HomeQ&Aquestion about "about" !

question about "about" !

5
votes

This might be a stupid question but I am confused as to how to say "about" in Spanish. For example "The movie was about..." or "It was about..." I know that you can use sobre when you are saying something like "they had an arguement over the money" But can I use sobre if I am trying to say one of my examples up there? smile

1298 views
updated ENE 14, 2010
posted by jever
I always wonder that. They were upset about the mistake. She's sorrry about that. Or even, I'm talking about yesterday's news. - Chavag, ENE 14, 2010

5 Answers

0
votes

for your example, I would personally use la película se trata de...

updated ENE 13, 2010
posted by jniendorf88
ah that makes sense now! thank you! :) - jever, ENE 13, 2010
5
votes
  • I got up about 5:00. (approximately)
  • I've been up and about since 5:00. (active/awake)
  • This book is about the Civil War. (concerns/treats).
  • Watch what you're about! (what you're doing).

The problem is not with Spanish but with English. In these four sentences "about" is used with four quite distinct meanings. As a result it's nonsense to say "'about' means X." The meaning depends on the context. The likelihood of some other language having a single word that also has those same four meanings is very small.

updated ENE 14, 2010
posted by samdie
To make things worse, there are several more meanings for about. - lorenzo9, ENE 14, 2010
The multiple partially overlapping definitions between the two languages is the most confusing aspect for me at this point, except for colloquialisms. - lorenzo9, ENE 14, 2010
2
votes

Hi jever, also read this threadwink

updated ENE 14, 2010
posted by 00494d19
1
vote

It's not so much a matter of being confused about "about" but, rather, that through studying other languages, one learns that there is "more than one way to skin a cat". There, are, of course, many cases (those that involve very simple, straightforward, non-idiomatic sentences) where one can do a simple, mechanical, one-for-one substitution of words and arrive at a reasonable equivalent. On the whole, these are (in my experience, exceptions).

Different languages evolve differently and/because they are subject to different outside influences. Noam Chomsky's theories not withstanding, I am always surprised when I encounter similar idioms in unrelated languages.

updated ENE 14, 2010
posted by samdie
0
votes

Thanks for everything guys! i never thought so many people would be as confused with about as I am tongue laugh

updated ENE 14, 2010
posted by jever
Confusion is a common state of being when learning a new language. And, even, when using one's native language! - 0057ed01, ENE 14, 2010
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