https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eniac0

verb tense question

in a sample sentence like "yo como arroz"

to me, this would translate as "i eat rice" as well as "i am eating rice"

how do we make the difference when translating? is it just a contextual thing?

August 25, 2012

16 Comments

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nicolas_16

No. i eat rice= Yo como arroz. I am eating rice = Yo estoy comiendo arroz. Contextual example: I run evey monday (something you don habitualy) I am runing right now (now) If you could understood, follow me. :)

August 25, 2012

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

The problem is that in Spanish, the present tense is used in both contexts, unlike English. This is frustrating, because Duolingo is still marking these responses as wrong.

February 26, 2013

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

"Yo como arroz" could mean either "I eat rice" or "I am eating rice". "Yo estoy comiendo arroz" means "I am eating rice" and is only used if you are actually in the process of eating rice right now. So I would say it is contextual.

August 26, 2012

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

I did wonder about that and decided to translate "I eat rice', because Duolingo was quite adamant about not using the gerund. Thanks for the explanation.

August 25, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eniac0

ah yes, of course. it makes perfect sense, i suppose practicing the different verb tenses comes later in the skill tree then. Thank you very much for the explanation.

August 25, 2012

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

@siebolt: Which gerund? Do you mean the present continuous/present progressive?

August 26, 2012

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

@monzac: Don't rub it in. I have no clue about the difference. I feel a bit like an inattentive pupil who gets asked a question he should have been able to answer if he had been paying attention. I meant:" I am eating rice" what kind is that?

August 26, 2012

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

No, I didn't mean to pick on you Bob :) I'll look into it further, but I think 'gerundive' is used differently in different languages.

August 26, 2012

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

btw @siebolt, a gerund in English is an -ing verb form which is used as a noun. For example, 'a wedding'.

August 26, 2012

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

@monzac: my skin is not so thin that I feel picked on. Anyway, the thing I have learned is "gerundive" When I feel very, very active, I will look this up.:-)

August 26, 2012

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

@siebolt, feel comforted that gerund and so on are not terms linguists use, my daughter the linguist tells me :)

August 26, 2012

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

@monzac: You bad, bad woman, now I feel compelled to look up the whole concept. (But not today) You know, having studied germanistics, I should know those things. Only we did our things in German, which does not have the gerund(ive). And after having learned Italian - the whole works - i forgot about the theory as fast as I could and concentrated on learning to speak. for your information, a "gerund like construction" "sto leggendo un giornale" "I am reading a newspaper" is quite normal in every day Italian.

August 26, 2012

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

@siebolt :D

August 26, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/madalena1996

adding the estoy changes the sentence from a statement to something you have done or are doing. if you guys see what i'm getting at :)

August 26, 2012

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

@madalena1996, is that the same concept that Mark2020 discussed above? It's good to have different ways of explaining things, so that I can grasp them :)

August 26, 2012

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

You are completely correct, eniac0. There's also a third correct translation, and that would be "I do eat rice," which stresses emphasis. In Spanish, the simple present is used in all three cases.

February 26, 2013
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