"I am going to start walking."
Translation:Voy a empezar a caminar.
Curious about the difference here. I tried "Voy a empezar de caminar", based on the earlier usage of "Vamos a acabar de comer" to mean "We will finish eating." However, "Voy a empezar de caminar" was marked wrong in this question.
Acabar/terminar + de: acabar de comer, terminar de peinarse. Empezar/comenzar + a: empezar a correr, comenzar a comer ;]
I did the same thing as well. Not sure I understand why there's a difference there.
Looking for reasons will drive you crazy. Verb preposition combinations can seem quite random at times. But sometimes a pattern you see can remind you of something that can become a memory gimmick. There is an interesting colloquial expression I have occasionally heard, although I don't have any regional or subculture reference for it. I know I have heard people say they had to stop from doing something. I don't know if they are just leaving out the reflexive pronoun (like myself) or whether it is something else. But remembering stop from and start to helps me with the proper prepositions in Spanish
Infinitives are used in several places in Spanish where we use the present participle in English. Just as the present progressive is only used to emphasize the ongoing nature of action, you won't find the present participle used in any situation where you aren't talking about ongoing action. So in verb phrases you are quite limited in the use of the present participle. The first verb is going to be either some form of the verb Estar or another verb that indicates ongoing action like Él sigue caminando. He continues walking (or siguió caminando He continued walking) What can make the picture even muddier is that Él siguió caminando can be translated as either He continued to walk or he continued walking just as Voy a empezar a caminar can be translated either as I am going to start walking or I am going to start to walk. It is recognizing the continuous personality of the present participle in Spanish that will help you use it properly. The English can be deceptive. Standing alone the English present participle will translate into the Spanish present participle if it is actually used as a verb, but the infinitive if it is used as a noun. Walking down the street, he began to think. Caminando por la calle, él empezó a pensar. But walking is good for you. Caminar es bueno para ti/usted/ustedes.
the "a" is required because "empezar a" is a Spanish idiomatic expression which means "to begin or to start." The construction is "empezar + a + infinitive.
Because it requires the "to" preposition, I think. This really tripped me up a lot for the last four months of learning Spanish, because no one told me -- and no books specified this -- that Spanish infinitives don't automatically take the "to" preposition like infinitives in English. So "caminar" doesn't mean "to walk"; it means "walk", thus you need the "a" preposition to communicate the "to" …
That's my read, anyway.
caminar does mean "to walk" I think all verbs mean to do "something" For example: To walk(caminar), to eat(comer), to sleep(dormir), to run(correr.) Also, "empezar a" is a Spanish idiomatic expression which means "to begin or to start." The construction is "empezar + a + infinitive.
It is my understanding that "caminar" DOES mean "to walk." However, the Spanish construction of the sentence requires the use of the "a" after the word "empezar (i.e. - empezar a) whenever it is used to indicate that a PERSON is about to start something.
Somebody please explain a general rule of when to place a 'de' and when to place an 'a' in such situations.
Great question, Makhdoom. According to my grammar book, there are 8 nouns that use the DE before an infinitive. You must memorize them; there is no rule. 1) acabar de (to have just) 2) accordarse de (to remember to) 3) alegrarse de (to be glad to) 4) cansarse de (to become tired of) 5) dejar de (to stop) 6) ocuparse de (to be busy with) 7) olvidarse de (to forget to) 8) tratar de (to try to). So, the majority of time, the preposition A is going to be used.
I don't think so. I believe you need the infinitive version of "walk", "caminar".
Apparently a non-Spanish speaker has to freakin' guess whether "de" plus infinitive or "a" plus infinitive is correct these types of sentences
There is something about these sentences without context that gets people's most sinister or strange reaction. But no, that didn't occur to me. To me the scenario was that the person who was going to drive you somewhere got caught up in some task. So you said, I am going to start walking. The implication was that if they got done in time, they could pick you up along the route.
I do find it strange that users come up with all these strange, extreme situations for normal sentences, but if Duo gets a little strange, they can't find a back story that fits.
The strange grammar of it helps, this isn't something you'd typically hear someone say. I'm not trying to be sinister at all. I'm just putting out one way to look at it that, you never know, someone else may agree with. Also, the situation you mentioned, although it's very possible, seems a bit stranger to hear in this day and age, realistically.
I do understand the things occur to everyone a bit strangely. I definitely had the common, strange reaction for the sentence about taking la niña a su casa That they have on here somewhere. But there really isn't anything grammatically strange or unusual about any sentence that begins with I am going to start with any present participle. I am going to start walking (context is for exercise) I am going to start eating (context even though someone isn't here yet) I am going to start writing (context letters or emails) I am sure there is not a day goes by but that someone in the English speaking world uses that formula for some purpose, and it might be that not an hour goes by. But the lack of context makes the words sound strange.
I agree. There are a thousand ways the sentence can be used having various context. Nothing is strange about it in my mind. I missed the bus. I am going to start walking. The car broke down. I am going to start walking. Jeff left without me. I am going to start walking. The rain stopped. I am going to start walking. My knee feels better now. I am going to start walking. You can stay here and wait for Jason with his chainsaw. I am going to start walking. :-)
Marked me wrong with caminando. I thought the ando was the ing part of the word
Walking in the English sentence, as in this sentence, is the gerund. Spanish does not use the present participle as a noun, despite the confusing name for it in Spanish, gerundio. The infinitive form is used as the noun. In English we actually can use either. I am going to start to walk means the same thing, although it would be somewhat less common in conversational English. But in Spanish only the infinitive works.
I wish you had put down the complete sentence that they gave you. I can't imagine how they would have used it with estar. That being said, few courses I have seen actually teach many of the uses of the Spanish present participle beyond the various progressive forms. Here is a link which shows some other ones, but without your whole sentence I can't be sure it addresses this particular one.