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  5. "Es tarde."

"Es tarde."

Translation:It is late.

January 2, 2013



One of the main problems we face in our study of DuoLingo Spanish is with the fact we generally have no clue as to what the pronouns we encounter pertain to. All DuoLingo spoken sentences are but fragments of conversations and we don't know what went on before. In Spanish conversations the person or thing being talked about is named and all around understood at the onset of the conversation and then is not named further. No need for it. Instead, pronouns are used to refer to him or her or it. On the other hand, in the US, anything or person being talked about will have their name repeated over and over.

"Did you hear about John?"

"No, what's that son of a gun been up to? I always enjoy the latest dirt about John."

"Well, John and Bill were out looking for trouble one night and he really got into it."

"Huh? Who, John?"

"Yeah, John!"

"That John, he was always a bad boy."

Spanish conversations never go like that as the language is designed to converse differently and to think differently, too. Once José's name has been brought up he is then referred to as "él" from then on. In the case where a given thing is under discusión, it is named then called out as "it" from then on. That is, in Spanish, of course. And in the DuoLingo sentences what the subjects might be are left out because it's like we walked into the movie after it started. This being the case we need to apply our imagination and venture make up the subject under discussion, ourselves, because it literally does not pragmatically exist in the fragments we are allotted.

So in cases where we can't be sure whether it is a "he" or a "her" or an "It" we don't need to feel frustrated. And we don't because what went before in the conversation does not exist. So we can make make it up in our own minds and make a choice as to whether it is a "he" or a "she" or an an "it" when it could be any one of these things. Then we only need to be concerned that our spelling and grammer is correct.


While this is good general advice, unfortunately it is bad advice for this question.
The only possible translation for "Es tarde" is "It's late". A native speaker would never say, "Él es/está tarde", but would instead use "Él llega tarde".
This is one of those places where a direct word for word translation doesn't work.


De acuerdo. A person is not tarde. They can llegar tarde (arrive late) or they can estar atrasado (be delayed/late/behind). More info: http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/tarde


So "es tarde" refers to time and not to a specific person or thing?

  • 2676

That is correct.


apparently it's afternoon is not correct?



Es la tarde= It is afternoon

Es tarde= It is late


Caiser, right to the point! Ta


Thank you. This confused me tons because it was not what I had been tought in class.


I wrote it is evening and that was a choice but it said that I was wrong! so you are correct.


Es can be he, she, it or you...


Es means "he(she/it/you) are". It is a form of the verb "ser" which refers to more or less permanent states of being, so I would think it would only make sense to use es when referring to the state of lateness itself, rather than someone BEING late, therefore you would not interpret the pronoun as anything except IT.

and thanks, caiser for letting us know not to use estar for this purpose either.


But in Spanish "Él/Ella/Usted es tarde" has no sense


Wouldn't "Ella es tarde" mean "She is late"?

So why does it HAVE to be "It is late"?


Ella esta tarde would be the correct word for word translation (esta because it is a state of being or temporary, not es which implies something more intrinsic) but as Caiser pointed out, you would say this differently in Spanish. Word for word substitution often does not work.


i think you would use the verb estar, not ser, to say she or he is late. ella esta tarde. you use estar because the condition of being late is not permanent.


"Ella es/está tarde" has no sense in Spanish, to say "She is late", we say: "Ella llega tarde"


SusieY, I think it is important to keep in mind that our native language feels so natural to us that we seldom stop to remember (if we even ever knew!) that we are using shorthand and figures of speech, especially in English.

Nobody actually IS late. Not like water is H20 and giraffes are mammals. She is late actually means she is running late (argh, a shorthand for a figure of speech!) or she arrived late. She never actually BECOMES or EQUALS late, certainly not “is late" in the sense that a speaker of most other languages would understand.

So no, Spanish speakers don't say, “She is late." They may say “She is behind" (not A behind mind you) or “She is often late." You usually can't translate the shorthand speech between languages. You end up with phrases that leave people puzzled.


Does "Ella llega tarde" cover 'she is late' as well as 'she arrives late'? [The latter being the direct translation, I think] There is a world of difference in English between the two, however perhaps it's one of those 'it can't be translated word for word' examples.


"Ella está tarde" no es una expresión correcta y no tiene sentido en español. Usualmente se dice más bien en español: "élla está atrasada". "Ella llega tarde" es una expresión más general utilizada para referirse a una persona que usualmente llega tarde.Ejemplo Julia llega tarde al trabajo.


Is this where the English word tardy comes from?


"It is late" - does this mean "It is late in the day"?

  • 2676

Yes. Or some people might say "The hour is late." But where I am, it is very common to just say "It's late."


Yes so "go home Roger" (from the Tia and Tamara show)


Note the answer we are always shown is seldom absolute. There are often permissible alternatives which can be accepted as "correct" if they have been manually entered into the duoLingo database. And if we are sure our answer is correct and it gets graded as being "wrong" we can report that our answer was "correct." And if it truly was, duoLingo will likely add it to the database when they can get around to it.


I keep getting this wrong!


Why not estar in this case?


sarris- because tarde usually means afternoon, you can't translate litterally. So it could be : él llega tarde or ella lleva retraso


When do we use ser or estar verb forms ?


Can: "It's evening," be correct?


The dictionary selection here says that "evening" should be accepted, which is true, tarde is a synonym with "noche" but whenever I typed this explanation, it was marked as incorrect.


rosst- If I invite you in the afternoon, i don't expect you in the evening. Normally, the afternoon/la tarde starts at noon and ends at 6 or 7, for Spain. La noche starts after the afternoon, that may be confusing because, when la tarde meets la noche, you can for exemple, say son las 6 de la tarde or depending de where you live, you could say son las 6 de la noche. It can't be synonym. https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070927140014AA8KJhh


Can "tarde" also mean "afternoon or evening?"


Is "He is late." acceptable?


We are going to analyze these phases.

IT IS LATE. Here we have the subject IT verb IS and the adverb LATE, after the scheduled time. In spanish it would be the subject ELLO (that you will never translate, it's an unspoken subject) ES TARDE.

HE IS LATE. Here we have the subject HE and the verbal expresion IS LATE (be late) not arrive on time. In spanish the subject ÉL and the verb TARDA (form for the third person of singular of verb TARDAR)

IT IS LATE= Es tarde. HE IS LATE= ÉL llega tarde Él tarda..

Hope you understand. I am a Spanish girl trying to learn English.


Thanks for the explanation, but I still need something clarified. Within the context of this sentence, would "it" be referring to an object (such as a package that has not arrived on schedule) or could it refer to something more general (for example you look at the clock and realize more time has elapsed than expected)?

  • 2676

In this case, "it" is a dummy pronoun that's only included because English grammar requires it. It does not refer to anything concrete. "Es tarde" or "It is late" just means that it (again the dummy pronoun) is late in the day. The hour, as we might say, is late.


Es tarde is it is late. Thats what I said. Dulingo says its incorrect.


Can "it is tardy" be accepted from this?


I always learned "tarde" as afternoon. This is getting frustrating.

  1. f. Parte del día comprendida entre el mediodía y el anochecer.

1.f. Part of the day between the noon and the nightfall.

In this case, like a noun, it need an article or a preposition. Yo juego por la tarde. Me gusta leer en las tardes de otoño.La tarde es mi hora preferida del día.

  1. adv. A hora avanzada del día o de la noche. Cenar, levantarse tarde.

3.adv. At an advanced hour of the day or the night.

  1. adv. Fuera de tiempo, después de haber pasado el oportuno, conveniente o acostumbrado para algún fin, o en tiempo futuro relativamente lejano.

  2. adv.Out of time.

In these cases, like an adverb, it works alone. Me gusta levantarme tarde. Siempre llego tarde a clase.


Is "he is late" wrong?

  • 2676

Yes, for two reasons. When discussing time you use "ser": It is late = Es tarde. Really, we're saying the hour is late.

For a person, we're saying that they're running late. We'd need to use "estar" for that, plus the expression is not the same in Spanish as it is in English. In English, we can say "It is late" to mean the hour or "He is late" to mean someone is tardy, but in Spanish you'd say "Él está llegando tarde" (He is running late) or just "Llega tarde".


You know, I have been wondering, is there another word for tardy or late? Because tarde also means afternoon, and I get mixed up quite often.

  • 2676

No, it's the same word. But it's a different verb for the hour being late and someone being tardy.

It's late/It's afternoon = Es tarde (using the verb "ser")
You're late = Llegas tarde (using the verb "llegar")


Just wondering, could "Es tarde" also mean "It's later"?

  • 2676

No, that would be "es más tarde".


Why did "It's late." get corrected to "It is late." Generally, Duolongo recognizes English contractions. And "it's" can only be a contraction.


Forget it. I was supposed to write what I heard, not translate. I translated.


Before hitting the Turtle button, I thought he said "Stardate."


The correct answer is showing as incorrect on this question.


Tarde is evening,right?

  • 2676

"Tarde" is "late", "afternoon", or "evening" depending on context.


I type exactly what the translation says but it keeps telling me it is wrong


It is late .. Es tarde. Lo puse correcto y me dijeron que estaba mal?.. Porque?? .. Que pasa con duolingo o yo estoy mal?.. Alguien me puede responder


queen cersei to danaerys: eres tarde


Am I the only one who put "it's afternoon"? I know that it was out of context, and I fail to see how my translation is wrong.

  • 2676

Report it, then.


It's late is a correct answer


I wrote estar de and it was marked corrected but with an underline


You note "afternoon" as one of the definitions and then don't accept it as the answer.


I find it helpful to remember the word tardy, which means late.


Tarde us late but also afternoon... This shouldn't be consudered an error.

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