Cruzando Utah hasta Wyoming (movement verbs)

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by loureed4, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. loureed4 Senior Member


    Estoy intentando escribir una sentencia en inglés, con verbos de movimiento (cross, move, rush, ...), porque los considero muy importante para hablar fluidamente.

    La frase es ésta: "No, the trip will go through some US states. it will begin in Arizone, crossing Utah up to Wyoming. I will stop there for a few days."

    Mi duda es si está bien escrito "up to" significando "hasta" , teniendo en cuenta que Wyoming está arriba de Arizona.
    Supongo que si estuviera abajo, sería tan simple como "down to" ?.

    Gracias por adelantado!
  2. Mmart Senior Member

    Spanish, Catalan - Spain
    What about "across Utah up to Wyoming"? I think it is the same, but it sounds more common to me. As I may times suggest, wait for natives comments!
  3. FromPA

    FromPA Senior Member

    Philadelphia area
    USA English
    "Up to" doesn't sound natural. I would say "...crossing Utah to Wyoming." The meaning of "to" in this case is "hasta."
    Note: Arizona
  4. loureed4 Senior Member

    Thanks Mmart and FromPA!

    I thought of "up to" like "hasta" but poiting out the direction one is heading with "up" and maybe "down to" if you were going the other way around, southwards, like:

    "He went across Oregon down to California to meet his wife because..." .

    Again: Thanks!! :rolleyes:
  5. FromPA

    FromPA Senior Member

    Philadelphia area
    USA English
    "Up to" establishes a limit on how far you've crossed. "I crossed Utah up to (as far as) Salt Lake City, where I stayed for a week, and then I continued on to Wyoming." If you've completely crossed Utah all the way to Wyoming, there is no limit - you've completed the crossing.
  6. Jim2996 Senior Member

    Boston, MA
    American English
    I would write your sentence as:
    It [my trip] will begin in Arizona and cross Utah until I reach Wyoming. Hasta is more a termination than a direction, isn't it? Yet, with
    It will begin in Arizona and cross Utah towards Wyoming "Towards" fits because "cross" implies that you reach whatever you are going towards. You will cross Utah, the question is what state comes next.
    So, you could even write
    It will begin in Arizona and cross Utah into Wyoming.

    "Up to" is something you obviously found in a Spanish to English dictionary. This is a example where the meaning needs to be translated. "Up to" is not wrong; it's just not anything a native speaker would say here. Hasta is used all the time, while up to is reserved for specific contexts. "You can go up to the line, but, whatever you do, don't cross it."

    I see you think up to can be used for north to. It can, sometimes. Problem is that up to is a set pair of words with a different specific meaning. North to would be (merely) OK; I would write north towards or north into.

    You have three sentences that can easily be combined into one sentence:
    My trip will go through several/many US states, starting in Arizona and crossing Utah into Wyoming, where I will stop for a few days. Then...

    "Some" is used with uncountable nouns, but States are countable. "Some" implies that you have more than you can count or that you haven't/can't count them, "some (number of) States."

    Your questions are always fun, and informative.
  7. loureed4 Senior Member

    Gosh, this is becoming a bit difficult to me.

    I thought "up to" could mean "hasta". I didn´t find it in a Spanish-to-English dictionary Jim :), just I tried to figure out how to translate such sentences: "Fui desde California, cruzando Oregon, hasta Washington" , then I would translate that as: "I went from California, crossing Oregon, up to Washington.

    O al revés. "Fui desde Washington, cruzando Oregon, hasta California": "I went from Washington, crossing Oregon, down to California"

    I understand your suggestions Jim , but not your whole explanation, to be honest ; and the same applies for FromPA. I guess I will have to read them again.

    It is being a bit surprising for me because I always listen "...down to the river..." or things like that, where (from my view) "down" only was the direction for the walker/driver and "to" the final point, the destination.

    As a walker, I would say: "I went all down to the river (destination, the river) and there, I stopped to feed my dog" , or "I walked up to the hill (destination, the hill) and there I stopped to enjoy the silence".

    I have to thank you Jim your point about "some", I really didn´t know it was used that way. So, I double thank you!!

    Again, thanks both for your great help! :rolleyes:
  8. duvija

    duvija Senior Member

    Spanish - Uruguay
    "I went all way down to the river (destination, the river) and there, I stopped to feed my dog" , or "I walked up to the hill (destination, the hill) and there I stopped to enjoy the silence".
  9. loureed4 Senior Member

    I see. Thanks for the corrections duvija!. Anyway, my question remains in my head somehow, I guess I have to get deeper into it. :)

    Thanks a lot!!
  10. Jim2996 Senior Member

    Boston, MA
    American English
    1) Verbos de moviemiento may be important, but it is the prepositions that are so difficult. Your question/difficulty is about how to translate the preposition hasta. This can be even more difficult because many prepositions can also be used as adverbs.

    2) The issue that I have with your sentence is that it is somewhat awkward. I mean awkward in a technical sense that it is somewhat hard for the reader to figure out what you mean; you are forcing the reader to stop and think. It's not wrong; it's only that I need to know what you mean before I can understand your sentence. Your task is to realize the reader's difficulty. This can be difficult because you need to forget what you meant. It's the same problem that people have seeing their own typos.

    For a great example of an extremely awkward sentence see

    Or, it's a perfectly good English sentence; it just doesn't say what you (probably) meant. The reader has to stop and figure this out.

    I walked up to the hill (destination, the hill) and there I stopped to enjoy the silence. Duvija corrected this perfectly good sentence. There is nothing wrong with it (as a sentence). The only possible/likely problem is that it means that you walked up to the beginning of the hill, where the hill starts, and stopped. Perhaps the hill was too steep for you to climb. Perhaps you just found a nice, quiet spot at the bottom of the hill. In any case, it doesn't mean
    I walked up the hill ... This is what duvija thinks you meant.
    I walked up to the top of the hill .... This is my guess about what you meant, that the (unspecified) antecedent of "there" is the top of the hill.

    FromPA expressed this by adding "as far as" to "I crossed Utah up to (as far as)..." I could go further and add "(as far as and no further—the limit has been reached). I think we all interpret it this way—this is what up to means in this context—and we all doubt that this is what you mean.

    You may think of up to as a compound/phrasal preposition. (This is my term; I've never seen it before.) The words often go together to form a unit that has meaning different than the individual words (just like phrasal verbs). Readers have a strong tendency to read them as a unit.

    They don't have to be a unit. Up can just be an adverb attached to the verb. It could mean north, uphill, upstairs, etc, as in
    I went up to the attic to get some old pictures. or, in the other direction,
    I went down to the river to feed my dog.

    Preposition are tricky. (There are lots of less-polite words I could use.)

    It's very unclear to me whether you went into Wyoming, whether you stopped inside Wyoming, or whether you stopped in Utah just short of Wyoming. If you mean into use into, not up to.

    My guess is that up to is usually translated as hasta. That doesn't mean that hasta is usually translated as up to. In this case it's almost certainly the wrong choice. Maybe up to is a specific kind of hasta; it often works, but sometimes not. As I suggested, towards, into, until, or even something else is a better choice.

    After thinking this through, it's pretty clear to me that this is mostly about the meaning of up to. I hope it's also clearer for you.

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  11. duvija

    duvija Senior Member

    Spanish - Uruguay
    I walked up the hill ... This is what duvija thinks you meant.

    Yes, duvija thought you were talking about climbing up to the top of the hill.

  12. pmaka06 Senior Member

    Maybe this is strictly from a colloquial usage standpoint, but 'up to Wyoming' to me makes perfect sense and sounds completely natural. The same goes for 'down to', 'over to', depending on the direction. Wyoming is north of Utah and so 'up to Wyoming' makes complete sense. I use it and my friends, family, and acquaintances use it here in Michigan often. 'I'm going down to Atlanta to visit friends'.

    I don't think that Wyoming needs to be your final destination either....'up to Wyoming and then up to Montana'. I believe grammatically and colloquially it is correct but I can't guarantee that. All I can say is that I hear and say it often.
  13. pmaka06 Senior Member

    'up to Wyoming and then up to Montana' from my previous post - OK, maybe that's pushing it a little but it would still be understood :). 'Up to, Down to, Over to' - I've never been so sure of something I had to think so little about! I feel bad because of all of these nice people working so hard to give you the correct and proper answer to your question and I mean that sincerely. I think it's becoming more complicated than it has to be. I would imagine that anyone in any part of the US would understand without thinking, 'wow, this guy is butchering the English language' (at least American English).

    It's just surprising that something that seems so natural to me would not to another in the US. Maybe we can chalk it up to regionalisms.
  14. FromPA

    FromPA Senior Member

    Philadelphia area
    USA English

    What you are saying makes perfect sense when the meaning of the phrase is to express the direction of travel. I'm going (up/down/over) to xxx, with the part in parentheses expressing the direction of travel and being totally optional with respect to expressing the main idea of "I'm going to xxx," with xxx being your destination. But "up to" can also mean "as far as" or "no farther than," and this is the sense that would translate as "hasta." I think when used in the directional sense, "up to" might be translated as "hacia."

    Just as a further observation, when expressing direction (I'm going up/down/over to somewhere), the choice of adverb is totally subjective. In theory, "up" should correspond with "north," "down" with "south," and "over" with "east/west," but people aren't so technical when speaking. You could have 3 different people located in the same place, and each person would select a different adverb to say "I'm going up/down/over to the train station." The main idea is "I'm going to the train station," and the adverb you use is totally unimportant - it's more idiomatic than informational. When giving directions, I could say "go up/down/over to Main Street, and the adverb is totally idiomatic and conveys no information at all with respect to the actual direction. The adverb could be omitted without changing the meaning of the sentence at all.
  15. pmaka06 Senior Member

    Hi PA-

    Extremely interesting conversation - well thought out and reasoned by both you and Jim and perhaps I have not addressed the subtleties of 'up/down/over to' in relation to hasta and hacia. We all know that their are subtleties and gaps in meanings in translation. One really doesn't fully grasp the meaning of 'lost in translation' until attempting to learn another language. I can only express what I am sure about this construction from what I know from wher I live.

    'Up to' from where I live implies strongly both a stopping point (as 'hasta' would convey') and the actual northward direction (as 'hacia'. I have been in conversations where someone would say, 'I'm going up to Chicago' and the listeners would kind of look at each other and someone would correct them because Chicago is not north of Detroit. Now, if it were across town in the southward direction, a short distance, 'up to' would work without problem. 'I am going up to Joe's Tavern' (which is south into town 4 miles).

    I am very sure of at least the regional usage. Implicit in 'up/down/over to' is both destination and a stopping point (which could be either temporary or farthest point in that direction) and map direction. In the original question, he says '...crossing Utah up to Wyoming. I will stop there for a few days." To my ears, 'for a few days' could go unstated, (unless he wants to specify how long, which he does) because 'up to' implies a stopping point which does not preclude him from travelling further north.

    Again, maybe from what I'm learning it is a regional colloquialism and to me, it is a very natural and conveys both direction and destination and so it is a very complete and viable option, if not the preferred option in what he is trying to express.
  16. pmaka06 Senior Member

    From my above post, 'I am very sure of at least the regional usage. Implicit in 'up/down/over to' is both destination and a stopping point' - should have said both 'direction' and stopping point or even 'direction and destination' (long night and no coffee yet!:)
  17. loureed4 Senior Member

    Wow. I feel impressed, grateful, and most of it, really overwhelmed by your replies. They are great indeed.

    It has taken me a while to understand all the things you say, but I have learnt a lot I should say.

    My first idea about the sentence was "hasta" , this is, a destination point being Wyoming, or , as pointed out above "as far as but no further than". I have learnt the two meanings of "up to" from your replies, with the example of the hill "I walked up to the hill (as far as, no further than the bottom of the hill). It is quite interesting, and a bit puzzling for a mere learner.

    To be honest, when I reread the post, my own initial post, I thought that I was saying both things, as you all remark:

    1- Just the direction "to Wyoming" (and being northwards, adding "up" to "to")
    2- The final destination, as far as, no further than "up to Wyoming"

    And that is what I find more puzzling, although I think it is not such big deal.

    What has struck most is the example about the train, in which the speaker says interchangeably "down/up to the train station" , being idiomatic but not informative, that is kind of shocking for me, I didn´t know that at all. What is more, in movies, when the guy said: "I´ll go down to Moe´s" , I always supposed that the guy lived uphill, in the top part of the town, and Moe´s was in the bottom of the town, so, he had to drive down, instead of drive up to Moe´s .

    I WANT TO STRESS MY GRATITUDE TO YOU ALL FOR YOUR GREAT HELP, This forums are incredibly helpful: Jim2996 with his long and incredible replies, FromPA always helping me, well, ALL OF YOU. :rolleyes:

    To Dujiva: Yes, Jim2996 is right, I didn´t mean "I walked up the hill" but "up to the hill/Wyoming".

    Destination point or direction...really interesting!! thanks!!
  18. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    To me the trip in the original sentence goes to Wyoming, not just in the direction of Wyoming, and up means "northward" or "upward".

    Where I live, we use up for either "northward" or "upward", and sometimes, on more or less level terrain, for "toward the larger highway." But we would never say, for example, "up to Houston" since Houston is both south of us and at a lower elevation.
    There is a word way (anteriormente away) that means something like "far" (e.g. "way down upon the Swannee River", "way back in October"), but what applies here (after all) is the noun way meaning "distance".
  19. duvija

    duvija Senior Member

    Spanish - Uruguay
    Ask a NewYorker for uptown vs downtown, and then tell me...
  20. loureed4 Senior Member

    Thanks Forero for your reply!

    I totally agree. What you say is what I took for granted, I knew that, but I appreciate your reply a lot because, you being a native, that helps a lot to have a more solid knowledge of your language! . Well, I didn´t understand the part about "way" but I am happy about understanding the part about my question. :)
  21. duvija

    duvija Senior Member

    Spanish - Uruguay
    Funny. In Montevideo, ir para arriba sometimes means up the hill (the city is very hilly, and walking is not always fun), but others, just to where the numbers go up. (I mean, if you ask how to go from 18 de Julio 1030 to 18 de Julio 1230, you may be told: andá para arriba 2 cuadras)

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