si la cortas en tres partes, cada una es / será un tercio

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by ojyram, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. ojyram Senior Member

    Tampa, Fl, USA
    USA English (Learning Spanish)
    If you cut a cake into three equal parts, each part ____ a third.
    Si corta un pastel en 3 partes iguales, cada parte ____ un tercio.

    The sentence begins with and "if" clause, so which verb form (es or será) fills the blank in Spanish?
  2. Alundra

    Alundra Senior Member

    Nueva York de la Mancha
    España - Castellano
    Ambas formas son correctas. Yo creo que eso depende del contexto en el que esté incluida la frase. Si todo el párrafo está en presente, pues supongo que lo correcto es usar "es".

  3. piloya

    piloya Senior Member

    ambas son correctas. Quizás "será" es a nivel de significado mejor, porque el pastel ahora está entero, por lo tanto "será un tercio" en el futuro, después de haberlo cortado.
  4. crom

    crom Senior Member

    This is like following sentences:
    Si no riegas las plantas, se mueren (If you don't water the plants , they die)
    Si no riegas las plantas, se morirán (If you don't water the plants, they will die)
    Both of them are correct and they have the same meaning.

    The first sentence (in simple present) is the zero-conditional and tells us something that is unavoidable.
    The second one (in future) is the first-conditional and tells us what will happen if something happen.

    They are very similar and they are synonimous in most of cases.

    So, in your case you can use "es" or "será"

    "Please, correct me"
  5. LadyBlakeney

    LadyBlakeney Senior Member

    At least in my head, the difference lies in the situation where you are using the tense:

    Si corta un pastel en 3 partes iguales, cada parte es un tercio.

    Here, you are speaking about the theoric situation of slicing a cake, in abstract, you are not necessarily in a situation were you are going to or are likely to cut the cake, now or in the future.

    Si corta un pastel en 3 partes iguales, cada parte será un tercio.

    It means essentially the same, but using the future you are implying a possibility that the action will take place in the future.

    I don't know if I managed to explain myself at all. If not, please ignore my rambling. :)
  6. crom

    crom Senior Member

    Very good explanation, LadyBlakeney!

  7. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I agree with the other posters that both tenses are acceptable.

    Judging from your other threads, it looks like you address your students with the informal pronoun "tú", which is O.K. if they are young people. But, if so, you should say "Si cortas".
  8. ojyram Senior Member

    Tampa, Fl, USA
    USA English (Learning Spanish)
    I am glad to know that both forms are correct and to understand why. All of you did a wonderful job of making this clear to me.

    Outsider, you are very perceptive. In this particular sentence, I was speaking theoretically: "If one cuts a cake...," but I think it would actuallly be better to put the situation into more personal terms and to speak directly about the child: "If you cut a cake...," so I will begin the sentence as you suggest: "Si cortas...."

    How wonderful to find others who care so much that a sentence be written with words that best convey the intended meaning. Thank you so very much.
  9. lasirena Senior Member

    US English
    If you want to say "If one cuts a cake", you must say, "Si se corta un pastel en..."

    The "se" is impersonal and equivalent to the English "If a cake were cut..." or "If one were to cut a cake..."
  10. ojyram Senior Member

    Tampa, Fl, USA
    USA English (Learning Spanish)
    Always something more to learn, Lasirena, thanks for teaching.
  11. Rayines

    Rayines Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Creo que es el mismo caso de los teoremas: "Si "A" tal cosa....entonces "B"....tal otra" (y generalmente se escriben en presente del Indicativo). Porque si se da tal condición, "necesariamente" se cumple tal otra.
  12. lasirena Senior Member

    US English
  13. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    And you can also say "Si uno corta un pastel..." ;)

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