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https://www.duolingo.com/CharmingTiger

I need your help explaining when and how to use 'de' in Spanish sentences.

CharmingTiger
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Yo lo leo después de ella.

"I read it after her."

I forgot to put 'de' after 'después' in the sentence, thereby getting it wrong.

Why is the 'de' needed? How can I more easily remember phrases such as this so that I don't keep getting them wrong?

3 years ago

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Ilmarien
Ilmarien
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I'm terrible with directions, so I can't really help you that much, but I think the "de" is needed whenever you've got the directional word beginning in a D. despues de, detras de, debajo de, delante de.

I know there are multiple ways to say most/all of these things. esta bajo la mesa vs. esta debajo de la mesa. So as far as I can tell, if you're tacking the "de" on at the beginning of the word, it's followed by a de also when followed by a noun. (Apologies for the lack of accents. Using numpad inexplicably shuts my browser on this computer.)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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And an addition to that: Don't try to figure out why "de" is needed in other cases. Some things simply do not translate from English to Spanish and vice versa. It's much easier to just remember the phrases then to justify the use of "de". It won't make sense in English a good part of the time.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vcel10
vcel10
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This really needs to be repeated, reiterated and reposted.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CharmingTiger
CharmingTiger
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Thanks ladies, I get so confused with things like this - Especially since I began working the reverse tree. There are so many extra 'a's, 'de's, etc. and if you miss one then the sentence is marked as incorrect.

Another issue I have is with the object pronouns... I keep putting 'los' when it should be 'les' and vice versa. Sometimes it seems that a 'le' is needed while other times they require 'la'. I have memorized certain rules for this, such as "you cannot lay-low (le-lo)" when dealing with double object pronouns. I knew that there was a rule that requires an 'a' after verbs of movement, but I did not know the one about directional words beginning in a D.

I keep trying to place everything into neat little boxes that are logical in the rules of English. I will try to get away from that tendency, but it's so hard because you know what you know, right? That is the most difficult part - Training your brain to engage in communication through a whole new way of thinking.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Training your brain to engage in communication through a whole new way of thinking.

I also had a similar issue when learning Spanish. But, you can't justify one language with another. That's why now, I don't think "how can I translate this to such and such", but rather "how would I say something similar to this". It also helps to knock English out of the equation completely. I am studying Chinese elsewhere, and I copy the Pinyin and characters into sets, and only study from those lists. I don't want to know the English equivalent, I just want to know how to communicate in Chinese, if that makes sense. When I write or speak in other languages, I don't try to say what I would in English, but rather speak directly from the "bank" of words that I know. That will get you out of that rut.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ilmarien
Ilmarien
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Ooh, object pronouns are fun because we don't do that in English! You'll need to change the way you conceptualize verbs to get that difference down - usually you'll use le/les for recipients of an action, whereas lo/los/la/las shows up for whatever's being acted upon.

If you're giving a present to a girl, the present is what is directly being given, and is the lo, whereas the girl is the recipient, and is le.

That'll usually serve you well, though there are verbs that are less clear cut.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jensen_David

This one is hard! I'm a native speaker, and I recently found out that this is direct and indirect object... Which I learnt from German! To make things worse it's a) only visible in the third person, and b) some verbs have degraded and now we use both (eg le ayudo lo ayudo both sound right to me, but lo dijo le dijo still mean different things).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jensen_David

Btw La, lo, las, los are direct, while le & les are unisex and indirect

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/attanatta
attanatta
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I didn't know the rule about prepositions starting with "D". Thanks for the new skill. Here's a lingot.

dentro de...within

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
rocko2012
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"después de" means the same as the English preposition "after". "después" is an adverb that means "later" , "afterwards", etc.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vcel10
vcel10
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There's a laundry list of prepositional phrases that you just have to accept. The link is from Spanish.About.com

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/attanatta
attanatta
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That is the perfect link for Tiger's preposition issue : )

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/attanatta
attanatta
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Yes Duolingo is not very good at explaining the logic behind grammar. For some people this isn't as necessary but I'm the kind of person who likes to draw logical connections to retain memory, and as a result I have been forced to find some supplemental information. All the grammar lessons on SpanishDict are great, and I really like the audio course by Language Transfer on YouTube.

http://www.spanishdict.com/grammar - Check out the "pronouns" section (direct vs indirect object pronouns)

http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/17 - (Indirect object pronouns)

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeA5t3dWTWvvwf5fw0Nl7mVk0OUjP1Ln2 - This is many hours of listening but I enjoy his logical approach.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JESALVAR

Esta palabra "de" se utiliza para conectar frases con pronombres entre si. En este caso : "Yo leo despues de ella", hablamos de "yo" y "de" ella, por eso se utiliza. Es una preposición de "referencia", Otro ejemplo :" hablando "de "ti ". si no se coloca el conector o preposición se escribiría : "hablando tí". Hay un ejemplo similar en el ingles, con la frase "It is a plate of rice" (Es es un plato "de" arroz", si le suprimo la preposicion "of", diria : plate rice, lo cual seria incorrecto.

3 years ago