The Verb and the Verb Phrase English-Spanish

The case for preventive war rests on the assumption that we have near-perfect intelligence about the
enemy's intentions and capabilities.
El argumento a favor de la guerra preventiva descansa en la suposición de que tenemos un sistema
de inteligencia casi perfecto sobre las intenciones y la capacidad del enemigo. [AT]
The Verb and the Verb Phrase
• English meanings ‘present’, ‘habit’, and
‘retrospective’ and ‘atemporal present’ are
always conveyed by a presente form in
Tense and aspect. The Present Tense(s).
Translation possibilities English-Spanish
EC 3rd year English. R. Rabadán 2006
We are living in Ottawa for the summer, the rest of the year
we live in Spain.
• English meaning ‘temporary habit’ is
encoded by means of the periphrastic
present <Estar +gerund>.
A staggering twenty-two percent of all the children in the U.S. are living in poverty.
I 'm getting seriously worried about anti-Americanism. Anti-Americanism in America, that is.
Me empieza a preocupar seriamente el antiamericanismo. Me refiero al antiamericanismo en Estados
• English ‘iterative’ and ‘inchoative’ presents
may be encoded by means of the two
forms, presente and periphrastic present
<Estar +gerund> in Spanish. Whether one
or the other is selected depends on the
lexical meaning of the verb and contextual
complementation: the key is that the ‘partof-period’ meaning should be sufficiently
Stafford had another request. "When Air Force One takes off, can
it have fighter escorts?"
Un asombroso 22 % de los niños de EE UU viven en la pobreza.
Stafford tenía otra pregunta: —Cuando el Air Force One despegue, ¿pueden escoltarle aviones de
• English ‘progressive’ meaning may be conveyed
by the presente and the periphrastic present
<Estar +gerund>. The central meaning of the
latter form is precisely ‘progressive’, but the
presente tends to be preferred whenever there
is a more specific meaning of ‘state’ or
‘unrestricted ongoing process in the present’.
When a ‘progressive’ refers to an ‘ongoing
process/event here and now’ Spanish uses the
periphrastic present <Estar +gerund>.
• English forms indicating ‘virtuality’ will
normally be transformed into a subjunctive
form in Spanish, although the presente
and the periphrastic present <Estar
+gerund> are the choice in conditional
contexts of the ‘possible’ type.
Thank God Lucy arrives the day after tomorrow.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union leaves the US as the planet's unchallenged and unchallengeable
La disolución de la Unión Soviética ha convertido a EE UU en la potencia imbatida e imbatible del
Gracias a Dios Lucy llega pasado mañana.
• English ‘future’ readings of the present
forms may be conveyed in Spanish by
means of a presente, a periphrastic future
<ir a + inf> or a straight futuro, in this
order of preference.
• ‘Resultative’ presents in English will be
expressed in Spanish by means of a
presente or a pretérito perfecto.