Repeating a word in Spanish to give emphasis
In conversational Spanish, one way to give some emphasis to a word (an adjective, a noun, an infinitive...) is to repeat that word right after it's mentioned.
For example, imagine someone says:
Imagino que te habrás llevado una sorpresa negativa al tener un niño en vez de una niña, porque no te lo esperabas ¿no?
I imagine you may have got an unwelcome surprise at having a baby boy and not a baby girl, as you weren't expecting it, right?
They reply could be:
La verdad es que negativa negativa no ha sido; no me importaba tanto el sexo del bebé.The truth is that it wasn't really an unwelcome surprise; I wasn't that bothered about the sex of the baby.
By repeating the word "negativa", we are emphasising the meaning of the word as in "really".
It can also happen with an infinitive:
Bueno, yo cenar cenar no quiero. Prefiero tomar una tapa y una cerveza.Well, I don't want to have a proper dinner. I prefer to have a "tapa" (snack) and a beer.
Sometimes the infinitive is followed by the same verb but conjugated, and normally followed by "pero...". For example:
Yo, a Pablo, quererlo lo quiero, pero es tan celoso que a veces pienso en dejarlo.I do love Pablo, but he is such a jealous person that sometimes I think about leaving him.
Pues, ascenderla la ascendieron, pero María seguía descontenta en el trabajo.Well, they did promote her, but Maria was still unhappy at work.
Also with a noun:
Lo que se dice dolor dolor no tengo. Simplemente me molesta un poco al tocar.I don't have pain exactly. It just bothers me when I touch (it).
Guapo guapo no es, pero es cariñoso y adorable.Handsome, what you would call handsome, he is not, but he is loving and adorable.
Ella bailar bailaba, pero se movía con tan poco entusiasmo...She did dance, but she moved with so little enthusiasm...
Para que el estofado salga rico rico tienes que echarle pimentón.For a really tasty stew you have to add paprika.
La tele, funcionar funciona, pero la imagen es terrible.The telly is working, but the image is terrible.
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