HomeQ&A"se cuidó de expresarlo"

"se cuidó de expresarlo"

4
votes

Here is the sentence from the book I´m reading:

Parece como si estuviera enojada, pensó Morini pero se cuidó de expresarlo en voz alta.

So I guess this means:

It seems as if she is angry, thought Morini, but he .... to express it out loud.

From the context its clear that Morini doesn´t say what he´s thinking. So is it "he took care not to express it out loud"? In that case why isn´t it "se cuidó de NO expresarlo". Or does it mean "he was cautious about expressing it..."?

Thanks!!

2854 views
updated DIC 26, 2009
posted by kattya
Great thread kattya - Izanoni1, DIC 26, 2009

5 Answers

1
vote

Maybe this will clear the confusion:

"se cuidó de expresarlo en voz alta." (He was careful about expressing it aloud). In other words, Careful to not be loud enough that he would be heard. And as gfreed has already put forth, "Cuidarse de" (Guard against). Without "de," it would be in the positive (Careful to be sure to express aloud).

updated DIC 26, 2009
posted by 005faa61
Aha, thank you! The missing link! - kattya, DIC 26, 2009
4
votes

cuidarse de = guard against or beware of

...guarded against (kept himself from] expressing it out loud

http://www.woxikon.com/spa/cuidarse de.php

updated DIC 26, 2009
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
thank you, that´s a great resource! - kattya, DIC 26, 2009
3
votes

I would think that this would be translated as:

"It seems as if she were mad, thought Morini, but he made sure to express it aloud."

"It seems as if she might be angry, thought Morini, but he made sure to express it aloud."

Hmm... I would say that the sentence actually means the exact opposite, like Qfreed said.

I think the sentence means: "It seems as if she were angry, Morini thought, but he kept himself from expressing it aloud".

Here's an example I found from WordReference:

¡Cuídate de decir algo que te comprometa!

Take care not to say something which might compromise you!

And yet... another example from WordReference:

Se cuidó bien de no volver por ahí

He made very sure he didn't go back there

So... it seems as if these two examples contradict eachother, in a way. The first appears to use "cuidarse de hacer algo" to mean "to make sure not to do something" while the second one uses "cuidarse de no hacer algo" to mean basically the same thing.

Ahh, now I'm confusing myself. raspberry

I think we should wait for the input of a native on this one. smile

updated DIC 26, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
Good examples! Maybe its like in English, we say "I could care less" even though we know it´s supposed to be "I COULDN´T care less¨. ... ? - kattya, DIC 26, 2009
2
votes

After mulling over Nick and Quentin's comments, I remembered that I had previously asked about the use of cuidarse, and Heidita and Guillermo both seemed to indicate that the use of this phrase can sometimes be ambiguous.

I think that in your original sentence, the ambiguity arises over whether to interpret it as "He was careful in (making sure to) express these thoughts aloud" or "He was careful about (discrete in regards to) expressing these thoughts aloud."

As you have already stated, you seem to have been able to infer from the context that follows that he does in fact not express these ideas out loud, so it appears that you have already solved the riddle for yourself.

If you are interested in the seeing what others had to say previously regarding "cuidarse" here is a link to the thread: Cuidate mucho de escuchar sus palabras

updated DIC 26, 2009
posted by Izanoni1
Thanks, that's an interesting thread! Ah, idioms... :) - kattya, DIC 26, 2009
0
votes

Hi Kattya

Parece como si estuviera enojada, pensó Morini pero se cuidó de expresarlo en voz alta.

I would think that this would be translated as:

"It seems as if she were mad, thought Morini, but he made sure to express it aloud."

"It seems as if she might be angry, thought Morini, but he made sure to express it aloud."

The use of "estuviera" (imperfect subjunctive) with the if clause is used to indicate an unlikely event, so there is a lot of doubt in Morini's mind that she really is angry. By voicing this thought aloud, he is might in effect be asking her indirectly whether she is angry.

updated DIC 26, 2009
edited by Izanoni1
posted by Izanoni1
That´s what it seems like to me too but next few paragraphs make it clear that he *doesn't* say what he's thinking. Hence my confusion... - kattya, DIC 26, 2009
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