Explaining Spanish Grammar Using the Language Chapter, Part 6

It is the day after Christmas. I hope you guys all had a great Christmas! I hope there were many happy faces around you and that yours was just as happy. I haven’t done this for a few days since I was so busy celebrating Christmas on my blog and off. As for me, I actually celebrate Christmas all year, but I don’t make a turkey or put up a Christmas tree all year. However, I believe in Jesus and his teachings. I believe we need to love one another. I believe following Jesus is the way to God. I have been around the world and back many times teaching about Jesus, and soon, I will begin teaching a Spanish language Bible class in Del City, Oklahoma. There is a group who has asked me to teach them in Spanish, and I will. Right now, I am explaining Spanish grammar to you from the Bible. I hope one day you can use this knowledge and help others too.

Espero que tuviste una Navidad estupendo! (I hope you had a great Christmas!)

As far as what we have learned from the content of this chapter, we have learned that preaching is more important than speaking in a foreign language. We have learned that if people speak a foreign language at church, but no one understands, it does not good. They are speaking into the wind. The reason that preaching is more important than language and that the Apostle Paul doesn’t want us to speak in languages people don’t understand in front of the church is because everything is supposed to be done to edify, to build up the church. The Apostle Paul wants us to put value on the meaning of the words. If we don’t, we become foreigners to one another. He wants us to gain spiritual gifts in abundance to build the church up. Now that we are brought up to date, we are ready for the next verse, verse 13. As far as reviewing grammar, it isn’t presented systematically because I explain what is there, so the review will come as I explain the grammar of the verses for today.

Pienso qu el hombre por la izquierda esta interpretando para las mujeres que ensenar acerca de Dios. (I think the man on the left is interpreting for the women that are teaching about God.)Photo by Abel Tan Jun Yang on Pexels.com

Verse 13: Por lo cual, ‘el que habla en lengua extrana, pida en oracion poder interpretaria.

Por lo cual – “Therefore.” The literal translation: “for which it” really doesn’t make sense in English, but to translate it as “therefore” makes sense.

Si queremos intender la gente de Mexico, necesitamos estudiar. (If we want to understand the people from Mexico, we must study.)Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

‘el que habla en lengua extrana – “He that speaks in the foreign language.” ” ‘El” means “he.” If there were no accent mark on the “e,” it would mean “the,” but it has an accent mark, so it is “he.” “Que” means “that.” I have told you before that if “que” begins a question, it becomes “what,” but if it is in the middle of the sentence, it can be something else, but is usually “that.” In this case, “que” is a relative pronoun that begins a relative clause. The relative clause is, “que habla en la lengua extrana.” This relative clause is an adjective clause that tells about ” ‘el.” “Habla” comes from “hablar.” “Hablar” means “to speak.” “Habla” is third person singular present tense. Here is where the review takes place. Present tense means it happens everyday or all the time. Since it is third person, singular, that means that either “he, she, it, or a respectful “you” (usted) is embedded in “habla.” In this case, since it is an adjective phrase describing ” ‘el,” we know that the subject pronoun must be ” ‘el” (he). “En” means “in.” Sometimes it means something else, but usually, it is “in.” “Lengua” means either “tongue” or “language.” Even the older speakers of English called a language a “tongue,” and they also can call a language a “tongue” in Spanish. When I speak to Mexicans now a days, though, they usually use the word “idioma” for language. “Lengua” is a feminine noun and the direct object of “habla” (he speaks). To find the direct object, you simple ask “what?” “What does he speak?” He speaks “a language” (lengua). This word “lengua” also has an adjective that tells you about it. In English, the adjective is before the noun, but in Spanish, it usually comes after the noun unless the are trying to put emphasis on the adjective. The adjective that tells about “lengua” is “extrana” (foreign). The “n” in “extrana” should have a line over it that looks like an “s” on it’s side that is called an “enyey.” It makes “extrana” pronounced more like

‘El pide para conocimiento. (He prays for knowledge.)Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

pida en oracion – “should ask for in prayer” or “would ask for.” “Pida” comes from “pedir.” The subject for this verb is the ” ‘el” from earlier in the sentence. However, simple present tense of “pedir” is “pide,” so I know this is not simple present tense. Modals in a foreign language are not always taught or as easy to foreigners as they should be. However, they don’t have to be that hard. “Pida” has a modal embedded in it. That is why I put “should” or “would” before “ask for in prayer.” “Should” and “would” are two English modals. The only conditional mode I was taught in school in Spanish is “quisiera” which means “would like” or “would want.” Modals are something teachers have a tendency to skip over, but I never shied away from them because they are an important part of language. If you use the word “deber” in Spanish, it can also be “should.” “Debe pedir” can be “he should ask for.” “Pida” is actually “he would ask for,” but in English we would actually translate it as “he should ask for.” Again “en” is “in,” and “oracion” is the noun for “prayer.” “En oracion” is a prepositional phrase. “En” is a preposition, and “oracion” is the object noun of the preposition.

si quieres intender ‘esta persona, necesitas encontrar alguna persona que puede interpreter. (If you want to understand this person, you must find some person that can interpret.)Photo by DSD on Pexels.com

poder interpretaria – “power of interpretation” or “for him to be able to interpret” or “he would or should be able to interpret.” “Poder” means “power” or “to be able to.” “Interpretaria” has, again, a modal imbedded in it. It actually means ” would interpret” or “should interpret.” A modal, in many ways, kind of makes things not so concrete, by abstract. We really can’t get an exact translation of the Spanish here, and none of the translations I gave you above are exact translations because they would say it in a way the just makes no sense in English if we were to translate exact. Sometimes, you can get the meaning without being able to translate exactly, word for word. That is the way language works.

Let’s put verse 13 all together: “Therefore, he that speaks a foreign language should ask for in prayer that he would be able to interpret.”

Si no intiendes cuando oras, no te serve de nada orar. (If you don’t understand when you pray, it doesn’t do you any good to pray.) Photo by Ric Rodrigues on Pexels.com

Verse 14: “Porque si yo oro en lengua desconocida, mi espiritu ora, pero mi entendimiento que da sin fruto.”

Porque si yo oro en lengua deconocida – “because if I pray in an unknown language.” I have said this before, remember that if “porque” is one word, it means “because.” If “por que” is two words, it means “why.” If “si’ ” has that accent mark, it means “yes.” If “si” has no accent mark, it means “if.” “Yo” is the first person singular pronoun “I.” “Oro” comes from “orar” which means “to pray.” “Oro” is simple present tense, singular, first person, so it matches “yo,” and “simple present tense” means it happens all the time or everyday. “En lengua desconocida” is a prepositional phrase. “En” is the preposition “in.” “Lengua” is the noun that is the object of the preposition that means “language.” “Desconocida” is an adjective that describes “lengua” and means “unknown.” It is related to “conocer” which is a verb meaning “to know.” If something is “known,” the Spanish is “conocida.” “Conocida” or “known” is the past participle, and the past participle can be used as an adjective in both languages. The “des” on the front of “conocida” means “un.” “Desconocida” is in the feminine form because it tells about “lengua,” a feminine noun. The masculine form is “desconocido.” The “si” (if) here, tells us that this is a conditional clause, and conditional clauses use conditional modals like “would” and “could.”

mi espirtu ora – “my spirit prays.” This is the conclusion of the conditional clause. In English, sometimes, we use “if/then” statements, and the part after the “then” is the conclusion to the “if/then” statement. Sometimes in English, we leave that “then” out and must give the conclusion without it, and that is what they have done here in Spanish. “Then” in Spanish is “entonces,” but they didn’t use it. They just wrote the conclusion. “Mi” is the first person singular possessive pronoun, “my.” We don’t have a plural for this in English, but if the noun after it is plural, in Spanish, they us “mis” instead of “mi.” “Espiritu” means just what it looks like: “spirit.” “Mi espiritu” (my spirit) is the subject of this clause. “Ora” is the verb of this clause, and “ora” comes from “orar” which means “to pray.” “Ora” is in third person singular simple present tense which means there is “he, she, it, or a Spanish respectful “you” (usted) embedded in “ora.” Since the subject is “mi espirtu” (my spirit), then the pronoun embedded is “it” in English and “‘el” in Spanish.

Orare’ con el espiritu y con el entendimiento. (I will pray with the spirit and with the understanding.) Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

pero mi entendimiento -“but my understanding.” “Pero” means “but” and takes the sentence in another direction. “Mi” means “my” and is singular. “Entendimiento” comes from “entender” which means ” to understand. This is the verb you want to use with people from Mexico when you want to tell them you understand. Say, “intiendo” to mean “I understand,” or “no intiendo” for “I don’t understand.” “intendimiento” is a gerund form (understanding.) The gerund looks like a verb, but it is a noun. It is an “ing” form, but not a verb.

que da sin fruto – “that gives without fruit.” Again, “that” or “que” is a relative pronoun that begins a relative clause that is used like an adjective. Adjectives tell about nouns, so this adjective tells about “intendimiento” (understanding) the noun/gerund it comes right after. “Da” comes from “dar” which means “to give.” “Da” is the simple present tense, third person singular form. This means that it happens everyday, or all the time. It also means that “he, she, it, or the Spanish respectful “you” (usted)” is embedded in “da.” Since the relative clause is telling about “intendimiento” (understanding), then the pronoun embedded in “da” must be “it” or ” ‘el .” “Sin” means “without” “Fructo” means “fruit.” If we put these two words together in English, we end up with “fruitless.” Which means that If we don’t understand when we pray, it is fruitless to pray.

Lets put verse 14 together:because if I pray in an unknown language, but my understanding that it gives is fruitless.”

No todo oracion nos ayuda. (Not all prayer helps us. ) No reces a los idoles. (Don’t pray to idols. ) Si los manos de la gente hizo el dios, no ayuda orir a los cosas para nada. (If people’s hands made the gods, it doesn’t help to pray to things at all.) Oras solamente la Dios en Cielo. (Only pray to God in Heaven.)Photo by Abhinav Goswami on Pexels.com

There was a Korean girl who stayed at our house once from the university when I was teaching international student in America. This girl was extremely religious! My daughter was just a little girl at the time, and she opened the door to the bedroom to go in. The Korean girl was on her knees beside the bed to pray, and she was jabbering and crying and very emotional! It scared my daughter to death! When I was in Romania, I knew a young woman who was not accepted into the Pentecostal church because she wouldn’t jabber when she prayed. She finally gave in because she wanted to be accepted into the church and jabbered in a prayer for them, but she never did it again after that, and she refused to talk about it because it embarrassed her. She had given into peer pressure because she wanted them to accept her as a Christian. In Korea, the Korean professors at my university began something called “noisy prayers.” I didn’t agree with them. We would be sitting in chapel, and they would all start jabbering at once, swaying, and some crying. I was so shocked when a friend of mine who was a Bible professor who was sitting in front of me began howling!! What good did that howling do? What good did the Korean girl crying and jabbering in the bedroom do? What good did the girl do who was pressured into jabbering and then embarrassed by what she did afterward do? According to this scripture, no good at all. It is all “fruitless.” This is the apostle Paul speaking, and he was being guided by the Holy Spirit. What these people did was not from the Holy Spirit because it didn’t not edify or building anyone up. In fact, it scared my daughter, embarrassed the Romanian woman, and shocked me!

La oracion fanatic no ayuda a nadie. (Fanatical prayer doesn’t help anyone.)Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Verse 15: ?Que’, pues? Orare’ con el espiritu, pero orare’ tambien con el entendimiento; cantare’ con el espiritu, pero cantare’ tambien con el entendimiento.”

?Que’, pues?” – “What, then?” Actually, if I had a Spanish keyboard, that first question mark would be upside down. “Que’ ” means “what.” “Pues” means “then” or “well.”

Orare’ con el espiritu – “I will pray with the spirit.” “Orare’ ” comes from “orar” (to pray). “Orare’ ” is first person singular future tense, “I will pray.” “Con” is a preposition meaning “with.” Prepositions begin prepositional phrases. “Con el espiritu” or “with the spirit” is a prepositional phrase. “El espiritu” (the spirit) is the object of the preposition. “Espiritu” (spirit) is a noun, and “el” means “the.” “El” is a masculine, singular, definite article. It means there is only one or a particular one. It is masculine because “espiritu” is masculine. the feminine form of “el” is “la.” The plural form of “el” is “los.” We don’t have all the different forms in English, but in Spanish, even the article must match the noun it is connected to.

Orare’ con el espirtu y con el intendimiento (I will pray with the spirit and with the understanding.)Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

pero orare’ tambien con el intendimiento; – “but I will pray also with the understanding.” I included the semi-colon (;) because it in important to understanding this sentence. The semi-colon tells you that this may seem like the end of the sentence, but it isn’t. If two sentences are extremely related, you can put them in the same sentence by separating them only with a semi-colon rather than a period (.) and keep them in the same sentence. What is on either side of the semi- colon must be a complete sentence.

This is the second half of the first part of the sentence, “Orare’ con el espiritu” (I will pray with the spirit). After that, there is a “but” which takes the sentence in another direction. After that, there is paralell grammar. The sentence began with “orare’,” and this part of the sentence also begins with “orare’ ” (I will pray..). Next, “tambien” (also) is included. Tambien (also) could have been put at the end of the sentence, but its placement tells me that this “Tambien”(also) is really wanting to make what is being included to be very important, as important as the first part of the sentence. “Con,” again, means “with.” “El,” again, means “the.” “Intendimiento” is a gerund noun meaning “understanding,” so praying with the spirit and with the understanding are equally important. We need to understand when we pray. Jabbering or howling is fruitless.

Cantare’ con el espiritu y con el intendimiento. (I will sing with the spirit and with the understanding.)Photo by Patrick on Pexels.com

Cantare’ con el espiritu – “I will sing with the spirit.” Again, there is a semi-colon between this part of the sentence and the first part of the sentence which means they are closely related in meaning. “Cantare’ ” comes from “cantar” (to sing). “Cantare’ ” is first person singular, future tense which means it means “I will sing.” We talked about “con el espiritu” already, and it means “with the spirit.”

Pero cantare’ tambien con el intendimiento – “But, I will also sing with the understaning.” I have already explained all this grammar in this blog. Except, I didn’t point out that the sentence before the semi-colon and the sentence after the semi-colon are not only close in meaning, but they have parallel grammar. This means that if you look at them, the same parts of speech are put in the same place in both sentences. That makes this not only a sentence with a semi-colon in the middle, but also a parallel sentence. Parallel sentences are used by good writers. This tells me that the apostle Paul was a very good writer, and could get is points across eloquently.

Cuando adoramos a Dios, necesitamos intender. (When we worship God, we must understand.)Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Let’s put verse 15 together: “What, then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will also pray with the understanding; I will sing with the spirit, but I will also pray with the understanding.”

I don’t like the blogs to get too long, but I included this verse because I thought it was important to explain the end of verse 14 better. God doesn’t want the jabbering and howling that people do. He wants us to know what we are saying when we sing and pray. He wants there to be an interpreter when someone stands up in the church to speak if they speak another language, so the church can be built up. If the preacher speaks one language and the audience speaks another, what good does that do?

Here is an important grammar concept we learned in Spanish today:

The modal form of the verb:

querer = to want, quiero = I want, quieres = you want, quiere= he or she, or it wants or “you” respectful want, queremos = we want. quieren = they want or respectful plural you want. Quisiera = I would like, he would like, she would like, they would like, we would like, you would like.

pedir = to ask for. Pido = I ask for, pides = you ask for, pide = he, she, or it asks for or formal “you” ask for. pedimos = we ask for, piden = they ask for or plural formal you ask for. Pida = I would ask for, you would ask for, he, she, it would ask for, we would ask for, they would ask for. Debo pedir – I should ask for. Debes pedir = you should ask for. Debe pedir = he, she, it shoudl ask for. Debemos pedir = we should ask for. Deben = they should ask for. Necesito pedir = I must ask for.

interpretar = to interpret. Interpreto = I interpret. Interpretaria = I would interpret, you would interpret, he, she, or it would interpret, etc. Debo interpretar= I should interpret. Necesito interpreter = I must interpret.

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