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"Ellos están por partir."

Translation:They are about to depart.

5 years ago

102 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/kevinp2k13

Duolingo should have en explanation showing for this very case of using "por".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kanavsharma

If you hover over "estan por", duolingo will tell you that its a phrase for " are about to"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CNobGobble

I also like your point

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AbraxunsIllusion

Good point.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/emilypeia1049

It does also say that por can be used for about or on under the first translation

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elizinmi

I really wish that there were lessons specifically for idioms.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdntinpusher

I agree. There is no way to see the word "about" in this sentence, until after you've got it wrong once.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JenniferFa217178

But then u remember it for ever....

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DareILingo

I believe this is more a preposition issue than idiom. In English, we use several different prepositions and prepositional phrases to indicate relationships in time or space, but Spanish appears a little better once you get used to it. They just use "por." Por has other nifty uses, too. Check out this helpful article :)

http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/porpara.htm

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eaarthman

Then Duolingo would benefit us all by having more extensive lessons on prepositions, particularly on helping to differentiate between para y por

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
rogercchristie
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If you want to know then go and look for it; there's plenty of information on the web nowadays (and you are welcome to share here what you find out). DL's exercises should be prompting you to do just that. It is not a complete language course by any means and doesn't promise or try to be that. If we all do a little bit extra and share it, it will help us all - and in particular yourself to learn more and faster and more effectively. Please don't leave it all to someone else.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tessbee
tessbee
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Three lingots for you, rogerchristie! Thank you for that statement!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
rogercchristie
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Thank you tessbee.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skepticalways

Rogercchristie, it's kind of scary that I understood all but one word of your post about your dialect from 10 months ago - HA! The only word I didn't "get" was "scran." - like the discussion said, I like to hear regional differences, too, so could you supply the meaning of that word? "Thaink yew," from S.Carolina!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
rogercchristie
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"scran" means "comida"; originally (19C) meant "las sobras" and was widely used (especially in the military); nowadays dialect/slang for "food" or "meal" used mainly in the North of England.

It is in a few dictionaries. See http://www.onelook.com/?w=scran=a

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tyson966

I agree then DL should not claim to be a " A complete language learning system"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bubbajones3

Super helpful. Thank you!!

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shadd518
Shadd518
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There actually is. Visit the Lingot store.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaHill

This must be something to buy when you have reached a certain level. I certainly would buy it, but it's not available.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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In the lingot store, scroll all the way to the bottom, if you don't have it contact support. I know the Christmas one was available for the Christmas season and if you did not buy it then, than you must wait until the holidays again. There was also one for Valentines day. Those who bought them still have them on their tree to practice as they want. Maybe the idioms was also for just a while to see if people would be interested. Again, those who bought them still have them. I have not seen a set of lessons for para y por.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
rogercchristie
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Or just Google* "Spanish idioms" and I'm sure you will find lots of information and related exercises to practice using them. And if you find a particularly good one we would all appreciate your sharing a reference to it here.

* Other search engines are available.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RuudHier

Totally unexplained construction.... very annoying and frustrating.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DareILingo

the downside to immersive-approach education :/

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/darrylogan

I wish they would stay.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Harbinger91

Rule: when followed by an infinitive, to express an action that remains to be completed, use por + infinitive Model: La cena está por cocinar. (Dinner has yet to be cooked.) This information is from http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/porpara.htm

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rmcgwn

Could this also mean "the dinner is about to be cooked"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brbert02
brbert02
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I'm pretty sure that about to be cooked would be closer to the meaning.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/par-asw

Estar para + infinitive = to be about to do something. Estar por + infinitive = to be in favor of doing something.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amazed1499
amazed1499
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wow, what a sentence. i was shuffling the words, but i would never ever have come up with that translation... Where is the time reference here?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraMorris
BarbaraMorris
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It's an idiom. "estar por" means "on the verge of". I see from my earlier comment that DL didn't like "on the verge of" - I wonder whether it does now.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gernt
gernt
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Yes it does, and "just about to" should work here, but it doesn't. The computer doesn't like the "just".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/constructionjoe

my understanding of por is something is in process which should rule out using just with another specific marker for it. This use appears to be in reference to approximate time. I forgot how complex por and estar are before hitting this sentence.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RosiMalara
RosiMalara
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Ok! So, it's for me! ROSI

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RosiMalara
RosiMalara
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Ok! Hello CEFE! Rosy

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marliner

You wouldn't be expected to, because it is an idiomatic phrase - you can't decipher it without either being told the meaning, or seeing it in context, neither of which duolingo provides.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
rogercchristie
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... or looking it up elsewhere yourself!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bonnie.sjoberg

About to depart is "a punto de salir" Your sentence is translated "They are to leave"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dusse
Dusse
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No. "estar por" and "estar para" can mean the exact same thing as "a punto de". And in the question of salir/partir, they can both mean depart but it would, in many places, be more common to use partir.

http://spanish-podcast.com/2008/03/24/estar-por-vs-estar-para/

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jfGor
jfGor
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is this link still valid? I could not load it. The link is gone.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lechuza-chouette
Lechuza-chouette
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"estar por" can also mean "in favor of", but in that case it's followed by a noun.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
rocko2012
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I thought "depart" and "leave" are synonyms? Also one definition of "por" seems to be "about" but "a punto de salir" is an overwhelming 404 times more common in google searches than "por partir" so at the very least "por partir" is not common usage.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bonnie.sjoberg

I get so confused with how to use/translate por, para, de, en, etc. I wish I knew the secrets, or how to find them.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yogamat

Many users seem very upset about the use of "por" in this sentence. After years of studying Spanish on and off, I have concluded that use of prepositions is somewhat arbitrary. You either have to have enough experience with the language to have a feel for the meaning of the word in context, or you have to have memorized an almost endless list meanings for prepositions in different contexts.

Immersion seems to be the most logical and efficient way of learning to use prepositions effectively along with input from more experienced and/or native speakers in these discussion sections.

The conclusion from Spanish speakers below seems to be that "estar por" means "to be about to" or "to be thinking about doing or considering", although there are variations in different dialects (Que difícil es hablar el español!).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ashleyellow

They are for cutting

So wrong

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/midmo63359

In my book "501 Spanish Verbs, they use "para" instead of "por" to mean about to.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gernt
gernt
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Only sometimes and some places - see http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1047942

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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It looks like Argentina uses "estar para", but the examples did not include "salir" or "partir". They had "estar para morir" for instance.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/midmo63359

Perhaps just like with English, what is considered "proper" is not what is always used and there are differences in English speaking countries. Thanks for the reference.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roger.Mills

"por" appears to have a million meanings and uses,and i am struggling to master them.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ferdo76
Ferdo76
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So estar por can be translated to to be about to

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brbert02
brbert02
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tricky one but about to leave was the only way that made sense to me, not that that's a guarantee of it being right on here;)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oletuv

Should not "They are to leave." be accepted?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraMorris
BarbaraMorris
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I don't think so.

"They are to leave" means "They are required to leave", but "estar por" just means "are about to", or "are in the mood to" without any sense of obligation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oletuv

Thanks Barbara, your explanation makes perfectly sense. Being Norwegian, I´m neither a native English nor native Spanish speaker, so I find input from native speakers regarding meanings and nuances of words and expressions extremely useful.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesFox8

not quite true, 'they are to (leave)' is also a formal way of expressing what is about to happen, you might use that with a detirmener for context i.e. 'they are to leave soon', but either can be correct. would be used tipically with the contraction 'they're' otherwise the phrasing might seem a little archaic

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kabu3200

How am I supposed to know this?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sharon_Kay

This is another idiom. Duolingo did not introduce this use of "por". There goes a heart,already.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kayamel
kayamelPlus
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And at what point exactly did you expect DL to introduce the use of "por" this way if not in one of the exercices ? At this point everyone should have pretty much realized that DL is not much for hand-holding, there are no introductory lessons, just contextual/immersion learning. It’s like reading a book or hearing people talk : you hear or read some really weird expression and after encountering it a few times you realize it’s an idiom and you have to use it as a whole. Don’t be too focused on that heart :) The aim here is not just to complete a node but to be capable of redoing that node and not worry about not having enough heart. Cheers.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jalepenito
Jalepenito
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You're right Duo doesn't do a lot of hand-holding. But some things to just need some explaining. Gotta say the new heartless system makes it a lot easier to just take a chance. Still Duo has some nice one-line explanations in the German course. They'd be really nice in the Spanish course too, if only to get por and para right, and which verbs need a preposition after them, and any thumbrules for gender, and for stress & accents.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LillyBirgitta
LillyBirgitta
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I wrote They are just leaving and cannot understand why that won't work?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kiriathaim

Model: El tren está para salir. (The train is about to leave.) -http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/porpara.htm

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cheryl1
Cheryl1
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The construction is: estar + por + infinitive. When used with this construction, por is used to indicate ''to be about to do something'' or ''in favor of something or someone''. For example: Estamos por terminar (We are about to finish.) Ellos están por un aumento de sueldo. (They support a pay raise.)

Partir can be translated as both to depart or to leave. To depart is considered more formal.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ksjones6

why not "they are leaving"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elissaf1
elissaf1
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That means something different. 'They are leaving' takes place from when they get up from their chairs until they have driven out of sight. 'They after about to depart' starts some 20 minutes earlier and ends as soon as they open the door to walk through.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuevesHuevos

In Duo, they would want you to use the present progressive tense. and "leaving" is probably a different verb than "depart"

"ellos se están yendo" would probably be what Duo wants for "they are leaving"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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They are leaving. (now accepted)

2 years ago

[deactivated user]

    When to use partir-to cut or partir-to go or am I missin g the spelliong for this word????

    EditDelete2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
    rogercchristie
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    "partir" can also mean "divide" or "share", but "cut" is "cortar".

    However, your general point is still valid and an important one. There are many words that have several meanings both in English and Spanish - and sometimes they can appear to be entirely unrelated. The only way to understand the intended meaning is context (which of course we don't normally get with DL's isolated sentences/phrases).
    And too often we then get into a pointless debate as to what they really meant to say. It is a weakness of the Duolingo system that we just have to live with - and of course share our comments here (since it often seems just too onerous for the DL authors to correct all such errors promptly).

    2 years ago

    [deactivated user]

      Thanks. This has happened several other times and I've sent my questions to DL But no responses yet.

      EditDelete2 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
      rogercchristie
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      I understand there are over a million users and the Duolingo staff get several thousand reports daily, and these are mostly fielded by volunteers. It just takes time.
      It was several months before I got my first email that something I suggested had resulted in an appropriate change.
      Also I believe it is still so that only the first to report a fault or problem is informed, so often I only notice a change that I remember reporting when it happens to come up during revision of the exercises.
      Please keep on reporting any errors that you find. Duolingo depends on our feedback, and things do change eventually.
      And thank you, glo-glo1, for re-assuring me that it isn't only me that feels neglected at times. :-)

      2 years ago

      [deactivated user]

        OK !!

        EditDelete2 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Katie7511

        Let's ask Duolingo for a por vs para guide

        1 year ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/eleanora454185

        My club code is BPER39. It's lots of fun!

        1 year ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Sasha_Cn

        I translated this: ¨They are ready to depart¨ Is it possible solution although not word by word translation?

        5 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/EDK-Learner
        EDK-Learner
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        I know very few American English speaker who would say "they are about to depart". Most people I know would say "they are leaving", i.e. they are in the process of departing.

        5 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
        tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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        I have been on my cell at the airport and said "Okay, I have to go. We're about to leave." By the way, "They are about to leave." is an accepted answer.

        4 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/TilEulenspiegel

        Absolutely - it would be understood, but "depart" sounds stilted and overly formal to an American ear and is rarely used. The only common uses of the word that come to mind are "departures" referring to planes scheduled to leave an airport and "departure lounge," of which there is one in every American airport (ditto for trains and train stations). We don't have any "leaving lounges." ;)

        5 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
        Talca
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        They are leaving. (now accepted)

        2 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/neogerot
        neogerot
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        Can we say "They are going to depart" ?

        5 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/cdntinpusher

        "Ellos van a partir" (or: salir) perhaps.

        5 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/maudbenoit

        what about.... they are ready to leave? I would say that before I'd say ....about to leave.

        4 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/G.Eileen

        Shouldn't this be "set off" and not depart? The English is certainly correct

        4 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraMorris
        BarbaraMorris
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        "set off" and "depart" seem synonymous to me.

        4 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/JoodieG

        It looks like I am the only one who thought this could mean, "They are for sharing". For example if you brought a plate of cookies to work with you for your fellow workers. Is this totally off the wall?

        4 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraMorris
        BarbaraMorris
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        I think that would be "Ellos son para compartir". Being for sharing is an attribute, not a condition, so it should be "ser". The DL sentence uses "estar", so I'm guessing that "Ellos están por partir" can't mean "They are for sharing".

        I don't know for sure whether "Ellos son por partir" could mean "They are for sharing", but "son por partir" only gets 5 hits on Google and "están para compartir" gets 5 million hits.

        4 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/jfGor
        jfGor
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        estar por
        1. to be for, be in favor of 2. - to be about to

        4 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Rob2042

        What about, "They are about to PART." as in go their own way? "Separar" may be a better choice but why wouldn`t "partir" work, too?

        4 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/kalo6xtracer

        More commonly, I think the translation can be put "They are about to split (up)"

        4 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/boneinjalon

        I put they ready to leave which I thought conveyed the same meaning. DL disagreed. Anyone else on my side?

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/boneinjalon

        ...they are... Doh

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Jalepenito
        Jalepenito
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        I was wrong. This question has the most comments of any question that I've seen. This phrase is makes no sense. It definitely deserves an explanation! Unless I'm the only one to miss that "about" was needed to be in the answer. A balloon like for pointing out typos would be great.

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/learnTACO32

        I now understand this above sentence, but I initially translted it as "They are for cutting" I was marked wrong but id like to know how to say my translation in spanish (They are for cutting). Thanks

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/oletuv

        I´m asking this because I´m not a native English speaker: Would "They are about to split" have approximately the same meaning? In this context I perceive "partir" as "leave, break up, split".

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/jfGor
        jfGor
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        When partir is used as a transitive verb, meaning it has a direct object, it means to cut, to split, to break, or to crack, as in 'El río parte la ciudad en dos' (the river splits the city in two. It is only when the verb does not have a direct object and is intransitive, does it mean to depart, to leave or to set off.

        And if it is 'partir de' then it means to start (Partiremos de la teoría más básica) We'll start with the most basic theory.

        http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/partir

        3 years ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Madix99

        here's another good por/para reference. I like this site because there are tons of practice sentences, with explanations for right or wrong answers.

        http://www.spanishnewyork.com/automatic/porpara.php

        5 months ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/DyN1pnHO

        strange - the only translations I can find (non exhaustive search) have turned up to be for .... and to be in favor of .... Nothing to indicate being about to do something.

        4 months ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraMorris
        BarbaraMorris
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        https://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=estar%20por has "be about to" as the first meaning listed.

        4 months ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/GabriellaS767136

        My brains immediate translation for this was "they are here to party"

        1 month ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Alberto926597

        They are going to leave

        1 month ago

        https://www.duolingo.com/Alberto926597

        They are going to leave

        1 month ago