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    #1

    Relative Pronouns (In relation to Spanish)

    I am trying to help a Spanish speaker with her English. She recently wrote the following sentence...

    "I want that you explain me in spanish"

    I know that she is applying Spanish stucture here but, I want to tell her not to use the relative pronoun after "want".
    I was wondering, what is the rule here because Relative Pronouns can follow other verbs and sound perfectly natural.

    For example: I think that blah blah blah....

    Is there a rule I can give her?
    How do we know when and when not to use a Relative Pronoun.
    It is not a question of elipsis, it is a question of some sound natural and some unnatural.

    Also, if anyone could shed some light on the "explain me" thing I`d also be grateful. It seems some verbs take "to" and some do not.

    Thanks in advance.
    Brian

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Relative Pronouns (In relation to Spanish)

    "Explain me" is a common error by Spanish/French/Italian speakers. It's a direct translation from their own language. With my Spanish students, I found that it was simpler to just tell them to consider that the verb construction is usually "to explain to" when followed by a pronoun.

    Explain to me how to do this.
    Please explain to my friend why you did that.
    Can you explain to me how this works?

    Please explain the use of these phrases.
    Can you explain how to do this?
    I can't explain what I mean.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. Roman55's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Relative Pronouns (In relation to Spanish)

    I am not a teacher.

    I think that 'that' is a conjunction in your sentence.

    In Latin languages, 'I want that you explain me…' is a conjugated verb/conjunction/pronoun/subjunctive. This is why native speakers of Spanish, French, Italian will make this sort of sentence.

    In English, it's a conjugated verb/object pronoun/to infinitive/(optional)to+object pronoun. I want you to explain (to me)…

    It boils down to the fact that different languages are constructed differently, and students of foreign languages just have to accept that.

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    #4

    Re: Relative Pronouns (In relation to Spanish)

    Thanks so much emsr2d2.
    I will explain that.

    Do you have any insight on the Relative Pronoun conumdrum?

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    #5

    Re: Relative Pronouns (In relation to Spanish)

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman55 View Post

    It boils down to the fact that different languages are constructed differently, and students of foreign languages just have to accept that.
    Thanks Roman55.
    But the construction seems to be different within just English
    I want you to explain. (You could not use "that" here.
    I think thatyou should explain.

    It possible has something to do with the infinitive but my Grammar knowledge is not good enough to Sherlock this one out.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Relative Pronouns (In relation to Spanish)

    Bear in mind that "that" in your last example is optional.

    I think that you should explain.
    I think you should explain.

    They're both perfectly acceptable.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: Relative Pronouns (In relation to Spanish)

    But the problem is not if elipsis. I know that elipsis is optional with "that"
    But..
    "I want that you explain to me in English"

    ..does not sound natural. It is not an option.

    Any ideas? Its tying my head in knotts. /:

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Relative Pronouns (In relation to Spanish)

    Quote Originally Posted by Briyonce1 View Post
    Is there a rule I can give her?
    Speaking as a learner, not a teacher, I simply think that it is the common usage and there is no need to think up a rule.

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