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Déle y Déme

0
votes

These are two sentences from a lesson:

Déle un bolígrafo, por favor.
Déme un paraquas, por favor.

It looks like both Déle and Déme are contractions with the Subjunctive form for Dar. I think the translations are:

Give me a pen, please.
Give me an umbrella, please.

Can you please explain the difference between Déle and Déme?

Thanks,

Matthew
Houston, TX

12258 views
updated ENE 13, 2009
posted by Matthew

8 Answers

1
vote

Is "Deme un paraguas, por favor" a polite way to ask for an umbrella'

Not especially. I would guess that this sentence was constructed mainly as an example of the Spanish grammar being taught, and not necessarily as an example of common Spanish speech. There are other ways that would be considered more polite (less abrubt). That said, I can certainly think of situations in which both that English and that Spanish would be used.

updated MAR 31, 2010
posted by 00bacfba
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Oh boy, I really got that backwards then! One would think that by lesson 26 or 27 in my book, I would have learned by now at least the present indicative of the "ar" verbs which was introduced back in lesson 1. So sorry! I suppose then, that the "de" of "deme" and "dele" is indeed the imperative for the usted form. I started learning that form today, by the way.

My book had some interesting examples of polite ways to "give orders" without using the imperative. (Such sentences start with words like "podría", or "quería", if I remember correctly..I do not have my book at hand.) In fact, one of the exercises was to turn those polite ways of asking someone to do something into the imperative.

Indeed, Lazarus, I do think of the imperative as being the way to express a command in the language - whether politely or otherwise, and whether or not one can expect the "command" (request) to be fulfilled. I am not sure that the imperative can always be equated with an order, though. "Let's eat" is surely an example of the imperative, but doesn't sound like an order to me.

I will have to think about this a bit more. I think I understand what you are saying, but not being a linguist - well, those are the kinds of thorny problems and subtleties that I suppose linguists and philologists deal with over a professional lifetime. Certainly interesting, but I had better first work on getting the hablo, hablas, habla down and remembering that "á" in the vosotros form! and I should probably get any posts I might make checked before hitting the "add reply" button...Yikes, how embarassing! Pardon me Matthew and thanks again, Lazarus, for correcting me.

Learning a language from a book, by the way, is very hard!

lazarus1907 said:

Janice said:

But instead, "dé" (or with the pronoun, deme, dele) is the positive imperative for for "tú," which form is the same as the indicative third person singular.

No. The proper morphological imperative is "da (tú) / dad (vosotros)". There is no morphological imperative - subjunctive is used instead.If you start calling "imperative" all the possible ways to give orders, then you'll find that any language can have several dozen imperatives: "Tienes que dar", "¡A dar!",...The subjunctive is used for any polite order or counter-order, because it does not declare anything, and since it is not an order, it is assumed to be a polite request:Entre = (Le ruego que) entre.No mire = (Es mejor que) no mire, (Le recomiendo que) no mire

>

updated ENE 13, 2009
posted by Janice
0
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Lazarus -- there is a slight problem with this analysis, however. As a generalisation, speakers always put the clitic ('me', 'te' etc) before a fully conjugated verb form, yet when the subjunctive operates as an imperative, the clitic is attached to the end. Or more simply put, if you analyse "déme" etc as not "really" being an imperative, that leaves the question of why the clitic is in a different position in:

ayúdeme, por favor

vs the position with "normal", fully-conjugated verbs as in:

me ayuda, por favor
le voy a pedir que me ayude

lazarus1907 said:

Janice said:

But instead, "dé" (or with the pronoun, deme, dele) is the positive imperative for for "tú," which form is the same as the indicative third person singular.

No. The proper morphological imperative is "da (tú) / dad (vosotros)". There is no morphological imperative - subjunctive is used instead.

If you start calling "imperative" all the possible ways to give orders, then you'll find that any language can have several dozen imperatives: "Tienes que dar", "¡A dar!",...

The subjunctive is used for any polite order or counter-order, because it does not declare anything, and since it is not an order, it is assumed to be a polite request:

Entre = (Le ruego que) entre.

No mire = (Es mejor que) no mire, (Le recomiendo que) no mire

>

updated ENE 12, 2009
posted by Neil-Coffey
0
votes

Janice said:

But instead, "dé" (or with the pronoun, deme, dele) is the positive imperative for for "tú," which form is the same as the indicative third person singular.

No. The proper morphological imperative is "da (tú) / dad (vosotros)". There is no morphological imperative - subjunctive is used instead.

If you start calling "imperative" all the possible ways to give orders, then you'll find that any language can have several dozen imperatives: "Tienes que dar", "¡A dar!",...

The subjunctive is used for any polite order or counter-order, because it does not declare anything, and since it is not an order, it is assumed to be a polite request:

Entre = (Le ruego que) entre.
No mire = (Es mejor que) no mire, (Le recomiendo que) no mire

updated ENE 12, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

You wrote: It looks like both Déle and Déme are contractions with the Subjunctive form for Dar.
But instead, "dé" (or with the pronoun, deme, dele) is the positive imperative for for "tú," which form is the same as the indicative third person singular. I just learned that yesterday as I, too, was studying a lesson on the imperative!

However, I learned that one does use the subjunctive to form the negative imperative for the "tú" and "vosotros" forms. That was the third thing I learned about the imperative yesterdaygrin !no mires! ¡no rompas! ¡no vivas asi! or ¡no miréis! ¡no rompáis! ¡no vivàis así! for the plural.

The second rule I learned yesterday is that the positive imperative for the plural "vosotros" is formed by just adding a "d" to the infinitive.

The last rule I learned yesterday is that Spanish has the form "a+ an infinitive" to express the imperative, too, as in ¡A comer! Let's eat!

Oh, I have not studied it yet, but I think that Spanish uses the subjunctive for both positive and negative imperatives for the polite "usted" and "ustedes" . And Spanish uses the subjunctive to express the the imperative for "nosotros" too.

By the way, I would have made the same mistake and placed the accent on the dele, deme:-( How lucky for me that you posed your question just nowgrin

updated ENE 12, 2009
posted by Janice
0
votes

Thanks for the great replies to my post. I will look up "orthography" later grin.

These translations bring up a new question. In English I would never say "give me" unless it was in the form of a question like "Will you please give me'" or "May I have'" Is "Deme un paraguas, por favor" a polite way to ask for an umbrella?

Thanks,

Matthew

updated ENE 12, 2009
posted by Matthew
0
votes

Neither dele or deme are supposed to have an accent since 1999 (new orthography). "Dé" (=give) can be mistaken for "de" (=of) without the accent, but there is not confusion with "dele" and "deme".

Dele = give him/her
Deme = give me
Denos = give us
Deles = give them

updated ENE 12, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

First I would like to correct a mistake:

I should be "dele" and "deme".

Dé (verb) has an accent to distinguish it from "de" as a preposition.

Deme= give me
Dele= give him/her/Usted (formal you)

updated ENE 12, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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