Estoy Tratando

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I am doing VERY SLOWLY Pimsleur's spanish and I understand how to conjucative a few verbs in the present tense.

So why is estoy tratando - I am trying and esta tratando - you are trying ?

Firstly one would not normally use the estoy, eata and the ending of the verb would change.

What am I missing ?

Thanks.

19391 views
updated DIC 2, 2008
posted by Roger

19 Answers

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Roger, did you ever get your original question answered? It seemed to be about why the ending of the verb 'tratando' doesn't change when the subject changes.

To understand that, I recommend you look up compound verbs -- i.e. verbs made up of two verbs. The present progressive is an example of a compound verb. 'To be trying' combines the verbs 'to be' and 'to try.' Lucky for you, this compound verb acts the same way in Spanish as it does in English.

So the second verb, 'to try,' doesn't change whether you say 'I am trying' or 'you are trying ' -- it's the first verb, 'to be,' that changes with the subject: 'I am' changes to 'you are,' and so on. So also the verb 'tratando' doesn't change whether you say 'estoy tratando' or 'esta tratando.'

p.s. I think Joe Q was just saying something nice about the forums -- and being silly.

updated DIC 8, 2008
posted by Joy
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My my; aren't you self-righteous.

Joe Q said:

I think I'm going to use Bobby Fischer's sugesstion to a person who asked him for chess lessons:"For the first lesson, I want you to read 'The Encyclopedia of Chess Openings' from beginning to end including foototes".fyi - that is MAMMOTH sized book"And for the next lesson, I want you to do it again"So I plan on reading and rereading the entire forum before I take any lessons or ask any questions here winkThese are pretty good lessons by themselves.........

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updated DIC 8, 2008
posted by Roger
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I think I'm going to use Bobby Fischer's sugesstion to a person who asked him for chess lessons:

"For the first lesson, I want you to read 'The Encyclopedia of Chess Openings' from beginning to end including foototes".

fyi - that is MAMMOTH sized book

"And for the next lesson, I want you to do it again"

So I plan on reading and rereading the entire forum before I take any lessons or ask any questions here wink
These are pretty good lessons by themselves.........

updated DIC 8, 2008
posted by Joe-Q
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Roger, I apologize if I confused you more than helped you. I glad that others were here to pick up the slack.

In my case, however, there is an English phrase that describes my abilities: .

RogerHH said:

What 'I have noticed that I don't understand the English explanations on this site never mind the Spanish.

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updated DIC 3, 2008
posted by 0074b507
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Please do not miss the reference section on this site. The grammar is very clearly stated.

updated DIC 3, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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Look at this discussion for some examples, especially those given by látigo.

[url=http://my.spanishdict.com/forum/topic/show'id=1710195%3ATopic%3A586703&page=1&commentId=1710195%3AComment%3A588722&x=1#1710195Comment588722]http://my.spanishdict.com/forum/topic/show'id=1710195%3ATopic%3A586...[/url]

As far as "why", why do we often use the present progressive in English, and not the simple present? The usual response on this forum to "why" questions is along the lines of "just because" or "historical accident."

updated DIC 2, 2008
posted by Natasha
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So why do we not generally use the present progressive when speaking in Spanish ? or do we / they '

The present progressive is indeed used in Spanish, although not as frequently as in English. Asking why is often a futile exercise, which I think is the case here. We sometimes just need to accept that things are different in another language. But again, that's what makes it fun. If Spanish were nothing more than a substitution of words for English words, it would be boring. What it really is is a different way of thinking about situations, so learning to speak it well will stretch your mind.

That's always a good thing.

updated DIC 2, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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So why do we not generally use the present progressive when speaking in Spanish ? or do we / they ?

RogerHH said:

I sort of understand that thanks. But they give no indication in Pimsleur as to why are are suddenly doing something differently.It's all too hard.

Natasha said:

RogerHH, you cannot match up English tenses with Spanish tenses the way you seem to be trying to do. If you're thinking that way, that's the first problem.Intento (Quentin's "present indicative") can be translated as I try or I am trying.Estoy intentando (Quentin's "present progressive") would normally be translated as I am trying [right now].You must have context to get a good translation.

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updated DIC 2, 2008
posted by Stig345
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RogerHH said:

:

I sort of understand that thanks. But they give no indication in Pimsleur as to why are are suddenly doing something differently.

It's all too hard.

Sorry, I have no knowledge of the Pimsleur course. This forum is a good place to ask questions, though. Be patient with yourself. No one said learning a foreign language is easy, but it is definitely rewarding.

updated DIC 2, 2008
posted by Natasha
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Simple Present Tense vs. Present Progressive
Simple Present:
The simple present tense is used to present events or situations that are habitual or always present or true. Some groups of verbs are only used in the simple present, not the progressive; they describe mental states or conditions that exist rather than actions that are in progress.

I did not know that I knew so little English.

updated DIC 2, 2008
posted by Stig345
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I sort of understand that thanks. But they give no indication in Pimsleur as to why are are suddenly doing something differently.

It's all too hard.

Natasha said:

RogerHH, you cannot match up English tenses with Spanish tenses the way you seem to be trying to do. If you're thinking that way, that's the first problem.Intento (Quentin's "present indicative") can be translated as I try or I am trying.Estoy intentando (Quentin's "present progressive") would normally be translated as I am trying [right now].You must have context to get a good translation.

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updated DIC 2, 2008
posted by Stig345
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Roger, the thing is that tenses are used differently in Spanish and English. For example, if you were sitting at a table writing something, I might enter the room and say "What are you doing'" in English. We ALWAYS use the present progressive in English in such situations. In Spanish, however, I might use the simple present tense, "¿Qué haces'," which, as Natasha has mentioned, is translated into the present progressive in English, but is the present tense in Spanish. I could also ask you "¿Qué estás haciendo'," but the nuance would be different. I won't go into all the details, but at your level just keep in mind that the tenses won't always match up neatly.

Challenges such as this are what make learning a foreign language so much fun!

updated DIC 2, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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RogerHH, you cannot match up English tenses with Spanish tenses the way you seem to be trying to do. If you're thinking that way, that's the first problem.

Intento (Quentin's "present indicative") can be translated as I try or I am trying.
Estoy intentando (Quentin's "present progressive") would normally be translated as I am trying [right now].

You must have context to get a good translation.

updated DIC 2, 2008
posted by Natasha
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What ?

I have noticed that I don't understand the English explanations on this site never mind the Spanish.

What is the difference between

Present indicative - I am trying.

and

Present progressive - I am trying.

First of all I have to see what the difference here is in English.

Daniel said:

Quentin:I also have a small problem -- I use the verb "intendar" for "to try". But I sometimes see the verb "tratar" used in a similar context.What am I not understanding?

Quentin said:

...conjugate a few verbs...These verbs are not in the present tense, indicative mood. They are in the present progressive form. It emphasizes that you are currently performing the verb's actions at this moment in time.Present indicative(Yo) trato= I try or I am trying(Ud.) trata=you try or you are tryingPresent progressive(Yo) estoy tratando=I am trying(Vd.) está tratando=you are tryingI don't understand your question. To conjugate a verb is merely to list the forms that the verb takes with different subjects (I, you , he, she ,it, we, they) in different times (tiempo) present, past, future, etc. and in differnt moods (indicative, subjunctive, imperative, etc.)

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updated DIC 2, 2008
posted by Stig345
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If you visit this forum with any regularity you will see the supplication for context to be provided on most posts asking for translations. That is because a word in Spanish or English can only be translated if you know the context that the word is being used in.

Let's just deal with English for a moment. If I told you to define the word "let" what would you say'. You would list several synonyms. It means to rent, to allow, to cause to, as a command (Let him be), etc.
So if I were to ask you what "let" meant in Spanish what would you say? You would have to know the context or which synonym that I wanted to translate. Permitir, Dejar, Alquilar, etc.

So, let's do your verb "to try"
here's what our dictionary defines it as:
http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/try
Notice all the dirrerent synonymns according to different contexts to try=probar (or to try out or sample)
intentar=to attempt I don't even see the context of to try (legally)=procesar
So to define to try one must know the context that the verb will be used in or simply list all possible uses (as the dictionary attempts). Since that's impractical we ask for context before selecting the proper synonym to translate the word.
To get back to your specific question when selecting the synonym to translate there are usually some that are very close in meaning but carry a slightly different nuance acording to the context. That's the case with intentar and tratar. Intentar carry the nuance of intend in English (you tried to do something with a specific goal in mind). Tratar doesn't necessarily carry the connotation of intent. (or to attempt, but fail)
Then again there are synonyms that we call interchangeable, because they carry similar nuances in almost all contexts.

updated DIC 2, 2008
posted by 0074b507