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  5. "Las hermanas de mi madre no …

"Las hermanas de mi madre no comen pollo."

Translation:My mother's sisters do not eat chicken.

January 4, 2013



"the sisters of my mother do not eat chicken",

I wrote it that way because the "las" article in front of hermanas, yet this answer was counted wrong.


@Robin, Rem, alexis y islehugs

It isn't and shouldn't be accepted because it's not the way it's translated into English. We simply do not say "the thing/person OF something" when talking about possession. We only use either:

  1. possessive pronouns (his, her(s), your(s), etc..)

  2. apostrophe S. (John's car, my mother's cat, etc...)

Spanish has #1 but does not have #2. Their version of #2 is by saying "de + person/thing"

possessive pronoun:

  • her car = tu coche OR el coche de ella

apostrophe S

  • John's car = el coche de juan

That's it.

The possessive form with the use of de, while can be used in place of the possessive pronoun, it's more often that you'll see and hear the use of the possessive pronoun (mi, tu, su, nuestros, etc..) than you will using the de + personal pronoun.

But in the case of the English apostrophe S possessive, which Spanish simply does not have, that's when they use the object + de + name/noun/thing construct.

I know, it's frustrating at first but you gotta learn to think like a native speaker and not in terms of "that's how it literally translates in English!!" or "But that doesn't make any sense in English!" because the simple fact is, it's not English lol. Otherwise you're gonna be screwed when it comes to a looooot of things in Spanish later on lol.


You're stating an opinion not a fact. I would go along with your argument if DL was actually that consistent is marking things correct or incorrect. They are not. This answer should be accepted.


I agree. My mother's sisters is just as awkward as "the sisters of my mother." IMHO, "My aunts don't eat chicken," would be a better translation and more common but I don't believe DL would accept one taking such liberties.


A different answer:

To do what is called "long form possession," Spanish uses a definite article (el, la) in front of the noun.

(Long form possession is the use of possessive pronouns, e.g., "mi, su, tu, etc.")

When Spanish uses the long form, we generally should NOT translate the definite article into English. (There may/will be some exceptions.)

There are several other instances where Spanish uses an article and English does not. It simply takes a while to learn when.

Thus, as examples,

Susana's book
Francisco's bicycle
Esteban and David's dogs

el libro de Susana
la bicicleta de Francisco
los perros de Esteban y David

For a more in-depth explanation, see this: http://www.spanish411.net/Spanish-Indicating-Possession.asp


There is a use case for "the X of Y" in English, when the relationship involved needs a very strong emphasis, for example:

"The sisters of my mother don't eat chicken, the sisters of your father don't eat pork and the sisters of whoever that guy is that your brother invited will eat over my dead body."


I'm with jokigenki here. Just because we don't use this formation often in English doesn't mean it isn't a valid translation.


This simply isn't true. Most often, yes, we do use possessive pronouns and apostrophes but we also say "something of something" such as The Book of Kells, The Rape of Nanking, the handle of my cup, the top of the paper, my sleeve of my jacket etc. Try saying any of those things with an apostrophe. It sounds weird. Additionally if we're trying to be more precise instead of using pronouns. Saying "we never say that" will get you into trouble.


I will not argue your point because it is wonderfully written! I guess I am thinking more about comprehension than translation.

Internally, I read- "The sister's of my mother eat chicken" which is a "literal" translation from the spanish to english words. Now, if I were Spanish learning English and said to you "The sisters of my mother eat chicken." Would this make sense to you? Yes, you would know what I was trying to convey. You would know that the speaker is saying "my mother's sister's eat chicken."

So, if I were thinking like a native speaker would I not be internally thinking "The sisters of my mother eat chicken?"

At the moment I have been reading about "Interlanguage."

"Interlanguage is based on the theory that there is a "psychological structure latent in the brain" which is activated when one attempts to learn a second language. Interlanguage theory is usually credited to Larry Selinker, who coined terms such as "interlanguage" and "fossilization," but others such as Uriel Weinreich have claimed to have formulated the basic concept before Selinker's 1972 paper. Selinker noted that in a given situation the utterances produced by the learner are different from those native speakers would produce had they attempted to convey the same meaning. This comparison reveals a separate linguistic system. This system can be observed when studying the utterances of the learner who attempts to produce meaning in using the target language; it is not seen when that same learner does form-focused tasks, such as oral drills in a classroom. Interlanguage can be observed to be variable across different contexts; for example, it may be more accurate, complex and fluent in one discourse domain than in another (Tarone, 1979; Selinker & Douglas, 1985).

To study the psychological processes involved one should compare the interlanguage utterances of the learner with two things:

<pre>Utterances in the native language to convey the same message produced by the learner Utterances in the target language to convey the same message, produced by a native speaker of that language. </pre>

Interlanguage work is a vibrant microcosm of linguistics. It is possible to apply an interlanguage perspective to learners' underlying knowledge of the target language sound system (interlanguage phonology), grammar (morphology and syntax), vocabulary (lexicon), and language-use norms found among learners (interlanguage pragmatics)."


@Hucklebeary "the mother of fools is always pregnant"... (or is it "the fools' mother...?) :P


There should be more freedom in the 21st century. I'm not saying that we should disregard all grammar rules, but this one just appears to be absolutely primitive and unnecessary... If there are some people who believe the construction should not be considered grammatically correct, I'm fine with that, but I am not one of those people. Furthermore, the mere fact that some people choose to translate it the way that you have criticized does not mean that they cannot think like a native speaker, that statement is preposterous.


This is not true. two master's degree here. We would say it that way if we were emphasizing whose sisters they were. It is a correct translation.


Same, I don't see the problem with that translation. Isn't that literally what it says?


Yes! I wrote the same "The sister's of my mother do not eat chicken." This should be accepted.


No, the sister's and the sisters aren't same. sister's = sister is


A different answer: To do what is called "long form possession," Spanish uses a definite article (el, la) in front of the noun. When Spanish does that, we should NOT translate the definite article into English.

There are several other instances where Spanish uses an article and English does not. It simply takes a while to learn when.

Thus, as examples,

Susana's book
Francisco's bicycle
Esteban and David's dogs

el libro de Susana
la bicicleta de Francisco los perros de Esteban y David

For a more in-depth explanation, see this: http://www.spanish411.net/Spanish-Indicating-Possession.asp


My mum's sisters...also known as 'my aunts', yesno?


Translate the text, not the meaning.


that would imply that your fathers sister also don't eat chicken when that is not what is meant to be said.


Then it would say padre instead of madre?


I think this person meant to say that the context of the response, "my mother's sisters" indicates that something about your aunts from your mother's side is differentiated between those from your father's side. For example, if everyone on your mother's side of the family were vegetarians, then this sentence would be acceptable, i.e., "my mother's sister do not eat chicken"


How is this wrong? "The sisters of my mother don't eat chicken."

  • 2527

I'm wondering that too. Especially since this translation was right a few days ago.


Is this the general sentence structure when referring to something of someones when not using a generic pronoun like his or theirs or hers?

Like, if you want to say something is your mothers... whether it be a relative or an item like a shirt; is this the structure that gets used?

"thing of person"

In the spanish example given here it is "hermanas de mi madre" or "sisters of my mother" but in english, the translation, and properly so, is "my mother's sister."

So... does spanish not have an ownership way of saying things with the apostrophe S?

Like, say we want to tell someone that a shirt belongs to Maria. In English it is "that is maria's shirt" but in spanish would it be "que es camisa de Maria" ?

Thanks in advance!


Hello me from the past!

Yes, you're correct. There is no apostrophe S version version of things in Spanish and you need to say "thing of person" ... i.e. el perro del niño for the boy's dog and "la camisa de mi padre" for "my father's shirt", etc...

It's quirky but kind of nifty.


Can you all except the answer for what it is and keep moving. All these same questions over and over... pay attention! Stop crying if you get a wrong answer, it's a part of learning. SMH


My mother’s siblings don’t eat chicken. Isn’t that correct?!


Everyone comments on the "aunt" issue and I'm over here noticing they used the British term for mom lol.


Could "hermanas" also be translated as "siblings" (like hermanos)?


No, because siblings contains both brothers and sisters. In Spanish you would use either hermanos or hermanos y hermanas, but not hermanas alone.


Thank you very much Static1!


my mother's sister's do not eat penguin. no more penguins- they lost against the cat one time to many. Pobrecitos.


The sisters of my mother do not eat chicken is correct too. It should be acceptable too


10 April 2018 - Obviously using the apostrophe to denote possession is the best method. So, whilst "My mother's sisters do not eat chicken" is the best translation, "The sisters of my mother do not eat chicken" should also be accepted by Duo as an alternative answer, be it literal, as it conveys the same meaning and is grammatically correct. However, Alexis2's version: "the sister's of my mother" is simply grammatically incorrect and should not be accepted. As Evord91 below points out, the sister's = the sister is (sing); it is not a translation of "las hermanas" (plural). Besides, you cannot have "the sister is of my mother". Some of those comments date form 3 years ago; I hope that Duo will review possible alternative translations to this sentence.


It is the same for both


The wheels of the bus go round and round... but DL says that's not correct English.. Just saying.


Okay. I'm confused now. I put " The sisters of my mother "does not" eat chicken." And DL counted it wrong when it's really "do not"??


The people saying "The sister's of my mother do not eat chicken" is wrong, because we dont say it as the literal translation, when do we ever say "My mother's sisters"? Surely, then we would say "My aunts do not eat chicken?"


"Las hermanas de mi madre..." A.K.A "My aunts."

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