Friday, June 22, 2007

Some expressions

Hola, cómo se encuentran Uds?

1. I read that "como para" means "as if to". However does this mean that it is used in the same manner as "como si" or would it simply be followed by an infinitive? Can you provide an example?

2. Does anyone know how to use "tal que", "de tal naturaleza" o "de tal envergadura" in a sentence? I read that it means "such that", which I would imagine is equivalente to "to such an extent". Would this sentence then be right?:

Yo había perdido tanto dinero de tal naturaleza/de tal envergadura/tal que me enfrenté a la quiebra.

Are the red phrases interchangeable? Is this even really used in the spoken language? If I used them wrong how are they used? Can the phrases "hasta tal punto", "hasta donde" o "en la medida en que" take the place of the red phrases without changing the meaning of the sentence?

Muchísimas gracias por alguna aportación!


Wow, those are a LOT of expressions to analyze!
But, at a glance, I can tell you they're not quite interchangeable.

First, "como si" is similar to "as if", while "como para" is similar to "as if to". For example, "She behaved as if he weren't there" --> "Se comportó como si el no estuviera allí" (Subjunctive here!).
Now, check "She bought him a present as if to say she was sorry" --> "Le compró un regalo como para decir que lo sentía" (Infinitive here!).

Second, I would say "tal que" means "so that" (and it needs a clause). "De tal envergadura/De tal naturaleza" is "OF such extent/nature" (and it doesn't necessarily requires a clause). e.g. "No tenía idea de que estaba metiendo en un problema de tal envergadura/naturaleza".

It's also important to know that these phrases work as adjectives, so they qualify a noun. And if you want to use a clause, you'll need to add "que". Thus, the sentence "Yo había perdido tanto dinero de tal envergadura me enfrenté a la quiebra." is completely wrong. Try using "La/Mi pérdida" (noun) instead of "Yo había perdido..." (and don't forget to use the verb "to be" to link the noun to the "adjective") --> "La pérdida fue de tal envergadura que me enfrenté a la quiebra".

And yes, these phrases are used in the spoken language. Note though, that "de tal envergaudura" is very formal. "De tal naturaleza" is more common.

Now, I think "hasta tal punto" (I would say "A tal punto") is the only one that fits in your original sentence. But again, "TANTO" is already making a comparison, so either you say "Había perdido tanto dinero que..." or "Había perdido dinero a tal punto que...".

On the other hand, "hasta donde" is similar to "as far as", while "en la medida que" is similar to "insofar as".

- Karin

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