have someone do something

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by airelibre, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Is there a way of saying in Spanish 'I had my accountant do my taxes'? I know there are many close alternatives, like persuaded, made him, asked him but these all have slightly different meanings to 'have someone do something'.
     
  2. Andaluz88 Junior Member

    Spanish
    " Yo dejo que mi contable haga la declaración/liquidación" o " A mí la declaración me la hace mi contable".
    If you want to say something like "I had my car repaired" you could say "llevé el coche a arreglar/reparar".
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  3. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Thanks for the help, but these are not quite the same as the English, and if I were translating them back to English, I would translate them differently. Ie I let my accountant do the taxes/My accountant does my taxes is different to 'I had him do my taxes'.
    The problem is that this construction is very 'English' and I'm starting to doubt that it can be translated according to its exact meaning.

    In essence 'have someone do something' means to make someone do something/get them to do something but not forceably. Is this easily translateable or would a theoretical translator have to resort to a translator's note?
     
  4. Bark

    Bark Senior Member

    London (UK)
    Español de España
    Suena un poco redundante pero se puede decir "Hice que mi contable me hiciera la declaración de la renta".

    Un saludo,

    Bark
     
  5. kotosquito Senior Member

    Champaign, Illinois, USA
    United States, English
    Andaluz, these translations aren't bad. I just wonder, since this is a causative use of the verb "to have" , something along the lines of "Me las arreglo para que el contador me haga la declaraciOn." , if "Le hago al contador preparar la declaraciOn." isn't a closer translation. Maybe not: I understand dejar to mean "to permit, allow", which is not quite the same as causative 'have" in English. But it may be in Spanish, I hope that you clarify that for me, and thanks. (I hope that the use of the indirect pronoun "le" is correct in my sentence, although I know it wouldn't matter in Spain. I take "preparar" to be the direct object, thus, "le" is indirect. Please correct me, if not.)
     
  6. Andaluz88 Junior Member

    Spanish
    Eso suena aún más a obligar a alguien a hacer algo y es precisamente lo que airelibre no quiere si no me equivoco, pero también seria perfectamente valida.

    El problema es que esta construcción es típica del ingles y en español no tenemos nada parecido, así que tenemos que usar otras frases como "Alguien me hizo algo", "Lleve esto a reparar" y demás pero no hay nada exactamente igual. No obstante, el significado de estas frases no es que "hagamos que alguien haga algo", obligándolo de manera alguna, sino que simplemente lo llevamos a un profesional para que se encargue de ello y le pagamos por ese trabajo.

    PD: Is this explanation ok for you kotosquito? Otherwise I can try to do it in English..
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  7. Adolfo Afogutu

    Adolfo Afogutu Senior Member

    Uruguay
    Español
    In my neighbourhood, one way to express that idea, that action, is by using the verb "poner", e.g. "puse a mi abogado a trabajar en eso", "puse a mi contador a trabajar en eso" (colloquial speech and probably classifies as a regional use.)
     
  8. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Andaluz88 - perfectamente explicado.

    Esto es lo más cercano al significado del inglés que he encontrado durante todo el día. Lástima que es coloquial y/o regional.
     
  9. kotosquito Senior Member

    Champaign, Illinois, USA
    United States, English
    To "have" someone do something is simply to arrange that they do it. It may be that I ask him, and he does it. It may be that we have an arrangement that precludes my having to ask him every time (to do my taxes, say). Their is no intimation of persuasion or forcing someone to do something. If "Le hago al contable hacer (or preparar, to avoid redundancy) la declaraciOn." sounds too strong in Spanish, then it won't work. However, my dictionary (Oxford) says that "to have someone do something" translates to "hacerle a alguien hacer algo", the example being "Me lo hizo volver a pasar a maquina"--She had (not made) me retype it.
     
  10. Bark

    Bark Senior Member

    London (UK)
    Español de España
    You are totally right, it seems you are forcing him... The thing is that, as you say, there is no translation with the same structure but that does not mean there are no structures meaning the same... In English they don't say "I'm going to cut my hair", it is "I'm gonna get my hair cut" and, in the same way, "To have someone do something" could be translated as "alguien hace algo por mí" o "alguien me lo hace".

    I would translate "I had my accountant do my taxes" as "Mi declaración me la hace el contable" or "Mi declaración la hace el contable por mí".

    Regards,

    Bark
     
  11. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    I hadn't thought about "arrange that someone do something", perhaps that is the best path to go down?
     
  12. Andaluz88 Junior Member

    Spanish
    "Me lo hizo volver a pasar a maquina" sounds like " He made me type it again" or "He asked me to typed it again" but this is not like "I had my accountant do my taxes, in this case she didn't want to do it but she had to, although she probably wasnt phisically forced to do it, it sounds like that.
     
  13. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    It's the same in English, if you make someone do something, you have a direct input on their actions, whereas to have someone do something is to indirectly get them to do something. You arrange for it to happen.
     
  14. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    Airelibre, as I'm sure you know, it's unrealistic to expect every single English construction to have a corresponding Spanish form. We say things like "Se me rompió el vaso," and there is no real equivalent in English, but that doesn't mean we have nothing to say in such situations. We just express the idea differently.

    This use of "have" is, as you say, very common in English, but there is nothing that maps exactly in Spanish.

    I had my house painted / I had the painters paint my house. Me pintaron la casa.
    I had my tooth pulled / I had the dentist pull my tooth. El dentista me extrajo el diente.
    etc.

    And if you need to emphasize that you persuaded the person to do the action, there are ways to do that, as suggested above by others.
     
  15. Mirlo

    Mirlo Senior Member

    Missouri
    Castellano, Panamá/ USA
    Have/Get someone do something = Organise/arrange for someone to do something.

    Otra: Le llevé los taxes a mi contable para que...
     
  16. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    I know well that translation between languages is not an exact science, but I'm sure there is a closer translation for this phrase than just excluding the 'I had' part of it, which is problematic.
    How about, 'dispuse que mi contable me hiciera la declaración'?
     
  17. kotosquito Senior Member

    Champaign, Illinois, USA
    United States, English
    ...if it means "I asked him and he did it", then why not just "Le pedI a mi contable que me hiciera la declaraciOn". Queda entendido de que luego lo hizo, normalmente. Como no, se dirIa que no.
     
  18. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    I think you're on a Quixotic quest. There is no need to form the sentence that way in Spanish, unless the context dictates it. You haven't told us the exact context, but I imagine the following.

    -Have you done your taxes yet?
    -No, but I always have my accountant do them.
    -No, pero siempre me lo hace/prepara/etc. mi contable.

    In such a case, I don't see any loss of meaning, so nothing is problematic.
     
  19. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    It is certainly quixotic. I will probably never need to say this sentence, but it is just my stubborn curiosity pushing me forward. I don't therefore have a specific context in mind, but it certainly isn't "My accountant always does them". Something more like "Have you got your taxes done yet?" "I had/got my accountant (to) do them last week". Ie, "my accountant did them last week" could mean he just did it on a whim, without any input from the employer.

    I now think "ask someone to do something is the best option". Have s/one do s/thing is slightly posh language, so I can imagine a lord saying to his butler "have him wait at the door for me". In this case the meaning is the same as "pidele que me espere a la puerta", so - thanks to kotosquito - le pedí al contable... seems the best option.

    Nevertheless is "dispuse..." correct?
     
  20. anipo

    anipo Senior Member

    Israel
    Spanish (Arg)- German
    "Dispuse" would translate as "I arranged", as also would "arreglé".
    "Dispuse que mi contador prepare mi declaración impositiva". "Arreglé que mi contador prepare mi declaración impositiva":"I arranged for my accountant to..."
    Maybe this really is the nearest you can get to "have X do Y".
    And yet "dispuse" sounds to me a little bit harsher, or maybe "bossier" than in English.
    So maybe "arreglé"? :confused:
     
  21. kotosquito Senior Member

    Champaign, Illinois, USA
    United States, English
    Or, again, "Me las arreglE/he arreglado"
     
  22. Mirlo

    Mirlo Senior Member

    Missouri
    Castellano, Panamá/ USA
    That's what I think...also!!!
     
  23. Seikun

    Seikun Senior Member

    Chile
    Chile - Castellano
    According toan explanation I found on other website:

    Have + person + verb

    This construction means "to give someone the responsibility to do something."

    Then

    I had the mechanic check my brakes.
    I asked the mechanic to check the brakes.
     
  24. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Ask someone to do something =/= Give someone the responsibility to do something.
     
  25. kotosquito Senior Member

    Champaign, Illinois, USA
    United States, English
    ? Se oye esto en cualquier otra parte?
     
  26. Bark

    Bark Senior Member

    London (UK)
    Español de España
    Yes, it is a common way of saying it, at least in Spain.

    Regards,

    Bark
     
  27. ic/ego Junior Member

    English-US
    I don't recall coming across that expression when I was in Uruguay (I never had much reason to hear it), but I do come across it regularly when speaking to Mexican parents of schoolchildren here in the United States. Since Mexican Spanish and Uruguayan Spanish rarely, if ever, agree without also including a large portion of the rest of Latin America, I suspect the expression is not a regionalism at all, but a general way of speaking. I had never actually noticed the correspondence you pointed out and have never interpreted "pongo a mi hijo a hacer tal cosa" as "I have my child do such and such", but I will now.

    Thanks!
     
  28. Adolfo Afogutu

    Adolfo Afogutu Senior Member

    Uruguay
    Español
    Hi, ic/ego. After what you have said, I’m not sure anymore... I have lived many years abroad, mainly in Colombia, so my Spanish has been influenced (infiltrated, permeated, contaminated... I don’t know which is the right verb, not even in Spanish) by many expressions which are not so common in my homeland. I enjoy being part of this forum, but obviously this also increases the likelihood of one's own language being influenced by people from other Spanish-speaking countries. I’m sending a PM to duvija, a dear fellow countrywoman of mine who lives in Chicago, inviting her to post a comment here, so hopefully we can have another opinion.
     
  29. duvija

    duvija Senior Member

    Chicago
    Spanish - Uruguay

    Affirmative. Very common.
     
  30. Adolfo Afogutu

    Adolfo Afogutu Senior Member

    Uruguay
    Español
    Gracias, duvi.
     

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