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Pics from Spain: Prohibido el Paso

Prohibido el paso

Found on a side of a trekking trail. It translates to: “Do not pass, private estate”.

Note the missing “h” in “prohibido” – remember that Spanish people make mistakes like all people do everywhere. Keep that in mind when reading and listening to native speakers. Don’t just change the way you write or say something only because a native speaker used a form different from what you know. Note it down and do your research when you have access to Internet. Asking them won’t help – they may be completely unaware that what they say is incorrect.

It’s an example of using Estar + Participio in a formal language. We’ve explained why the past participle should be used in such case in the Ser vs Estar article, Passive Voice section.

Note that the word “está” could be omitted only in such formal language. Normally we must not omit it as we would sound weird and ‘robotic’. We would say:

Está prohibido el paso por esta finca, es privada. (It’s forbidden to pass this estate, it’s private)

And if you wanted to sound extremely polite when forbidding someone to pass, you could say:

Perdona, pero esta finca es privada y está prohibido el paso.
or:
Perdona, pero esta finca es privada y está prohibido pasarla.
(Sorry, but this estate is private and it’s forbidden to pass it)

Other things to note:

  • “finca” is very often used to denote any type of country/rural property, even a few square meters of unused ground. But usually it’s a piece of land where people cultivate fruits, vegetables or any plants
  • “particular” means “private” here. You’ll also see it used as a noun in second-hand ads, where it means that a given thing is being sold by a private owner, not a shop/business. Or in home-rental ads, where it means that the property is being rented by a private owner, not a real estate agency

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