Si tu te vas

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Why does tu and te both appear in this sentence I heard in a song lyric? How can this be correct? If this is correct, is "si te vas'" also correct? What about simply "Si vas'"

9765 views
updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by Rich-Waskowitz

22 Answers

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It's just you.

updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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Is it just me or are you guys really splitting hairs on this one'!!

James Santiago said:

The A is pronounced, but as a syllable with Y in Voy.Huh? The A is fused with the A in hacer, not with the Y in voy.

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updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by Natasha
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James Santiago said:

The A is pronounced, but as a syllable with Y in Voy. Huh? The A is fused with the A in hacer, not with the Y in voy.

I haven't heard the song, but normally, It would be fused with the Y, and potentially with the other A. If you pronounce it clearly, it would be "voia-a-cer". Faster, it could easily be "voia-cer". Only if you pronounce it purposefully step by step you will get "voi-a-acer".

Le he pedido a mi compañero mexicano que lea la frase, y la lee como yo (excepto por el sonido de la C, claro).

updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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Possibly; I don't know the song.

It's actually sung by Paulina Rubio (I have it on a CD that also includes Thalia). Here it is. Wait for the part where "Si tú te vas" is followed by "qué voy a hacer." You can hear that it is "qué (1) voy (2) a ha (3) cer (4)."

<http://www.youtube.com/watch'v=gjcA69pJREo>

updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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The A is pronounced, but as a syllable with Y in Voy.

Huh? The A is fused with the A in hacer, not with the Y in voy.

updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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James Santiago said:

This is a couplet of four syllables each (the A before hacer is not pronounced). If the "tú" were not there, the lyrics wouldn't sound right.

The A is pronounced, but as a syllable with Y in Voy. This fusion is called synalepha (in Greek, "smear together").

James Santiago said:

This is a couplet of four syllables each (the A before hacer is not pronounced). If the "tú" were not there, the lyrics wouldn't sound right.

Possibly; I don't know the song. However, I can think of at least two other songs with "si tú te vas" where they actually have to sing it unusually faster so it fits the music, so in those songs they really want to say "tú".

updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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I think I get it now. Thank you all for your contributions. Some were very, very well phrased.

updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by Rich-Waskowitz
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Now THAT I understand and it was my first thought that this is why it was worded that way. I cannot understand any of the other explanations that were offfered. That does not mean that I think any of them are incorrect.......

updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by Rich-Waskowitz
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James Santiago said:

I don't know this particular song, but I have a song by Thalia called Si Tú Te Vas, and if for no other reason, the "tú" is needed for musical reasons. That is, it fits into the meter. In that song, the line is:Si tú te vas, qué voy a hacerThis is a couplet of four syllables each (the A before hacer is not pronounced). If the "tú" were not there, the lyrics wouldn't sound right.Music, like poetry, often allows the writer some liberty with words. Poetic license, as they say.

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updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by Rich-Waskowitz
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I don't know this particular song, but I have a song by Thalia called Si Tú Te Vas, and if for no other reason, the "tú" is needed for musical reasons. That is, it fits into the meter. In that song, the line is:

Si tú te vas, qué voy a hacer

This is a couplet of four syllables each (the A before hacer is not pronounced). If the "tú" were not there, the lyrics wouldn't sound right.

Music, like poetry, often allows the writer some liberty with words. Poetic license, as they say.

updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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Rich Waskowitz said:

Lazarus, I do not understand. If "vas" is the tu form of the verb ir, then vas must clearly be referring to the second person singular "tu" and no one else. So why is Tu required to contrast with anyone else? Second, I believe you if you tell me that "si vas" means one thing (go) and "si te vas" means something different (leave), but I would have never known that by the definition of the verb ir. So I still do not understand why the tu is needed. Sorry if I am being dense.


"irse" -- Yes, there are Spanish linguists who feel that "irse" should, indeed, have a separate entry in the dictionary (and not just be treated in the entry for "ir) because it means something different and because the "se" (or "te", in this case is crucial to recognizing the difference and cannot be omitted without changing the meaning).

"tú" -- As Lazarus pointed out, in conversational/spoken English we most often indicate special emphasis/contrast by simply stressing (saying louder) the word we wish to emphasize. There are, however, other (less common) ways of signaling stress in English. Consider Patrick Henry's famous line "I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!". Take out the "as for me" and the basic meaning remains the same. By putting it in, he emphasizes/contrasts his choice with the choice(s) of others. Similarly, in the song, the speaker is suggesting that he will not be so affected, if other people leave but if she leaves he will be devastated. (feel free to adjust the sexes of the speaker and addressee according to the sex of the singer).

updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by samdie
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Rich Waskowitz said:

Lazarus, I do not understand. If "vas" is the tu form of the verb ir, then vas must clearly be referring to the second person singular "tu" and no one else. So why is Tu required to contrast with anyone else?

Why says that it is required? Languages have lots of different expressive resources available for different things, and you can use them or not, depending on how you want to sound. For example, if you say "Wash up the dishes" (British), you don't really have to say "up", do you? "Wash the dishes" is correct English, so why using "up"? Well, it specifies that you are washing different kitchen utensils, like dishes, but since "dishes" is there anyway, it is not necessary. It just sounds more "expressive" for natives.

"SI te vas..." is just "If you leave...", but if you also use "tú", the idea is not to indicate that we are referring to "you", since that can be known from the conjugation ("vas"), but to actually stress the idea that it is you, only you and no one else. We are making the other person the absolute focus of all our thoughts by using that pronoun, as opposed to just saying a plain "If you leave...". In English you can do this when you speak by stressing the word "YOU" and saying it slower and louder, to reinforce the idea. In Spanish this is done by actually using the pronoun "tú".

updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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Lazarus, I do not understand. If "vas" is the tu form of the verb ir, then vas must clearly be referring to the second person singular "tu" and no one else. So why is Tu required to contrast with anyone else? Second, I believe you if you tell me that "si vas" means one thing (go) and "si te vas" means something different (leave), but I would have never known that by the definition of the verb ir. So I still do not understand why the tu is needed. Sorry if I am being dense.

updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by Rich-Waskowitz
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Rich Waskowitz said:

Here is more of the lyrics. I understand WHAT they are saying, I don't understand why "si tu vas" is not enough and why Te is added. Or for that matter, why "si vas" is not enough. Doesn't "vas" only apply to the "tu" person? Who else could 'vas" be speaking to?

Please read my comment above, and ask if you don't understand it.

updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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You could leave out tú, but not te. Without te, it sounds like "You are going to ___|\___|\___|", basically an incomplete thought.

Rich Waskowitz said:

Here is more of the lyrics. I understand WHAT they are saying, I don't understand why "si tu vas" is not enough and why Te is added. Or for that matter, why "si vas" is not enough. Doesn't "vas" only apply to the "tu" person? Who else could 'vas" be speaking to?

"Si Tu Te Vas"

Si tu te vas

Te lleveras mi corazon

Y yo sin ti

ya no se por donde ir

Si tu te vas

Nunca te podre olvidar

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updated NOV 11, 2008
posted by Natasha