"Habíamos ido a comer."
Translation:We had gone to eat.
I can understand it's not exactly the same, but is the message here the same as "We had gone OUT to eat?"
I think the problem is that, if you were translating "we had gone out to eat" into Spanish, it would be better to say, "Nos habíamos ido a comer." The reflexive here acts as an emphasis on the going-away-ness of the verb, just like "out" in English. (I discussed the relationship between "ir" and "irse" at great length, here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/789137 )
Can someone clarify why the sentence ends with "a comer" and not simply "comer" since comer means "to eat?"
When using a form of the word 'ir' you have to use 'a' even if you are talking abstractly, as in not actually moving somewhere: me voy a recuperar, ¿te vas a hacerlo?, êl nos va a contar una historia.
Does this have something to do with the future tense? Eg we were going to/about to go to eat.
I think it is something to do with two verbs together; the first is conjugated [in this case habíamos ido, we had gone], the second one being a (infinitive) [a comer, to eat].
Well, not infrequently ir + a infinitive produces future tense. Was the point.
OK, let's look at 1. We were going to eat and 2. We were about to go to eat.
I'm not sure that the example would be called a future tense. Yes, it refers to something that may happen in the future, but ...
The verb structure is Past Imperfect We were + Present Participle (in English, usually -ing). So in example 1 we have We were going. In example 2. we have We were about to go.
I think the Spanish equivalent for example 1 would be "Íbamos a comer". And I think example 2 would be Estábamos a punto de ir a comer.
And now I'm getting well outside my comfort zone in Spanish! I welcome your comments.
Weeell it's also in the past perfect, so it would be We had been going to eat, as in we had been going to eat, but then you called us. Quite impractically unwieldy in English, but perhaps more common in Spanish (three verbs instead of 4, etc.) Note that this is directly putting the near-future Vamos a comer (We are going to eat) into past perfect.
Oh gosh, Spike! It's fifty years since I studied English grammar and analysed speech. I will try to work it through.
We had been going to eat. Certainly there's a Past Perfect (otherwise called Pluperfect) in there. Let me break it down:
It's an SVO (SUBJECT-VERB-OBJECT).
The OBJECT is to eat, looking like an Infinitive posing as a Noun. Actually it's a Nominal or Noun Phrase, and it's shorthand for in order to eat.
The SUBJECT is We.
So what's left must be the VERB. had been is the Pluperfect form, and the bit that looks like a Gerund is actually the Past Participle going.
I know what you mean, but there aren't actually four verbs, only one. had been going is just one compound verb, and to eat acts as a noun.
As for being unwieldy English, well no; I would be quite comfortable saying We had been going to eat (in this case putting the emphasis on had). Never mind the grammar, it sounds right to my ear.
Now what would that look like in Spanish? (I'll try it before my brain starts bleeding!)
The subject is nosotros (or nosotras), but that's optional (for emphasis) and almost always just integrated into the verb form.
The VERB uses ir, so the pluperfect is habíamos ido.
Then the OBJECT is comer, but of course it needs a preceding a, so it's a comer. [I wonder; is the a in Spanish the equivalent of the implied in order in English?]
Anyway, the whole sentence would be Habíamos ido a comer.
Of course, being English, I would probably want to insert an I'm sorry in there somewhere, and I would probably want to include something that would make our unwelcome visitors not feel too bad about interrupting us, and to assure them that they would be welcome to call again when we don't have other plans, while dropping a hint that we don't really want them to hang around too long, but, at the same time, sending them away feeling good about having done us a favour by leaving promptly. [I think all these tricks have become integrated into our social interactions because we live in a relatively crowded country and it stops fights breaking out all the time!]
So, after deliberately waiting a minute before answering the door, I imagine my speech would go something like: "I'm sorry to keep you waiting on the doorstep. What a nice surprise! It's lovely to see you both. We were about to eat. It's our anniversary dinner but you are quite welcome to join us … there's plenty of food." (Aside to the wife: "It's the Jones's, darling. They can join us for dinner, can't they? Put that romantic music on that you like and I'll be through in a minute.")
The correct answer from the Jones's would of course be: "That's very kind of you but we've just eaten. Anyway we only stopped for a minute to show you our holiday pictures / tell you about the new job / talk about the plans for our daughter's wedding. Maybe we can call again on Thursday. Seven o'clock? Yes, that will be OK for us. See you Thursday then."
And all this stuff just comes pouring out effortlessly without even thinking about the grammar or the structure, or even the selection of vocabulary. Isn't language amazing?!
Footnote: I imagine you are asking "… but where does the pluperfect come in?" Well the next day I was telling my colleague in the office the story. "…and would you believe it! We had been going to eat when the Jones's rang the doorbell. I dropped a subtle hint and they went away again."
PS Sorry for the long reply but I didn't have time to write a short one.
When "habiamos" is spoken, it sounds like the "a" is accented instead of the "i." Is that how it's supposed to sound?
No, it should be ha-BI-a-mos, not ha-bi-A-mos. I have reported the audio error to Duolingo.
If I was going to translate "leave/left", I would us irse, not ir. So: Nos habíamos ido a comer.
According to two online translators they show your sentence as "Habíamos dejado ..." The sentences were finished differently than the Duo example and were also different from each other.
"Dejar" is "leave" in the sense of "let go of" or "leave behind". Like, you left an object somewhere.
It also idiomatically can mean "to stop" (to leave off doing something), and "to permit" (to let somebody do something).
One thing I'm having trouble thinking through with this construction is whether you can push the phrasal future construction, "ir a [inf]", into the past perfect.
So, say you're telling a story like: We had been going to eat, but then our long-lost uncle turned up at the door just before we went out. We invited him in, and got lost in conversation for hours.
Is the opening clause of that exactly the same as this sentence? Vamos a comer. We are going to eat. Habíamos ido a comer. We had been going to eat. Right? Any native speakers out there, able to comment?
This is certainly possible (in my understanding commonly used) in French - «nous allions manger» - and in fact that's how I expected this would be translated.
Is it unacceptable to say that "We had gone out to eat"? I thought this was correct but apparently it doesn't make sense. Is that a Spanish thing?
One of the meanings given by Duolingo for "ido" is "gone out" Why then would "We had gone out to eat" not be marked as correct?
Check a good dictionary. Ir does not mean to go out; that would be salir.
Haber is "hubimos" in the past form; then where do "habiamos" and all "habia-" forms get from?
The temporal sense of "we'd been to eat" in English, without a larger context, almost seems closer to the preterite -- it describes a discrete event. Había and its relatives are from the past imperfect tense, which describes something that was ongoing over a period of time in the past.
I'm not sure whether there's a good "word for word" translation of it. If the context was, "When Juan arrived, he said he was hungry, but we had (already) been out to eat," I guess I might say something like, "Cuando llegó Juan, él dijo que tuvo hambre, pero nosotros ya habíamos ido a comer." Which brings us back to the "we had gone to eat" structure, so maybe your suggestion should be accepted. But really, if I were translating "we'd been out to eat" in the context described, I'd be more likely to just end that sentence with "ya comimos," or, "ya fuimos a comer."
gone out would work in English, but then the Spanish version would be different than the one we were given. See AurosHarman's comment way up there ^ near the start of this page.
We english speakers "go out to eat". In addition, go out is suggested in the drop menu of definitions. So why in the world does DL call it wrong?
It has been said so often here, but I guess some people have got to this stage and still missed it. The drop-down hints are just that - hints. They may or may not be appropriate for the exercise you are doing ... and, in some cases, they are downright wrong! If you need help with vocabulary and use of words then I recommend WordReference.com at http://www.wordreference.com/ where you can find all you should need to help you, including sample phrases and links to a discussion forum. (Other good online dictionaries are available.)
Incidentally, your point has been addressed several times already here. Please read the previous posts before commenting.
Well, if gone out is wrong, then why is it in the drop-down? DL has done this on so many occasions, I wish they would not do it, it's like a nasty trick. The drop-down should ONLY include correct answers, not incorrect. Am I missing something?
This is probably the most common question on DL.
Please read the other messages before you post yours.
Look four messages up for my previous answer.
If it is still unclear: The dropdown is like a very simple dictionary. It will often give several options but, like a dictionary, not all of them will be relevant to this exercise.
Habiamos is not one of the choices in the drop down for conjugating the verb - tough to know how to fit it in my knowledge if it's not there... where does it fit?
I put " We had left to eat" I got it wrong but there is not much of a difference so I do not see why it did not except it
I think "leave" would use the reflexive "irse", so it would be "Nos habíamos ido a comer".
Well, isn't that the same as above? Or wait a minute, are you saying the nos here is reflexive? Even so, your 2 verbs are exactly the same, so how does the meaning change to left, instead of gone out?
I found this at http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=irse:
irse v prnl (marcharse) (an activity) leave, quit vi
(a place) go away vi + adv
(formal) depart vi
(informal) split vi
Se fue del trabajo porque no aguantaba a su jefe.
He left (or: quit) his job because he couldn't stand his boss.
De nada, Shirl. It all encourages me to revise my understanding, so thank you for the comment.
Given that one of the drop down suggestions is "gone out", I think that that should be an acceptable translation. After all I frequently go out to eat.
Why do all these sentences seem like they would sound better with the word have or has instead of had????
The preposition 'a' has to follow the verb 'ir' before the infinitive 'comer'.
Present Perfect... ...ly stupid sounding speech. My gosh who came up with this stuff!
I would argue that this sentence should be formed "We had gone out to eat" in english, or "Nos habíamos ido a comer", or "Habíamos salido a comer".
I wish DL didnt introduce a new verb tense without teaching about it first....We "have gone" and we "had gone" are two different tenses...and I feel unsure about this lesson the whole time...
The man voice speaking is hard to understand. Most times d's, b's, and v's are unintelligible.