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  5. "El servicio secreto tuvo que…

"El servicio secreto tuvo que responder por la seguridad del presidente."

Translation:The Secret Service had to answer for the safety of the president.

October 29, 2013



we also wouldn't say "has to respond FOR" or "answer for" - we would say "is responsible for" the security


I agree that "respond for" is unnatural, but I could see "answer for," as here.


"The Secret Service was responsible for the president's safety" should also be scored as correct.


I'm afraid this is another 'typical' Duolingo sentence that leaves us puzzled: in this case a secret service that had to answer (what? a question? fire?) to someone (who? an ally? an enemy?) in order to safeguard the president's safety.


"To answer for" something is an English idiom--and apparently a Spanish idiom as well--for assuming responsibility for something and taking the blame if you fail to do so. In other words, the Secret Service (which is an American entity tasked with safeguarding the president, part of the Treasury Department for some weird historical reason) has to take responsibility for the security of the president and will take the blame if the president gets killed. It's a perfectly normal idiomatic English sentence. Whether it's an equally normal Spanish sentence I have no idea.


But that idiom means that you have to take a responsibility in the sense that you are taking blame. So you could answer for a breach of security, but to say that you answer for security sounds like a broken sentence. You could say "they look after security" instead.


Is sesponcible FOR!!!


Why is "had to reply" not correct here?


See Adina's comment above. "Responder" does NOT mean "reply" here. It means "to assume responsibility for."


Can anyone explain to me, why the first person singular is used here, tuvo, rather then the third person, they-tuvieron. I see someone said Secret Service is singular, but I doubt if they would be referred to as he/she/you??


I would consider the Secret Service to be an "it." The agents themselves would be a "they," but the organization would be an "it." I would have used tuvo based on that reasoning.


why is “be responsible for” not accepted?


In this context, "respond" would be even more likely a translation, particularly if the sentence were used for a particular incident rather than a general state of chain-of-command.


I used exactly the same words in the same order as the answer and still got it wrong . Why ?


Would you accept: "The secret service had to answer to the security of the president."

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