I went fishing. Why use "...fuí a pescar..."? | SpanishDict Answers
1 Vote

Context:

Hoy fui pescar y este es el único pez que cogí.

Today I went fishing and this is the only fish I caught.

Question: The correction is "fui a pescar". I'm not sure why? The verb is went (past tense of was) and I'm not aware of the "a" being needed after this.

Does it have something to do with "I....fishing "? A person, me, is fishing and so the personal a is needed or is the reason something else? Gracias.

Edits: went is the past tense of to go

"was" is the past tense of "to be."

  • went is the past tense of to go - lorenzo9 Apr 27, 2011 flag
  • ...and "was" is the past tense of "to be." - Izanoni1 Apr 27, 2011 flag
  • I feel pretty silly about getting those confused! I was thinking that went was a "'to be"" verb; thanks for the reminders Lorenzo and Izanoni! - bandit51jd Apr 27, 2011 flag

3 Answers

2 Vote

Question: The correction is "fui a pescar". I'm not sure why? The verb is went (past tense of was) and I'm not aware of the "a" being needed after this.

Actually, despite what it says in the DPD, this is not a periphrasis, even though the words are in the same order. These constructions mentioned in the DPD use grammaticalized metaphors, where "ir a" does not imply motion, but intentions, things that we'll see in time... but not real motion, so they don't easily translate in other languages (unless they have a similar one). In your sentence, the verb "ir" means to go, no more, no less, so it can easily be translated into any language literally.

Many verbs of motion in Spanish accept an extra phrase with "a" to indicate the purpose of the motion:

Fui a su casa.

Fui a su casa a visitarlo.

Vine aquí.

Vine aquí a arreglar la nevera.

Entré en su casa.

Entré en su casa a decirle hola.

Salí de la habitación.

Salí de la habitación a tomar el aire.

Notice that, even though you say "I went fishing", you don't say "I came visiting you" or "I came here fixing the fridge". You need to say "I came to" in both cases, so it is not that strange that Spanish uses a preposition too.

  • I'm glad you weighed in on this. Thanks so much for the clarification on this usage. - Izanoni1 Apr 27, 2011 flag
0 Vote

"Today I went fishing and this is the only fish I caught."

I would translate as: "Hoy fuí a pescar y esto es el único pescado que agarré."

I do a lot of fishing and sometimes with Spanish speaking natives and many times in Mexico. You need to use "pescado" instead of "pez" and they always use the verb "agarrar" for "to catch"; so .... "agarré" = "I caught".

  • "Pez" is when they are in the water; "pescado" is when you have taken them out of the water... to eat them. - lazarus1907 Apr 27, 2011 flag
  • Yes I agree. But then why I have heard things like "Yo sé donde están los pescados." (I know where the fish are.) And we have not caught those fish yet. - Daniel Apr 27, 2011 flag
  • Lazarus, you are totally right, but in Argentina they are all "pescados". "Pez" is rarelly used. - 00e657d4 Apr 27, 2011 flag
0 Vote

Hey "Bandit" I see you have on your profile "Our dream is to rent a pontoon boat for our disabled friend so we can fish from the center of the lake."

I have a pontoon boat that I keep in the water for 9 months of the year at Lake Nacimiento in California. I have it set up for fishing (an to party on); with a fish finder, trolling motor on the front porch connected to a solar panel to keep the battery charged.

The fishing is awesome right now! I will be fishing the next 4 days -- I have a friend coming up to go fishing with me on Saturday who is a Spanish speaker.

Once a year I have a group of 5-6 disabled kids come to the lake and take them out boating, and fishing -- we always catch fish.


So ... I hope you make your dream come true.

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