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https://www.duolingo.com/j.l.h

Thinking in Concepts - Tengo Que

While I am learning, I am trying to create a mental image which has emotional context of the word/phrase that I am currently learning. For instance when I read caminar or any of the conjugations I try to picture the act of walking. What I am trying to do is make the things I am reading into a picture or movie in my head much in the same way I experience reading in English.

With concrete concepts (ex-apple, leaf, walk, and even be) this is working. With more abstract concepts, I am beginning to run into problems. Currently "tengo que" is causing the issue. From what I can tell this phrase means "I have to" but Duolingo is telling me that it means "I must". In my mind these are different images. What is the connotation of this phrase? On a scale of 0-10, 10 being this is so important it should have been done yesterday and 0 being this isn't optional and I will get to it eventually, where does this fall? Am I totally incorrect in my understanding?

3 years ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Far_1
Far_1
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i think it's all up to the individual, in english we say "i have to go to the store" but the urgency of the matter varies from person to person. I think "tengo que" is similar in that way. You describe urgency by what you say afterwards, example - "tengo que salir, es muy importante" or using "necesito" is an option.

Edit - hope i undestood the question correctly

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/j.l.h

::laughs:: Yes, you did. Thank you for answering and I apologize if the question was worded oddly. I know that there is a separate word for "must" and I don't know know how that compares to "tengo que".

When reading the sentence in Duo, all of the little details that give context to a sentence are not present. That context helps me form an image in my head. I'm not sure if anyone else thinks or attempts to think like this when learning a language. I don't know if this is the most effective method but it is yielding some interesting/confusing results.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Far_1
Far_1
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Haha you worded the question perfectly, i was just double checking. I love the idea of picturing the action when learning a new word. I also use "hand gestures" for memorization, salto (jump) then i make a jump motion w/my hand. As for your original question, i think as your vocabulary expands you'll be able to stress the level of importance of "tengo que" better. You'll be able to say if it's very important or something you can do later on. Excellent question, i'm interested in hearing what better speakers have to say.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/j.l.h

Interesting. I had never thought of using hand gestures. I may have to play around with that idea.

It has been odd using visualization and listening to podcasts or the radio. Every now and then I hear a word and I get a mental image. While they are disjointed, I can sometimes string them together into a story (I use that word loosely) and get the overall idea of what is being talked about.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elagui
Elagui
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SpanishDict says that 'tener que' is 'to have to' but it also says 'one must' is also 'tener que'. It all depends upon the context. If you're working in the modal section, then you should see it as 'I must' but if you're not working with modals, then go with 'I have to".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/j.l.h

Thank you. When I first saw the different meanings, it threw me for a loop. Since "must" and "have to" are two different concepts, I am trying to understand the where "tengo que" falls. I assume that they are two different concepts since they are two different words/phrases. This is all connotative definitions. Something like the difference between mama, which I picture as mom/mommy and implies a close relationship (young, smiling child hugging their mother), versus madre, which I picture as mother and implies a formal, not close relationship (stiff-backed, formal photos without much emotion being shown). Both words mean a female parent though.

I may be getting ahead of myself. As I stated above, this visualization technique may not be the most effective way to learn but is yielding some interesting results.

I am still trying to figure out how to reprogram my keyboard to include the proper accents, please forgive my bad spelling.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elagui
Elagui
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Actually, I've heard that using mental images is one of the most powerful methods of memory that exists. I once read a book that advised people to imagine a place they know very well, to imagine the item in the room in some big, exaggerated way to help them remember words.
With my computer, I can use ALT + 161 = í, ALT + 130=é, so you should try looking up what they are and save them to a notepad file for easy recall.
I find that lots of people get confused because DuoLingo doesn't really explain what they're looking for. The modal that confused me was Deber (meaning must) and Deber (meaning should). I keep on looking for a simple equivalent because what one must do and what one should do can be two very different things. Sometimes we have to give DL the answers it's looking for, but make a note of it that in real life, the use of these words are often much more flexible.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/j.l.h

Really? Excellent.

I know what you mean about words being flexible. I try to look things up online but sometimes feel like I don't know the question to ask. The lack of knowledge is incredibly frustrating. I have tried to read the more academic sites and end up being more confused than when I started. ::laughs:: I figure if you work through learning by tackling one rule at a time, you will get there eventually.

There is another post in the discussion about how to reprogram your keyboard to use accented letters or letters that do not exist in English. I am going to be talking to my more computer literate partner when they get home so they can help walk me through the process. I am going to be making a cheat sheet of the hotkeys and taping them to my desk until I have them memorized.

3 years ago