Girar on Tourist course

I am currently working my way through the directions challenges (in fact I’ve just finished number 10) and I just wondered if someone could help with exactly what the Spanish speakers are saying when they are saying “turn”. On the notes is says “girar a la derecha” but on the audio this clearly not what they are saying, it sounds like “gire a la dercha” and sometimes “gira a la derecha”???

Can anyone explain why or am I hearing things?

I only noticed because I was saying “gire” automatically and then noticed that I should be saying “girar” on the next challenge and so I made the effort to correct myself. Butt then it changed back to “gire” later on - if I hadn’t been making such a conscious effort to get it right I probably wouldn’t have noticed it change :smile:

I don’t mind the differences and I think it helps to hear changes in the verbs and how they are used but this one is really bugging me every time I hear it…

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This sounds as though we’ve got a pesky little hiccup sneaking its way into proceedings - probably a matter of Gaby reading ‘turn’ as an order sometimes and an infinitive other times (which is almost impossible to avoid when you have a mountain this size of things to translate)!

‘To turn’ is girar - but ‘gire’ is ‘turn’ as an order (and just for more fun, ‘gire’ is an order to someone you’d use ‘usted’ with, and ‘gira’ is an order to someone you’d use ‘tu’ with - at least, I think I’ve got that the right way round, @gabycortinas will be able to confirm!).

Hola Claire,

I’m sorry if it sounds confusing! I went and listened to lesson 10 again just to be sure, and the differences that you hear arise from the structure of the sentence. For instance, if you want to give directions to someone you can say:

-Turn right on the next intersection

-Gire a la derecha en el proximo cruce (formal)

-Gira a la derecha en el proximo cruce (informal)

In the lesson you will hear “girar” (ie. the infinitive) when the indication is a part of a longer phrase.

For instance:

-You have to go straight and then turn left

-Tiene que seguir derecho y luego girar a la izquierda.

In this case, in Spanish we use the infinitive because there is a “tiene que” implied before “girar”. I assume there’s the same assumption in English, “you have to” before “turn left”, but I guess it’s not clear because in English you use the same verbal form for the infinitive and the imperative.

To wrap it up, you should use “Gire” (formal) o “Gira” (informal) when living a simple direction.

I hope I didn’t make it even more confusing! If you have any more questions, feel free to post them here :sunny:


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Ah, this is my fault, then - or the fault of the structures we were using when we built the Spanish course, which made it very difficult to translate neatly (which is why we’ve been building our new course creation tool for the last year and a half).

Diolch yn fawr, Gaby! :star2:

Clare, hope that helps - don’t worry too much about it - it’s not your fault if it doesn’t stick very well, it’s us not giving you enough examples to practise, but if you revisit the last tourist session every once in a while, it will eventually click… :sunny:

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Thank you Gaby it helps a lot.

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@aran the explanation makes sense and I kinda like my brain wants to know whats going on.

It reminds me of my kids “why” phase when they were little and makes me think that my language development is at least interesting enough for my brain to ‘want’ to know why - which is a good thing and pushes me onwards and upwards!

Again thanks for the explanation I shall plod on…

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