The problem is that the English translation is wrong. I am native Spanish speaker and perhaps I am wrong but "No tenemos fecha" must be translated as "We have no date". In Spanish the phrase means that we are going to have an appointment or we are going to do something in the future but we don't know the day.
I think that the given translations means another think "We don't have a date=No tenemos una cita". Cita can be translated as appointment or date
You're right that "We do not have date" doesn't make sense. Spanish does not use the indefinite article as mush as English does. So even though it is not present in the Spanish sentence, in this instance it is required for the English translation to be grammatically correct.
Here are a couple useful links about this:
Your explanation of this Spanish-to-English translation is spot on. You helped me to understand the idiom of using the uncertainty of the indefinite (LA), instead of the certainty of the definite (EL). The difficulty for us English-to-Spanish learners is that, not being familiar with the colloquialism, we insert the "la" instead of the "una." Duolingo has taught us that the masculine is used to indicate a generalization. For example, Spanish-speaking people use, "Los domingos" to mean all Sundays. Does this mean that a plural article, such as "los" in "los domingos" is indefinite, but that a singular article, such as "una," in "una fecha," is also indefinite?
The direct object "fecha" (with the article unspoken but understood) is not a definite, so a "la" is not understood. Rather, "fecha" is indefinite so an "una" is understood. Your literal translation is "We don't have a time." What threw me, until you explained it, is that unwritten article (that is, the "un" or the "la") was a "la" (translated as "a" or as "one") before "fecha." Because I was using the definite "la" when I translated it, I thought the sentence was idiomatic for "I don't have an appointment."
As for the English grammar, you almost have it right. In Spanish word order, the "no" does not modify the object. So, in "No tenemos fecha, " the "no" modifies "tenemos." As a consequence, the "no" does not modify the word "date." The English translation uses the "no" as an adverb, just as the Spanish syntax does. The "no" does not switch to being an adjective (that is, switch to modifying "date," as in "no date") in the English translation.
P.S. I'm adding this later. Thank you, mitaine56 and THeNeeno, for pointing out how my writing caused confusion. Because I made the assumption that "definite and indefinite" were the same as "countable and uncountable," I put the singular articles in parentheses to indicate that I was writing about articles. What would have been better was: You helped me to understand the idiom of using the uncertainty of the indefinite (unas/unos), instead of the certainty of the definite (las/los).
lindahill- you don't understand what is definite and undefinite. La and el, are articles and definite. un and una are articles, undefinite. la mesa / the table. this is a table which is probably near you, and there's only one table. Una mesa : is a table, possibly among others, and I want a table, no matter which one. That's why we call Un / una , undefinite. Los domingos, los is an article, definite, plural of EL domingo. Also, you're right when you say that NO doesn't modify FECHA, but you're wrong when you say that NO modifies TENEMOS. If the Spanish sentence would have been affirmative, without NO, it would be, TENEMOS FECHA, NO CHANGE WITH tenemos. I HOPE IT'S CLEAR. English isn't my native language.
I understand part of what you said about the "no," but not all. Isn't "no" a Spanish adverb? If it's an adverb, doesn't it modify "have?"
I was referring to coppernick's comment when I spoke of the "no" modifying "fecha." What he was saying is that in English you can switch the position of the "no" so that it is used as an adjective instead of being used as an adverb. Thus, when you say, "We have no date," the "no" is being used as an adjective instead of as an "adverb." In this way, "We do not have a date" = "We have no date." In other words, you negate the object instead of the verb. It's like switching the plus sign in an equation. For example, if you wanted to negate -x = y, you would multiply both sides of the equation by a negative (-1) to switch the sign and get x = -y.
Lots of words, good job for trying to understand. But you don't understand el/la at all. Los goes with domingos because the word domingo is masculine. El and la are the same, other than gender. Definite or indefinite is not party of the difference. Duolingo has not taught you that; you made an error in your understanding. Fecha matches feminine words because it is a feminine word.
As for “no date", they were correct there too, although you were also right. I do not have banana and I have no bananas mean the same thing in English. The word order doesn't have to change the fact that no/not is negating “have".
I did make a mistake when I said that "la" is not definite. I should know better. What I wrote about is that the best translation of "los domingos" is "on Saturdays." In English, we must say or write the preposition "on." In Spanish, however, the preposition is understood without being said or written. On the other hand, native English speakers do not say "the" before "Saturdays." It's just a difference between the way native speakers use the two languages.
So when I wrote about "indefinite," I was writing about "not any particular Saturday." I was not writing about the article "la." I know slightly more about Spanish grammar terms than I did when I wrote this before. Is the idea of "uncountable" more appropriate for what I was trying to say?
Coming back to this later, I want to add that should not have used the word "must" because English speakers sometimes omit the preposition "on." See above.
The preposition is not "understood" in Spanish. "On" in "on Sunday" makes no literal sense. An English speaker adds it only because that's what they are used to. Unless you are looking at a desk calendar ON which things are written ON the square that says Sunday, "ON Sunday" isn't literally what you mean at all. It's just a strange thing we say. Spanish speakers don't understand that they mean "on" Sunday, because that's not what they mean at all. If they thought they were saying "on Sunday" they would laugh or be confused. "How the heck does something 'touch or rest upon the top surface' of a day?" they would wonder. It's not something that makes sense unless you grew up hearing it said.
You are correct that from an English speaker's standpoint, the article "the" seems unnecessary as well. That's a "strange" thing about Spanish, although from a literal perspective it really does seem to make more sense to me to say "the Sundays" than to say "on Sundays".
I understand better now that you were speaking to the indefinite/unspecified amount of days as opposed to indefinite articles. That is not how it came across in the original post. Thank you for the clarification. I am all too familiar with saying something in a manner that does not clearly express what I actually meant.
re: the preposition "on" & English vs Spanish "no".
I often find myself explaining the "non-spoken part" of phrases to my non-native English speaking relatives and spouse (in exchange for lessons and tips on their native languages).
In a sentence like "I go to church on Sunday.", the term "on Sunday" has an unspoken but understood meaning of "on (the ocassion) of Sunday."
This is a perfectly grammatical English sentence, as one of the definitions of the word "on" is absolutely related to time. "The train was on time." That's not idiomatic. It's grammatically correct with valid semantic meaning.
Try googling "definition of on". The 8th meaning is the one that applies to time. Also notice the total number of functions of the word "on". It is a very versatile preposition in English.
Also regarding the use of the English word "no" and the Spanish word "no", we see that "word order" plays a role in the grammatical function of "no".
While negating a verb, "no" is an adverb. However, its role chances to a determiner to show the opposite or lack of something.
Try googling "definition of no".
Duolingo has introduced us to the adverbial function of the Spanish word "no" and to its functions as a noun.
In this explanation of "no" at spanish.about.com, I don't see "no" being mentioned as a determiner.
It would probably be a good idea to keep this in mind when translating from Spanish to English.
If your translation ends up with "no" acting as a determiner, then a liberty was taken in regards to grammar.
Even though "We do not have a date.", and "We have no date.", both seem to be semantically equivalent, I tend to go with user Lago's philosophy which leans towards not adding grammar that wasn't present in the root to the target.
LittleWing1- I'm curious why you brought up non-native speakers, although I'm not really that curious. If it was a way of sneaking in an assumption about me, I'll just let you go on and make your assumptions. They're really quite irrelevant.
I don't see anywhere that I mentioned "on" being grammatically incorrect. If I did, I misspoke. I assumed that it was the case since you corrected me, but I can't find anywhere that I said that. My guess is that it is incredibly weird to the typical current day speaker to say "on the occasion of Sunday." That sounds strange. It is where the saying comes from, but my guess is that the typical person is not thinking "on the occasion of" every time the say "on". They are just thinking "on" because that's how the sentence is structured in modern English. I think you are making a few assumptions about me and my words which are incorrect.
His name is Iago. I agree with him in that case. I referenced that they communicated the same message, not which was the direct translation. If you've read very many of my other comments, you already know that I encourage changing as little as possible while making sense. In fact, I often say that almost verbatim.
Try googling "straw man."
I'm not sure why I corrected you. Although my post is accurate, I'm pretty sure that "We don't have the date yet" and "We still don't have the date" mean pretty much the same thing. Maybe I misread the post you were replying to? Who knows. I guess technically "yet" emphasizes more "at this time" while "still" emphasizes more the idea that it's been expected before now but has not manifest itself as of YET. lol
No, thanks! I actually like these discussions because there's a lot I take for granted about the meaning associated to particular words versus being a close enough translation. I would agree that "We still don't have a date" implies you were wanting an answer and I've been making you wait. Is there a difference in Spanish or would using 'todavía' work?
I've been thinking about this sentence for days. I can't quite wrap my head around a good answer. It seems to me that what you wrote actually would be a good way to translate "We don't have the date yet." It would also be the way to say "We still don't have the date." You could say, "Aún no tenemos la fecha." However, the fact that a different word is used shouldn't be confused with the idea that they mean something even slightly different in Spanish. In a few cases, they are not interchangeable, but for the most part they mean exactly the same thing. What do they mean? "Still". AND "yet". lol
To my mind, "todavía would feel more like "still" in this sentence. "Aún" would feel more likely to be switched to "yet" for me in this sentence. But I'm not sure that this is universal. What is the case is that they are considered (usually) perfect synonyms, meaning they mean exactly the same thing.
Also, I don't remember who told me this, so I can't tell you where they were from... apparently in some regions, they always use "todavía " with the negating "no". I have found that at least with some Mexicans, this is not necessarily true.
I'm not sure I've accomplished anything here but obfuscation. :/
In English we say "We don't have a date" exactly for that though. (Saying we have an appointment or event but don't know which day it is on yet) The word date means appointment or meeting but it also means 'the date' as in the specific day. For example we say "Today's date is September 28th"
We could also say "We don't have a date yet," "We haven't set a date," "We haven't picked/decided a date," or "We don't know the date".
So for the English "We don't have a date" (as in we haven't picked the day) "No tenemos fecha" is correct.
For the English "We don't have a date" (we are not planning on meeting up/getting together) "No tenemos una cita" would be correct.
I don't like "We have no date." While it may be technically correct, I think "We don't have a date," sounds better. I've heard people say "We don't have a date yet" when they are talking about needing to pick a day to do something, but not having come up with a date everyone agrees on yet. Without context though "date" could be construed as a romantic date.
Cita can be used for both, you can have a "cita" with your dentist or with somebody special with romantic purposes. I would say that the context for this sentence would be not in the romantic purpose but in a situation where you expect something to happen depending on either the person you talk to or a 3rd one and they cannot tell you when it will happen.
Another point is the meaning of date. In English you say " today's date", but it's Spanish equivalent is "la fecha de hoy". In "I have a date with a lovely girl" it would be translated as " Tengo una cita con una chica fantástica". In "I have an appointment with the doctor" it would be translated as "tengo una cita con el médico" . My understanding of that sentence is more about the time frame than about the appointment itself,i.e. It is implicit that there is an appointment but there is no date for it.
Regarding the discussion about "una", the sentence still has it's meaning without, as said before. A little detail can be that "una" is omitted if talking about a time frame. So If I ask you when is the house being renovated you might answer with that sentence. But we are going very deep into contexts now. I just hope it helps!
To be honest, I believe we are focusing sometimes too much on finding context for sentences. I believe Duolingo uses sometimes sentences for you to find patterns that might not really have a specific meaning. At least in German you get some odd bits, but the idea is not to focus on the meaning, but on the patterns. If so perhaps the easiest is to change the sentence to "no tenemos agua" - "We have no water"
However I must also say that, in my experience at least, it is not used for the latter in every day language. Perhaps somebody else can say otherwise but, in my experience, it is very common to say "He quedado con ...", which I would translate as "I will meet ...". I am fully aware that in English this can be used "I will meet my mother for whatever". In Spanish too. It will be the context telling you what is what.
dthreatz is right. It works. Here a few examples: No tenemos solución, No tenemos luz. "fecha" is used in the same fashion. If it is of any help, as native speaker, I would say that the difference between "no tenemos una fecha" y "no tenemos fecha" is that the second is slightly more negative
As swingophelia pointed out, because the Spanish word for appointment is "cita," the best English translation of "fecha" is the word "date." In English, however, the words "date" and "appointment" can be synonyms if the overall context has to do with business and not with pleasure. As lasbury clarifies farther down, fecha = calendar date.
"La fecha" is a calendar date. "It doesn't have a date" (such as an undated letter) = "No tiene (una) fecha." We don't have a date" (such as a date when a meeting is to take place) = "No tenemos (una) fecha" - the sentence under discussion. Although you are correct in assuming that there is much that is open to interpretation because Duo has no context, changing the subject pronoun is not one of those issues. It is important that you realize the "he/she/it/(formal) you" always take a different verb form than "we," as do the other subject pronouns. Please consult the verb conjugation charts in Duo or another resource.
SpanishDict tries hard to translate as it would most likely to be said in English. As you can see from their translation of the word date, they seem to agree with the concensus here about the difference between fecha and cita.
I suspect, Especially with the ya in your sentence that it might well be translated as I already have a date set for the dentist, but it is unlikely to be said like that in English without the word appointment
I am assuming that you are talking about the Spanish not a problem with a building block translation exercise. You will probably find subject pronouns more on Duo then you will. in real life situations because of the potential ambiguity without situational context. Subject pronouns are most commonly omitted unless there is ambiguity or the speaker wants to emphasize the person. In the present tense the verb endings are distinctive for yo, tú, and nosotros so these will almost always be omitted. Third person tenses have more potential options, but even here the flow of a real conversation will often make them also unnecessary. But you do have to be careful because there are more cases in Spanish where the subject follows the verb and if you assume the subject pronoun is omitted you may misunderstand the sentence.
"We haven't set a date" sounds like a much more proper phrase to translate this to. It's not a literal translation, but gets the idea across with an actual phrase that people use. "We do not have a date" makes no sense without context, and even then is a phrase I've never heard, and would never use.
Quite correct -- I think the problem is that Duolingo is a computer program without the discernment a human teacher would have. I have been marked wrong several times by giving an English answer that was correct, but not what the program was looking for. This seems to bother a lot of people, but I take it in stride. I actually think I'm getting more than I'm paying for. ;-)
I'm not a representative of DL, just another learner, but I wanted to reply to your question.
Spanish does not use the indefinite article as mush as English does. So even though it is not present in the Spanish sentence, it often is required for the English translation to be grammatically correct.
Here are a couple useful links about this:
Question: does this just mean something like "we don't know the date", or can it also mean "we don't have a [romantic] date"? In English, "date" means the day or a romantic meeting between people, and I'm confused as to whether "fecha" has the same meanings in Spanish.
awesome educational discussion. The source "on" as in "on sunday" comes from the phrase on that day or on those days in which you could look at a calendar and put a mark on the square representing that day. Love all the positive discussion on a common issue with both languages. We put some articles in at some points and not in others and this is often changed or decided simply because many people think it is easier to say it that way and have slowly changed it by using it the easy way not necessarily the most correct way. Some thing we have to just accept! ^^)
Plurality of the subject does not automatically indicate the same for the rest...
Spanish does not use the indefinite article as mush as English does. So even though it is not present in the Spanish sentence, it may be required for the English translation to be grammatically correct.
Here are a couple useful links about this:
I think that there is a problem with the answer. If you type "We do not have a date", then it is fine, but if you use the contraction "don't" instead of "do not", then it says that you are wrong. For Example: I said "We don't have a date", and it said that it was wrong.
But, when I said "We don't have date"(which is just WRONG in English), its says that it is correct.
This is the forum for users to discuss and learn from each other. You have to report the errors using the flag not the bubble. I do know that Duo does seem to have many problems with contractions, although most of the time it just presents "another" suggested correct answer.
It is not the fruit. That is dátil. Fecha is definitely a date on the calendar. Cita is what I understand is used for romantic date, but on another discussion on Duo someone with some experience said that it.should be fecha. Either he was wrong or it could vary reguonally. Here are the links to the various definitions on Spanishdict.com which is my best resource for the "official" answer, although regional variations might not be included.
You will notice on the Spanish definitions there is a tab for examples which may give you a broader sense of the word.
Fecha is the word used for a date on the calendar. So this is basically saying that a major event has been scheduled. In English I would hear this most often for scheduling a wedding. Do you have a date yet (for the church and the reception hall). But it could be used for the annual picnic, or a national conference, etc. Cita is used for a romantic date as well as dentist or other appointments. As for business meeting, I think you would probably just say reunión, although it may depend on the type of business meeting. In English most people I know tend to refer to a meeting with clients as an appointment, a regularly scheduled company meeting as a staff meeting, and most other company meetings simply as meetings. But I an not in the Spanish speaking business community so I don't know what is most common.
With the verb tener and a few others the article is commonly omitted with those things which we generally only have one of like houses or cars, and a dare for an event would qualify. I don't think it is ever considered incorrect to use one, but native speakers generally don't
You know it in English, you just have to use what you know. . Take the word fair. You can have a fair judge, be a fair judge of character, have a fair day, be fair skinned or go to a fair. I don't think that it would surprise you if some of those meanings have different translations in Spanish.
Cita is an appointment or romantic date. It is what you go to. Fecha is the date on the calendar. ¿A qué fecha estamos? What is the date (today)? Fecha de nacimiento. Date of birth. You will sometimes hear this used for an appointment, but more likely for something like a scheduled surgery or the like. This sentence might be what an engaged person may say. We are engaged, but we don't have a date (for the wedding)
One of the reasons my responses are so long, aside from some natural loquaciousness, is that it is somewhat difficult to explain an error, especially in an either/or situation. But Duo does make a total mess of it.
The issue at hand is that you copied the Spanish too closely. In Spanish they don't use the indefinite article after tener if it is something that you would generally have only one of. But no such rule exists in English. So the correct translation here is We do not have a date. We do not have date is not correct grammatically. But no indefinite article is used in any language with plurals. Thus, We do not have dates IS a grammatically correct sentence, but IS NOT a correct translation here. That would be No tenemos fechas in Spanish (and would not refer to romantic dates)
I absolutely understood your premise. What I was explaining to you is that the error is in Duo's error responses. Duo often generates incorrect and confusing error message. You answer was incorrect, but the error message Duo generated in response to your error is also incorrect. It corrected your answer into something that was grammatically correct English sentence, but it did so by making it NOT a correct translation of THIS sentence. The Spanish word fecha is just like the English word date in that to become plural you add an s. But many Duo messages are off base like most times when it says you used the wrong word. The computer has not been programed sufficiently to correctly analyze and describe the true nature of the error.
Yes. I understand. You just can't have a singular countable noun without an article in English although you can in Spanish under a couple of circumstances. But plural countable nouns are fine. But that doesn't change the fact that No tenemos fecha is We don't have a date, while we don't have dates is No tenemos fechas
They can identify some typos, but programming à computer to identify a typo of the correct word as opposed to another word or the typo of another word which might be either Spanish or English is incredibly difficult. You are expecting a lot more of Duo than you are expecting from yourself when you don't even seem to feel that it is reasonable to mark a mistake as wrong just because that mistake is a typo.
Conversation between friends
¡Estoy comprometida! I am engaged
¡Felicitaciones! ¿Cuando será la boda? Congratulations. When will the wedding be
No tenemos fecha. Acabo de comprometerme anoche. Pero pensamos en junio. We don't have a date. I just got engaged last night. But we are thinking about June.
Really? In the US it's all about the date. Have you set a date? You send out save the date cards often before invitations It can also happen with large company or church functions to discuss reserving a date, etc. For things that are less structured we do say I don't know when, but weddings and corporate events are all about the date.
Sorry man, wrong type of date. Appointments and romantic dates or even booty call dates use la cita. La fecha is the date on the calendar and is therefore used for putting a date for major events on the calendar. So we don't have a date refers to scheduling a wedding, conference or church picnic. So unless you want the lady to think you are desperate to get married, it probably not what you want to say.
You didn't give your whole answer. It could just be a Duo fluke, but I suspect that you translated it as We don't have date, instead of the We don't (do not) have a date shown above. It is normal and grammatically correct in Spanish to drop the article after tener and a couple of other verbs when you are talking about something that one typically has only one of (or at least at a time). It is not grammatically correct to do so in English, however. The plural does not require the article, however. I agree it is not really a good translation that way, but I have seen Duo do it before.