Translation:I just arrived here two weeks ago.
You would never use the past perfect without having another past event which happened after that. I had just arrived when it started raining. But I agree that I just arrived is both better and complies better with Duo's tense for tense convention. But of course Acabo de infinitive might sometimes be better as I have just, so it can be difficult.
What function would "just" have? Why not leave out "just", and say "I arrived here two weeks ago"? Wouldn't you rather say "I arrived here recently" or "Llegué aquí recientemente, hace dos semanas" Wouldn't that fit a more comprehensive timeline? "I just arrived here, two weeks ago" sounds unbalanced.
In the same way that we have fixed expressions in our home languages, AFAIK Acabo + de + infinitive is one in Spanish meaning I have + just + (past participle of the verb) in English. (If it eases your pain, there is a very similar idiom in Portuguese, too - acabar de chegar → to have just arrived).
Ymeagain Entendido! However, considering the 2nd half of the sentence, when is "just" still applicable? In other words, when can you use "just", and it still makes sense, or an alternative would make more sense? What if you arrived instead of "two weeks ago, four weeks ago, ten weeks ago, ten months ago, one year ago .........ago? Surely, "just" is limited, n'est ce pas?
You have to remember that acabar is the verb to finish or end. Acabo de is used to say something just happened. Obviously the word just is relative. If you simply said Acabo de llegar it would probably be assumed the time period was hours if not minutes. But if someone asked you if you had seen something here last Christmas you might say No. Acabo de llegar hace dos semanas Or even dos meses if it is June.
Well that decision is up to the speaker and whatever time frame he is using. My point here is that this phrase is another of those (often weird) set or fixed constructions that are adopted in languages perhaps because they are useful and I personally am happy to recognize these, learn their common translations and move on.
I understand your not understanding this sentence, antonywgtn. Using the present perfect tense have arrived with a specific "time marker" of a past period (two weeks ago) isn't grammatically correct. I'm thinking about calling Duo's attention to this. But that's just an issue for the English; I'm here for the Spanish, so I'm taking acabar de + [infinitive] as a set expression and am definitely moving on (and just hoping that Duo is actually correct here with the Spanish). :)
It's not the time factor that's messing with people's head here, it's the use of the word just. People say I came here two weeks ago all the time and there is nothing wrong with it. I stopped smoking two weeks ago also fine. When we use just, however, we are much more likely to use the perfect. (By the way, it is not the pluperfect, but the present perfect which would be appropriate to be used here). Many people are much more likely say I have just finished as opposed to I just finished, but the perfect still plays the same function of giving past actions some present significance. So I just finished is also correct depending on the circumstances. But if you then add a time frame which is arguably not quite "just" the need to make that past event significant in the present becomes more apparent.
My issue is that Spanish uses the perfect pretty much as English does, especially if you compare it to French, Italian or German for whom it is essentially the standard past tense. I wonder if different Spanish speakers might have a similar reaction here. But it does seem from Duo that we do use it more.
There is actually no definite answer for how long "just" allows. It's a subjective statement. If someone is talking to people who have been somewhere for twenty years, they might even say they just got here two YEARS ago. We have different expectations of what just means, based on both the verb and the context. If I say I just tripped, the default assumption would be a very short time ago. If I said I just ate, it could be an hour or more, but less time than the normal time between meals. But if I said I just ate at that restaurant, it might well be a week or more, depending on how often I eat at restaurants. And specific context can change those expectations.
Hi, Rspreng. I read the whole forum, and nobody did what I did! HA! I listened and listened and it sounded like Duo-lady said, "Acabo de jugar aqui hace dos semanas." So I typed, "I just played here two weeks ago." If she HAD said jugar, would that be translated into past tense by that use of the infinitive? I'm a lifelong athlete, so it made sense to me! ;-)
Yes. Acabar de + infinitive is the Spanish way of expressing that one just did something so it will be translated with just + past tense. Acabo de despertarme. I just woke up. Acabo de comer. I just ate.
As for llegar and jugar, in many native accents the only difference between these two words is the difference between e and u. Many accents consistently pronounce ll as j instead of y, but many who pronounce ll as y in the middle of a will have some degree of the j sound for an initial ll.
Yes, Lynettemcw ,and I've stopped getting mad at Duo-owl out of frustration, which I think a lot of people do between levels 9 and 14 or so! I am not complaining. I really prefer the Costa Rican "y" pronunciation sound, because I think it is mistaken fewer times for other sounds than the "j," which can sound like "ch,", "zg," and "ll." In that sentence, context would be needed unless someone really pronounced their "e" very distinctly. I imagine the programmers have to go with the most widely used sounds most of the time. No big deal, just kind of funny that I thought we were talking about playing softball or soccer! :-)
Yes understanding without context is ialways difficult. Even in your native language if someone makes a random comment you often hear something strange.
I know that most people believe that the voices are computer generated. I may well be wrong, but I don't think so. They make the small pronunciation errors and variations that are the hallmark of humans,not computers.
FYI, The word 'soccer' is a derogatory term,first used by the rugby fraternity to describe people who played association football, the one and only true form of football! If you consult the IFAB Laws of the game, containing over 200 pages, the word 'soccer' cannot be found.
Noel, that connects fairly well with the history of American football and soccer in America. The first game of what would become American football was played in the 1850s,but formal rules were not put forward until the 1880s. The term soccer was coined slowly in the 1890s, but the game for which is was used didn't even gain a toe hold in America until the 1930s. By that time Football was already American football in America. Whether the term soccer was used here in that derogatory manner intentionally, or just because it was another word out there, I don't know.
I agree with your comment, but with this I do not know what I am learning, because I can't get any sense of having just and two weeks ago. It is not just accepting the Spanish, it is understanding what it truly means. If it truly means only 'I came here just two weeks ago' then this should be the translation, but mostly I came here two weeks ago has the same meaning as that, so from Spanish to English I came here two weeks ago should be allowed?
EVERYONE: This is a grammatically correct sentence. Two weeks ago is not that long ago, especially in certain contexts; like someone is trying to blame you for something that happened a month ago. You can't be blamed because, "I have just arrived two weeks ago." Or someone is expecting you to have finished a big project or have finished moving in to a big house..."(sentence)."
Wouldn't preterite tense be needed for 'hace' to mean 'ago'? I thought present tense it always means 'for'? So in this case: 'I have arrived for two weeks' (which obviously does not make sense). Or is this one of the exceptions of the rule?
This sentence has two significant common Spanish constructions which are important to learn. But they each are easy to learn and use once you get used to them. The first is acabo de + infinitive That is the standard way of saying that you just finished doing something (the something being represented by the infinitive verb). Acabo de comer, I just até. Acabo de trabajar. I just finished work. Etc. The other standard is the way that you express how long ago something happened. That's simply Hace + time period. Viví en México hace dos años. I lived in México two years ago. Put them together with aqui in the middle and you have Acabo de llegar I just arrived
Hace dos semanas two weeks ago.
This sentence has none of the top 5 stumbling blocks in Spanish in it so it takes a lot more than this to master the language
I'm fascinated by the number of people seemingly incensed by this construction. Yes, we normally use the phrase "I've just + infinitive" to refer to something completed in the very recent past, but I also think it's completely normal to use it in this sense as well. Imagine returning to your old home town after spending two years travelling around the world and then bumping into an old friend...
A) "You're back! I've not seen you for ages!"
B) "Yeah, I just got back two weeks ago. It's nice to be home..." etc.
Time is relative. This sentence is normal.
This sentence is neither long nor convoluted. Both your sentences are longer and more convoluted than this. If you goal is actually to learn to speak and understand Spanish, this is actually one of Duo's better ones. It combines two extremely common constructions, Acabo de + infinitve and hace+ time period. Acabo de + infinitive is how you express having just done something. Acabo de comer. I just ate. Acabo de levantarme. I just got up. And hace is placed before the time period for the same purpose ago is placed after the time period in English. You will have to be able to navigate sentences with more complex vocabulary and structure than this (and probably a greater degree of convolution) before you can participate in most real conversations let alone watch a movie or TV show in Spanish.
To say that hace means ago is obviously somewhat problematic, especially due to the strange syntax. But hace is used pretty exclusively in time expressions. There is an expression in English that is somewhat old fashioned which is similar, but I don't know how many people are familiar with it. It makes two weeks since I arrived here. Again, not really a perfect fit. But by far the most common way of indicating that something has occurred a time period ago (specific or non—specific) or that a time period has passed since is hace. It can have various translations
Terminé hace tres horas. I finished three hours ago.
Acabo de oír hace cinco minutos. I just heard five minutes ago.
Hace mucho tiempo que no te veo. It's been a long time since I have seen you. (Notice the tenses translate quite differently here)
If you're taking about a period of time when something has or has not been happening continuously, then you use desde hace. This is generally translated for or in, but since these expressions are more consistently formulated in Spanish than English, it can be different. Again the tenses will often be different
Trabajo aquí desde hace dos años. I have worked here for two years
No duermo desde hace dos días. I have not slept in/for two days.
Es la major fiesta desde hace años. It's the best party in years.
That's absolutely normal. Actually these things which are quite different in Spanish you will struggle with until you stop needing to relate everything back to English. But that takes some time. After a while you will discover Spanish has its own personality and learn the way it thinks. I am concentrated on Spanish now, but when I was young I lived in Germany for a couple of years. I had forgotten so much, but in doing Duo's German course I find it is very much like reconnecting with an old friend.
No I think it is just the transition between the o and the de that makes it sound that way. But I did definitely hear the transition between the a, which is a strong vowel in Spanish and the ca to definitely add emphasis. But I have definitely heard one or two sentences with misplaced emphasis. That is why I tend to think the voices are not simply computer generated. The slight variation of pronunciation is human. We do it all the time without anyone noticing when the context carries the message through.
I don't hear it that way, and it would not be any sort of correct pronunciation. The b/v sound im Spanish does have some variation based on what sounds precede it and some regional variations But essentially b and v have the same sound. It is generally heard as a very soft, unexplosive b sound But it is formed by the lips whereas g is formed with the tongue blocking air toward the back of the mouth.
While what you said is true, you are missing the clues in the Spanish sentence. Acabo de llegar means just arrived. The verb acabar means to finish or end, and when used with de+infinitive it means that you just finished performing the action (in this case arriving). So while your sentence is a perfectly grammatically correct one, it is not a perfect translation because the just is modifying the wrong thing. The Spanish sentence which is the translation for yours would be, like the English, in the past tense. The acabo de infinitive construction allows the Spanish sentence to be in the present tense despite the obvious past tense meaning. Your sentence would be Llegué aquí hace sólo dos semanas (apenas dos semanas to be more emphatic).
This Spanish phrase , looks to me very much as an oxymoron ! Do, really, Spanish people speak like that?
In English, I prefer to use for this kind of a verbal structure , "only" instead of "just":<pre>
"I arrived here, only two weeks ago"</pre>
which, while transmitting well the intended feeling of a short time, does not make it as short a time , as one implied by "just" . for which "acabo" is the Spanish translation !
Your linguistic preferences are fine for you. But they are certainly not universally accepted in English. But to try to import your impressions of better uses of two English words into a foreign language is inappropriate. Acabo de infinitive simply means that the action was just completed. But that just is in the eye of the speaker and is therefore highly subjective. You will often hear people say that someone just got married. That is often said actually a couple of months before, but certainly a few weeks would be common.
If you translate literally that would be what you get. But the implication of the English présent tense would be that you actually were still in the process of finishing. But this is a set expression in Spanish which means that you just finished doing something, despite the use of the present tense.
I arrived here two weeks ago would be simply Llegó aquí hace dos semanas. Acabar is a verb which generally means to finish, but when in the set phrase acabar de infinitive it means that the action of the verb in the infinitive just happened. I prefer just to only, but in this case they mean the same thing. I think some users thought that two weeks was more an only than a just, but all that is essentially relative.
I guess you can call it idiomatic, but acabo de is routinely used with an infinitive to say that one just did something (the action of the infinitive). I don't know what you use for verb conjugation, but I recommend Spanishdict because it is also a full dictionary. Acabo de is part of a verb phrase, not really a conjugation, and Spanishdict offers both.
That's only true if it takes a past tense at all. That rule says that you need to use the simple past instead of the imperfect if a time frame were mentioned. It isn't even particularly apropos to the verb llegar which would only really be in the imperfect for repeated arrivals. But the Spanish expression acabar + de + infinitive main verb is a special Spanish expression that always uses the present tense of acabar for a past tense meaning. It functions a little like the present perfect that way, but is idiomatic, not a regular tense.
You're right that that would be the much more common English way. But here I do understand why Duo wants to keep acabo de as I just. It is a difficult concept in English to use the present tense to talk about the recent past. And to have the sentence Acabo de llegar aquí translate as I just arrived here, but that you have to change just to only if the period of time is too long is confusing. It seems as much about English as Spanish. On the other hand, if they had your sentence as an English sentence to translate into Spanish, I think that would be more effective at making people connect the two.
Llegar is the second verb in the verb phrase acabo de llegar. Only the first verb in a verb phrase is conjugated. After that you have either infinitives or participles. Acabo de infinitive is definitely a quite idiomatic verb phrase. It uses the present tense of the verb acabar, to finish, to say that you "just" did something. We don't have a similar idiom in English, so we translate it as just + simple past of the infinitive verb. In this case it's I just (acabo) arrived (llegar)
You can dispute this or any other speaker's choice of words all you like. Not everyone will say things like you would. But you have to be able to determine whether the issue is with what the person said in Spanish (or whichever original language) or the way it was translated. Here the translation is correct. Your objection is actually to what the person said in Spanish. Acabo de llegar means I just arrived. Acabo de comer means I just ate and acabo de levantarme means I just got up. This is how you say it in Spanish. But just is used in quite a subjective way. Even the "normal" meaning of just varies quite a bit within the framework of expectation. If I met someone at the airport who "just got back in town", I would assume minutes, but if my coworker told me they just got back in town, I would probably assume the night before. And when comparing their tenure at a company with someone who just celebrated twenty-five years at a company, I have heard many people say things like I just started here two years ago. Just is relative.
I am a little at a loss here. The Spanish expression for saying I "just" did something is acabo de (infinitive). It is intransitive, so there can be no object pronouns at all for this. In its normal use meaning to finish, acabar can be, and probably most commonly is, transitive. And there is pronominal form acabarse. For the most part that is used to say that something either ended, like a song or a longer thing like a convention, and that something ran out, like the milk. In the past tense it can mean died. I don't know if that works in the present or future though. I have only seen or heard the past tense, but that's the more common cause for discussion anyway. I can't remember which of these uses you may be confusing, but I have never seen an error on Duo with any of this. Duo doesn't use acabar for much except this, although it is a synonym for terminar in many uses.