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"Tengo que pagar el coche hoy."

Translation:I have to pay for the car today.

5 years ago

46 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/TravisH44

Has anyone ever paid a car? You can pay FOR a car, or pay OFF a car, is that what this sentence means?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
rocko2012
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If you are commenting on the lack of "por" here my understanding is native Spanish speakers do not necessarily think "pay for" with "pagar" ."Pay the car" in their mind's eye means essentially the same thing. We use "for" in English though so we translate it "pay for". The "for" is built into "pagar" for the English translating side of the equation. You still see "por" used with "pagar" on duolingo I do not think it is wrong to use it but may not be absolutely necessary in all cases. http://www.cliffsnotes.com/foreign-languages/spanish/spanish-i/prepositions/preposition-use-with-verbs Check out that link on verb and prepositions pairings. It will explain this concept of built-ins.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/billyyo
billyyo
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I agree. My wife is a native Spanish speaker who also has a Masters in English Lit. from an U.S. university. She also says "pay the house" when she means pay for the house, etc. She knows the difference but it is just a common pattern of speech.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeSombra

muchisimas gracias! this confused me, even though I eventually got it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jimijimmy

Question: Does pagar always mean "to pay for" ? If it does, how would you translate "pay someone"?

Originally I would have thought "pagar el hombre" means pay the man, but now I am thinking that it actually means "pay for the man?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcwPlus
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Pay for has a couple of different meanings in English. Pagar is a transitive verb in Spanish. Pago el diario. I paid for the paper. In English what is paid for is the object of the preposition for, and not the direct object. If we said we paid the newspaper, that might well mean something a little different (like paying for an ad you placed). But in Spanish you can also say Te pago. I pay you. Spanish does not see a difference between the relationship of pagar with you or with the newspaper. But if you are paying FOR someone (eg on his behalf) then you would use por. Pago el spectáculo por él. Pago por él. I paid for the show for him. I paid for him. If you said lo pago (where lo represents a person) you would be confessing to human trafficking.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
rocko2012
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I assume you could translate the same Spanish either way in English. The Spanish seems to literally translate to the phrase without "for" but we often say the phrase in Engish with the "for". So we add the "for".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jjcthorpe

I "think" if it was " to pay the man" it would be " pagar Al hombre"....(or "pague/paga al hombre" to say "pay the man" (imperatif) but not sure..I too had thought that "pagar" always meant "pay FOR" but now I think it is both "pay" and "pay for" and depends on context...ie paying the man and paying FOR the man can mean the same thing ( I pay FOR the man to guard my house/I pay the man to guard my house) but paying FOR the man ( to own?) is different from paying the man( his salary) so....it sounds like you have to figure out which meaning is being used based on the context....OR use "..al hombre" or "...por el hombre" to make it more clear which one is meant ( both seem to be acceptable in the translation apps I use).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/inckwise

Great question! Ditto your remarks. To pay for something vs to pay something has two different meanings.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TravisH44

Makes sense, thanks : )

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tomisin_

Very very helpful link, much appreciated

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/letter_s
letter_s
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This does not sound like ''pagar' to me in the audio. Is it just me?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dwolin1

It sounds strange, I agree. Sounded like "hogar" to my ears

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kcmurphy

It sounds fine to me.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheClark
TheClark
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If you use the slow version it sounds weird, otherwise it sounds fine.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ken.goodwi

The slow mo seems to lose the pa in pagar.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jeff.thoma1

Sounds horrible in slow mo.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/keirdre
keirdre
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Sounds like 'pa grar' to me.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LS650

There's no way it sounds like she's saying pagar. I listened to it about 10 times and couldn't understand that one word. Grrr!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ArtBurnap
ArtBurnap
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Actually, both 'pay' and 'pagar' can be used transitively (without a preposition) to take many objects (money/dinero; an amount of money - $50; or many nouns that represent an amount of money: a bill / invoice, taxes, my debts, a fee / fine, [any and all] expenses, the rent, an installment, wages / salary, damages / compensation, etc.). They can also both be used with for / por (usually it would seem for objects or products, though abstract nouns are also possible): Cuánto pagaste por el coche / la blusa / su ayuda. As pointed out by lynettemcw, paying on behalf of someone can use for/por.

So, as a rule of thumb, I would suggest that in general when 'pay' can take a direct object, so can 'pagar,' and when 'pagar' uses 'por,' 'pay' will use 'for.' The problem lies in between, that sometimes when we need 'for' in English, they don't need 'por' in Spanish. What distinguishes these cases? They seem to me to be payments for things that we could also say transitively in English if we just added a word, such as 'bill' / 'payment' / 'fee' / 'expense.' Spanish allows this to be contracted, though English does not. Thus, pagar el coche / la cena / las bebidas / los estudios / la luz / el diario would be the equivalents of: pay the car payment / the bill for dinner or drinks / education expenses / the light (/electricity) bill / the newspaper subscription fee.

Methods of payment in both languages generally use a preposition: pay (in) cash, by check, with a / by credit card, in installments; pagar en efectivo (/al contado), con cheque, con tarjeta de crédito, a plazos (/en abonos).

Recipients of payments, whom one pays, are another grammatical issue, but I want to get back to reviewing the lesson, so I will spare everyone this for now.

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/darrylogan

in English you might say "pay off" if you mean pay the balance on the car. Not sure why they marked that wrong.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RinnyJ
RinnyJ
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Especially since "pay off" is one of the options in the mouse-over text...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dare3966
Dare3966
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Spanish grammar is like walking in mud, and its getting deeper.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WackyJack

Looks like someone has some serious cash flow issues.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neilg

I thought she was saying algar!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thearifeldman

How might you say, "I have to pay the person"? Google translate thinks there should be a "por" there in "pay for the car".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jindr004
jindr004
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I think what you entered in google is "I have to pay FOR the person". That is something different because you are paying on their behalf, rather than paying for the person's services, so the 'por' signals that. You are paying for the car, as in its use, so no 'por' is used.

To say that I have to pay the person, it is "Tengo que pagar la persona".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kcmurphy

"Tengo que pagar A la persona." If a person receives an action, you must always use the personal "a."

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jindr004
jindr004
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Ahhhhhhhh...caught by the personal 'a' AGAIN. Thanks.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rmcgwn

Curious if anyone knows. Pagar first person preterite is pague. Is there a rule that if the verb ends with g we use 'ue'. Like I said just curious. I'm always looking for patterns.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/echoate33
echoate33
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Yes, it's an issue of phonetics. The "u" keeps the "g" hard. Without the "u" it would be pronounced as a soft "g", as in gemelo. As a general rule go, gu, ga are hard, ge and gi are soft. The "u" in pague (pah-gay) is silent. You ad an umlaut to the u when it is meant to be pronounced, as in piragüismo.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tessbee
tessbee
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I think the rule there is in order to maintain the hard g sound the u in the spelling must exist.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bdawsn

pagar sounded like alquilar (to rent)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OmaJennie

Being cantankerous, I wrote "I have to pay the auto today". Surprise, surprise! Duo accepted it. But why? Auto-WHAT?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcwPlus
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Auto is an accepted synonym for car, if maybe a little out of use nowadays. It is short for automobile. The same is true in Spanish. Auto is short for automovíl.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BlakeyGress

Paying the cab makes much more sense.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcwPlus
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There are many types of car payments that aren't cabs. There are car loan payments, lease payments, car service payments and even repair and maintenance payments, etc. Since there is a word for cab in Spanish, we can assume that wasn't what the sentence intended. Instead of changing the sentence to match your meaning, change your meaning to match the sentence. The only way to become fluent is to figure out what people are saying not just what you expect them to say.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RoseCraig

clap, clap,clap, finally... thank you!

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PacoStewart1

I put "pay for the car" and it was wrong. Duolingo wanted "pay the car", and that is not proper English. You don't pay a car.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcwPlus
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That may be an isolated error. Pay for the car is the translation shown above, and the fact that pagar essentially means to pay for, thus doesn't require any preposition is something they generally stress. But always report these errors using the flag icon.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Angry_Mongoose

Some people say pay the house and pay the car. Especially old-timers. Do not report since it is not entirely incorrect. You and some other people say pay for the car. I do too but I think it is fine.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaLouisaDell

This sentence does not ring true in the English. We would not pay the car! we would however pay for the car.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcwPlus
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If you look at the translation above this discussion it is pay for the car. Pagar can mean both pay and pay for in terms of whether the payment is to a person or on a bill or debt of some kind. Pagar por and pagar para have different meanings. Pagar por is to pay on someone's behalf. Pagar parar is to treat someone. They both are used with people.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lloyd373006

Someone help me please!!! I have been looking all over for the answer to this problem.

Why is it "que" and not another one of the thousand words that mean "to" in Spanish? I need the rule. I don't know when to use the correct word. Some of these lessons use "de" when you would say "to". I know "a" can mean "to" when relating to a direction.

Its not sinking in. I need to move past this hang up.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcwPlus
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Unfortunately I can't give you a hard and fast rule for which preposition to use in which situation. But it's the same in English. Prepositions become part of set expressions, so the rule is that you learn the expression. Who could explain the rule of preposition choice in expressions like Stand down, stand out, stand in, stand for etc. Here just as ir+a+ infinitive means to be going to, tener+que means to have to. Some verbs will always take an a de or a que or an a before an infinitive. The trick is actually to understand that it ISN'T rule based but must be learned individually. Of course it means you will get answers wrong, but as long as you aren't trying to build one rule and are simply taking it case by case, it isn't that hard to pick it up.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ArtBurnap
ArtBurnap
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I just googled "Spanish verbs and Prepositions" and found a couple of good links in this Duolingo comment: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1615/Spanish-Verbs-prepositions-que-de-a

Both links give more extensive lists than you will be able to digest for a while, but the first link, separates the verbs also into ones that take each preposition or those that take the second verb in the present participle (V-ando /-iendo).

http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/courses/vrbsprep.htm

http://spanishplus.tripod.com/VerbsandPrepositions.htm#TopOfPage

You'll definitely want to scan the lists for verbs you know. Keep in mind that English also makes learners memorize which verbs take direct objects and which require prepositions: the difference between have & have to; why do see, watch, and hear take direct objects, but look needs at and listen needs to?

7 months ago