"Lo tocar la flauta hace seis meses, pero nunca lo tocar el violín."

Translation:I heard him play the flute six months ago, but I never heard him play the violin.

January 2, 2013

66 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitcorb

"...but never have I heard him play the violin." was not acceptable. Fairly common phrasing in my language- at least in written form.

January 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TomatoGrower

I think this is because the "have" would make it a different tense. "I heard him play" is a different tense than "I have heard him play".

March 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liraneitan

It accepts "I've never".

April 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/josh.ramirez500

that's what i put

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

Mitcorb,the sentence is , preterito perfecto simple , but your's would be, preterito perfecto compuesto.

April 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liraneitan

They said "hace seis meses," so I thought the time reference fits the preterito compuesto better. I might be wrong but it sounds more natural to me (in English). How does it affect the meaning?

April 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

liraneitan- I think that for us, 6 months ago is over, but for the person who was there to hear him playing the flute, at this moment, the action wasn't finished, that's why, we can't use the preterito perfecto simple.

April 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liraneitan

thanks. what about the second part? why is it "nunca lo oi" instead of "nunca lo he oido"? the nunca implies "I have never heard him (to this day)". In English "I never heard" should refer to a specified period of time that has already ended (although it can be used colloquially as "I've/I'd never".)

May 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

liraneitan- maybe they mean, that if they never heard him playing the flute, it's because it means that the time is passed. I'm gonna ask my Spanish profesor. You gave me a reason to have a doubt.

May 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

That would be ‘…pero nunca lo he oido tocar el violín’.

June 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/myperu

How would I say: ¨for six months¨ instead of ¨six months ago¨? I mistakenly translated this as ¨for six months¨ because of the hint of ¨since¨ for ¨hace¨

April 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

In Spain, “for six months” is usually rendered without a preposition: ‘Lo oía tocar la flauta seis meses’. In Latin America, one usually says ‘por seis meses’, or, more formally, ‘durante seis meses’. But ‘para seis meses’ is incorrect. Note that in any case, one would then say ‘oía’ (imperfect), because it was ongoing, not just a single event.

June 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TilEulenspiegel

Great answer. Thanks.

July 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamuelOrr

Thank you!

November 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/camillab8

Thanks!

March 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nik_rao

I guess that would be "para seis meses" or "durante seis meses"

April 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dcrayola

No it wouldn't be para rather por

February 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dmc343

Why can't it also be translated as I heard "you" instead of him? Can't lo be used for formal "you" in the masculine form?

April 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vandermonde

Agreed. It really sucked to correctly translate a sentence this complicated and then lose a heart for my trouble.

June 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

Correct: ‘Lo oí tocar’ can also mean “I heard you [formal masculine singular] play”.

June 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OWEN1OWEN

I also put - I heard you, as you say it can mean both, but was marked wrong

January 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KARMIELA

i wrote: i heard him playing the flute...is it wrong?

May 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

‘Lo oí tocar la flauta hace seis meses’ can mean either “I heard him play the flute six months ago” or “I heard him playing the flute six months ago”.

June 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Huysan

It's still not accepted on 12/12/13

December 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/markbooth

Accepted now. (30/03/2014)

March 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stefty.810

I wrote this too, I think it should be right

June 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bovinecow

I wrote this too. I believe it is a paticiple though and I think we are actually wrong. Also, my friend who speaks Spanish natively said that she thinks playing would be wrong so I guess we're wrong or at least if we go to Peru.

June 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/candybryce

As a native English speaker, I would say that whether it's play or playing, the meaning stays the same and the grammar stays intact. Only in Spanish is it necessary to use the infinitive tocar.

October 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nohaypan

Agreed that they are virtually equivalent, although if it was just once you might tend to say "play", while if it was several times you might tend to say "playing".

January 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/markbooth

I disagree with that distinction. I would use playing even if it was only once.

March 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdabell

the second 'I' is redundant as there can be no other subject, reasonably, for the second verb and it would be omitted in English routinely. To mark a sentence translation that does not contain it is wrong. 'I heard him play the flute six months ago but, never, the violin' is succinct and encompasses the meaning fully.

January 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/caiser

it happens the same in Spanish, so you must translate the given phrase.

January 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lastrtelusnet

For Peanuts, don't give up. Hard is a mighty powerful word, but then learning to walk was hard to. Keep at it and you will slowly start to see results.

April 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amanushya

where does the 'him' come from?

January 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarita71

"lo" is a masculine form of a pronoun reflecting that the subject heard "him" play. "lo oi".

January 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

Actually, ‘lo’ is the default direct-object pronoun. It's used not only when the direct object is known to be masculine, but also, like “it” in English, when the direct object's gender is unknown.

August 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mnandy

I feel my translation "Six months earlier I heard him play the flute but never have I heard him play the violin" is perfectly legitimate

August 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hello_world_hola

Just try reporting it when you think they made a mistake.

August 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

The construction ‘hace seis meses’ = “six months ago” means “six months before now”; but “six months earlier” = ‘seis meses antes’ means “six months before the time that was just being referred to”.

November 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kortaggio

Why not use past perfect instead of simple past? "Lo he oído tocar" instead of "Lo oí tocar". It's not like he played the flute once and then never played it again (unless that is specifically what you mean, which I think is unlikely)

October 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

Because in Spanish, they use preterito perfecto simple, when the action has happened in the past, and the action is finished as : ayer, mire una película. ayer is finished, past tense. Este año, he estudiado mucho, todos los días, this year isnt finished yet, past perfect. Or : cuando mi amigo llego a mi casa, estaba durmiendo. here it says that when my friend arrived, at this moment , I was sleeping, preterito imperfecto, while my friend arrived.

October 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/luke9

lo can mean him and it

November 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iea.min

What if it were a ghost or animal playing the violin? "I heard it playing the flute" should be correct, too

December 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1601

The subject isn't known, but it's something grammatically masculine that can play an instrument. That rules out la fantasma, but I guess it could be el duende.

December 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/defpub

Since the focus is on the instrument, would it be correct (and perhaps better) to say it like this? "La flauta lo oí tocar hace seis meses, pero el violín nunca lo oí tocar."

January 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

@defpub: That's backwards. The topic comes at the beginning, and the focus goes at the end.

June 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peanuts

This is too hard.

January 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/clawedinvader

I agree. But I love the harder sentences as I feel they test my true understanding of the language (which is not great but ever-improving!) You just need to break it down in to chunks and you get there eventually.

Having said that, I do not like testing sentences in the timed practice!

January 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

The timed practice drives me crazy. I'm too nervous for that.

February 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

Don't give up.

February 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Iago

Then give up, go home, and repeat "La niña come fruta" a million times per day.

March 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bsktsebacampos

I have heard him playing the flute six months ago, but i have never heard him playing the violin... What's wrong Duo? :(

September 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

“I have heard him…six months ago” would be ‘Lo he oído…hace seis meses’. But the use of the present perfect with a specific time in the past is ungrammatical in both English and Spanish. For an action at a specific time in the past, the simple past tense (‘oí’ = “I heard”) is used. For a past action continuing to the present, the present perfect (‘he oído’ = “I have heard”) is used. For a past action continuing to another time in the past, the past perfect (‘había oído’ = “I had heard”) is used.

September 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jconway453

So i had a typo on months, spelled it moths and the whole thing is wrong! Sucks

November 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1601

To be fair, it does forgive many typos and flags obvious misspellings in English. And you can always close it and start all over after having seen most of the questions.

November 20, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sushimiman

If I understand that "lo" can be "it/him/you" then why can't this mean "I heard YOU play....

And as usual I would ask, if this is incorrect (which DL has already said it is) how would you say: I heard you...

December 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

“I heard you play…” is correct. See the reply to dmc343. Please report it using the ‘Report a Problem’ button.

In general, how to say “I heard you…” depends on who “you” is: for familiar singular, it's ‘Te oí…’; for familiar plural, it's ‘Os oí’; for formal singular, it's ‘Le oí’ in leismo dialects, otherwise either ‘Lo oí…’ or ‘La oí…’, depending on the gender of “you”; and for formal plural, it's ‘Les oí’ in leismo dialects, otherwise either ‘Los oí…’ or ‘Las oí…’, depending on the gender of “you”.

December 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sushimiman

Thanks for the clarification. The earlier response to dmc wasn't as 'buttoned up' for me to understand whether it was verified or just a guess.

December 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blobberhead

How do we know it is a "he" ("el")?

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

blobberhead- because of lo, it it would have been she, it would be LA

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TexMexChica

Why is "I heard him play the flute for six months..." incorrect?

January 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

texmexchicca- because in your way, it's like if you heard him play during 6 months, but the sentence means, that you heard him play 6 months ago, and maybe just for one time.

January 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tlock835

I guess the best thing I can say about Duo, my spelling and typing abilities is that in the end all i have to is be able to read and speak spanish, not write

February 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KennyChunn1

I had no idea you could say "hace seis meses." Which literally means "ago six months." Good to know.. I would think seis meses hace...

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KennyChunn1

Thanks andrea.. Great explanation on not using para..

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guitarscape

I saw a lesson on using hacer with time expression and thought it had to follow "hace+time+que" or "desde hace+time"

June 15, 2016
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