My thoughts -- in English, we often skip the helping word that goes after a verb like this. For example, "I say we should go" and "I believe you're wrong" have an implied "I say THAT we should go" and "I believe THAT you're wrong." In Spanish, you always say it. It has to be "creo QUE" and "digo QUE".
I'm still figuring it out too, but that seems to be the case so far!
When you think about it, the real question is why can't you use the conjunction in English?
In general, in English sentences of the form "He says thus-and-such," it's okay (and arguably clearer) to introduce the subordinate clause (i.e., the thing he says) with the conjunction "that." The fact that you can't do this in English when the subordinate clause is "yes" or "no" is a strange exception.
The whole thing makes a lot more sense when you realize this.
It's not just yes or no. "He says hello", "He says nothing", "He says bite me", "He says just leave now". In all these cases you'd need to do some more work to make it into a subordinate clause, because what's really happening is that you are quoting somebody directly, and neglecting the formality of quotation marks. English doesn't let you toss a direct quotation into a subordinate clause grammatically.
Bob: "You should go".
Me, reporting back:
"Bob says, 'you should go'" - OK
"Bob says that WE should go." - OK
"Bob says that you should go." - probably not what Bob meant; sounds like I am trying to duck out of it. :)
Bob: "Bite me!"
Me reporting back to the team:
Bob says bite me. - OK. Ambiguity can be exploited for humor.
Bob says that bite me. - Not acceptable.
Bob says that you should bite me. - Structurally correct but conveys wrong meaning,
Bob says that you should bite him. - OK
I'm still learning how Spanish handles all these cases.
There is one thing English speakers sometimes do that clarifies who is saying what, although it's grammatically incorrect. Actually say, "quote" or "and I quote" before the quote. Frequently while making quote marks in the air with the index and middle fingers of both hands near the head.
"Bob says (and I quote), 'Bite me!'"
That makes a lot of sense, but not in this sentence, unfortunately. Can you make any sense out of "I say THAT yes"? I tried but I failed, badly.
You're trying to translate it directly to English! Sometimes that doesn't work and you have to remember that there are different rules you just have to adhere to!
@DanHoyt: That's a different “that”. The ‘que’=“that” in ‘Yo digo que sí.’ (in other words, “‘Yes’ is what I say.”) is a conjunction, but the “that”=‘eso’ in ‘Yo digo eso, sí.’ = “I say that, yes.” (in other words, “Yes, that's what I say.”) is a pronoun.
That was the answer I put that they counted wrong. I put Yes, that's what I say. They wouldn't take that way of putting it.
Maybe it would have a comma like, "I say that, yes." Like if someone asked you, "Do you shout 'imperious rex' at the beginning of every date?" And you would respond with, "I say that, yes."
Right. But it's the same concept. It sounds wrong because it is not the norm to say it in English. It is however, the norm to say it in Spanish.
OUTSTANDING insight. I've heard it and then forgotten it. For this one, I remembered it. Nice reinforcement loonce
What I don't understand is that in a previous sentence, the phrase was something along the lines of "dice no" without the "que" because he literally says no, but "dice que no" means that he disagrees with something. Do you or anyone else have any insight?
"That" is used as a conjunction here, according to grammarians. Syntacticians (linguists) may differ from that analysis, but whatever "that" is, it's not a helping verb.
Ok I get it. So if a Spanish speaker was learning English then they would think "I say THAT yes" would make sense to them when they translated this to English?
In spanish, not everything directly translates over to English. While we say "I say yes" the same phrase means "Digo que sí". The que in this sense is required but does not come with a translation. In Spain we also say things like "Que sí" and "Que no" for things like No way and For sure. You can also use que with an adjective to make it an exclamation of the word i.e. "Que mono" which means how cute! So in other words, Que is not always directly translatable.
"que mono" Doesn't that mean something like, "what a monkey?" It's kind of like in French where "my little cabbage" is a term of endearment, if that is so.
In French, "mon petit chou, " or "mon chou" might be a "chou à la crème" and thus a pastry!
I know, but that's not nearly as much fun. I once puzzled a very nice French man by asking him why his people called each other cabbages. We sorted it out eventually. I speak only a few words of French, but I found people to be very friendly when, depending on their age, I "merci beaucoup, madame"-d them, or "merci beaucoup mon petit chou"-d them with a practiced accent. It is the little things, isn't it?
Also... French pastry. How I miss it!
I cannot figure out why searching on google but it also seems to apply to "no", both "digo que sí" and "digo que no" are 10 times more common than the phrases without "que" in google searches.
"que" is used in a lot of expressions.
digo que si = yes
digo que no = no
creo que si = i think (believe) so
creo que no = i don't think (believe) so
que bueno! = good!
qué malo! = bad!
qué padre! = awesome!/fantastic!, etc
qué tal = how are you
qué bonito! = how pretty!
qué lástima! = what a shame!
qué bien! = great!/well done!/excellent! etc
qué onda? = what's up?/what's happening?
there are many more and some vary in usage by country
This is a really helpful list. I am going to copy/paste into a document to memorize. Thank you!
All of these could be translated word for word in French and whether from German for"DOCH" or from French or Spanish ,DL should find better ways of translating their little sentences in English with "yes I do" , "No I don't" etc
I agree. At the very least they should accept "I say that it's so", which I tried but was marked wrong. "Que" is generally used to mean "that' in context and here it's the translation that makes the most literal sense.
That's a closer translation. Please report it using the ‘Report a Problem’ button if it's still not accepted.
Such an idiomatic expression should be introduced before we are asked to translate it. I hate losing a heart when I mistranslate such a short phrase.
The Spanish construction seems similar to the one in French, when you are agreeing with something that has been mentioned before. It implies that it is so, it will work, it will happen. Often against predicted odds.
Yo digo que si. Tu digo que no. Yo digo que que. To digo que yo no sabe. We interrupt this program for a brief musical interlude a la Beatles. :P
Once again I believe this really has no explanation....this is just my opinion. It is just one of those phrase that you have to know. Duo is great to get a solid base. When you watch Spanish tv you start focusing less on actually translation but more on that meaning of something.
why can't anyone just explain why the "que" is there Many people ask the same question, but no one steps in to explain the grammar
You can think of it as 'Yo digo'/'I say' as the dialog tag of who is speaking and the 'que' acts as the conjunction (comma) and sets up quotes, "sí"/"yes". 'I say yes' = 'I say,"yes"'. So if you see the pattern of describing who is speaking/spoke then a "que" and followed by what looks like a quote then you ignore and drop the "que" when you translate.
The "que" here is a conjunction used to introduce a subordinate clause. It serves the same function as the conjunction "that" in the English "I say that it is so."
The fact that you cannot use the conjunction in English when the subordinate clause is "yes" or "no" (even though you can do so with any other subordinate clause) is an odd exception in English grammar that you have to unlearn in this case.
I've noticed duoLingo has both "Yo nunca digo no," and "Yo nunca digo que no" as correct answers for different slides for "I never say no." The use or lack of use of "que" is a bit confusing in this section!
What is the connection between :"dijo", and "digo". It looks almost the same. Does it have the same meaning? (mi hermana me dijo que no", and this one ? ...and in the same lesson there was also "dicen" "los ninos dicen que ...". I am getting a little bit confused here. Is it the same word?
They are both conjugated forms of "decir" http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/decir#conjugation "digo" = "I say" and "digo" = "he/she/you(formal) said(past tense)"
My interpretation of this is something like : "I say yes to that".
As "que" can be a non specific definitive noun. 'That'.
And if you consider in English when the phrase "I say yes" is said, it is usually in response to a specific thing.
So that is what the 'que' is in that sentence, it is the specific thing that someone it saying yes to.
Is it correct ? I don't know.
You must not have put an accent mark on "si". I can't do it with my American keyboard.
If you're on a US or UK Mac, type 'Option'+'e' to get the acute accent, then 'i' to put the accent on the 'i'.
Otherwise, each Duolingo page where you're expected to type Spanish has an array of buttons for the non-English Spanish letters, beneath the text-entry field.
Unfortunately when you use translators like Google you don't get those buttons. Someone gave me a link to an ap to download for the desktop it worked great...until I booted the computer up the next day. Guess you must have to download it every day. grrrrr
I agree it would be helpful to maybe do a section on basic idiomatic expression such as this one and ones like "El conoce a las mujeres." They translated as He knows women.
It is their language and we do similar things, but it would be helpful to combine those slang like sentences into a group and explain them.
Should this not be 'I say, "yes"' or 'Yo digo que "sí"' because 'I say yes' doesn't make grammatical sense.
él me pide casarse con él y yo digo que sí (he asks me to marry him and I say yes)
I kind of remember it like , 'I say what? Yes." and then end it like that. Just a small mental reminder for me. :)