placement of "que"

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I'm taking Spanish lessons through 1to1languages.com. It's okay for the price $99 a month unlimited (1 hr every weekday) but sometimes you get what you pay for. My teacher doesn't speak English very well, so when I have questions she doesn't really answer them, or answers them in very fast Spanish and I end up saying that I understand, when I really don't.

All that background isn't really necessary for my question but, I just got done with a lesson so maybe I'm just venting a little.

I am looking at other sites so if anyone has a recommendation, I'm all ears.

I wrote: Ayer tuve comer con mis padres. She corrected me: Ayer tuve que comer con mis padres

I am having some problems in the placemet of "que". To me, an English speaker, the que is not necessary. I know it is, but I'm not sure why.

2380 views
updated JUL 22, 2008
posted by cindigo-dot-com

13 Answers

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cool, thanks.

updated AGO 2, 2008
posted by cindigo-dot-com
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Oh here's another link,
onlinespanishhelp.com
it's pretty cool. it has lots of spanish testing games.

updated JUL 31, 2008
posted by Shelly
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oh lordy.

updated JUL 23, 2008
posted by cindigo-dot-com
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Not "Ha que comer" but "Hay que comer," which is a general statement of "one" having to do something, as opposed to the specific "Tengo que comer," which refers specifically to the subject of the verb (yo). Therefore:

Tengo que comer = I have to eat
Hay que comer = You (the general you, one) have to eat

There is another form: "Ha de comer," but I wouldn't worry about using this, at least not yet. Paso a paso...

updated JUL 23, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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oh you're kidding me, I edited this post and it didn't save.

Basically,

I thought "tener" meant to have as in posses and "haber" meant to have as in to have to do someting. So is it correct to say "Tengo que comer" or "Ha que comer"'

updated JUL 23, 2008
posted by cindigo-dot-com
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I thought I was clear on these two verbs but maybe not. Why not "haber que hacer"'

updated JUL 23, 2008
posted by cindigo-dot-com
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Thanks Shelly,

Awesome links. I wish I had a Nintendo. I'm all for learning through playing.

I spent an hour last night on espanglishchat watching a flame war (no pun intended) with spanish speaking kids calling each other gay.

"Your gay"
"no you are"
"you're the gayest".....and so on.

It made me laugh.

There we're also many legitimate requests to practice. Next time I won't just lurk.

updated JUL 23, 2008
posted by cindigo-dot-com
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Muchas gracias Lazarus,

Eso es muy útil!

I think this will clear up some of my confusion.

updated JUL 23, 2008
posted by cindigo-dot-com
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The term for these fixed structure that James mentioned (if you are not allergic to grammatical jargon) is "perífrasis" (periphrasis). There are about 100 or so in Spanish, from which about 20 or 30 are commonly used. Some of the most common ones are:

llevar + gerundio - Llevo un año estudiando (I have been studying for a year)
estar + gerundio - estoy comiendo (I am eating)
deber + infinitivo - Debes pagar (you must pay)
tener + que + infinitivo - Tienes que tener más cuidado (you have to be more careful)
poder + infinitivo - ¿Puedes venir? (Can you come'. Sometimes "be able to")
ir + a + infinitivo - Voy a comprar algo (I am going to buy something)
haber + que + infinitivo - Hay que aprender (one has to learn)
Empezar + a + infinitivo - Empezó a gritar (he/she began to shout)
terminar + de + infinitivo - He terminado de comer (I have finished eating)
dejar + de + infinitivo - He dejado de fumar (I have quit smoking. Often "stop")

updated JUL 23, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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I have a list of resources for you.

websites:
studyspanish.com
lingolex.com
eduwizards.com (they offer free spanish tutoring, 90 minutes a month)

chat rooms:
espanglishchat.com
spanishdict.com/chat

But what's really helping me learn spanish is "My spanish coach ds" (it's a videogame for nintendo ds, and video games sound like they are for little kids, but not this one. it teaches alot and checks your pronuncication.) It taught me over 100 words already and I am not near done.( it has about 10,000 words and I think 1,000 lessons.) I am only 12 years old but all these resources add up!

updated JUL 22, 2008
posted by Shelly
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Siííííí!!!!!!

Oh yeah, I knew that. "Tener que" was fixed in my mind in the present tense. I am just becoming familiar with the preterit and imperfect tenses. "Tuvo" just didn't register as "tener que".

Thanks for that.

updated JUL 22, 2008
posted by cindigo-dot-com
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I'm with you cindigo, I always get hung up on questioning this stuff, but for some reason this one passed me by and 'tener' -'to have' and 'tener que' 'to have to' (obligation) seemed fine.

updated JUL 22, 2008
posted by tad
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Just memorize it as "have to do" = "tener que hacer." There is no real reason, any more than there is a reason for not saying "I have that do it" in English.

updated JUL 22, 2008
posted by 00bacfba