"Quiero que mis hijas beban más agua."
Translation:I want my daughters to drink more water.
Actually, Duo's sentences are not always completely out of context. The one at hand, for example, has all the context it needs.
But you make a decent point in addressing the matter of context; just to clarify the term, as to language it means the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning.
So, yes, strictly speaking, "hija" only means "daughter, " just as also strictly speaking "daughter" only means "daughter." But since context matters, if I say to a friend, "My daughters are coming home this Christmas," he will infer and know that I am speaking of my children, will he not?
Unless, of course, you think daughters are not children.
Overthinking, you say? Perhaps. Or perhaps you are. But it was really just a half-way facetious statement of the obvious. And basically, with that last rather supercilious comment, you were just being a pill.
I would contend "children" implies all of her offspring whereas "daughters" leaves it ambiguous as to whether there are also sons.
Think what you will. The basic definition of daughter, after translating from Spanish, is "female child. "
Words have connotations as well as dictionary definitions, but I did not, per se, dispute the "definition" of "hija". I simply observed its 'meaning' can be "child.".
Also, it just so happens that "incidental matters of fact" are among the elements that provide context, i.e., that set of circumstances or parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning. (Perhaps you didn't read the response to my first detractor, depriving yourself of the context of that exchange.)
It also just so happens that the Spanish convention of applying masculine forms as a general way to cover both sexes is exactly analogous to similar practice extant in English for centuries. It is not really, ipso facto, about "definition," but ancient assumptions about the relative importance of the genders.
It is a conjunction (meaning "that"), introducing the subordinate clause "(que) mis hijas beban más agua" and meaning , literally, "I want ==> that my daughters drink more water."
Of course, the English verb, "want" is not one that's followed by "that", so you have the more natural translation using an infinitive, "I want my daughters to drink more water."
Other English verbs, however, can and do license "that", as in:
- I wish that my daughters would drink more water.
- I hope that my daughter will drink more water.
- I insist that my daughters drink plenty of water.
Still working on this myself, but it seems to me the que is just a word to link the next part of the sentence. You'll see it a lot in the subjunctive sections. For example it starts, " I want" that sets up the uncertainty for the subjunctive beban to be used. I guess it separates the two subjects so you don't get confused, I don't wanna drink more water, I want my daughters to. When I first started that section I kept wanting to say, "I want to". Much like tener que and creo que but that seems to never be the case. I think quiero que can also mean, "I wish"
You are so right. Thinking in spanish is required and will happen over time.
The alternative would be: hear spanish - change it to english - think what to say - change it back to spanish - then say it.
Could anyone keep up with a rapid spanish speaker doing that?
If you can't think in spanish yet then take your first baby step. Whenever you write yourself a note never write "and".
Write "y" instead (its faster). You won't have to think "y = and" when you're reading it. You will think in spanish for that split second.
I am seeing it is a major challenge to make the switch to thinking in Spanish from doing translations in one's head.
I have an idea that if one could begin talking to oneself in one's head using Spanish like one uses English that would place one well along the path toward being fluent. Last month I had a dream in which I was talking with someone using Spanish and woke from that in a shock as in no way can I do that in the waking state.
It is my observasation that a lot of new students think becoming skilled in Spanish works just as you described, always doing translations in one's mind. They put a lot of emphasis on "correct" English usage in the translations instead of focusing on understanding what the Spanish statements essentiality mean, which can involve very bad English usage. And I’ve thought about the difficulty in thinking in Spanish I am having compared to them. I don't see how they can ever do it.
Because this is in no way grammatically correct Spanish. It would translate literally into English as 'I want my daughters that to drink more water'. 'Quiero' has to be immediately followed by 'que', which signals the subjunctive form of the following verb, 'beber', which in this case is 'beban'.
Although a little awkward, "I want that my daughters drink more water" is appropriate English, and more clearly expresses the subjunctive.
Note also that the English subjunctive uses the "base" form of the verb for the subjunctive. Thus, the "base form" of "to drink" is "drink."
Consequently, also correct English subjunctive is, "I want that my daughter drink more water." (The singular "daughter" still uses the subjunctive verb "drink." and not "drinks")