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You use the personal "a" before animals as well people, if you like the animal. People the untranslated a before them if they are direct objects. A + el = al
But if we do not know the context 'el gato' should be correct too, shouldn't be?
John threw the ball to Mary.
John is performing the action, so it's the subject. The ball is being thrown, so it's the d. object. Mary is receiving the ball, so it's the I.O. I.O.s are often preceded by to or for.
That actually makes since. I've been wondering about this for a while now. Thanks for explaining :)
If you consider tamagotchi a person or pet, it is still true. But if the person you are speaking to does not consider them people or pets, you are likely going to sound odd.
Should "stroked the cat" be acceptable here? It seems a more natural thing to be doing to one.
I know what you mean andrew, but somebody here seems happy to do unnatural things to a cat.
Tocque = touched and "acariciar" is to stroke. Tocque is general action that comes in different forms and acariciar is more specific. To say translate toque as stroked is to make an assumption unjustified by the word actually used.
So that would go for "pet" or "petted" as well? Acariciar not tocar? (Can you tell I lost a heart?)
The strict translation of tocar is touch. Also in Spanish you don't play a musical instument you "touch" it. If you are not translating, you have a broad choice of ways to intereact with a cat. Loosing a heart is not really a loss, it is a learning opportunity.
Tocar is the verb used to 'pet' and animal. When people in Mexico tell me not to pet their dog, they use 'tocar.' Tocar is also used to knock on a door.
The heart comment you made is so true. Getting them, losing them, the ability to give and receive those hearts, count them at the end of the day, spend them in the store is one of the many things that DL does that is so super.
Interesting. I use the DL phone app, and there is none of that. You just get three hearts per lesson, and when the lesson is over they are gone and you get three new hearts in the next lesson.
Maybe if a person was getting ready to prepare food, and then thinks, "I'd better wash my hands; I recently touched the cat."
Oh My God! I wrote "I smelled the cat!" and I am very weirded out by that!
"Petted" is not the past tense of "to pet". Just like "costed" is not the past tense of "to cost". Edit: it is the technically correct past tense, but colloquially, in modern day English, it is fast being replaced. Sorry for the confusion.
Ok, I should have stated that, since languages evolve over time, in the US the common simple past is pet. The examples listed on your link are either from over 60 years ago (and many over 100 years ago) or they are using it as a past participle.
Then you didn't fully read the first, or my comment. "Petted" is still the primary choice in formal writing and journalism, but as both I and the first link state, "pet" is gaining use.
The "cat" is a direct object. I wager that the personal "a" before it made you think it was an indirect object. Now, to answer your question: Rule #1: one doesn't use a clitic pronoun ("le," for example) if the direct object (here, cat) is a noun. Rule #2: You need a clitic pronoun, if you have an indirect object noun or pronoun. Examples: Le habló a Carlo. [Carlos is an "indirect" object noun. I talked "TO" Carlos.] Nuestra tía nos regaló a nosotros muchos jugetes. [nosotros is an indirect object pronoun; Our aunt gives a lot of toys TO us.] Le pedí al dependiente una pregunta. [dependiente is an indirect object noun; I asked a question TO the clerk] Esta mujer le dio leche a su bebé. [bebé is an indirect object noun; The woman gave milk TO her baby.] My confusion always comes when you have a verb that uses a preposition, e.g. "observar a." In a sentence like "El observa a su hija" Here no clitic pronoun is needed. It's a lot to remember...Buena suerte.
I am confused about the difference between direct object and indirect object. Un poquito.
"I threw Dean the ball." Direct object is the thing acted upon: the ball (it was thrown). Indirect object gets the result of the action: Dean (he got the thrown ball). Indirect object is generally easier to remove from the sentence: "I threw the ball" works fine, but not "I threw Dean" - well not without changing the meaning :-)
That's not proper grammar. It would be "I threw the ball to Dean." Because unless your really strong you can't throw Dean.
"I threw the ball to Dean" = "I threw Dean the ball". Both are fine in English.
"Le pedi al dependiente una pregunta" is this saying I asked the clerk a question or I ask a question to the clerk. I would think its to the clerk because of the indirect object;but you did write in a way that looks more like the former" I asked the clerk a question. With that said can you also write this sentence like "le pedi una pregunta al dependiente"?
Both interpretations hold the same meaning, and both are correct. For your second question, it just depends on what part of the sentence you wish to emphasize, but both are correct.
I put "I played to the cat." as if I were practicing the piano and the cat was my audience. Why is that wrong? How would I say that in Spanish?
I made a similar mistake, although I went with 'I played with the cat'. Maybe that would be 'yo jugué con el gato' instead. Can any native speakers help?
Not native, but fluent. You are correct. Tocar is only used as "to touch" or "to play (an instrument)". Jugar should always be used when you play with something/someone.
Except one of the sentences I had to translate on here was "nosotros no toquemos bien ayer," which the system said meant: " We did not play well yesterday." Why is it we can use tocar with people, but not with the cat?
In that sentence "tocar" means "to play [an instrument]". Example context: "Band practice went much better today than yesterday. We did not play well yesterday."
Just another of many many DL sentences that mean totally something different.
What if you don't like the animal? What if you were say in therapy and the animal repulsed you? Then could you use el to indicate the impersonal connection to the object (animal)? Por ejemplo Yo toque el leon!!
question about "a" here... is this a case of personal "a" or is it a case of tocar coming with an "a" usually? and if it's "personal a" then why is it necessary here - i thought we used it for animals only in cases meant to emphasize their personal significance?
Great question. It is the personal a. Tocar, the verb, does not hook up with any prepositions the way some other verbs have to do. Why is it necessary? Apparently, the cat must be a pet.
If the direct object is a person or an animal normally considered to be a pet (domestic), you use a in front of it.
Omg it is I touched to the cat in Spanish! Wierd but guess I have to remember this...
i've petted today a gray cat in the city, it meowed at me first, and then rubbed on my leg as i pet it :D had to clean all the hairz after. :D
NancyBlake1 are you thinking of the Macpherson motto: "Touch not the cat bot a glove"? That is what came to mind for me, so here's my try at a translation. " No tocar el (or al) gato sin un guante."
If you played an instrument for someone or something , the instrument would become the direct object. Which would render the cat the indirect object. We know that indirect object pronouns must always be used when they are stated or implied.
Thus: (yo) le toqué (la guitarra) (al gato). Which means "I played for him/her". Where all in parenthesis is optional or for clarification. If I've made a mistake in interpreting the question, please let me know. Here the le =el gato
I thought "toco en la guitarra" means "I play the guitar", at least that's what I learned in high school Español, (even though I know "tocar" means "to touch" why is it different here?
Think of it as to strum or to touch the chords. Even tapping (for a piano). Toco la puerta is to knock on/rap/tap/touch the door.
I typed in "I touched the gat" at first
Starting to mix up the languages, haha
I pet the cat is equivalent. Its colloquial. If I asked my friends they would say "pet" that should be allowed.