Continuing with our brief focus on verbs and prepositions (see last week's Episode 90: Verbs with Built-In Prepositions), today we'll talk about 8 Spanish verbs and their related prepositions. The first five deal with verbs that use different prepositions than you would expect as a native English speaker. The next three deal with verbs that require prepositions in Spanish, but which don't require them in English. Plus, we'll finish up our Cultural Tip on Honduras with three fun and interesting traditions! Let's begin!
Surprise! I made it! :) Sure, not by Wednesday, but at least now the schedule should be fixed. ;)
Verbs with Different Prepositions
Just as in English, these verbs use a preposition to follow after them for specific connotations. Yet the preposition you use in Spanish is different than the one you use in English. It's just a slightly different understanding of the concept, which is cool.
1. Pensar en (to think about)
Instead of using "about", or sobre, you generally use en, or "in, on". I like this, as it makes it sound a bit more meditative: Pienso en algo, "I think on something". Examples:
¿Has pensado en la propuesta? Have you thought about the proposal?
Pienso en mis hijos todo el tiempo. I think about my kids all the time.
There's also a cool way to say "daydreaming" with this verb+preposition combo: pensar en las musarañas
2. Paracerse a (to look like, resemble)
Not just because of the personal a, this verb uses a instead of the English preposition like in to look like.
Te pareces a tu mamá. You look like your mom.
¡Se parece a Brad Pitt! He looks like Brad Pitt!
Está empezando a parecerse a la Navidad. It's beginning to look like Christmas.
You could also use Paracer que (to look like, to indicate).
Parece que no podremos ir a Oklahoma. It looks like we won't be able to go to Oklahoma.
3. Tratar de (to try to do something)
In English, if we are "trying to do something", we use the preposition "to". But if we are trying to do something in Spanish, we use the preposition de (which means "of" or "from").
Él trata de ser mejor. He tries to be better.
Ella está tratando de aprender corno francés. She is trying to learn French Horn.
Tratamos de comer jamón verde. ¡Fue una mala idea! We tried eating green ham. It was a bad idea!
4. Oler a (to smell like, of)
In English, you would use the preposition "like" or "of" to express that something smells like something else. But in Spanish, they use a, or "to".
¡Huele a aguas residuales! He smells like a sewar!
Mi baño huele a pétalos de rosa. My bathroom smells like rose petals.
5. Soñar con (to dream about, of)
While we would say "I dream about doing something," or "I dream of something.", in Spanish they use the preposition con, "with". So sueño con algo is like you are saying "I dream with something", which somehow sounds more poetic, even though it doesn't make sense in my native English-speaker brain. :D
Sueño con ser médico. I dream about becoming a doctor.
Sueña con algún día tener su propia tienda. She dreams of one day owning her own store.
Verbs That Require Prepositions
Now let's talk about the verbs that use prepositions in Spanish, but which don't in English (and sometimes it is just a nuance thing).
1. Casarse con (to marry someone)
If you were going to say "He is getting married", Se va a casar, then you wouldn't need to use the preposition con, or "with". But if you are saying something more specific, like "He is marrying Sally," then you would need to use it, Se va a casar con Sally.
Me casé con mi mejor amigo. I married my best friend.
Ella se casará con él. She will marry him.
2. Confiar en (to trust)
The last time I remember hearing someone say "Trust in me" in English, using that "in" preposition, was the song "Trust in Me" from The Jungle Book. But outside of that, we don't say "Trust in me." We just say "Trust me." But in Spanish, they still have this format: confía en mi.
¿Confías en ella? Do you trust her?
Confió en la persona equivocada. He trusted the wrong person.
3. Dejar de (to stop doing something)
We don't use a preposition in the phrase, "stop doing something", but in Spanish they use de, "of" or "from". So it's like they are saying "stop from doing something". It sounds a bit more convoluted than in English, but it is how the phrase is used.
¡Deja de hacer eso! Stop doing that!
Paul dejó de correr todos los días. Paul stopped running every day.
Mary me pidió que dejara de llamarla. Mary asked me to stop calling her.
(Spanish Academy has a great article delving into the different ways to use dejar, as well as a brief explanation on the differences between dejar and parar. If you are using dejar + de, it means the same thing as parar + de.)
And that wraps up our brief stint in preposition land! See you (hopefully) in two weeks!
Remember, learning a language is a lifelong journey.
¡Aprovéchalo, Disfrútalo y Compártelo!
Cultural Tip: Honduras
This final part of our cultural dive into Honduras took a few unexpected turns while I was researching it! So here are three interesting and unique cultural traditions / aspects of Honduras:
1. La Lluvia de Peces in Yoro, Honduras
Every year, generally in May or June, something fantastical happens in the farming town of Yoro. Some claim it is an as-of-yet unexplained phenomenon with an unknown scientific reason behind it, but many claim it is a miracle and a blessing from God. What is it? La Lluvia de Peces, or "The Rain of Fish", or even "Fish Rain". That's right. Fish Rain!
It happens at least once a year, but often more than that. It begins with a fierce thunderstorm that is so powerful, no one dares leave their homes during it. And once the storm has passed, the villagers head out to a specific place to pick up hundreds of small, silver fish that just miraculously appear on the ground! It is a communal activity, with people sharing the blessing. It is forbidden to sell it. And this miracle has been happening for generations, with the lluvia de peces always happening in the area of Yoro (although it does seem to move around in the area of Yoro, so it has spent the past decade or so appearing in La Unión area of Yoro. Unless of course it has changed since the articles I was reading were written.)
There are, of course, scientific attempts to explain it, but no one is quite certain (as far as I can tell) what actually causes it. The two theories I have seen involve either the fish being forced out of a subterranean water source due to the storms or they are deposited from waterspouts from the Atlantic Ocean. But the locals claim it is a miracle granted to them because of Manuel de Jesús Subirana. He was a Catholic priest and missionary in the mid-1800s who was moved by the abject poverty of the people in Yoro. He prayed to God for 3 days and 3 nights to help with their hunger and poverty, which resulted in God answering with La Lluvia de Peces. I couldn't believe it at first when I found this story, but I absolutely love it! I, personally, am behind the miracle theory. :D So cool!
If you would like to learn more about this phenomenon, check out the links in the Shownotes to various articles and some Spanish news YouTube clips about the subject.
2. The Garifuna People
I had never heard of this tribe before I began researching Honduras. And they are a fascinating people! Back in 1635 AD, a slave ship was shipwrecked off the island of St. Vincent. The African survivors made it to the island and intermingled with the inhabitants, the Arawak and Carib Indians, resulting in the Garifuna. When the British then defeated the French for control of St. Vincent in 1796, they fought with the Garifuna for control of the island and eventually expelled them to Punta Gorda, Roatan, a Bay Island off of the coast of Honduras, in 1797.
At this time, the British were fighting with the Spanish over the Bay Islands, and so the Spanish helped the Garifuna relocate to the Honduran coast. They moved throughout Central America and have communities today in Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, and - of course - Honduras. There are also many Garifuna in the U.S.A.
I found a really interesting documentary on the Garifuna on YouTube. (Just be warned, there is one scene with one bad word near the end.) Definitely worth a look - you can see the current situation of the Garifuna in Honduras, as well as get many Garifuna perspectives on their culture and modern predicament.
There is even a festival held every year on the island of Roatan to celebrate their culture and to remember their history.
I think it is safe to say that each cultural tip on a country's traditions will now include something regarding their food. :D So here are a few popular Honduran dishes, with recipe links included in case you would like to try to make them yourself!
Plato Típico - This complicated dish has a bit of everything! It has fried plantain, stewed beans, chismol (which is a spiced vegetable mix), rice, and grilled meat and pork sausages. It looks really tasty, but also like it might require juggling a few things to get it all made.
Tapado De Pescado (Spanish Recipe) - this is a creamy, coconut milk, fish, and vegetable soup!
Pan de Coco (or a Spanish Version here) - this bread looks AWESOME and fairly straightforward. In other words, it is on my radar to make in the next couple of weeks. :D They are yeasted, dairy-free rolls made with coconut milk, stuffed with sugar (and sometimes also more coconut!).
Baleadas - This recipe looks super easy, and like it would make a tasty breakfast, so it is also on my radar. Basically, it is a flour tortilla stuffed with fried beans, sometimes other items as well (like cheese or eggs), served with sour cream or hot sauce. Some say that it is called a baleada because the beans look very similar to bullets, or balas. Others that a woman was shot several times, recovered, and went back to making her tortillas. So if you were going to buy them from her, you would say you were going to the baleada, or the "shot woman". Who knows? Eitherr way, it looks like a tasty treat. :)
If you try making any of these, please let me know how they turned out! :)
© 2023 by Language Answers, LLC
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"25 Spanish Verbs With Prepositions (Plus Example Sentences)" by Melody Tabatabaian for FluentU, last updated September 7, 2023
"25 Common Spanish Verbs and Their Prepositions" by Real Fast Spanish
"Scarlett Johansson - Trust in Me (From "The Jungle Book" (Audio Only))" uploaded by DisneyMusicVEVO to YouTube on April 15, 2016
"Dejar vs Salir in Spanish (Plus: Parar, Quedar, and Permitir)" by Olga Put for Spanish Academy on December 1, 2022
"Every Year, the Sky ‘Rains Fish.’ Explanations Vary" by Kirk Semple for The New York Times on July 16, 2017 (Click here for a Spanish version.)
"Lluvia de Peces (Rain of Fish) – Yoro, Honduras" by Dylan for Atlas Obscura on June 28, 2010
"Lluvia de peces: Milagro celestial en Yoro" uploaded to YouTube by VTV Somos Todos Honduras on June 20, 2023
"¡Lluvia de Peces! reportan pobladores de Yoro, Honduras" uploaded to YouTube by HCH Televisión Digital on September 24, 2019
"Who are the Garifuna People?" by John Dupuis for Honduras Travel on September 7, 2016
"On Our Land: Being Garifuna in Honduras" World in a Lens Production, uploaded to YouTube by Randy A on May 13, 2020
"Garifuna Festival" by Roatan Online
"10 Most Popular Honduran Dishes" by Taste Atlas
"Recipe: The national dish of Honduras - Plato tipico" by Kalle for Ingmar.app on September 13, 2015
"Tapado De Pescado" by Comidas de Honduras
"Pan de Coco (Honduran Coconut Bread)" by Lizet Bowen for Curious Cuisiniere, last updated April 11, 2023
"Honduran Baleadas (And Homemade Flour Tortillas) (And Homemade Flour Tortillas)" by Sarah for Curious Cuisiniere, last updated April 11, 2023