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Learning Article : Different Sentence Structures For Asking A Question In Spanish

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One of the most elegant aspects of Spanish is the multiple choices of words available to express the same idea. Because Latin is the basis of the Spanish language, elaborate words and expressions come into daily conversation. This is the reason Spanish is a rich and ornate language: the vocabulary allows for various options to express an opinion, thought, or idea.

May 29, 2014 12:00 AM
Comments · 5

What an interesting article Miranda! I speak spanish and what you say is true; spanish is a very rich (or complex) language and allows you to say some sentences in many ways, but sometimes I don't know if this is always an advantage, because for example in my case, when I want to speak in english (and now I'm learning japanese), I tend to use my native language structure to express my ideas, but I always keep a doubt in my mind about if this is right or not.

On the other hand, as you said, this situation makes you think outside the box, and finally languages are moldable so maybe languages can learn from each other and make a kind of mix of rules and structures.

For example, are these both sentences right in english?

“We rode on a sleigh.”
“We went sledding.”

I'm asking because I always use sentences like this, talking in english but often preprocessing in spanish. Now, as a language learner, I have to say that is something that I really enjoy and when you do it, you're not just learning a new language, but a new culture, new ways to think, new ways to feel, and definitely shapes your personality for good, making you a new, empathic and better person. It helps you to see the world with other eyes.
Thank you for your article! Muchas gracias!
Saludos desde Chile.

May 29, 2014

Carlos, I'd love to know more languages to be able to compare their flexibility and number of ways of saying things! It would amazing to be that fluent in a number of languages. Maybe one day. :) Right now I'm still lucky if I can figure out ONE way to say in Spanish everything I know how to say in many ways in English. :) 


I made a typo mistake that I just noticed that I would like to correct:

"There was the most beautiful sunset that Dan and I saw." or it could be "went to see" too. 

May 31, 2014

Of course Dorothy, Spanish is not the only language that will help us to enrich our vocabulary, that depends on our motivation to learn more and improve our language skills. This is an interesting point and personally I will research about it about languages that I'm learning. Thank you for your point of view!

May 30, 2014

Riding on a sleigh and going sledding are NOT the same! 


If you have a large vocabulary and think creatively already English ALSO can be used in many different ways with lots of word options for the same thing with subtle differences. 


Going sledding is the entire experience of getting dressed, leaving, getting there, going up and and down. Sledding does not paint the same mental picture as riding on a sleigh does. Going sledding brings up a picture in my mind's eye of children heading out for the day to play on small red sleighs and riding on a sleigh brings up a picture of a large elegant sleigh like in Russia with adults in it heading out for a leisurely evening. 


English has more words than any other language living language (or so I've read) yet most American use an embarrassing few of them. The vocabulary of Americans is decreasing. 


The same thing goes for the example of sunset. Just like in Spanish there are more than one word used for that time of evening in English: sundown, twilight, dusk, late afternoon, nightfall, evening, half light or even gloaming or vespers! You can change around your sentence structures in the same way too. You can say "Dan and I went to see a beautiful (which there are probably 50 synonyms for) sunset" or "There was the most beautiful sunset that Dan and I went saw." 


Granted, learning another language DOES help you to think in new ways, but I wouldn't say that Spanish has less synonyms or more flexibility than English IF you have a decent vocabulary and good command of the language and are creative to begin with. I think learning English would have the same effect on someone with a limited way of expressing themselves in Spanish too! Unless of course you then have a lousy vocabulary and limited ways of saying things in two languages instead of just one! HA. :)

May 30, 2014



I totally agree with you! You can have the best of all cultures.... As for going sledding, or riding on a sleigh...There is a slight catch to each.  Sledding or riding on a sled (trineo) refers more to a smaller device and, for example, a sleigh in the US is thought of as a bigger vehicle(Santa's sleigh, trineo Sp.).  However, the dictionary definitions are synonymous.   The way to convey this in Spanish is "paseamos en el trineo", "fuimos de paseo en el trineo", for both sledding and riding on a sleigh...


Saludos desde E.U.A. Carlos...

May 29, 2014