HomeQ&AHow to translate "read" into Spanish

How to translate "read" into Spanish

0
votes

I've come across a sentence today ("If you read that book, you will appreciate how good it is"), and when I reached the comma, I hesitated about that "read". Will you translate it as...?

1) Si leíste ese libro, apreciarás lo bueno que es.
2) Si lees ese libro, apreciarás lo bueno que es.

How would you read aloud it without further context'

14670 views
updated AGO 4, 2009
posted by lazarus1907

34 Answers

1
vote

If it was intended as past tense, "had read" would have been better/clearer. Not to say that everyone speaks/writes perfect English.I think if you are going to use the perfect aspect here, it would be more likely to use the present perfect (have) instead of the past perfect (had). Even so, the second clause would make more sense, then, in the present and not the future.

(If you have read that book, you appreciate how good it is.)

(If you had read that book, you would appreciate/would have appreciated how good it is.)

These make more sense stated that way. That is why I think the sentence as Lazarus gave it has "read" in the present tense. It is a condition before the future tense. (If [present tense], then [future tense].)

updated FEB 15, 2015
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

This is not logical because he would understand NOW having read the book.


Consider:

You agree, don't you that ...?
You'll agree, won't you, that ...?

For practical purposes, they both mean pretty much the same thing. One could, perhaps, argue that in the first, the speaker assumes agreement (but asks for confirmation), while, in the second, the speaker predicts agreement (and asks for confirmation). In either case, however, until the listener gives some indication of agreement, the speaker is really speculating about (predicting) the listener's attitude. To my mind, the use of the future tense here softens (makes more polite) the assertion/expectation of agreement.

updated AGO 4, 2009
posted by samdie
0
votes

'If you have read that book, you will understand what I am trying to say.? Is not correct English.

'If you have read that book, you will understand what I am trying to say? is perfectly good English.

What's wrong with it?

How else would you phrase it (in other words, in what tenses, without changing the sentence structure) if you are not sure the person has read the book, but only if he has will he understand what you are about to say, or what you previously said and are about to clarify?

'If you have read that book, you will understand what I am trying to say.? Is not good logically because it suggests he will understand what you are trying to say but sometime in the future and not now. This is not logical because he would understand NOW having read the book.

One could say "If you have read that book you will understand what I am going to say"

Read the other suggestions I made in the same posting.
Your logic carries out except for one small detail, and that is the point that samdie (and I) is making.

'If you have read that book, you will understand what I am trying to say.?

Just because the verb "am trying" is in the present (progressive) tense, doesn't mean that the action is not future; in this case, it is in the immediate future. If I say, "Listen to what I am saying, and you will understand. ... ...," and I proceed to say it, that was future from the exact moment I said "I am saying," but then I said it right away.

As Lazarus has pointed out many times, tense does not limit a verb to a past/present/future time slot. A present tense verb can describe action in any of the three:

Past: Yesterday I am driving down the road when this truck comes out of nowhere and ...

Future: On Wednesday my friend is flying to Cochabamba; his family is meeting him at the airport. [Ian, this is a true statement, by the way--a good friend of mine really is going to Cochabamba the day after tomorrow.]

Bottom line: "what I am trying to say" and "what I am going to say" can both refer to something you are about to say in the next moment, and therefore, "you will understand" is correct in both sentences.

updated AGO 3, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

'If you have read that book, you will understand what I am trying to say.? Is not correct English.

'If you have read that book, you will understand what I am trying to say? is perfectly good English.

What's wrong with it?

How else would you phrase it (in other words, in what tenses, without changing the sentence structure) if you are not sure the person has read the book, but only if he has will he understand what you are about to say, or what you previously said and are about to clarify?
'If you have read that book, you will understand what I am trying to say.? Is not good logically because it suggests he will understand what you are trying to say but sometime in the future and not now. This is not logical because he would understand NOW having read the book.
One could say "If you have read that book you will understand what I am going to say"
Read the other suggestions I made in the same posting.

updated AGO 3, 2009
posted by ian-hill
0
votes

'If you have read that book, you will understand what I am trying to say.? Is not correct English.

'If you had read that book, you would understand what I am trying to say.? is correct.

OR 'If you had read that book, you would have understood what I was trying to say.? is correct
They're all three correct but the first means something different from what the other two mean (which was, in part, my point).

updated AGO 3, 2009
posted by samdie
0
votes

'If you have read that book, you will understand what I am trying to say.? Is not correct English.

'If you have read that book, you will understand what I am trying to say? is perfectly good English.

What's wrong with it?

How else would you phrase it (in other words, in what tenses, without changing the sentence structure) if you are not sure the person has read the book, but only if he has will he understand what you are about to say, or what you previously said and are about to clarify'

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

'If you have read that book, you will understand what I am trying to say.? Is not correct English.
'If you had read that book, you would understand what I am trying to say.? is correct.
OR 'If you had read that book, you would have understood what I was trying to say.? is correct

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by ian-hill
0
votes

I would not have put the comma in the sentence anyway.
It is present tense because if it were past tense it would be followed by "would" and not "will"
It is a first conditional sentence.

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by ian-hill
0
votes

(One example of it is your sentence above, 'If I were a rich man, ...,? were being the subjunctive form here.)

I did not realize that this form is subjunctive. I thought that it is conditional. Again, I had best stick to Spanish for awhile because I think I should probably also be following a forum on English grammar or at least go out and get myself a good English grammar text.

To tell you the truth, the only thing I really know about the subjunctive is that it is a "mood" and not a "tense" and I learned that here and in my Spanish grammar texts along with the fact that one uses it in Spanish a lot!

Spanish, by the way, is the first language I have ever tried to learn from a book with grammar. It's like a puzzle, a game, and I am actually having fun with it. However, it is a serious game because I hope to be able to understand it soon enough, without problem; and then to speak it myself, fluently.

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by Janice
0
votes

I think you are right. I had gone to bed with a wonderful book, A Traveler in Spain, by H.V.Morton. But I could not concentrate on it for running the "If you read this book" through my mind, wondering if I were to suppose that the person had indeed read the book, I would then feel right about telling him that he will understand me.

So that behind me, now I am going to read my book! Maybe tomorrow on a lark I will attempt to post my doubts to the grammar lady. In the meantime, I think my doubts are dispelled enough to get on with my book and then get a good night's sleep.

By the way, if you read this book, you will appreciate how good it is. And you will understand why I used to search antiquarian book shops for books by H.V.Morton. My first was A Traveller in Italy. And I guess that if you read that one some time ago in the past as I did, you will also appreciate how good I am expecting this one to begrin

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by Janice
0
votes

Considering that I do not know whether or not my conversation partner has read the book, but am instead expressing an "if", it would not sound correct to my ear to present the possibly true, possibly false condition: "If you read (past tense)..." and then not follow in the main clause with "would". After all, the fellow won't appreciate or understand if he hasn't read the book. Right?

What I don't understand myself is why the same sentence with "have" -- "If you have read this book, you will understand what I am trying to say" -- sounds perfectly ok to me.

I think what is giving you difficulty here is the subjunctive mood, which is almost non-existent in English, and rarely takes a different form than the indicative mood. (One example of it is your sentence above, "If I were a rich man, ...," were being the subjunctive form here.) Since you are approaching the sentence from the perspective that you don't know if the other person read the book or not, maybe your Spanish (or other language) mind is telling you that you need a subjunctive form in this subordinate clause. I don't know, but that's my guess.

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

Well, this certainly is tricky.

I am trying to figure this out and I think that the problem may lie with the "if". (I understand that many other people do not sense the same problems with this little "if" that I vaguely feel...and I don't insist that I am correct or that it matters...but..) Whenever people sing "If I was a rich man", I always think that they would be more in tune if they were to sing "If I were a rich man."

Considering that I do not know whether or not my conversation partner has read the book, but am instead expressing an "if", it would not sound correct to my ear to present the possibly true, possibly false condition: "If you read (past tense)..." and then not follow in the main clause with "would". After all, the fellow won't appreciate or understand if he hasn't read the book. Right?

What I don't understand myself is why the same sentence with "have" -- "If you have read this book, you will understand what I am trying to say" -- sounds perfectly ok to me.

I'll keep trying to figure it out for myself, though, and in the meantime stop posting on the subject. Quizás, I should probably go ask the grammar lady what my problem is.

In any case, I surmise that we all agree that "read" is in the present tense in the sentence Lazarus asked about.

Midnight, it's time for me to give it up and return to Spanish.

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by Janice
0
votes

I disagree.

"If you read [past tense] that book, you will understand what I'm trying to say," is perfectly acceptable. Consider that "what I'm trying to say" is something you are about to say (perhaps, something that you have not said yet, or perhaps, something that you have said that you are about to restate). Granted, more often than not, if you have not said it yet, you will not use "I'm trying to say," but you could. (Usually "what I'm trying to say" refers to something already said that apparently needs more clarification.)

Point is: not likely, but possible; not incorrect, not awkward.

updated AGO 2, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

Samdie, you wrote:

1) If you read that book, you will understand what I'm trying to say.

Equivalent to 'if you have read ...? (you may or may not have read it)

I am not sure that I can agree that "If you read (red, i.e., past tense) that book" is equivalent to "If you have read that book.."

I agree that you can say "If you have read that book, you will understand what I am trying to say."

But is it really correct (and I simply dated or my ear for my own language spoiled by how one would express this in other languages) to say "If you read that book, (for example, while you were at the beach, or in Paris) you will...? ..No, no...Stop! I cannot even write this....I must switch and change the tense to "you would understand what I'm trying to say."

(ps. A question mark belongs somewhere in that last thought.)

Or am I missing something fundamental here.

updated AGO 1, 2009
posted by Janice
0
votes

OK, I see now what you were trying to do.

True, in both of your sentences (#1 & #2 are identical, to show the ambiguity) the second half does not limit the interpretation of the first half. It would be totally up to conjecture if there were no clarifying context or if one did not hear the originator of the sentence enunciate it.

updated AGO 1, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
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