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https://www.duolingo.com/thekatmorgan

Spanish "ya"

thekatmorgan
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Can anyone help explain why "ya" goes in a particular part of the sentence? For example;

"Los zapatos ya están viejos." - Why is it in the middle?

In a previous sentence I saw it used at the beginning "Ya estamos en junio" - why is it now placed here?

It seems to jump around! Help!

3 years ago

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/StefanoSolgreno
StefanoSolgreno
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In Spanish the adverbs usually come before the verb.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thekatmorgan
thekatmorgan
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But sometimes it goes at the end of the sentence..

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StefanoSolgreno
StefanoSolgreno
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Yeah ... :) Would "Estoy hablando con él ahora." work? I think so.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wynrich
wynrichPlus
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I think "ya" one of those words that has lots of flexibility where it can be put. That's true of "already" in English as well: Already the shoes are old. The shoes are already old. The shoes are old already.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wynrich
wynrichPlus
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Uh oh. See RabbitsRabbits post below. So, I'm thinking I'm wrong in what I say above regarding flexibility of where to put "ya". In general, it seems Spanish is more restrictive than English when it comes to adverbs. Here's another source which says "Notice that the adverb usually follows the verb it modifies...": http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/28

But, that says "usually" so maybe there is some wiggle room?

The following suggests that there are a set of "class 2 adverbs" (ahora, casi, después, entonces, todavía, ya, siempre, nunca and a few others) that often go before the verb:

https://books.google.com/books?id=cEDtBaam0vAC&pg=PA437&lpg=PA437&dq=spanish+independent+adverb+placement+ya&source=bl&ots=sDM5BCT_Ko&sig=FzSil5fuy5LxT9FZhIvHRGmjQFQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=krSeVJONI5OpyAT0yYGoAw&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=spanish%20independent%20adverb%20placement%20ya&f=false

Thekatmorgan, you asked a good question. It seems to be rather complicated. But, I'm hoping that, as RabbitsRabbits says, as we read and hear Spanish, we'll develop an instinct for it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thekatmorgan
thekatmorgan
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Ok thank you! :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RabbitsRabbits

Why? Why do we sometimes say "I ate already" and sometimes say "I already ate" but not say "Already I ate". There are rules about adverb placement, they're not always the same for English and Spanish, check it out:

http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/qt/adverbplaceqt.htm http://www.elearnspanishlanguage.com/grammar/adverbs.html

It's one of those things where the rules are pretty easy to understand but hard to remember, but if you read and hear a lot of Spanish it will just sink in automatically, unlike say, the past tenses and the subjunctive, which you have to study really hard before you get it .

3 years ago