Don't wait until a rainy day to change worn-out .....

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Amante, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Amante Senior Member

    Don't wait until a rainy day to change worn-out windshield wipers.

    My translation: No espera hasta un día lluvioso a cambia las limpiaparabrisas gastadas.

    Translation in my learning material: No espera hasta un dia lluvioso para cambiar unas escobillas ya gastadas.

    Can you help me understand when to use "a cambia" and " para cambiar". Is it that the "a" must indicate going from one place to another and so it's correct to use para since it means "in order to" rather than " going to ". Am I on the right track?

    Also, if I may ask another question. I'm not sure about the "ya". Since it means "already", isn't it redundant in this sentence?

    Gracias para sus ayudas !
  2. grahamcracker Senior Member

    The word "to" in your English version is part of the infinitive verb. Here, the word "para" is essentially a translation of the English "in order to" as in "in order to change". In English we don't always need to include "in order to" but I imagine "para" should be in the Spanish. That part I really don't know. Just be aware that if you can say "in order to + verb", chances are you can say "para".
  3. grahamcracker Senior Member

    In the case of "going to", if you say "I am going to change the tire" (Voy a cambiar la llanta), it is a different use of the word "to" as in "I am going to the store". "Voy a la tienda" is contains no Spanish infinitive and the word "a" is a true preposition.

    And generally, the conjugations of "ir" (voy, va, vas, van) are followed by "to" but esperar routinely is not automatically done treated that way.
  4. Amante Senior Member

    thanks Grahamcracker!
  5. Haligonian95 Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Sorry for chipping in so late. I hope this can be useful for whoever needs it.

    I'm not entirely sure about the difference between 'para' and 'a' in terms of grammar. It appears to me there is not quite a substantial difference between those two, as sometimes they're used interchangeably. 'Para' in Spanish expresses purpose, such as in 'Para disfrutar de una buena película, lo mejor es ir al cine', whereas 'a' usually refers to places as in 'Mañana iré a Valladolid con unos amigos', although it can be used to express an action, such as in 'Voy a ver una película con unos amigos'. It can also be explained through translations, as you would translate the sentence 'Voy a ver una película con unos amigos' into 'I am going to watch a movie with some friends'. In the case of the sentence with 'para', the proper translation would be: 'In order to enjoy a good movie, the best idea is going to the movies'. What I've noticed, though, is that 'para' can be placed at the beginning of the sentence, being the subject or 'sujeto', while I doubt you can use 'a' in that case. On the whole, I'd say the difference is pretty subtle, and Spanish speakers tend to incline more towards one or the other depending on how it sounds.

    How I'd translate your sentence: No espere/esperes a un día lluvioso para cambiar los limpiaparabrisas desgastados (could also be said as: No espere/esperes a que llueva para cambiar los limpiaparabrisas desgastados). I can't see where 'ya' could be placed.

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