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  1. #1
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    Default Grammar question

    Okay so this question is more about grammar than translation...

    Someone said to me:
    "seguro que si yo te conocia mas temprano, yo buscaria como curarte!!!"

    So I know that he was saying "I'm sure that if I had known you sooner, I would have found a way to cure you." I also know that he said it perfectly because Spanish is his ONLY language and he's obviously fluent. However, if I were going to say that statement, I would have done it differently... so I just want to know if I would have been wrong.



    I would have said: Seguro que si yo te hubiera conocido mas temprano, yo habria buscado como curarte.

    Is that wrong? The person who originally said that statement is from Bolivia where they tend to be rather lazy with language so I'm guessing they just don't bother to switch to past tense all the time... but then again it's definitely possible my version is wrong

    Thoughts?
    Thanks!
    Last edited by LauraAna; 11-06-2007 at 05:19 PM.

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    Hello, LauraAna,

    You're absolutely right.
    I'm a native Spanish speaker (from Spain) and I can assure you that the sentence:

    "seguro que si yo te conocia mas temprano, yo buscaria como curarte!!!"

    has those 2 horrendous grammar mistakes (the verb tenses), in spite of coming from a (Bolivian) Spanish speaker.
    Besides, it would be better if you replace "más temprano" with "antes". Thus, the final thing would be like this:

    "Seguro que si yo te hubiera conocido antes, yo habría buscado como curarte."

    (if someone says: "más temprano" it makes me think of sometime earlier on the same day of speaking).
    Greetings.

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    Thanks Lou_F. Lol, I see all those hours spent studying and perfecting Spanish grammar will just go down the drain when I move to Bolivia!! Oh well

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    I absolutely agree with Lou. You can say "seguro que si you te hubiera o hubiese conocido antes, habría buscado cómo curarte"

    Hubiera o hubiese - both are correct
    Try to avoid the subject, in Spanish is not very much used - (yo) habría buscado...

    Being a native is not a guarantee... Even tv reporters make this kind of mistakes sometimes. It seems that the conditional in Spanish is a topic they never studied!

    Congratulations on your Spanish!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mem286
    Try to avoid the subject, in Spanish is not very much used - (yo) habría buscado...
    Do you mean avoid using "yo" in that sentence? My experiences with that have been kind of interesting... When I was learning Spanish in an educational setting they always had us use it, which I suppose was just for learning purposes. Then the first time I went to Bolivia I was really surprised that I hardly ever heard it and I was afraid I'd get confused. But now that I've spent much more time in Bolivia and talk with them on a daily basis I've noticed it appears much more often than I would have expected. It seems they switch it's place around often too.. for example, rather than "yo habria buscado" they may say "habria buscado yo." That's not to say that they don't also say just "habria buscado." But I've found that when there's a chance of me being confused as to whom they're referring, the word is there and I'm not confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by mem286
    Being a native is not a guarantee... Even tv reporters make this kind of mistakes sometimes. It seems that the conditional in Spanish is a topic they never studied!
    But is it still a mistake if the entire country deems it acceptable? We say things in English all the time that I'm sure are technically grammatically incorrect but we would never think we're making mistakes. Hmmm... language is an interesting concept. This is why immersion is so much better than any other method of learning a language!

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    Hi LauraAna!
    Even in Spanish we make mistakes all the time, some people don't care, others don't know. But when we talk about communication workers, I think we should be careful. They just make me jump out of my skin when I hear them saying things like: "Si podría lo haría" (something like "I'd make it if I'd can) when the correct verbal tense is "Si pudiera o pudiese lo haría" (I'd make it If I could) , and belive me it's a very frequent mistake in Spanish... but it's wrong... too many conditionals Do you get my point?

    As regards the use of YO it might be a cultural thing where you put the subjet. In general, it's correct to drop the subject, you can use it or not, somthing you can't do in English. In Spanish you can say "yo me fui", but in a real situation you will hear "me fui". The subject is "tacit"

    Hope it helps!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraAna
    Thanks Lou_F. Lol, I see all those hours spent studying and perfecting Spanish grammar will just go down the drain when I move to Bolivia!! Oh well
    Not really!! Everything helps, you'll have to get your hearing adjusted to the accent, I think that's the hardest part!
    But if you've already studied something it will be of great help!
    Good luck when you travel!

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    Fortunately I DO have the accent down now! I can understand Bolivians more easily than any other Spanish speakers And I know most of their slang and unique terms and whatnot... it's just their lazy grammar!!!

    mem286, thanks for all your help!! I agree that I'd never hear (in Bolivia, anyway) "yo me fui." It's when they use words like "buscaria" that are conjugated the same for yo, el, ella, etc. that they seem to always use the subject - which makes understanding much easier...

    Although come to think of it... I do remember hearing at least once someone say exactly that: "yo me voy." But much more common was "me voy" or "ya me voy." I think sometimes they just get bored and want to add variation!! There's a real lack of education there... I can spell in Spanish better than all of my native Bolivian friends, it always makes me feel kind of bad.

    Thanks again!!!

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