"Usted empieza a caminar."

Translation:You start walking.

August 6, 2013

40 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amartya1511

Why not Usted empieza caminar? Caminar means To Walk right?

August 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Babella

Empezar/comenzar + a + infinitive = this is a set structure: empezar a beber, comenzar a reír, empezar a hablar, comenzar a comer. // Terminar/acabar work the same way but with "de" + infinitive: terminar de beber, acabar de hablar.

August 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amartya1511

Thanks a lot! I have always wanted to know these!

August 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Babella

You are welcome :] I am glad it helped!

August 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joehhendrickson

But it does not seem to always use an "a". It seems like I recall "puedo caminar."

July 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/keithauclair

I think it is related to verbs of motion, though I am not an expert on this. Certain verbs with even a small relation to motion need an "a" following the verb. Please consider this response as much a question as it is an attempt to answer the above question.

Here is a list of verbs that need to be followed by "a" at least when an infinitive follows http://www.elearnspanishlanguage.com/grammar/verb/verbswithprep-a.html

November 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joehhendrickson

Thanks for the link.

November 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ernewein

Nice link. Thank you

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S_Ehsan_G

no it depends on the infinitive...some infinitives go with some prepositions. (as Babella said they are set structures) Poder doesn't need any infinitive (at least as far as I've seen on Duo) and empezar needs an a before verb. I hope it helps with the ambiguity.

September 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/itay_bi

Thanks for this explaination. :-)

October 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ghayle16

I am confused as to when to use iendo/ando in spanish. I thought you use these when the verb is in gerund. Is there a rule when to use infinitive or the iendo/ando form?

Gracias por la respuesta :)

September 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Babella

It is easier than it seems!

You use "iendo" when the verb (infinitive form) ends in "er" or "ir" and "ando" when the infinitive ends in "ar":

cenar = cenando / saltar = saltando / mirar = mirando

correr = corriendo / meter = metiendo / oler = oliendo

salir = saliendo / partir = partiendo / latir = latiendo

Hope it helps!

September 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rmcgwn

I just wanted to add what has already been said here. The 'a' is linking the conjugated verb and the infinitive verb which both have the same subject as in this case "usted".

August 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shydoss

Why not "usted empieza caminando"

August 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mathchoo

I also would like an explanation to this one.

Thanks in advance

June 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreaja69

The 'ing' ending '-ando' is only used as part of the continuous tense: 'I am walking', 'estoy caminando'. Even though in English you might say, 'you start walking', the second verb 'caminar' must be the infinitive in Spanish. You could also say, 'you start to walk', which is the same as in Spanish.

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimCzarkow

Would "You start to walk " work?

March 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jason_Miranda

It was an acceptable answer for me.

July 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DailyGrace

Duo seems to accept both, but isn't one answer formed in the wrong tense? Can someone explain? I am still learning about different tenses. Along those lines, can someone who has finished the tree list ALL of the tenses Duo expects us to learn? That would be a big help!

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lmarcetic

Weird, how come it's not "usted empiezas"?

December 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/He110

usted would use empieza and tu would use empiezas

April 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thefluent1

Whats the difference? Isnt usted just a formal way of saying tu?

August 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Craig877964

thefluent1: Usted is the formal use of you, and as such it is conjugated empieza. You formal, he, she, it, all share empieza. Tú (you informal) would be conjugated empiezas.

August 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/luizhst

Tu empiezas y usted empieza

February 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lupemercedes

I'm wondering if it could be translated to "You can start walking". Could anyone explain why this doesn't work and how one would say that in Spanish? Thanks!

January 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ashley2446

Pueder isn't used in this sentence. I'm not sure how to use it in that sentence though, sorry.

August 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreaja69

'Pueder' isn't a verb; the infinitive is 'poder', although it conjugates 'puedo, puedes, etc.)

September 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/monoglot86

'You are starting to walk' should work too right?

March 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/khalil3x6

I answered:"You start a walk." Why isn't my answer acceptable?

April 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skepticalways

Khalil, the "a" does not translate to "a" in English; also the lesson is for learning infinitives. I wrote, "You start to walk," and it was accepted. More advanced learners explained that we will be required to include the "a" when translating to español with SOME infinitives, but not all of them, and they provided a study link.

March 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/khalil3x6

What is the link?

March 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mathchoo

See the comment by keithauclair

June 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmm152318

Porque no dices "usted se empiece a nadar"? Significa algo diferente?

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreaja69

The verb is 'empezar' rather than 'empezarse'; the conjugation fo 'usted' is 'empieza' with 'a' at the end because it is an '-ar'verb.

January 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lindsey830629

It marked "You start to walk" wrong for me, and corrected to "you start walking", but I don't understand why if "caminar" is the infinitive?

April 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JudeAndre

Can this be used as a command, like "Start walking," or does the sentence have to be "Empieza a caminar" for it to be a command?

January 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Craig877964

Hello JudeAndre: The following are the imperative forms for empezar: Imperative: tú empieza él/usted empiece nosotros empecemos vosotros empezad ellos/ustedes empiecen. So as "Empieza a caminar" would be imperative for the informal "tu", and the formal Usted imperative would be "Empiece a caminar".

January 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JudeAndre

I see. I didn't know there were imperative forms for verbs. Now it makes a lot more sense. Thanks!

January 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gordon348860

Said the prison guard

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeanRafens

I listened to this sentence multiple times. I did not hear empieza a. The second "a" was absorbed into empieza. Not a fair listening question.

April 17, 2019
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