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Old 28th February 2008, 07:58 PM   #1
jubilee
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Default Use of falta

When I READ a phrase using falta I can understand it, but whenever I want to use it myself, I'm not sure how to do it. I need to think of it in a different way to other verbs. I wanted to say something like "Not long now until you go to see Ana" Got as far as "Falta poco..." but then not sure how to express the rest of the thought. "hasta que.." didn't seem right... Can anyone give me a good explanation on how to use this handy expression?

thanks!
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Old 28th February 2008, 08:10 PM   #2
eldeano
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I think: "Falta poco para ver a Ana". Explanations I'll leave to maestros.
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Old 28th February 2008, 10:07 PM   #3
Juan59
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Question Falta

Cuando estas en un restaurante y no hay tenedor en la mesa puedes decir: camarero falta un tenedor! Espero que tengo razon
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Old 28th February 2008, 11:55 PM   #4
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Jubilee,
Trust your instincts. Your instincts are good. Only thing you have to remember with faltar is that it is conjugated like gustar, where the verb is in agreement with the subject of the sentence in Spanish, not what would be the subject in the English translation. For example, "Me faltan 3 días para tomar el examen" or "Faltan 3 días..." NOT "Falta/me falta 3 días...."

Quote:
Originally Posted by eldeano View Post
I think: "Falta poco para ver a Ana".
Yeah, this works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan59 View Post
Cuando estas en un restaurante y no hay tenedor en la mesa puedes decir: camarero falta un tenedor! Espero que tengo razon
Cuando estás en un restaurante y no hay tenedor en la mesa, puedes decir, "¡Camerero! ¡Me hace falta un tenedor! (Waiter! I need a fork!) Espero tener razón.(I hope I am right) Espero no equivocarme.(I hope I'm not mistaken.)

Espero que no te moleste.
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Old 29th February 2008, 01:41 AM   #5
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Default El camarero, el tenedor y yo.

En el caso del camarero y el tenedor yo diría :

"Camarero, falta un tenedor" o "Camarero, hace falta un tenedor".

El "Me" hace demasiado personal una situación que no lo es.
Trataré de explicarlo sin razones lingüisticas, porque aunque las hayan,
yo no las sé.

Yo soy el camarero y voy bastante agobiado atendiendo la clientela. Desde una mesa cercana me dicen :"camarero, me hace falta un tenedor".
Mi pensamiento mas espontaneo sería algo como : "Pues vas y te lo compras atontao".

Desde otra mesa cercana me dicen : "camarero, falta un tenedor".
Mi pensamiento mas espontaneo sería : "Vaya hombre, falta un dichoso tenedor en esa mesa".

Si quisiera chinchar al camarero, o porque simplemente soy así de chulo, metería al "ME" en todo esto.

No sé si esto sea correcto para el español en general, yo creo que si.
Pero con seguridad solo puedo hablar de la zona donde vivo.

Beckett, a mi la gramática no me entusiasma, pero leyendo sus posts hasta me resulta entretenida.

Espero que los matices que he intentado explicar les ayuden.
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Old 29th February 2008, 02:44 AM   #6
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Gracias yunouguaramin. Tu explicación fue muy clara!
Acabo de darme cuenta de algo. La diferencia entre el uso de por y para con los verbos faltar y quedar. Okay here it goes. Correct me if I'm wrong!

Usas por cuando hablas de algo que te queda por hacer, y usas para cuando quieres decir "until."

Falta poco para ver a Ana.

Nos fantan muchos libros por leer.

Faltan 10 días para la navidad, y nos faltan muchas cartas por escribir.

Cuántos kilómetros nos faltan para llegar?
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Old 29th February 2008, 09:16 AM   #7
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Wow, thanks for all of this great help!
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Old 29th February 2008, 01:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocMolly View Post
Gracias yunouguaramin. Tu explicación fue muy clara!
Acabo de darme cuenta de algo. La diferencia entre el uso de por y para con los verbos faltar y quedar. Okay here it goes. Correct me if I'm wrong!

Usas por cuando hablas de algo que te queda por hacer, y usas para cuando quieres decir "until."

Falta poco para ver a Ana.

Nos faltan muchos libros por leer.

Faltan 10 días para la navidad, y nos faltan muchas cartas por escribir.

Cuántos kilómetros nos faltan para llegar?
Instead of saying, "nos faltan muchas cartas por escribir," wouldn't it be better to use, faltamos in that instance?
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Old 29th February 2008, 04:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis View Post
Instead of saying, "nos faltan muchas cartas por escribir," wouldn't it be better to use, faltamos in that instance?
IMHO

faltar is listed as an intransitive verb,
i.e. it does not take a direct object (DO). So you cannot say faltamos + DO. faltamos on its own means we are missing but I'm not sure if it is used like that rather than estar + desaparecido. See note from conjugation in WordRef.

Please note: this verb is often (or always) conjugated in the 3rd person with the speaker as the indirect object.
Some examples: me interesa (I am interested), me falta (I lack), ¿te duele? (Does it hurt?)




In "Nos faltan cartas..."
Nos is the Indirect Object = to us and
cartas
is the subject.
So literally "Cards are missing to us..."

Just one of a long list of verbs such as gustar that act like this and are only used in the third person.
Some verbs will be listed as intransitive or transitive, then you'd have a choice although the meaning may be slightly changed.

Today's revision
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Old 29th February 2008, 06:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greytop View Post
Today's revision
Watch out, I got several emails about the use of the word revision in our beginners podcast - I believe over the other side of the charco they say review!

But seriously, great work Greytop. Hacen falta más genios como tu aqui en el foro
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Old 29th February 2008, 06:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greytop View Post
IMHO

faltar is listed as an intransitive verb,
i.e. it does not take a direct object (DO). So you cannot say faltamos + DO. faltamos on its own means we are missing but I'm not sure if it is used like that rather than estar + desaparecido. See note from conjugation in WordRef.

Please note: this verb is often (or always) conjugated in the 3rd person with the speaker as the indirect object.
Some examples: me interesa (I am interested), me falta (I lack), ¿te duele? (Does it hurt?)



In "Nos faltan cartas..."
Nos is the Indirect Object = to us and
cartas is the subject.
So literally "Cards are missing to us..."

Just one of a long list of verbs such as gustar that act like this and are only used in the third person.
Some verbs will be listed as intransitive or transitive, then you'd have a choice although the meaning may be slightly changed.

Today's revision

Well done for spotting that note in wordreference. Shame though about the first example it gives for ' faltar '.

1. 'falta el jefe'
might be in the third person, but no pronoun. It looks like a transitive construction.


Sometimes I invent my own rules for calarity, well at least for me.

However whilst ' faltar ' cannot be used with a DO it can and usually is used with an IDO but in some cases the ' IDO pronoun ' is sometimes left out when the IDO is inanimate and preceded by preposition 'a '.
So, 'le faltamos a la fe ' can become 'faltamos a la fe ' we lack faith.

Like gustar , conjugations other than 3rd person can be used but doesn't lend itself easily to english ears.

A ella , le gustas = she likes you
le gusto = she likes me
me gustas = I like you
te gusto ? = do you like me ?

I don't think this thread is dead yet !
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Old 1st March 2008, 12:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry View Post

1. 'falta el jefe'
might be in the third person, but no pronoun. It looks like a transitive construction.
But isn't el jefe the subject?
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Old 1st March 2008, 02:19 AM   #13
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Okay, here's how I understand it. But help me out if I'm confused.

When something is missing, lacking or remaining in general, you use faltar without an indirect object. The thing that is lacking always determines the conjugation of the verb.

Faltan dos niños. (Two children are missing)
Falté a clase. (I missed class. I know this is weird. Don't think about it too much.)
Falta el jefe. (The boss is missing)
Falta poco para ver Ana. (There is little time left until before seeing Ana)

But when something is lacking of someone. You use it with an indirect object to emphasize of whom it is lacking, or for whom it remains.

Me faltan dos cartas por escribir.
Nos faltan dos niños. (We are missing two children)
Le falta educación. (He lacks manners---at least I think you could say it that way.)

Whoa... this is way too confusing to explain. I give up!!!

Last edited by DocMolly; 1st March 2008 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 1st March 2008, 04:41 AM   #14
yunouguaramin
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Default mucho énfasis

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocMolly View Post
But when something is lacking of someone. You use it with an indirect object to emphasize of whom it is lacking, or for whom it remains.
A veces es sólo para enfatizar, pero hay frases en que el objeto indirecto es absolutamente necesario y determinante.

Falta educación.
Me falta educación.
Te falta educación.
Le falta educación.

Cada frase expresa pensamientos e intenciones bastante diferentes.

Si por el contexto se sobreentiende quién es el objeto indirecto, o se expresa una acción impersonal, entonces si que la inclusión de pronombres como me,te,le,nos,os,les es para hacer énfasis o añadir mas información sin cambiar la anterior.

En mi opinión el énfasis es una tendencia bastante extendida por aquí.
Si a una frase de este tipo le puedo añadir un pronombre sin desvirtuar su significado, pues se lo añado. Y si además hay sitio para un 'se', pues perfecto. Es como un imán.
El resultado son bastantes mas 'se,le,me...' de los realmente necesarios para hablar correctamente.
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Old 1st March 2008, 11:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gastephen View Post
But isn't el jefe the subject?

Yes you are right, el jefe is the subject which governs the number of the verb ' faltar '.
From my observations this construction is the most widely used form of faltar but according to ' wordreference ' and spotted by Greytop:

Please note: this verb is often (or always) conjugated in the 3rd person with the speaker as the indirect object.
Some examples: me interesa (I am interested), me falta (I lack), ¿te duele? (Does it hurt?)

This rule doesn't apply to their first example. ' falta el jefe '
As always when the grammar gets tricky the mainstream grammar resources tend to avoid the issue.

If faltar was a transitive verb then this woud read ' se falta el jefe ' ie: Impersonal form. So it is the translation to english which becomes the tricky bit. Faltar being intransitive means the 'se' is dropped because the action is complete without it..

The boss is missing .or , the boss is missed - Falta el jefe

A good example of tricky grammar can be seen from DocMollys
Falté la clase. (I missed class) .This is using faltar as a transitive verb so cannot be right. ' perdí la clase ' I think maybe more appropiate.

'Class was missed '-- Impersonal statement without any mention of who missed class would be Faltó la clase .

It follows that gustar could be used in this way but I have only seen it occasionally.

The above is only my opinion and originates from my observations, not from any grammar resource. From all the entries in this thread you can draw your own conclusions
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Old 1st March 2008, 12:30 PM   #16
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Collins Complete Dictionary have several meanings for faltar only one of which has examples that are not 3rd person. Under

3. (= no ir) no he faltado ni una sola vez a las reuniones - I have not missed a single meeting. .... ! no faltaré ¡ - I'll be there !

I'm not sure if this moves the debate on but it at least shows that sticking to the 3rd person means you'll be right most of the time

Maybe !no faltaba más que eso¡ - that's the last straw !
or even es mejor que sobre que no que falte - better to have too much than too little
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Old 1st March 2008, 12:52 PM   #17
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As we have quite a few Americans on this forum, it might be nice to point out that faltar is also a transitive verb in Latin America.

Faltarle a uno = to be rude or show disrespect for somebody.
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Old 1st March 2008, 03:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yunouguaramin View Post
En mi opinión el énfasis es una tendencia bastante extendida por aquí.
Si a una frase de este tipo le puedo añadir un pronombre sin desvirtuar su significado, pues se lo añado. Y si además hay sitio para un 'se', pues perfecto. Es como un imán.
El resultado son bastantes mas 'se,le,me...' de los realmente necesarios para hablar correctamente.
Gracias... esto me ayuda mucho!

Quote:
Originally Posted by barry View Post
A good example of tricky grammar can be seen from DocMollys
Falté la clase. (I missed class) .This is using faltar as a transitive verb so cannot be right. ' perdí la clase ' I think maybe more appropiate.

'Class was missed '-- Impersonal statement without any mention of who missed class would be Faltó la clase .

It follows that gustar could be used in this way but I have only seen it occasionally.

The above is only my opinion and originates from my observations, not from any grammar resource. From all the entries in this thread you can draw your own conclusions
Well, I went back to my Grammar book "Ultimate Spanish Review and Practice" copyright 1992, and found faltar a clase = to miss class.
So I did mess it up a bit with "la" instead of "a," but I think,
Falté a clase, es correcto.
You could also say, Me perdí la clase. I think when you are missing an event, you use the refexive verb form. However when you miss a mode of transportation. Perdí el tren, you don't. This is all from that book I mentioned above.

Ahora esperemos los expertos.

Last edited by DocMolly; 1st March 2008 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 1st March 2008, 03:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greytop View Post
3. (= no ir) no he faltado ni una sola vez a las reuniones - I have not missed a single meeting. .... ! no faltaré ¡ - I'll be there !
Gracias Greytop. This helps. It's interesting how you insert an "a" before what you missed.
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Old 1st March 2008, 05:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocMolly View Post
You could also say, Me perdí la clase. I think when you are missing an event, you use the refexive verb form. This is all from that book I mentioned above.
So, does your book actually state reflexive, it certainly looks reflexive, but since preterite perderse is "to have got lost" " to have disappeared" maybe its an IDO in disguise ( me la perdí (la clase) ), or just for emphasis.
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