1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Pero tengo que regresar."

"Pero tengo que regresar."

Translation:But I have to return.

October 7, 2013



what is the differnce between "volver" and "regresar"?


Both means the same.


http://www.duolingo.com/comment/552093 According to that comment by Babella (native Spanish speaking I assume) none in the context of a person returning themselves(like this sentence). But "volver" has some extra meanings.

  • 2190

WordReference.com under volver has "tengo que volver" = "I have to go back"


I must go, my planet needs me.


Nota: Poochie murió en el camino de regreso a su planeta de origen.

  • 2190

I was too chicken, but "I have to go back" should also work.


Yes this works, I was not the chicken which was killed in the previous question :-)

  • 2190

I was trying to say squawk! in Spanish, but graznido just doesn't cut it.


We have to go back, Kate. We have to go back!


I think "get back" could also be used.

  • 2190

Sure. It'd be nice to be able to test these things.


Baby, it's cold outsiiiiiiide... (First thing that came to my mind.)


Any reason "I need to return" isn't accepted?

  • 2190

Without translating pero? I guess because a word is missing.


Sorry I wasn't clear. I had "but"; I left it out of my post because it wasn't the part that seemed to be wrong. To be completely clear: "but I have to return" is correct; why isn't "but I need to return", besides being a more direct translation of "pero necesito regresar"?

  • 2190

Personally, I think that's fine, but I doubt an editor would include it. We've gotten way beyond simple matching, but computers still don't manage meaning very well. Thus the very strict separation of "this" and "that" on Duo. In the real world, it hardly matters.


How is it that "but I have to regress" isn't correct? Same latin root, and to regress also means to return


Regress is a bit more obscure. Try reporting it and Duolingo will probably add it.


Couldn't make out what was being said here at all. Doesn't make it any easier.


Pero no voy a regresar a la casa antigua nunca...

Hay demasiado recuerdos malos allí...

(Piensé en "Back to the Old House")


would not regresarse be the more likely verb?


Why do they use "que"? Why is it "Pero tengo que regresar" instead of "Pero tengo regresar" or Pero tengo a regresar"?


"Tener" means "to have (something)" while "tener que" means "to have to do (something)"

Tengo un torte = "I have a cake"

Tengo que comer mi torte = "I have to eat my cake"


Thank you! This is an explanation I can remember.

  • 2190

Because "tengo que" is the verb. It's like the difference between "turn" and "turn on" in English.


"Regresar" can also be translated as "regress" as regress and return can mean the same thing.


Shouldn't there be an "a" after tengo que?


Good question. "Tengo que" means "I have to." If an infinite comes after the phrase "tengo que", then only the infinite follows, so no "a" is needed before it. E.g. "tengo que caminar" = "I have to walk".

If the "a" was kept, the "a" would mean "to". So, the phrase "tengo que a regresar" would translate to "I need to to return." There are now two "to"s, which is unnecessary and repetitive.

However, if you are saying you are returning to a specific place, then "a + location" would follow the infinitive, e.g. "Tengo que regresar a Texas" means "I have to return to Texas."


So are "pero" and "perro" homonyms then? Or is there a way they are pronounced differently that we can hear?

  • 2190

Keep your tongue on your teeth when you say R. If R is the first or last letter it is sounded like RR which is the sound English speakers make when making fun of Scots. A single R in the middle is a single flap of the tongue. At first, English speakers try to make the sound like in English. Then when they manage to get it on the tip of their tongue, it rolls too much. That's an aspect of a Russian accent in Spanish. I ask English speakers to pronounce CATEDRAL with the T, D, R, and L on the teeth. Sometimes they get a funny look on their face when the R rolls for the first time in their life.

"And just why NOT?????" = "¿Y porrrrrrrr qué NO???????", so if you get it to roll, you can let it fly on that one.


So to clarify, in pronunciation it is solely the LENGTH of the "r" sound that differentiates those two words... ?? (I already roll my "r's" because of being fluent in French)


The r sound for me is a single roll of the tongue while the tongue vibrates multiple times for the rr. Unlike the English r, where both sides of the tongue hit the roof or top teeth, my Spanish r has the tip of my tongue hitting the top of the two front teeth.


did not accept "but I need to return"


Why "have to" works but "need to" doesn't?


I have to go. = Tengo que regresar.

I need to go. = Necesito regresar.

  • 2190

Don't forget, your teacher is a machine. A human teacher might have let this go.


After explaining the difference between "Tener que" and Necesitar"


harry potter much?




"But I have to go back!" "No, Tadashi!" "Professor Callahan could still be alive! Someone has to help!" Kindest and most sincere last wordstear***


While I know the Spanish pero means but, I tried using however, as it would make it a sentence instead of a phrase. I know DL uses phrases. So I expected it would be rejected. However, I'm interested in knowing, if this would be an acceptable translation in context.


That's an interesting question. I know there were a few generations who were taught the false grammar rule in English that you can't start a sentence with a conjunction, which is why you see However and Nevertheless used in the beginning of sentences a lot. But as coordinating adverbs, words like however require a semicolon between two clauses when the second begins with one of them. This pause concept makes however seem somewhat more consequential than but. But I have no real concept whether all these weight elements are the same in Spanish. Certainly changing from but to however is not going to change the meaning to any significant degree, but for the purposes of learning I think it is perhaps better to go with the conventional translation with but being pero and however being no obstante or sin embargo. I googled pero vs no obstante and got a hit from a chapter in a book. The chapter was entitled Contrastive Discourse Markers in Spanish. That certainly answers a lot more complex questions than yours from the perspective of Spanish, but ultimately your question is more about English.

  • 2190

Exactly right. We all discuss English to avoid doing another lesson in Spanish ;-)


I don't agree. If I were trying to avoid another lesson in Spanish, I wouldn't be bothering with DL at all. That being said I'd like to compliment you on your current learning streak and thank you for participating in this discussion.


Should I quit Spanish than?

  • 2190

Sure - if you have no desire to learn Spanish and hate doing the lessons. But if you'd like to progress a little further in an easier way, download the app on your smartphone. You can do a lesson in five minutes almost anywhere. There's no need to worry about grammar. Just listen, repeat, and understand what's being said. In a lot of the US, you'll get major points in Hispanic areas just for trying.


Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I agree that punctuation is required between a primary and secondary clause, but in the case of however I believe that it is more common to use a period rather than a semi-colon. However, I may be mistaken. You also reminded me of the strict translation in Spanish for however and, while I had learned them, I needed the reminder. As I stated in my original post, I expected my answer would not be accepted by DL. It was more an experiment to see, if it would be an acceptable translation. Again thank you.


I have to return. This will also work


Why is "But I need to return" wrong?


necesitar = to need to


whats the difference between I've and I have. Shouldn't I have be correct


Absolutely. I think it was a fluke that they didn't accept it, I have not heard of that error here.


'I have to' it given as the correct translation, rather than 'I've'. Although 'I've' is indeed a contraction of 'I have', it isn't usual to contract it when the verb is 'to have to'.


Is Pero tengo regresar grammatical? What does it mean?


No. You need the que as shown above. Pero tengo que regresar. But I have to return (go back/come back). Tener+que+infinitive is to have to (do the verb). It is a set expression much like the English equivalent to have to


Wouldn't regressar mean 'go back' whereas volver means 'return'? A very slight difference...


No. Regresar and volver are interchangeable in this use. Volver is used in other ways as well, though. The DLE defines regresar using the words devolver and volver.


Spanish doesn't have point of view verbs like go back and come back or go in and come in. Those are from English's Germanic roots. Their words will be like the ones we have from French and Latin, return or enter. An other example would be present instead of to be here or to be there. Obviously these words can be good translations, but the point of view aspect (come vs go) has to be taken from the context.


Very evolved and comprehensive program but the audio section still has kinks to work out. Most of my "mistakes" are because it doesn't hear me. Other times, it "hears" and accepts before I'm finished speaking.


Yes. I love Duo lingo, but I don't use the speaking exercises at all. You can turn them off in setting. In Spanish, French and German I don't need them anyway, but even in languages that I haven't had enough formal education in to know how to pronounce words I have decided they don't help, because I know they mark me wrong when I am right and right when I am wrong. But if you choose to do this, just remember to read all the Spanish outloud anyway because part of the problem is always just getting the flow of how the sounds, words and sentences flow.

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.