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Explaining Spanish Grammar Using the Ten Commandments, Part 5

Okay, here we go again! Let’s learn some more Spanish grammar. The Verses for today are Exodus 20: 9 & 10. I hope this study is helping you understand Spanish grammar better, but also that it is helping you understand the Ten Commandments better.

La gente tienes que trabajar. (People have to work.)Photo by Vincent Tan on Pexels.com

Verse 9: Seis dias trabajaras, y haras toda tu obra;

Seis dias – “Six days.” Spanish is like English, and “s” is used to make plural.

trabajaras – “You will work.” Actually, the final “a” in “trabajaras” needs an accent mark above it, but if I do that with my computer, it messes the word up, so I don’t. to make future tense, again, you leave the “ar” on the end, and you add the ending after that. With any tense in Spanish, if a verb ends in “s,” the subject is “you.”

Y haras – “and you will do.” “y” = and. “Haras” needs an accent mark over the second “a.” It is future tense, second person singular, “you.” It comes from a very irregular verb, “hacer” which means “to do.”

tu obra – “your work.” Again, “tu” = your. There is more than one work for “work” in Spanish, and “obra” is one of them. It is a noun.

This verse is a compound sentence because it has two pars on either side of the comma that are complete clauses, but the “and” or “y” in the second part makes the second clause dependent on the first clause. The first clause in an independent clause, and the second clause is a dependent clause. A clause needs a subject and a verb, and there is a subject and a verb on either side of the comma. An independent clause can be a sentence alone because it has a subject and a verb with nothing that makes it dependent on anything else.

If you look back at the verse in Spanish, you will see that it ends with a semi colon. That means that this sentence is actually connect to the next verse and part of the same sentence. What is on either side of the semi colon must be complete sentences. They use the semi colon because the meaning is so close that they could have been in the same sentence. Since this verse ends with a semi colon, it means that verse 10 will not begin with a capital letter because you don’t use a capital letter after a semi colon (;) because you are just continuing a different part of the sentence, and it will be an independent clause.

This verse is translated like this: “Six days, you will work, and you will do all of your work.”

Todos necesitan reposar a veces. (Everyone has to relax sometimes.)Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Verse 10: mas el septimo dia es reposo para Jehova tu Dios; no hagas en ‘el obra alguna, tu’, ni tu hijo, ni tu hija, ni tu siervo, ni tu criada, ni tu bestia, ni tu extranjero que esta’ dentro de tus puertas.

mas – “moreover”

el septimo dia – “the seventh .” “El” is the masculine “the,” and ” ‘el” means “he.” It looks like “el septimo” is masculine, and “dia” doesn’t match because it looks feminine with the “a” on the end, but it is an exception, and it is also masculine. Everything needs to match in a phrase like this in number and in gender.

es reposo – “is rest.”

para Jehova tu Dios; – “for Jehova your God;” Notice that this part of the sentence has another semi colon at the end. This means that what you just read has a subject and a verb, “dia” and “es,” and after the semi colon, you will find another subject and verb, and it will be so closely related to what you just read that it could be in the same sentence, to it kind of is. The next part will not begin with a capital letter.

no hagas en ‘el obra alguna – “You don’t do in him any work.” “hagas,” again, comes from “hacer” which means “to do.” It is second person singular present tense which means “you” is conjugated into it. There is another present tense for hacer, and with that one, second person singular is “haces.” I actually don’t know the difference between these two present tenses, but they are both present tense. The “no” at the beginning negates the verb. “en ‘el” = in him. If there was no accent mark over ” ‘el,” then it would mean “the,” but there is an accept mark, so it is “he.” Again, “obra” means “work,” and “alguna” means “any.” Since “obra” ends with an “a,” it is feminine, and needs a feminine adjective. In Spanish, that “alguna” comes after the noun, “obra” because the word “obra” is considered more important than “alguna.” If there was stress put on “alguna” to the point that it was more important than “obra,” they would put it before “obra.” We do that kind of thing with stress when we speak English, but they do it with word order.

tu’= “you,” and you know that because there is an accent mark over it.

ni tu hijo, ni tu hija – “neither your son, neither your daughter.” “ni” means “neither.” “tu” without the accent mark, before a noun, means “your.” “hijo” is masculine, and “hija” is feminine. You can tell because of the “o” and the “a” on the ends of the words.

ni tu siervo, ni tu criada – “neither or servant, neither your maid.” Since, “siervo” ends with an “o,” this could be translated “man servant.” We all know that maids are usually female, and “criada” ends with an “a” saying it is a female servant.

ni tu bestia – “bestia” can mean “brute” or “beast.” It is referring to the domestic animals that people used to keep to do their work like oxen, donkeys, and horses.

ni – neither or nor

ni tu extranjero que esta’ dentro de tus puertas. – “neither your foreigner that are inside your doors.” “ni tu extranjero” means “neither your foreigner,” and it modified by a relative clause, “que esta’ dentro de tus puertas.” In this case “que” is not “what,” but “that.” “esta’ ” comes from “estar” which often means “to be located.” The position of the accent mark on this verb is very important. If the accent mark were at the other end of the word, the meaning of the word would change and become “this,” so remember that accent mark it very important. “esta’ ” = he or she is located. dentro = inside. “de” = of. “tus puertas” = “your doors.” Again, Spanish uses “s” for plural just as English does, so the noun “puertas” (doors) is plural. You have to match everything with gender and number in Spanish. That means that “tu” meaning “your” also needs an “s” and becomes “tus.”

If you put this all together, this verse is translated: “Moreover, the seventh day is the rest for Jehova your God. You don’t do, in him, any work, you, neither your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, neither your beast, nor your foreigner that is inside of your gates.”

Dios dijo que aunque los animals necesitan reposar a veces. (God said every the animals need to rest sometimes.)Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Okay, there you have verses 9 & 10 of Exodus 20. There were no new commandments in these verses, but they were explaining the Sabbath more. It is interesting that no one ever thinks of the Sabbath as being “for” God as it says here. If you read the English, it talks about it as if people rest on the seventh day to honor God. Everyone always talks about it as a commandment to rest, but they don’t think so much about why God said we should do it. God understood that we need rest after we work because he needed rest even though he is all powerful. It is also stressed here to get all the work done. You don’t rest until you have done it all and done it right. God isn’t encouraging laziness. He asks people to rest because everyone needs to rest sometimes. People were not even allowed to make their maids work on the Sabbath, but they had to have everything done ahead of time so no one worked on that day. Even the beasts of burden were to be given a break. God looks out for the animals, and people who kick dogs and such should think about God’s attitude about making the animals as important as the human beings on this day and giving them rest too. There is no doubt that human beings are a higher form of life than animals, but just because human beings are a higher form of life, doesn’t mean God wants us to abuse them.

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