He aqui...?

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Reading Selecciones again: came across a strange construction, "He aquí algunas de sus historias, basadas en relatos de testigos oculares y reportajes de toda la región."

I take this to mean 'have' as if "I have some of their stories.." but I thought "he" is an auxiliary verb, I would expect to see "tengo". Or is it something else entirely? What am I missing here'

16216 views
updated OCT 10, 2008
posted by Pergolesi

37 Answers

1
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látigo said:

James, Can the expression "He aquí" mean "Behold"?

No, it doesn't mean "tener or poseer". And "behold" would be a good match only in certain contexts. It is rather "here is/are...", because you don't even have to open your eyes: someone can give you something in the darkness and say "He aquí lo que te prometí".

"He" in that text above is not even related to the verb "haber", and it is not an auxiliary either. It is an adverb used to make others notice something.

"He aquí la montaña más famosa del mundo" = "Aquí está la montaña más famosa del mundo".

updated FEB 14, 2015
posted by lazarus1907
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It sounds to me that the word "BEHOLD!" is much more DRAMATIC than 'he aquí´' 'one other thing: you wouldn't say it in a normal voice, you would talk like the actor Brian Blessed (don't know if you know him!) and speak like a psuedo super-hero "BEHOLD MY SPECIAL POWERS!"
Interestingly both my young children knew the word and how to use it, I guess it turns up in fairy stories and legends and cartoons where there is another all-powerful fiend trying to take over the world.

updated OCT 10, 2008
posted by tad
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Here are some of their stories(could also be his or her stories) based on testimonies and eye witness reports from the whole region.

updated OCT 9, 2008
posted by Rosalind-Daz-Rivera
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Lazarus said:

:

calle de armargura

Here it is on wordreference (in case anyone besides me had no idea what it meant).

<http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php't=52114>

updated OCT 9, 2008
posted by Natasha
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Gracias a todos por los cumplidos, pero mis preguntas realmente iban encaminadas a solventar una duda que realmente me traía por la calle de la amargura (check this idiom). I am used to see explanations and translations that surpass me as a native sometimes, so I take extremely seriously everything you say; specially if it is about your own language. I just had a hunch, and I wanted to be sure. Thanks for your patience and your efforts: I know I can take your hints much more seriously than from any other book. I won't hesitate you the next time I have a question I can't get an answer for.

updated OCT 9, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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P.S. Lazarus, why does it matter? You are not annoying us (Heaven knows you are usually the one explaining), but maybe if we understood what you are trying to get at, we would be of more help.

updated OCT 9, 2008
posted by Natasha
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(and I apologize for being so annoying)
...
(I won't ask any more, don't worry).

Please stop apologizing. You have so much credit in the bank at this forum, that you could ask 100 questions a day for the next year before you ran out.

In your locutor example, we might say "Coming up next is..." If you are alone and talking to yourself when you find something, you might address the thing and say "Oh, so there you are" or "So that's where you've been hiding." To name just a couple of the almost infinite possibilities.

But I don't think you have to worry about using behold yourself. You could easily speak nothing but English for the rest of your life and never need to say or write it. You seem to understand it well enough passively, and I think that's sufficient.

updated OCT 9, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
0
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lazarus1907 said:

To me, that "behold my opportunity" seems to be clearly directed at the other guy, as if you were saying: "Just look and don't miss what's about to happen". Maybe I have the wrong idea, but to me, this "behold" always sounds like "Look at wonder", "Look at don't miss any detail" or something else to call for other people's attention. On the other hand, "He aquí" to me means, no more, and no less than "Aquí está", but more formal. Taking it to extreme, you could be alone, without anyone listening to what you say, and then, all of a sudden, you find something you lost some time ago, and then you say to yourself: "¡Hombre, he aquí mi [lost object]". This means, no more and no less, "Oh, here it is my [whatever]". Is this really what "behold" used to be about?
What's frustrating about your question is not that you keep worrying at the problem but that you are so close to having the understanding.
Yes, "Behold!" is first and foremost an attention getting device. In James' example, it is addressed to a fellow worker but in an "interior dialogue" it could also be addressed to oneself (this is, however, a less likely scenario).

In contemporary colloquial English you could substitute a variety of interjections, e.g. "Wow!", "Whoa!", "Lookee here!" (contemporary as well as regional), "Aha!", "Gadzooks!" (semi-contemporary and [probably] regional), even, "Ta daa!" or French "Le voila" (most Americans would not, I confess, use the French expression).

updated OCT 9, 2008
posted by samdie
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lazarus1907 said:

This is even more confusing now, because on one hand I have people telling me that the sentences are ridiculous, but on the other I have people I respect and trust telling me otherwise.

English is not my mother tongue, and I am well aware of my limitations, but I have seen (or read, or heard) "behold" many times, although always in contemporary English. I don't think that "He aquí" sounds as archaic as "behold" sounds in those examples, since you are likely to come across "he aquí" almost every day if you read newspapers and other printed text.

Still, (and I apologize for being so annoying) I don't think I can capture the real meaning of "behold" in those sentences. Let's take James' detailed example (the most useful one so far):

:

  • So, you are trying to get that promotion'(Feigning an evil villian's voice) - Yes, my plan for corporate domination is coming along nicely. - I heard that Smith won't be trying for that job. - Behold my opportunity!

Can anyone give me a contemporary equivalent sentence for that "behold" one?

To me, that "behold my opportunity" seems to be clearly directed at the other guy, as if you were saying: "Just look and don't miss what's about to happen". Maybe I have the wrong idea, but to me, this "behold" always sounds like "Look at wonder", "Look at don't miss any detail" or something else to call for other people's attention. On the other hand, "He aquí" to me means, no more, and no less than "Aquí está", but more formal. Taking it to extreme, you could be alone, without anyone listening to what you say, and then, all of a sudden, you find something you lost some time ago, and then you say to yourself: "¡Hombre, he aquí mi [lost object]". This means, no more and no less, "Oh, here it is my [whatever]". Is this really what "behold" used to be about? (I won't ask any more, don't worry).

A contemporary equivalent: Oh look, there are my glasses!

As has been said on this thread before, the basic meaning of "behold" was "look", but it also came to be used as an exclamation, basically "Hey!!" (in American slang) -- a verbal cue to take notice. Here is a quote from "A Midsummer Night's Dream:"

Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it,
Making it momentany as a sound,
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say 'Behold!'
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
So quick bright things come to confusion.

You can see more here Shakespeare quotes here (this might be your best bet, since none of us, native speakers or no, are actually Shakespearean contemporaries).

http://www.it.usyd.edu.au/~matty/Shakespeare/nsearch.cgi

updated OCT 9, 2008
posted by Natasha
0
votes

This is even more confusing now, because on one hand I have people telling me that the sentences are ridiculous, but on the other I have people I respect and trust telling me otherwise.

English is not my mother tongue, and I am well aware of my limitations, but I have seen (or read, or heard) "behold" many times, although always in contemporary English. I don't think that "He aquí" sounds as archaic as "behold" sounds in those examples, since you are likely to come across "he aquí" almost every day if you read newspapers and other printed text.

Still, (and I apologize for being so annoying) I don't think I can capture the real meaning of "behold" in those sentences. Let's take James' detailed example (the most useful one so far):

:

  • So, you are trying to get that promotion'(Feigning an evil villian's voice) - Yes, my plan for corporate domination is coming along nicely. - I heard that Smith won't be trying for that job.

  • Behold my opportunity!

Can anyone give me a contemporary equivalent sentence for that "behold" one?

To me, that "behold my opportunity" seems to be clearly directed at the other guy, as if you were saying: "Just look and don't miss what's about to happen". Maybe I have the wrong idea, but to me, this "behold" always sounds like "Look at wonder", "Look at don't miss any detail" or something else to call for other people's attention. On the other hand, "He aquí" to me means, no more, and no less than "Aquí está", but more formal. Taking it to extreme, you could be alone, without anyone listening to what you say, and then, all of a sudden, you find something you lost some time ago, and then you say to yourself: "¡Hombre, he aquí mi [lost object]". This means, no more and no less, "Oh, here it is my [whatever]". Is this really what "behold" used to be about? (I won't ask any more, don't worry).

updated OCT 9, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Lazarus said:
Really? That's not the impression I got from others. Do you think that all the sentences I gave before sound "natural" in English (even though is Shakespherean English'). So...
Part of the difficulty seems to me to be that you want to use "natural" in the slightly specialized sense that it is used by linguists trying to elicit "natural utterances" from an informant. Perhaps, "familiar" might be better. I imagine that most adult speakers of English are familiar/comfortable with "Behold!" in the sense that they recognize/understand it immediately. Such is the impact that the Bible (and, especially, the KJV) has had on our language and culture. However, as others have said, a modern speaker would only say it intentionally, deliberately, for effect. We all know it and can use it but that is not to say that it "falls trippingly off the tongue" (as Hamlet said [I may have taken some liberties with the Bard]). By the same token, one might say to a teenage child "Thou shalt not stay out after midnight!" (although "You'd better be home before midnight!" would be more common). It's anachronistic for rhetorical effect.

updated OCT 9, 2008
posted by samdie
0
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Tad's right, "behold" would probably only be used in a comic fashion, "Behold! the garden fence! (ta-da)" But obviously "he aquí" isn't that archaic because it's used in Selecciones.

updated OCT 9, 2008
posted by Pergolesi
0
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lazarus1907 said:

Natasha said:

I think we have all agreed (is that possible') that behold can translate he aquí, but behold is hardly ever used in modern English, unless the speaker (probably writer) is deliberately harking back to Shakespherean or King James English, etc., or is attempting to create a certain atmosphere (as a couple have mentioned, as in the Harry Potter books).

Really? That's not the impression I got from others. Do you think that all the sentences I gave before sound "natural" in English (even though is Shakespherean English'). So...

He aquí, sus palabras: = Y estas son sus palabras: = behold his words. ''?

He aquí algunos ejemplos de la conjugación = Aquí tienes algunos... = Behold some conjugation examples. ''?

He aquí la razón por la que es tan difícil = Esta es la razón por... = Behold the reason why it is so complicated. ''?

He aquí la faena: pintar la valla. = Aquí tienes la faena... = Behold the task: to paint the fence. ''?

Y he aquí que el cura dijo... = Y entonces el cura dijo: = And behold that the priest said... ''?

¡He aquí mi oportunidad! = ¡Aquí está mi oportunidad! = Behold my opportunity! ''?

Somehow, I am still not convinced. Are you really telling me that those sentences mean the same as in Spanish, and they are "natural" in English? In Spanish they are all Ok, and more or less equivalent.


Lazarus you are right. these examples are ridiculous, having said that somebody might well say to his wife "Behold! I have painted the fence" (which will sound intentionally ridiculous if you see what I mean) just to try and make this simple job sound like a miraculous occurrence.
Of course she will reply "...and what about the garden shed'"

updated OCT 9, 2008
posted by tad
0
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This is Joseph J. Keenan's approach from his 'Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish' book:
A somewhat archaic expression that still creeps into written Spanish is He aquí and some dictionaries will tell you that it means "Here is..." Actually, it's closer to "Behold!" Before trying it out on the cabbie, try to imagine yourself saying "Behold, the ten pesos!" in English. Then go back to Aquí tiene.
Maybe close to behold is the best translation.

updated OCT 9, 2008
posted by tad
0
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¡He aquí mi oportunidad! = Behold my opportunity!
Can you say "behold" even if you are talking to yourself, without anyone to watch or to listen to you'

Well, you could if you were sort of stepping out of your persona and talking to yourself as if you were another person. (Such as when you look in a mirror and say, "What a handsome man you are!") This is sort of stretching it, though, and in general, behold is only used to others. After all, it was originally a command form meaing "Look!," sort of like "¡Mire(n)!"

In the real world, I can imagine saying your example in the following situation.

  • So, you are trying to get that promotion?
    (Feigning an evil villian's voice)
  • Yes, my plan for corporate domination is coming along nicely.
  • I heard that Smith won't be trying for that job.
  • Behold my opportunity!

This would be said in a very exaggerated way, for effect.

updated OCT 9, 2008
posted by 00bacfba