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Verb Patterns

1) Subjective Complement Pattern

a) NP + Vc + NPsc Eg. Mary is a teacher a) FN + Vc + FNsc Ej. Mary es maestra
b) NP + Vc + Adj Eg. Mary is pretty b) FN + Vc + Adj. Ej. Mary es linda
Mary is nice (Adj. (permanent state)
indicating behaviour)
(*These examples are ambiguous in isolation. Ej. Mary está linda
To disambiguate: (temporary state)
Eg.#1 be + Adv. of time
look ( + Adv. of time)
Eg #2 use the progressive or the infinitive:
Mary is being nice. Mary be nice! (this
indicates temporary state)
c) NP + Vc + ADVsc Eg.#1 Susana is here c) FN + Vc + ADVsc Ej.#1 Susana está aquí
Eg.#2 The food is here Ej.#2 La comida está aquí
Eg.#3 The meal is today Ej.#3 La comida es hoy

Nconcrete => estar Nevent => ser

2) Intransitive Pattern
NP + Vt + (ADVadj) FN + Vi + (ADV)
Eg. Birds fly Ej. Los pájaros vuelan.
It* is late Es tarde.
It* is raining Llueve.
It* is a long way to NY Hay un largo camino hasta NY.
Detergents sell well Los detergentes se venden bien.
This horse runs well Este caballo corre bien.
ambiguous*2 ó Este caballo es de buena monta.
* Why do we have to mention the Subject in English.
Chomsky: because there are no inflections of the
verb in English, therefore, there are no indicators of
person. That’s why we have an obligatory explicit
subject. In Spanish, the Subject is duplicated in the
desinence of the verb.
*2 ergative sentences: the door opened, the stone
moved => Es más natural poner el verbo antes del
sujeto en español: se abrio la puerta, se movio la
3) Transitive patterns
a) NP + Vt + NPdo a) FN + Vt + (DET: a) Fnod
I will see Peter tomorrow Voy a ver a Peter...
(el OD personal siempre es preposicional)
I made a chocolate cake last week Hice una torta de chocolate la semana pasada
Peter killed a bear Peter mató un oso
Peter killed John Peter mató a John
b) Vt
 Prepositional verb. Eg. Look after (The
particle cannot be moved)
 Phrasal verb Eg. Put up = erect
Put off (the particle is
stressed and it can be moved)
Exception: see sb. Off
*see off sb.
I couldn’t put up with Mary in England
= I couldn’t stand her
= I couldn’t lodge her
c) Word order: NP + Vt + PRONdo
I saw him Lo ví

4) Transitive Directional Pattern

NP + Vt + NPio + NPdo FN + Vt + a FNio + FNdo
NP + Vt + NPdo + for/to + NPio a) Entregó un regalo a los novios.
b) Les entregó un regalo a los novios.
In informal English, in oral discourse, there is a
tendency to omit the particle “to” as in: “b” es más natural en la variedad rioplatense.
Give it ø me
She had me ø do it Se (=le) lo dí ayer: In Spanish it’s preverbal.

In English the OI is post verbal Leísmo: Le ví. / Le llamé

Laismo: La pegaba.
Omisión de la preposición “a” para evitar
ambigüedad: Entregó ø la niña a sus padres
Le presentó ø su mujer a Juan
Pedro le vendió a María a Juan.
5) Objective Complement Pattern: emphasizes factual meaning.
a) NP + Vt + NPdo + INFoc a) FN + Vt + INFoc + FNdo
I made Peter come (Verb: Complex Transitive. Hice venir a Pedro
Predica algo del objeto) Lo hice venir.
Vt + Noun Clause
Hice que Pedro viniera.
b) NP + Vt + NPdo + INGoc b) FN + Vt + FNdo + ANDO/ENDOoc
I saw the child climbing the stairs. Ví al niño subiendo las escaleras.

I saw that the child was climbing the stairs.
Wrong paraphrasing:
I saw the child who was climbing...
I saw the child while he was climbing...
c) NP + Vt + NPdo + ADJoc c) FN + Vt + FNdo + ADJoc
I found the class empty (no ambiguity) Encontré el aula vacía (ambigüedad:
Encontré que el aula estaba vacía
I found the empty classroom. Encontré el aula que estaba vacía
6) Indefinite Equational Pattern
a) There + be + NP + ADV a) Hay + FN + ADV
Eg. There are some books on the table. Eg. Hay unos libros sobre la mesa.
You cannot use “the”. It must not be preceded by a
Definite article.
There is some milk in the fridge (This doesn’t mean
that there is a little milk)

Idea of uncertainty:
There must be some pen over there. Debe haber una lapicera por ahí.
He must be in some place in Afrika. Debe estar en algún lado de África.

For Emphasis:
You’re some friend! (with intonation) ¡Qué buen amigo, eh!
Some weather! ¡Qué tiempo horrible!

Exception: The case when you can use “the”

In a list: There is the butler, the maid, the Tenemos / está el mayordomo, la mucama,
chauffeur. etc.
There is the garden to water, the car to wash Hay que / Falta regar el jardín
the food to cook.
There + be + the + abstract noun Existe la posibilidad de que llegue tarde.
There’s the danger that + NCLAUSE in
apposition: the ceiling will collapse.
There’s the possibility that I might arrive
There’s the rumour that she’s resigning. - Corre el rumor de que va a renunciar.
There’s always the misusing of wine that
leads to drunkenness.
b) There + be + NP + to INF. b) Hay + FN + que hacer
There are many things to do. Hay muchas cosas que hacer.
(Hay + que + INF = obligación.)