HomeQ&ALas personas a las que Yossarian querían ametrallar se encontraban....

Las personas a las que Yossarian querían ametrallar se encontraban....

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Picked up 'Trampa 22' on holiday in Spain, which I haven't read since my teenage years (in English of course).

Could someone please explain the 'a las que' in the above -I would have simply said 'Las personas que Yossarian...

2944 views
updated OCT 25, 2009
posted by tad
Without "a las" it's a well constructed sentense. Nevertheless "a las" enphasizes those persons who will receive the action. it seemed to me that Yossarian is a single (person/collective) noun. If so, the verb would need to be "queria." - Chixolis82474, OCT 25, 2009

4 Answers

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By the way, I think you better use "maestro", if "master" is what you mean, because "amo" is more used for people you serve, specially as a slave.
Well, I think of you more like 'Master Po' and myself as David Carridine's 'grasshopper' from the 1970s series 'Kung Fu'...

updated AGO 30, 2008
posted by tad
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tad said:

Gracias amo. Ah, OK personal 'a' -if the sentence had been «Yossarian quería ametrallar a las personas» I think I would have realised.

The clause is actually «Yossarian quería ametrallar a las personas», but rearranged as a relative subordinate, i.e. with the order changed to match "personas" and "(a los) que".

By the way, I think you better use "maestro", if "master" is what you mean, because "amo" is more used for people you serve, specially as a slave.

updated AGO 29, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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Gracias amo.
Ah, OK personal 'a' -if the sentence had been «Yossarian quería ametrallar a las personas» I think I would have realised.

  • The sentence should be "quería", and not "querían", since I assume there is only one Yossarian, right'*
    Así es. Mi español es tan mal que no puede siquiera transcribirlo del libro. :-(
updated AGO 29, 2008
posted by tad
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:

Could someone please explain the 'a las que' in the above -I would have simply said 'Las personas que Yossarian...

The sentence should be "quería", and not "querían", since I assume there is only one Yossarian, right?

Anyway, in Spanish the object requires the preposition "a" when you're talking about specific people, and since Yossarian wanted to machine-gun certain people who were in an specific place, the preposition is normally compulsory. The definite article "las" must follow after the preposition and before "personas".

With any other kind of objects the "a" cannot be used: Las patatas que Yossarian quería comprar....

Other prepositions are needed depending on the preposition required for each function:

Yossarian confía en ciertas personas - Las personas en las que Yossarian confía...
Yossarian llamaba por una razón - Las razón por la que Yossarian llamaba...

updated AGO 29, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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