Intransitive Verbs  

All intransitive verbs in Spanish are conjugated with the auxiliary verb haber, as:
  • Ha venido.
    He has or is come.

A verb that governs an infinitive through a certain preposition, as:

  • Convenimos en hacerlo.
    We agreed upon doing it.

should drop the preposition when a finite verb follows.

N.B.--Many such verbs, however, may preserve the preposition even before a finite mood, as:
  • Convenimos que, or en que, lo hiciesen.
    We agreed that they should do it.

When the subject of a verb is a collective noun, the verb is placed in the singular (see Lesson: The Noun for exception).

When a compound subject follows the verb, this may agree in number and person with the first subject only, as:

  • Nos ha llegado la circular y los impresos que la acompañaban.
    We received the circular and the printed matter which accompanied it.

The ambiguity between a Reflexive verb plural and a Reciprocal verb is avoided thus:

  • Se comprometen á sí (á sí mismos--emphatic).
    They commit themselves.
  • Se comprometen el uno al ótro, or los unos á los otros.
    They commit each other.

A Reflexive verb is that in which the second pronoun of the same person as the subject, is the direct object of the action, as:

  • Ellos se comprometen.
    They commit themselves.

But when the second pronoun stands for the indirect object, the verb is only intransitive pronominal, as:

  • Él se procuró un empleo.
    He procured for himself an employment.
The Passive Voice

The Passive voice formed with ser occurs much less in Spanish than in English.

When the "doer" is not expressed the active voice with se generally takes its place, as:

  • Los niños se aman or Se ama[1] á los niños.
    Children are loved.
Footnote 1: Notice Sing. number.
When the "doer" is mentioned the following construction is often used:
  • Á estos niños los aman sus padres.
    These children are loved by their parents.

The English present participle used substantively is rendered in Spanish by a noun or by the infinitive mood of the verb generally preceded by the definite article, as:

  • El cambio de las condiciones.
    The changing of the terms.
  • El cambiar las condiciones.
    The changing of the terms.
  • El escribir or el haber escrito él á las autoridades de la Aduana.
    His writing to the custom-house authorities.
  • El vender á crédito á largos plazos no es un principio sano.
    Selling on credit with long terms is not a sound practice.
  • Prefiero comprar disponible (or las compras de disponible).
    I prefer spot buying.

The English gerund following "by" is translated by the gerund without preposition or by the infinitive preceded by con, as:

  • Depositando (or con depositar) sus acciones se puso en perfecta regla.
    By depositing his shares, he put himself in order.

The Spanish verbal forms ending in ante and iente, as: Amante (lover), tratante (dealer), dependiente (clerk), etc., used to be termed "present participles," and the analogous forms "amando" (loving), "tratando" (treating), "dependiendo" (depending), etc., "gerunds," but this has now taken the place of both forms, used as verbs, and the forms in ante and iente are classed as other parts of speech, according to their meaning, as:

  • Amante de la música (adj.): Fond of music.
  • Un tratante en trigos (noun): A dealer in wheat.
  • Un dependiente de comercio (noun): A commercial clerk.
  • Durante la exposicion (prep.): During the exhibition.
  • Mediante su ayuda (prep.): By means of his help.
  • No obstante que vino (conj.): Notwithstanding his coming.
  • ¡Corriente! (interj.): All right! done!



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