Help with A connected to infinitive verbs

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Hello everyone,
I am having a hard time translating sentences beginning with A connecting to the infinitive of a verb. for example: Al leer esto..

2825 views
updated JUN 10, 2009
posted by Tamara-Van-Hook

5 Answers

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Just one more thing: "Al leer..." is used both in formal and colloquial language alike (its register is neutral). Any person, even a child, a drunkard or a beggar would naturally say "al leer" any time, anywhere. "Upon reading...", however, is quite formal, and you probably don't want to talk like that in certain bars, if you know what I mean. That's why I suggested "When [whoever] read...", which has pretty much the same meaning, but it is more neutral.

updated JUN 10, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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Yes it does .. thank you very much . It explains why I usually see it a the beginning of a sentence usually at the introduce of a book.

Thank you both very much smile

updated JUN 10, 2009
posted by Tamara-Van-Hook
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Lazarus' "upon reading this" is the correct translation, but it's not literal. A more literal translation would be "at the reading of this", which sounds awful but hopefully shows you that "al" in that context means "at the" (a + el).

Another example: "al despertar". Correct translation, "upon waking up". Literally, "at [the moment of your] waking up".

Hope that helps.

updated JUN 10, 2009
posted by 00719c95
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Thank you,

I think what I was having a hard time understanding is the A translating as the word upon. Can you give please give me a few examples of how this form of upon can be used

updated JUN 10, 2009
posted by Tamara-Van-Hook
0
votes

Hello everyone,

I am having a hard time translating sentences beginning with A connecting to the infinitive of a verb. for example: Al leer esto..

When I/you/he/she/we/they read this...

Infinitives (i.e. leer) do not indicate person, number, tense or mood, so that information must be provided by some other verb in the sentence, or the context. Without them, you can't make a decent translation. Maybe you can say "Upon reading this...", but it doesn't sound that "formal" in Spanish.

updated JUN 10, 2009
posted by lazarus1907