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  5. "Yo trabajo para el gobierno."

"Yo trabajo para el gobierno."

Translation:I work for the government.

September 9, 2013



...y estoy aqui ayudar


For everyone like me who has no clue what's going on: this turns out to be a quotation from Ronald Reagan. The full version is:

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."


So said the man who believed that private corporations with no regulations would have the best interest of humanity in mind ;)


Even though I am fully aware of the serious problems that stemmed from the Reagan administration (and all the other U.S. administrations that have come since then), that particular quote is very truthful.


that's disgusting


¡exactamente! (you beat me to it)


... so trust me :). (The emoticon is part of the statement, and I don't know the emoticon for a grinning face)


Haha! Thanks!


work? for the government? This sentence makes no sense. ;-)


There are people in the government who work. I just don't know where they are hiding.

  • 548

I guess there's a difference between working IN and FOR the government


But this speaker is the only one who'll admit it :)


does anybody else notice that "b"s are pronounced like "v"s and vice versa?


Yes. In Spanish both v and b are pronounced the same way, with the sound being like a mixture of the two english sounds.


What I've always have been impressed with has been when I've pronounced a v like a v when it should be like a b, and the blank expression the person I'm talking to has as he/she doesn't understand what I'm saying. In English, we are use to pronounciations that are in the ball-park. But in Spanish, as least for some words, it has to be precisely correct.


Haha, how true about that blank look. I once thought I told a gentleman "I will see you next Thursday" (Jueves), but I had actually said "I will see you next eggs" (huevos). Unfortunately "eggs" is slang for testicles in Spanish, so he might have thought I said, "I will see next your testicles." That is when the blank look tactfully appeared instead of a horrified look, lol.


Oh gosh! I read one book on Spanish slang and the main thing I got out of it is don't use Spanish slang until you are really, really good at speaking Spanish and know absolutely for sure what you are saying.


First tip: If you are at a restaurant or supermarket and want some eggs, the correct expression is, "¿Hay huevos?"

If you are daring your friend to do something dangerous or stupid, that's when you might say, "¿Tienes huevos?"

Las más que sabes.


That is good advice indeed!


Yes, but it's been happening since the first lessons. I'm used to it now. Besides, it happens in a number of languages.


... but then nobody's perfect...


So, why para and not por?


The difference is between for and in behalf of. In behalf of the government would not necessarily involve a government employee. I keep these straight with the sentence, Yo compro un regalo para mi madre por mi padre, where in behalf of my father, I am buying a gift for my mother.


Yes Jackstewart2, I have this Thumbrule:

  • O PARA A; the object O moves to A and STAYS there, (the present ends at the father).

  • O POR A; nothing stays at A, it is just a MEDIUM (the present does not end at mi madre, she was only a cause, something intermedient)


With respect, neither of the explanations offered by Jackstewart2 or kirakrakra will help you out here. Frankly, I don't find any of the simple "rules" or "tips" to be of use in this particular case. I think it's just easier to memorize the fact that working for (i.e., employed by) someone or some organization is expressed using "para." That's distinct from working for someone on their behalf, such as filling in for a co-worker.

There's an example from SpanishDict (https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/quick-tips-for-understanding-por-and-para) that tries to elucidate the differences in this precise situation. Read the section titled "Understand Cause vs. Effect." Personally, I consider it a great example of just how lousy such explanations can be.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not completely against adopting any rules of thumb. Many are quite helpful for many sentences. However, don't think you can boil it all down to a couple of simple contrasts. Here's a link to a very useful page that drills the differences and includes a more complete list of the distinct differences in usage (unfortunately, without any real elaboration):



This is a great chat up line...


can somebody explain me why the continious form "i am working" was marked as incorrect here?


Duo wants continuous present to be a translation of presente continuo (here: estoy trabando) only, not of Presente. This is not always the best. Maybe it is for pedagogical reasons


that's what i thought, yeah. but since etar + participle is only an infinitve construction i guess we should be allowed to use continous forms in such cases.


An infinitve construction? What do you mean neither continuous present nor Presente continuo: Estar + GERUNDIO (gerundio is not a participle cannot be used as an adjective) use any infinitives.

I think that the Spanish Presente simple often can be translated to continuous present but Duo does not.


"I wasn't going to say that...I have something for you, Hogarth."


Para = for, meaning they employ me. If I had used por it would imply what meaning?


Possibly, in behalf of the government. I always think of the sentence to keep por/para straight, Yo compro un regalo por mi madre para mi padre. If you work in behalf of the government, perhaps you are a private contractor, or have been asked by the government to do something in their behalf.


Jackstewart2... "Yo compro un regalo por mi madre para mi padre"...this will be a great memory aid as soon as I learn whether the gift is bought at my mother's request for my father or at my father's request for my mother.


Interesting thought. I think that were por relates in behalf of, it would be on the mother's behalf, to be given to the father.


Jackstewart2 ... Gracias! Getting involved and bantering in a friendly manner with other DL learners is also a way of impressing ideas into our memories. I feel sure I will remember our dialog. I recommend to others less irritation with DL and more friendly involvement with the DL community. Best wishes in your Spanish studies.


Gracias por sus comentarios. I always think thst friendly, non put-down, is the best way to comment. It promotes learning and understanding. I've also done Duolingo enough that I can understand the frustration. Been there too. Duolingo has improved my Spanish and the comments by the students really promotes explanations and understanding that really helps everyone. It's one of Duolingo best features. Thanks again. Jack


It also means "in the place of."


Do you have an example?


It's the same as you buying the gift on behalf of your mother to give to your father. You're working in her place.


To me, "por el gobierno": because of, instead, for the sake of the government.
First, I'd think, otherwise he/she wouldn't have a job. Or he/she works instead, is doing what the government had to do. Or he/she works 'out of consideration of' the government.


Given the political context, I would assume the use of "por" would indicate in support of the government's agenda. This is similar to what Jackstewart2 suggested (i.e., "in behalf of the government"). However, it wouldn't be as a contractor or agent, in my opinion. Rather, it would be someone who campaigns for or otherwise engages in activities that benefit the government.

Alternatively, and much more generically, "por" could be interpreted as "by" rather than "for." See the comment by Laragazza215994 elsewhere in this discussion for an example.


In Spanish, aren't words like government, universidad capitalized? let me know!


No, I do not believe that they are. My understanding is that only the beginning of a sentence and proper names are capitalized. A few for example: Señor Garcia, Real Madrid, Argentina.


Yes, very little is capitalized. Titels are not capitalized, only their abbreviations. ¿Conoces al señor García? Sí, conozco al Sr. García.



Why para and not por? I was taught to use por when working for an organisation.


Americans seem to use "government and "administration" as synonyms. In most European countries we would use "state". The "administration" would be unpolitical civil servants.


We all do, about 1-3 days of the week.


I work for the government, and I'm here to help you.


...which is odd, because they don't even know I exist.


Why not 'pro' ? I thought it was, for example, Yo trabajo por Sr. Hernandez; Yo trabajo por el mercado en Mexico...


Please check: 1. The word is Por instead of PRO. Por is the preposition FOR, whereas PRO is to be in favor of. 2. The correct form is yo trabajo PARA el Sr. Hernández o para el mercado de México. 3. If you use yo trabajo POR el Sr. Hernández, you are saying that you are working instead of him ( trabajo por el Sr. Hernández mientras está en vacaciones). Now, if you say trabajo por el mercado de México could be interpreted as you work close by the México market. Hope it helps. (Sp. Native)


Mi tío trabaja para el gobierno. En el servicio forestal. Él construye senderos.


wouldn't this be "por?"


Damned bureaucrat


waohoho watch the language man.


"para" means "for", not "in". it suggests this sentence is context-specific (i.e., that it'll always be "in the government") which is not the case.


That's actually really enlightening. Thanks.

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