"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.

February 8, 2014


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.

February 10, 2016


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

February 13, 2016


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

July 5, 2017

  • 2071

That is correct.

July 5, 2017



October 7, 2017


I agree

May 1, 2017



April 20, 2018


apparently it's afternoon is not correct?

January 2, 2013



Es la tarde= It is afternoon

Es tarde= It is late

January 2, 2013


Caiser, right to the point! Ta

May 17, 2016


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

March 7, 2018


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

March 29, 2016


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

January 3, 2013


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.

July 18, 2013


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

January 3, 2013


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

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

January 27, 2013


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.

June 18, 2014


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.

February 21, 2013


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

February 21, 2013


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.

June 18, 2014


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.

February 25, 2013


"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.

July 16, 2013


Is this where the English word tardy comes from?

June 27, 2015


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

September 24, 2016

  • 2071

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

September 24, 2016


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

July 5, 2017


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.

February 8, 2014


Oops incorrect

March 9, 2016


I keep getting this wrong!

May 3, 2016


My mom says this to me every night! :) :P

May 19, 2017


Why not estar in this case?

July 23, 2013


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

November 15, 2013


When do we use ser or estar verb forms ?

February 17, 2014


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

November 28, 2014


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.

March 15, 2015


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

March 26, 2015


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

April 30, 2015


Is "He is late." acceptable?

August 4, 2015


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.

August 11, 2015


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)?

September 13, 2015

  • 2071

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.

May 7, 2016


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

February 17, 2016


Can "it is tardy" be accepted from this?

February 23, 2016


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

February 27, 2016

  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.

February 27, 2016


Is "he is late" wrong?

June 6, 2016

  • 2071

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".

June 6, 2016


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.

October 6, 2016

  • 2071

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")

October 6, 2016


K that's how want to play k...so...

October 24, 2016


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

February 7, 2017

  • 2071

No, that would be "es más tarde".

February 7, 2017



February 7, 2017


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

February 12, 2017


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

February 16, 2017


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

February 26, 2017


It's late kids! You have a playdate tomorow! Good night!

April 12, 2017


The correct answer is showing as incorrect on this question.

July 22, 2017


Tarde is evening,right?

July 25, 2017

  • 2071

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

July 25, 2017


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

August 8, 2017


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

September 2, 2017


queen cersei to danaerys: eres tarde

September 9, 2017


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.

October 19, 2017

  • 2071

Report it, then.

October 19, 2017


It's late is a correct answer

October 21, 2017


Okay Gracia

December 6, 2017


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

January 9, 2018


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

April 1, 2018


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

April 26, 2018


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

April 29, 2018
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