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#187555 11/01/09 08:49 PM
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In the Mexican song Cielito Lindo, the refrain starts out like this:

Ay, ay, ay, ay,
Canta y no llores...

I can't work out the endings. Canta looks like 3p sing. present tense; chores looks like 2p sing. present. Seems like both should be imperative: "Sing and don't cry." Wassup? Or is it just a dialect thang?

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Slipped into Portuguese did we?

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oh, oops. I won't go back and edit it because then your comment won't make sense.

llores[sp] = chores[pt]

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Canta y no llores

Looks like an imperative followed by a 2nd person singular present subjunctive. Iberian Romance is not my strong suit, but I believe the negative subjunctive is used in Spanish as a sort of hortative subjunctive for commands. 'Sing and don't cry'.


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Llorar is first conjugation (or whatever you call it) so the form with an -e- would be the subjunctive. Sounds good. Thanks, Nunc.

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Thanks, Nuncle, and I'm still waiting for twosleepy to weigh in. Meanwhile, seems to me cante would be the imperative since the infinitive is cantar.

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seems to me cante would be the imperative since the infinitive is cantar.

Cante is the 3rd person singular imperative 'let her/him sing'. Canta is the 2nd person singular informal imperative 'sing (you)'.

[Corrected error of omission.]

Last edited by zmjezhd; 11/02/09 03:01 PM.

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Here ya go, Anna:

They are both correct and in the imperative. Negative tú commands are different than positive.

Cantar = to sing

present: canto, cantas, canta, cantamos, cantan
subjunctive: cante, cantes, cante, cantemos, canten
commands: tú: canta; Usted (Ud.): cante
neg. commands: tú: no cantes; Ud.: no cante

Yes, it's confusing! Plus, there are irregular verbs and all the usual nonsense, but in regular verbs it's just the negative that is different.
:0)

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Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
seems to me cante would be the imperative since the infinitive is cantar.

Cante is the 3rd person singular imperative 'let her/him sing'.

Wrong! As far as I know, the only imperatives are second person. If you address a third person, s/he becomes second. You might say a third person should do something, but that would not be the imperative.


Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
Canta is the 2nd person singular informal 'sing (you)'.

Wrong again! The second person singular is "cantas", as shown in my previous post. "Canta" is the third person singular.

Wow! I got to say "wrong" to Zmjezhd, twice! I better figure out what "Zmjezhd" is in numbers and get a lottery ticket... ;0)

and if I'm wrong, I'll have a heap o' slinkin' away to do...

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Wow! I got to say "wrong" to Zmjezhd, twice!

I am wrong on occasion and when I am I admit it. The second error was one of omission. I left out the mood: i.e., imperative. I've fixed that.

Now about imperatives in Spanish in persons other than the 2nd person. Spanish, as other Romance languages, has imperatives in more than the 2nd person. For example: ˇViva el rey! Just as the present subjunctive (no llores) is used for the negative imperative ("don't cry"), the present subjunctive is used for 3rd person imperatives, which usually have to be translated in English as, "let her/him X".

References

Wikipedia article

Discussion of the third person imperative


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
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