Convencer (de) que

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by BryGuy, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. BryGuy Senior Member

    In the following sentence, there appear to be many problems:

    "Este mentiroso convenció a una gran parte de la población que pueden olvidar sus responsabilidades."

    My Spanish professor pointed out the following problems:
    1) there needs to be a preposition between "poblacion" and "que"
    2) "olvidar" is reflexive
    3) there needs to be a preposition between "olvidar" and "sus"

    Are my corrections accurate in the following sentence?:

    Este mentiroso convenció a una gran parte de la población de que pueden olvidarse de sus responsabilidades.”

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Not that I have any room to talk, but... I agree with the corrections.....

    - Se convence a alguien de algo, es lo que tengo entendido. :tick:
    - Olvidarse should be in the reflexive :tick:
    - And, you olvidarse de algo :tick:
  3. DaleC Senior Member

    I take it that the point of your message is to get explanations for the three corrections. ;)

    I'll start with points 2 and 3 because I see that your professor is wrong, even though I'm not absolutely sure of the proper conjugation of "poder". (I think it should be in the past imperfect to agree with the preterit of "convencer".)

    Este mentiroso convenció a una gran parte de la población de que podía (¿puede?) olvidar sus responsabilidades.”

    [verb is in the singular to agree with overt singulars "parte" and "poblacion"]

    I disagree with your professor because "olvidar" denotes forgetting which is conscious (deliberate or at least neglectful). The grammatical subject of "olvidar" is the person who forgets. For more examples, Google <olvidaron sus>./1/ Forget their differences; forget one's roots; forget one's responsibilities. Notice that both Spanish and English can use "forget" to denote "abandon commitment to".

    "Olvidarse de" means to forget unintentionally, and its grammatical subject is the thing forgotten -- Postscript. Sorry about that, its grammatical subject is still the person.:eek:

    In the sentence you wrote, "can" means "be allowed to". The sentence your professor suggests could only be meaningful if "can" were to mean "be able to". The entire Spanish sentence would then mean,

    "This liar/con man/deceiver convinced a large portion of the population that it could come to pass that it might slip their minds to attend to their responsibilities, convinced [them] of the possibility that it could slip their minds to attend to their responsibilities."

    Of course, the intended meaning is instead "convinced them it was OK to 'forget (about)' their responsibilities."

    * * * * *
    As for "de que SENTENCE". Whenever the preposition "of" is part of a construction that includes a predicating element that takes an argument, then in Spanish you must keep the "of" -- the "de" -- no matter what type of argument you have, while in English you must drop the "of" when the argument is a subordinate clause. I would have a lot of trouble expressing the preceding more simply, so I'm just going to use that formulation and give examples. The argument of the predicate can be a pronoun, noun, or subordinate clause.

    a. With an adjective as the predicate.
    i. "I am not sure OF that", "no me estoy seguro DE esto"
    "That", a pronoun, is the argument of "sure", but it is not directly the object of "sure" but rather it is the object of "of".

    ii. "I am not sure OF its correct translation", "no me estoy seguro DE su correcta traduccion" The argument of the predicate is a phrase containing a full noun.

    iii. Now, let the argument of "sure" be a subordinate clause.

    "I am not sure [no word here] (that) he knows." Good grammar in English, bad grammar in Spanish. (As a separate issue, omitting the "that" would also be bad grammar in Spanish.)

    "I am not sure OF that he knows." Bad grammar in English, good grammar in Spanish.

    b. With a verb as the predicate. Example: the verb complex, "be convinced".

    i. I was convinced OF that.
    ii. I was convinced OF his resolve. (The argument of "be convinced" is the phrase "his resolve").
    iii. With subordinate clause as the argument of the predicate.

    "I was convinced [no word here] (that) he would get the job done." Good grammar in English, bad grammar in Spanish.

    "I was convinced OF that he would get the job done." Bad grammar in English, good grammar in Spanish.

    /1/ For example.

    Instituto Cultural Raíces Mexicanas-Semana Santa Yaqui - [ Translate this page ]
    ... aún así se daban tiempo para festejar sus tradiciones y costumbres, aún peleando en el monte, en la sierra, ellos nunca olvidaron sus creencias. ... sonora/semana-santa-yaqui.html - 16k - Cached - Similar pages

    "Mexican Roots" Cultural Institute. . . . even so, they made time to celebrate their traditions and customs, even while fighting in the mountains, they never forgot their beliefs.
  4. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Ahhh, I hadn't taken notice of this before. Don't ask why!

    Here's a similar thread confirming with Dale says here. There are a couple of olvidar vs. olvidarse threads, but this one in particular addresses well this nuance that Dale speaks of.
  5. DaleC Senior Member

    I just did some double checking in the Oxford Spanish Dictionary and it seems that some Spanish speakers don't distinguish between "olvidarse de" and "olvidar". They use the former for deliberate forgetting, too!

    There are many instances where dialectal Spanish uses grammar that is beyond doubt "wrong" in standard written Spanish. And among dialects of colloquial Spanish there are many divergences on usage.

    So I amend my remarks thus. Your instructor, whether a native speaker or nonnative, might be excused for faulting your use of "olvidar" on the grounds that they learned some unusual variety of Spanish. But you called this person "professor". It's hard to get to be a professor of Spanish without demonstrating mastery of the standard written language. Your professor ought to acknowledge that their way, in this case, is not the only way.
  6. BryGuy Senior Member

    Wow! I must say, this is probably the most interesting post I have ever read. Thank you very much for your help, I really appreciate your insight. Very interesting!
  7. DaleC Senior Member

    Glad my remarks made a difference.

    Colloquially, people often leave out the "de". This is called "queísmo". You can look it up on the Web. People who do this (which is a large fraction of natives) do not do it across the board -- there are constraints on the omission. Learners should not emulate queísmo until they achieve enough proficiency to intuit where it's grammatically possible and to intuit which interlocutors are not purists who would take offense at it.
  8. ampurdan

    ampurdan Senior Member

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)

    Convenció a una gran parte de la población de que podían...

    I know in English it should be in singular, but the normal way to express it in Spanish is this one (I would say the one you suggest is also correct, though, but people would spend one more microsecond to understand what you are saying, because in their mind "una gran parte de la población" means many people and the natural agreement is in plural, even though the purist grammatical one would be in singular).

    BTW, I would prefer "podían" rather than "pueden", unless there is a good reason to keep it in present tense when the main clause is in pretérito perfecto simple (past tense). que podían olvidar/olvidarse de sus responsabilidades.

    It's almost the same to me.

    It's true that "olvidar sus responsabilidades" is closer to "descuidar sus responsabilidades": to neglect/overlook their responsabilities.

    "Olvidarse de" is also possible in this sense : "that they could get rid of their responsabilities".

    Anyway, these are slight differences that normally we wouldn't take into account.
  9. gvergara

    gvergara Senior Member

    Santiago, Chile
    As a native, I'd say that the reflexivity of the verb makes no difference at all in this case. Not that I'm making a grammatical mistake, but I have already discussed this topic with other people and I am aware that olvidar and olvidarse are not always interchangeable. I guess the verb, in the sense of skip, leave out, overlook, can be reflexive or non-reflexive with no or very little difference in the meaning. See you

  10. mhp Senior Member

    American English
    Hi ampurdan,

    I'm trying to understand when it is okay (preferable?) to break the agreement in number. Would you change, for example, any of the following sentences?

    Una gran parte de la población es de origen maya
    Una gran parte de la población que vivía por debajo de los niveles de pobreza
    Una gran parte de la población de estos países vive bajo los límites de la subsistencia
    Una gran parte de la población mundial se encuentra “tecnológicamente desconectada”.
    Una gran parte de la población juvenil de los países industrializados consume alcohol en exceso
  11. Dr. Quizá

    Dr. Quizá Senior Member

    Esuri - Huelva York.
    Spain - Western Andalusian Spanish.
    I see no reason to break it.
  12. DaleC Senior Member

    I have opened a new thread to solicit more responses to the issue of number agreement raised in posts #3 and #10. The thread title is "Concordancia de número: "una gran parte de la población . . . podían".
  13. ampurdan

    ampurdan Senior Member

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    I've answered in the new thread.
  14. monoloco New Member

    Peru - Español
    Hi Dale
    when people use "de" is not "queismo" it is "DEISMO", when they use "que" is called "queismo".


  15. Jellby

    Jellby Senior Member

    Spanish (Spain)
    When people use "de que" instead of "que", it's "dequeísmo".
    When people use "que" instead of "de que", it's "queísmo".

    When people use "que" or "de que" correctly, it's neither.

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