tengo yo vs. yo tengo (Posición del Pronombre)

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by glasgowrivers, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. glasgowrivers

    glasgowrivers New Member

    Mandarin & English (Australia)
    I've noticed that the position of the pronouns with respect to the verb are sometimes changed around in spanish sentences, is there a particular rule to this? I.e. does the meaning change depending on the position?


    For example:

    Tengo yo la culpa. / Yo tengo la culpa.
    Ojalá que yo pueda hacerlo. / Ojalá que pueda yo hacerlo.


    Muchas gracias.
     
  2. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    1. Moving the pronoun away from its default position is sometimes a way of emphasizing it: a mí no me engañas tú (you can't fool me).
    2. With intransitive verbs, the subject is frequently placed after the verb. This is not for emphasis, but simply a stylistic preference. SV order is also correct and conveys the same meaning, though it's not as idiomatic.
    3. Although in Spanish object pronouns normally precede the verb, certain moods require that the object or objects follow the verb, instead: in commands (siéntate), and when the verb is in the gerund (sentándote) or in the infinitive (sentarte).
    4. There are also rules for verb phrases such as quiero conocerte, but as I'm not completely sure about these I'll let others explain.
     
  3. goku83

    goku83 Senior Member

    Madrid, Spain
    Spain spanish
    great explanation!

    regarding point 4: "quiero conocerte" and "te quiero conocer" are possible and they have the same meaning. Sorry, are you referring to that?

    regards
     
  4. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Yes, I was. Thank you very much for the explanation. Would the same apply to periphrases formed with the gerund, such as estoy llamándote / te estoy llamando?
     
  5. Milton Sand

    Milton Sand Modómano, 'mano

    Bucaramanga, Colombia
    Español (Colombia)
    Hi!
    The reason is mostly one of style and emphasis:

    Tengo yo la culpa. —> I am indeed the one to blame.
    Yo tengo la culpa. —> I am the one to blame.
    Ojalá que yo pueda hacerlo. —> I hope I can do it [when my turn comes].
    Ojalá que pueda yo hacerlo. —> I hope that I can actually do it.

    I couldn't translate literally your examples because you specified the personal pronoun, which we only do for emphasis.

    Anyway, putting the personal pronoun after the verb sounds more formal, then more serious, and even solemn, like in a proverb.

    Let me try with a explicit subject instead of a personal pronoun:
    Juan tiene una linda casa casa en la playa.
    Juan has a nice house by the beach.

    Resulta que tiene Juan una linda casa en la playa y no lo sabíamos.
    It comes to be that Juan [actually] owns this nice house by the beach and we weren't aware.

    Now look in these allowed phrasings, the emphasis is changed (the first bit of a sentence is more emphatisized that the last one):
    Tiene una linda casa Juan en la playa.
    Una linda casa tiene Juan en la playa.

    As your question didn't seemed about atonic pronouns (direct/indirect objects) to me, I'll just give you a link where to read about that topic:
    http://buscon.rae.es/dpdI/SrvltGUIBusDPD?origen=RAE&lema=pronombres personales átonos#3

    You may also find a lot of information on this subject in Iternet.

    Bye ;).
     
  6. HistofEng Senior Member

    New York
    USA Eng, Haitian-Creole
    ¿es posible decir "Ojalá que pueda hacerlo yo."?
     
  7. flljob

    flljob Senior Member

    México
    México español
    Casi siempre se omite.
    Tengo yo la culpa no suena bien.
    Yo tengo la culpa. Usas el pronombre para dar énfasis.
    Ojalá pueda hacerlo. Usas yo cuando el contexto puede confundir el sujeto de la oración:
    Ojalá (él, yo) pueda hacerlo.
     
  8. goku83

    goku83 Senior Member

    Madrid, Spain
    Spain spanish
    Outsider, to answer your question: Would the same apply to periphrases formed with the gerund, such as estoy llamándote / te estoy llamando?

    Yes, both are correct.

    ----------------------------------------

    To HistofEng: Yes, "Ojalá que pueda hacerlo yo." is correct.
    Perhaps more natural: Ojalá pueda hacerlo (yo) ----> depending on the context you could omit "yo", sometimes is confusing if you omit it:
    Ojalá que pueda hacerlo (él/ella) --- referring to him/her
    Ojalá que pueda hacerlo (yo) --- referring to me



    hope it helps
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008
  9. HistofEng Senior Member

    New York
    USA Eng, Haitian-Creole
    Great! Gracias a todos :)
     

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