"Nosotros podemos comenzar a caminar."
Translation:We can start walking.
I definitely would say, "we can commence to walk," if I felt like it. Commence is a good word for a more formal beginning to an activity.
When do we use "a" or "de" in front of an infinitive and when do we use nothing in front of it?
Leanne-- Certain verbs are followed by "a" or "de" (it is the preceding verb, not the infinitive, that calls for the "a" or "de").
"Voy a comenzar a comer" = "I am going to begin to eat"
"Voy a comenzar a caminar" = "I am going to begin to walk"
"Voy a tratar de comer" = "I am going to try to eat"
"Voy a tratar de caminar" = "I am going to try to walk"
Does those two verbs always have "a" and "de" after them when the next word is a verb in the infinitive form?
You have to memorize them. When you have a verb phrase that includes a verb plus an infinitive, there are certain verbs that require a preposition. Some of those verbs that require an "a" are ones that involves movement or starting an action (e.g., ir, comenzar, llegar, etc.).
Some of the verbs that require "de" when using with an infinitive include verbs that mean to stop or end (e.g., acabar, dejar, terminar, etc.)
For other verbs that require prepositions when using with an infinitive, check out this website: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/COURSES/vrbsprep.htm
It's the wrong verb form. Whenever you can replace "[verb]-ing" by "to [verb]" and it still means the same, you are using a Gerund in English, and accordingly need the Spanish infinitive.
- We begin walking = We begin to walk -> Comenzamos a caminar
- I am walking to school ≠ I am to walk to school -> Estoy caminando a la escuela.
comenzar a when "a" used after the verb sometimes when i use it it is wrong
It is interesting how huge the difference in syllables can be between the same phrase in two different languages.
Oh duolingo... why do you get so much wrong. Commence is the best translation here, yet it's not accepted.
I'm just guessing, but I think it's because "commence" is only rarely reported as a correct translation of comenzar. I assume most users will just use "start" or "begin" instead. If most of the people trying unsuccessfully to use "commence" only report it here in the discussion, Duo is unlikely to change anything. When a sizeable number of users flag their translation using "commence" as correct we may see some action.
Why is "nosotros" used here? It seems like "Podemos comenzar a caminar" is understandable as "we can start to walk". Can someone explain?