C :)
Problems to express "que" in English

I have many problems to translate "que" in English. For example, "Tengo que irme" is "I have to go" or "Espero que me digas algo", that "que" disappear when you translate: "I hope you say something". But, how can I translate "Anoche soñé algo que ahora mismo no recuerdo"? How can I know when put "that", "to" or directly omit it?

Thank you!
Jun 17, 2020 11:15 AM
Comments · 2
That's a very difficult question to answer. All I can really do is give you a few tips that should hold true in most cases.

If 'que' is used in order to add more information about a noun then I think it can almost never be omitted. Like for example:

"Quiero <em>una casa que</em> tenga jardín." ----> "I want <em>a house that</em> has a garden."

"¿Hay <em>alguien aquí que</em> sepa inglés?" ----> "Is there <em>anyone here that</em> knows English?"

Or in your example:
"Anoche soñé <em>algo que</em> ahora mismo no recuerdo." ----> "Last night I dreamt <em>something that</em> I can't remember right now."

That example isn't the best because the literal translation sounds clumsy in English so we would just express it another way.

In phrases starting with "querer que" like "Quiero que..." it has to be omitted because "I want that..." doesn't make any sense in English.

E.g. "Quiero que me digas la verdad." ----> "I want you to tell me the truth." Never: <s>"I want that you tell me the truth."</s>

"Tener que" can pretty much always be translated to "have to."

E.g. "Tienes que esperar lo inesperado." ----> "You have to expect the unexpected."

There's a couple of guidelines for you, but take them with a pinch of salt, I'm no grammar expert.
June 17, 2020
This can be difficult at first, but most times you would simply translate it as 'that' Even in your second example, you could translate it as,' I hope that ..'
'Tengo que' is a collocation in Spanish that, as far as I understand it, does not necessarily mean 'that', even in the original.language. Correct me if I am wrong, Spanish speakers!!!
You can normally just translate 'que'as 'that', except with some Spanish collocations.
June 17, 2020
C :)
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language