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"Ellos están por partir."

Translation:They are about to depart.

3
5 years ago

99 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/kevinp2k13

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

460
Reply55 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"

95
Reply31 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CNobGobble

I also like your point

4
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AbraxunsIllusion

Good point.

20
Reply34 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/emilypeia1049

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

4
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elizinmi

I really wish that there were lessons specifically for idioms.

88
Reply5 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.

64
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JenniferFa217178

But then u remember it for ever....

2
Reply8 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

38
Reply4 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

39
Reply4 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.

52
Reply33 years ago

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

1
Reply3 years ago

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

2
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!

1
Reply1 year 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

1
1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tyson966

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

0
Reply10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bubbajones3

Super helpful. Thank you!!

0
Reply6 months ago

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

4
Reply4 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.

0
Reply4 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.

1
Reply4 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.

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RuudHier

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

23
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DareILingo

the downside to immersive-approach education :/

8
Reply4 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

14
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rmcgwn

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

6
Reply5 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.

4
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/darrylogan

I wish they would stay.

13
Reply5 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.

10
Reply3 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?

6
Reply4 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.

9
Reply4 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".

2
Reply4 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.

2
Reply4 years ago

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

0
Reply9 months ago

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

0
Reply9 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
Reply4 years ago

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

2
Reply13 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
Reply5 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/

13
Reply5 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.

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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0
Reply4 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.

0
Reply5 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.

2
Reply5 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.

2
Reply5 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!).

5
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ashleyellow

They are for cutting

So wrong

3
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/midmo63359

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

2
Reply4 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

1
Reply4 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.

2
Reply4 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.

0
Reply4 years ago

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

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

2
Reply3 years ago

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

2
Reply2 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;)

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oletuv

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

1
Reply4 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.

3
Reply4 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.

3
Reply4 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

0
Reply7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kabu3200

How am I supposed to know this?

1
Reply4 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.

1
Reply4 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.

4
Reply3 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
Reply3 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?

1
Reply4 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

1
Reply4 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.

1
Reply4 years ago