Tomas ws listening to the radio ?Tomas escuchaba la radio'.

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Okay, so I was doing a translation online for two sentences for my paper.

The first-1. Tomas ws listening to the radio, which is translated "Tomas escuchaba la radio". But how come it's not Tomas escuchaba a la radio.

The second- He wasn't asking a queston, which is translated as **"ÿl no hacía una pregunta." **Why is "hacer" used in the sentence''? I have no clue.

Thank you, any help clarifiying these two translations is deeply appreciated!!!

-Vivi

6225 views
updated JUL 12, 2009
posted by Vivi0808

19 Answers

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so would "May I ask you a question'" be, "¿Puedo hacerlo(/la) una pregunta'"

The DO (direct object) is the question, so it is "lo/la/los/las", and the person who receives the question would be the IO (indirect object), so it must be "te/os/le/les".

¿Puedo hacerlo una pregunta? = Can I turn you into a question?
¿Puedo hacerle una pregunta? = Can I ask you a question'

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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so would "May I ask you a question'" be, "¿Puedo hacerlo(/la) una pregunta'"

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by IncĂłgnito
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Vivi0808:

From the way you asked your question, you are not a complete stranger to SpanishDict.com.

I want you to "click" on the Dictionary Tab on the right hand side toward the top of this page.
In the little window where you can enter words, enter the verb "Escuchar".
When the definition for "escuchar" shows on your screen, you will see that the word means "to listen to".
The reason you do not need to write "escuchaba a" is that you would be writing "was listening to to " or to say that another way, you would be repeating "to" twice.

Now, go back to the dictionary and enter the verb "Hacer".
The first line of that definition explains that "hacer" means "to do (realizar) (estudios, experimento, favor); to make (viaje, sacrificio, promesa); to take (comunión); to ask (pregunta)".
To answer your 2nd question, "hacer is used because it means "to ask".
I suppose at some level you could say it means "he wasn't making a question", but that is the same anyway as to say "He wasn't asking a question".

Oh My! I have to get a lot faster writing up replies. Once this was posted, I saw that Qfreed and Lazarus1907 had already sent you good replies. My answer is simply repetitious. Sorry for the excess.

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by Moe
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Transitive verbs, e.g. "escuchar", only take the preposition "a" with specific humans (or humanized entities).

"To ask a question" in Spanish would sound to us like "to ask an ask" or "to question a question". As qfreed said, that's how Spanish works: we do say "to make a question" (hacer una pregunta). The verb "to ask", like many other ones, cannot be perfectly translated as a single verb in Spanish (and vice-versa).

Bear in mind that collocations like "make sense" make no sense in other languages, where this same idea is expressed differently. In Spanish we say "tener sentido" (=to have sense), not "hacer sentido". Similarly, collocations in other languages will probably make no sense in other languages, including English, of course.

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by lazarus1907