"Él terminó de leer el libro."
Translation:He finished reading the book.
"Finish something" = "Terminar algo": "terminar eso", "terminar la tarea" / "Finish doing something" = "Terminar de hacer algo": "terminar de leer", "terminar de hacer la tarea", "terminar de dibujar" :]
You explained about when to use "de" but can you please also explain about when to use "a" in such circumstances and some times none at all. ?
You mean when it comes to "terminar" or in general? The only example when I can think of "terminar + a" is when it comes to time: "finish in time = terminar a tiempo", "finish at six = terminar a las seis".
If you mean in general, there are many verbs that are usually accompanied by a preposition, it is the same as in English, but I learned those by heart... I can give you this link so you can see some, though:
Stop = parar. They have different meanings, you can stop reading the book even if you have not finished it :]
You can also terminate doing something without finishing it, in English. Terminar doesn't work that way in Spanish?
i could be wrong but my understanding is that there is no translation for the word finish/ed/ing to Spanish (in this context)
Is 'he finished to read the book' simply bad english or why is it wrong?
THANKS - HAS BEEN ANSWERED MULTIPLE TIMES BY NOW ;-)
That would imply that he finished some other task so he could start to read the book.
It just doesn't sound right. Although "Started to read" and "Started reading" are both OK...
We'd use a gerund (ing) form here. For me, that is one of the difficult things in Spanish, I want to go to the ando/iendo form of the verb when speaking Spanish, instead of the infinitive.
Hi, klgregonis, I saw you are very accomplished in several languages, and know when to use "ing" verb forms, but I thought you'd want to know - in English ( which is the only language I've really studied a lot), a gerund is a verb + "ing" that is USED AS A NOUN. ( Ex: "My favorite exercise is swimming," or, "When my mother grew old, her favorite thing to do was sitting in her garden in the morning sunshine" or, "When I retire, *traveling" is what will make me happy."
The other "ing" verb forms are "progressive," which use "helping verbs" like is, was, will be or has been, + the verb + "ing," such as: "I am walking (present prog.), I was walking (past prog.), I will be walking, future prog.)," etc. Hope that helps you "fine-tune" your grammar knowledge! ;-)
To be really pedantic (and up to date) we should probably be calling this a present participle, or perhaps a gerundive, which is a little more old fashioned, since it functions as an adjective (try diagramming the sentence). Present participles can function as adjective, adverb, or part of a verbal phrase with forms of be.
Maybe we should stick with the "ing form of the verb" since that is what most of the grammar books I'm using for reference with my ESL students do., (And linguists are beginning to do.) However, Spanish does use gerundio for this, and Duolingo uses it as a skill title for "be + verb " forms in the Spanish from English and gerundio for English from Spanish for verbal as well as substantive forms., check out the gerund section and you will see things like "está trabajando" It seems to make sense to use the same terminology as the site that I'm learning on.
Klgregonis, you are gracious and knowledgeable. I am far behind many learners on this forum, and sometimes just try to contribute some small thing that I have some knowledge about, and always hope some forum visitor can be helped, as I have been, by the various comments. You are so right about the Spanish referral to "gerunds" which are different from what we study in English, and of course I have to think in terms of what THEY say, when learning THEIR language! Thanks for your answer, and for not chiding me over commentary I intend to be helpful. Big smile for you from me!
not sure exactly why, but no native english speaker would say that. he finished reading the book.
I would, and I'm a native speaker.. Usually with a finally or other adverb - He finally finished reading War and Peace.
Finish is one of those verbs that cannot take to after it, unlike terminar in Spanish, which requires the de Therefore, it becomes "He finished reading"the book, or, what would actually sound better, just "He finished the book". But that wouldn't properly translate the sentence as given, nor give you practice with gerunds.
It means the same - I'd understand you - but it isn't correct English. You'd mark yourself as a non native speaker if you used it. See the discussion above.
When adding a gerund in Spanish it is when you started something in the past and you are still doing it (continuous progressive form) .. Therefore to use a Gerund in Spanish one must use the verb "estar" Estoy leyando etse libro. Estas nadando en el mar. Here we see the action had started and now has ended, so we can just use the infinitive form. May sound a tad confusing but we are lucky to be able to use the infinitive here and not need to learn another conjugation . The "de" is added in almost every use of terminar.
Spanish uses the infinitive in many places where English uses a gerund, which is what this is trying to teach you. It is one of the trickier things for learners of Spanish from English (and English from Spanish) Word for word translations are not always appropriate. In general, if there is a verb other than estar, continuar, seguir (and a few other similar verbs), that is conjugated, use the infinitive form afterwards.