Spanish to English amanecer

Dictionary entry: amanecer
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  • elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I think I only ever come across "to dawn" in the figurative expression "to dawn on someone" ("It dawned on me that he was cheating on me"). I've never seen or heard it used to mean "amanecer."
     

    swift

    Senior Member
    Dictionary Editor
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    I think equating to dawn as an intransitive verb with amanecer is not accurate. In English, you need a whole phrase: the day was dawning.
     

    Alan Evangelista

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    I think equating to dawn as an intransitive verb with amanecer is not accurate. In English, you need a whole phrase: the day was dawning.
    I don't follow. Both "to dawn" and "amanecer" are intransitive in English and Spanish, respectively. If you refer to the fact that "amanecer" can be used without a subject while "to dawn" requires one (i.e. Amanecía cuando... = The day dawned when...), that is verb usage, which AFAIK is often not detailed in bilingual dictionaries definitions (otherwise you wouldn't translate "gustar" as "to like" because these verbs relationships with subject and direct object are different in Spanish and English). A good example which shows the difference between the usage of "amanecer" and "dawn" would help with this issue.
     

    swift

    Senior Member
    Dictionary Editor
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    Yes, both are intransitive, but they follow different collocation and phrasing mechanisms: in Spanish, it’s impersonal and we wouldn’t use “el día” in your example. We would say amanecía. We would use el día in sentences like el día amaneció oscuro/nublado/lluvioso. In English, the day dawned dark/cloudy/rainy would not be idiomatic, which means that providing dawn as a direct translation would be misleading. We would need a disambiguator in order to explain the subject and phrasing. We do this all the time in our bilingual dictionaries. ;) You can check out these entries in the French-Spanish dictionary to see what I mean: looper, caler, approcher. Look for “sujeto” using Ctrl+F. :)

    All I’m saying is that a sentence like:
    Cuando amaneció, Lucía se puso las zapatillas y salió a trotar.

    Wouldn’t normally be translated as:
    When it dawned, Lucía put on her sneakers and went out for a jog.

    :)
     
    Last edited:

    fenixpollo

    moderator
    Dictionary Editor
    American English
    While it is not a common usage of "dawn", it does appear in the WR monolingual English dictionary with that meaning. I don't see the harm in adding it as the last term for the entry reported, with a note in the sense or as a disambiguator that explains that it must have a subject.
     
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