Es muy bueno para con los demas.

salsacat

Member
English, England
Hola,

This phrase is in "Las 500 dudas mas frecuentes del espanol" by Cervantes Institute on page 303 as an example of a correct usage of 2 prepositions being used together one after the other. I'm not sure how to translate this into English, possibly 'he/she/it is very good to be with others', but this doesn't make much sense, could anyone help with this?

Muchas gracias!

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  • BLUEGLAZE

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I think our best translation is - He's very good with others/people, leaving aside the second preposition.
    Though you could say - dealing with people.
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Jacques de Bruyne (sec. 748) says that "para con"...
    ...has the meaning of 'towards' when used of a feeling
    He could have added "or attitude or behavior".
    De Bruyne's examples include "su amistad para con López", "cierta indulgencia para conmigo", "solidaridad para con el pueblo de Chile".
    The object of the preposition(s) tends to be a human or humans.
     

    Sendro Páez

    Senior Member
    Spanish - España
    I don't like the first of De Bruyne's examples ─ "su amistad para con López." I would skip the 'para'. The other two are prototypical, very illustrative.
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    That example is attributed to M[iguel] de Unamuno, El espejo de la muerte (1967, p.66),
    Could its meaning be less like "his [reciprocal] friendship with López" and more like "his [unilateral] friendly attitude toward López"?
     

    Sendro Páez

    Senior Member
    Spanish - España
    You're welcome, salsacat, and don't worry too much about that issue ─ it happens all the time.
    That example is attributed to M[iguel] de Unamuno, El espejo de la muerte (1967, p.66),
    Could its meaning be less like "his [reciprocal] friendship with López" and more like "his [unilateral] friendly attitude toward López"?
    Unamuno? That makes sense. Unamuno did not have personality. He was not a personality, either. Actually, he was seemingly born ─in Bilbao, where else?─ to justify the existence of personality as a concept. Many of his sentences make you wonder what the hell he meant*. That example is not different. The first time I read it, I practiced exactly the same mental conversion as you did, "su actitud amistosa hacia López." Now that I've learnt who its author is, I'm afraid I'm in doubt...

    Anyway, "su actitud amistosa hacia López" is a great idea, since 'actitud' is probably the most frequent noun among those associated to 'para con', and 'hacia' is the most common way of substituting 'para con'. That aside, 'para con' rejects the idea of reciprocity.

    Speaking of strong personalities, I think Mark Twain didn't hit the nail on the head. Sorry, I should have realised it before.
    I think our best translation is - He's very good with others/people, leaving aside the second preposition.
    Though you could say - dealing with people.
    I'm not completely sure about "He's very good with others" because I haven't probably mastered the implications of 'with', but "He's very good at dealing with people" ─if I got it right─ is clearly off.

    I'll offer you an example that's commonly used in day-to-day Spanish. It should always take 'para con' but, since this is perceived as a dated and/or educated solution, goes with just 'con' ─ not even 'hacia', which would sound odd. I hope you understand the context and the meaning.
    No sé cómo dices que Juanjo es un borde. Es muy simpático con los niños.​

    Maybe, the problem isn't very apparent right now but, if we just changed 'simpático' for 'bueno', the sentence would become a real mess ─ and that would have nothing to do with the different meanings of the adjectives involved. It would be obvious that the preposition couldn't keep up with the context. Would that "bueno con los niños" mean 'before them', 'in their company', 'dealing with them', 'using them'...?

    Well, I have bad news, they say "Es muy bueno con los niños" over and over. Welcome to Spanish!


    *: His most famous quote ("Me duele España") would make an interesting thread in WordReference.
     
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