Adivinar

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Is this word -- adivinar (to guess) -- typically used as the infinitive with the conjugated form of tratar or intentar preceding it?

For example:

[1] The man is guessing El hombre trata de adivinar.
[2] The boy guesses that the pea is under the pink cap En niño intenta adivinar si el guisante está debajo de la gorra rosada.

3799 views
updated JUL 20, 2008
posted by dan2

5 Answers

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Criss said:

For the most part, "adivinar" is used pretty much the same way it is in English. You can say "The man is guessing" or "The man is trying to guess;" depends on what you are trying to say.

I would have to say the second sentence is awkward, in either language: "The boy is trying to guess if the bean is under the pink cap." He either guesses it's under the pink cap or not; he's not standing there, brow furrowed in concentration, attempting to guess it's under the pink cap.

smileCriss.

I think you're making too formal/precise an analysis of what is, basically, an informal statement. I believe that most native speakers of English would interpret the given expression as a (mildly) elliptical version of "trying to guess correctly...". Hence, the trying/effort is associated with the correctness; not the guessing itself.
Both "guess" and "adivinar" normally imply making a correct choice. One could, I suppose, invent a context in which one tries to choose incorrectly or in which the chooser is pathologically indecisive but those are hardly the most common situations.

updated AGO 17, 2008
posted by samdie
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Nice post, Chriss

updated JUL 21, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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"Averiguar" means "to find out" as opposed to simply "to guess" (the difference between the boy researching where the bean could be, by interviewing bystanders and examining the evidence, or simply picking a hat at random).

updated JUL 21, 2008
posted by Criss
0
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For the most part, "adivinar" is used pretty much the same way it is in English. You can say "The man is guessing" or "The man is trying to guess;" depends on what you are trying to say.

I would have to say the second sentence is awkward, in either language: "The boy is trying to guess if the bean is under the pink cap." He either guesses it's under the pink cap or not; he's not standing there, brow furrowed in concentration, attempting to guess it's under the pink cap.

He could try to guess under which cap the bean is, or he'd just guess it's under the pink cap ("El niño adivina que el guisante está debajo de la gorra rosada").

I hope this sort of answers your question... "adivinar" can be used with "tratar" or "inventar," but I wouldn't say it's typically used with one of them.

smileCriss.

updated JUL 21, 2008
posted by Criss
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Hello, "adivinar" is typically used with "tratar" and "intentar". Both are right, but you can also say: El niño intenta AVERIGUAR si el guisante esta debajo de la gorra rosada. Anyway "adivinar" is OK.

updated JUL 20, 2008
posted by Barrilito