally avoid the word "coger" as in méxico this can be translated as "to f**k".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marie282520

I thought it meant he is as tall as the placement of his hat on his head....as tall as himself. Could it mean that?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dickvanriel
Dickvanriel
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I am no native English speaker. When do you use reaching the hat without for?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JimLNA
JimLNA
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"He reaches for the hat.": "Reaches for" would imply he has not yet reached the hat but probably will "reach" it in the future. If you were to say "He reaches the hat," it would mean that he is in the act of reaching the hat right now. He could also reach it in the future if you say "He reaches the hat tomorrow." This wouldn't make a lot of sense out of context, but think of it as a finish line in a race: "He reaches the finish line" [right now]; "He reaches the finish line tomorrow." Generally "reaches for" would be extending your arm to get something, while "reaches the hat/ the line/ the end" is going to imply achieving something that took a while--"He reaches the hat" might refer to a person that walked a distance to get a hat. If it is right next to him you would just say "He grabs the hat" or "He picks up the hat."

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dickvanriel
Dickvanriel
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Right, of course.. I should have known that. It was the hat that made it al confusing. Thanks for the great explanation!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marie282520

Can it be an idiom ever in other contexts for a polite way to show respect on the street, which in English would say " he reaches to tip his hat" Or someone "reaches to tip his hat."

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lawsci
lawsci
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Dictionaries translate alcanzar as "to reach" not to "reach for"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RAMOSRAUL

No, it's not valid

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AAnderson20

Why isn't it valid?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RAMOSRAUL

Mostly because the verb+proposition works differently in Spanish, not the same verbs, not the same prepositions. In addition, para cannot be translated to for in all and every situations. Direct preposition translation is something almost unheard of, at least in most European languages.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgeT
GeorgeT
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Ramosraul: what do you say about the questions below re: use of alcanzar? First, is that the ordinary word choice in a sentence like this = reaching with one's hand to get something? Any help appreciated.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RAMOSRAUL

Hey there. Alcanzar can be translated as to reach in English, but not always.

To understand why "to reach for sth" and "alcanzar sth to sbd" is a bit different I will have to go on what are the meanings and subtleties of alcanzar. This means this will be a bit long and boring. Yet I will try to make a point in the last paragraph for those with less patience.

Alcanzar in Spanish has the connotation of "up to" both literally and figuratively. That means that you can do this:

  • A pesar de haber salido una hora más tarde, les alcancé después de 100 km
  • Despite I departed one hour later, I reached (sometimes overtook too) them after 100 km

So far so good, now figurative speech

  • Tengo 5 €, pero no me alcanza para comprar todo.
  • I've got 5 €, but "it does not reach" to buy everything.

Although I have heard people using reach that way, I cannot find such figurative speech in a dictionary and I would never use reach, but let's not dig there too much.

So now we go to the English "reach for" which is a meaning of " reach out" or "stretch". This is not present in the Spanish verb as such, because it is more of "up to" as I said.

The use of Alcanzar sbd sth is completely different because the verb needs to objects, that which is acted on and that which receives the action.

Wait wait... what are you talking about? there is not such thing in the proposed sentence! Yes,that is the funny thing here. The given sentence does translate literally into English as the subject is running after the hat and catching it! How would a native translate it?: El coge el sombrero or, if you find one of those who giggle when then hear coger, El toma el sobrero. El se estira para coger/ tomar el sombrero is a way to say when he really has to reach for it.

So, where does come alcanzar as to reach for in all this? it might work like that!

As said alcanzar sth a sbd exists and is equivalent of "bring sth to sbd's reach". Thus if you are sitting in a table, far away from where your hat was hung, you may ask " ¿Me puedes alcanzar el sombrero, por favor?. Which would simply be can you pass me my hat please?, but in Spanish you would be using the equivalent of "to reach". Slightly confusing uh? That is why I did not went into details before. Perhaps I just confused you more... but I can answer more questions if you need to :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marie282520

Gracias. Well maybe at a table or where food is shared, this is not confusing. Pass the potatoes to your mother. It does not mean to force her to eat more. But it might mean to put the potatoes in reach of her as an offer. And at a table, someone would place them in her reach. Right? Is this what is meant?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sheridend

What about "El alcanza al sombrero."? I cannot find any place that indicates alcanzar translates to reach 'for'. I only find: catch up with, to get, to obtain, etc. Perhaps the real challenge here is, in English, we would not use the word "for" in the sentence? We really need context to help with these things now. Even Duolingo does not offer "reach for" when we hover over the verb.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rmcgwn

I found "reaches for" in two dictionaries. One indicated using alcanzar most often for things like 'catch a train' 'catch a flight'.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sheridend

TY, rmcgwn. My dictionary, my pocket translator, online dictionary and Duolingo hover all did not show "reach for." I will be asking my resident Spanish teacher next (she lives above me).

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgeT
GeorgeT
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What did you find out? I suspect there are idiomatic expressions that may be better for "reach for" than alcanzar. Like when saying "don't reach for it!" [re: a gun] or what would you say for "the boy stood on his toes and reached for the sky"? I don't think it would be "alcanzó"... It seems like the idea of "reaching for" -- but not actually managing to reach it -- doesn't really fit w/ alcanzar?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rickydito

Also Duolingo would not accept "El" without an accent mark (Él)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/homefire

I used that answer, too, partly because "alcanza a" was one of the choices in the dropdown list. It seemed sensible...I guess not.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/drepple
drepple
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Harper Collins (Standard) says to reach out (with your hand) for something is alargar (or tender) la mano para tomar algo. All of their English meanings for alcanzar are in the sense of arriving at ...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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My dictionary alargar = to prolong & alcanzar = to catch up.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KhalidSabi
KhalidSabi
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Could I add lo in this sentence?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wklem88

In a previous exercise my answer was rejected because I translated "She reaches for the shoes" as "Ella alcanza para los zapatos". It was rejected because I used "para" instead of "por". I thought I learned something so for this exercise I translated "He reaches for the hat" as Él alcanza por el sombrero." My answer was rejected because I used "por". What's up with this? I guess you use "por" when the the subject is feminine. (Only joking).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mjacobs

Then why do you say "El alcanzo al pajaro" is correct?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RAMOSRAUL

you have to possibilities there. Either he shot the bird or he caught up with it. Actually, according to your wording it would be the first "a el pájaro", whereas the indirect object would be the other.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marie282520

A hawk or some male predator caught the bird? Was in close range?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gordonjackson1

I am not sure why "El alcanza del sombrero" is wrong. A literal English translation of the Spanish would be, "He reaches the hat". Is there a rule about these short prepositions (?) that we can latch onto and help us to know when and how to use them? I am speaking of: de, en, a, con, etc. The consistently confuse the translations. Someone suggested just remembering which preposition goes with which verb, but sometimes NO preposition is required. Help!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marie282520

The nightmare prepositions is how I see them. If there is an answer here, it might be a book in French and in Spanish, too. The problem also is native speakers just use them right from experience and absorbtion and then have to come up with rules that break easily with exceptions... Thoughtco, if you can figure out how to search it, is sometimes good. WordRef has examples. LONG lists sometimes. It's overwhelming to me unless I just one at a time practice tho the searches are so useful and the comments.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bbews
Bbews
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Ok, learned something. Thanks

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EMCisneros

So is "alcanza" more of a transitional verb? Otherwise it would trans-literate into "he reaches the hat".

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rigz
rigzPlus
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Why not alcanzo?

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pzombie
pzombie
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"His magic eyebrows reached his hat" v "His magic eyebrows reached for his hat". Same verb in Spanish?

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GarethViejoLento

There is a difference between 'reach' and 'reach for' - the first implies success, the second an attempt. trata de alcanzar el sombrero might be a better translation if the hat is just out of reach :-)

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cleolin
cleolin
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It should be "Él alcanza por el sombrero" or the meaning of the sentence changes.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sineyen
sineyen
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No, it doesn't. "Por" would be a wrong word here even in direct translation because it means "by", so we would rather use "para" (which means "for"). But we don't because "alcanzar" already means "to reach for" itself.

8 months ago