"Do you allow dogs?"
Translation:¿Ustedes permiten perros?
To my ear, using "los" as in "¿Permites los perros?" implies a reference to a particular dogs.
For instance: if I had brought dogs to someone's house to play in the yard and wanted to know if I could bring them inside I might ask. "¿Peremites los perros al dentro, amigo?"
In the case of duolingo's sentence, "Do you allow dogs?" I would assume that the speaker is directly asking someone who makes the rules about whether dogs in general are allowed. So, if I was going to house-sit for a friend for a while and wanted to know if I could bring my dogs, or let visitors bring dogs inside I would ask "¿Permites perros al dentro de tu casa?"
If I was asking about bringing dogs somewhere in a more general sense, say bringing dogs to a resort or hotel, I might ask over the phone "¿Se permite perros en el hotel?" I'm using the passive voice because it's a question of the business's policy, not the preference of the person I'm asking. (i. e. "Are dogs allowed at the hotel?"
Source: I'm half mexican.
Correct me if I am wrong but isn't the article still required in Spanish, I know it is omitted in English.
"With generic nouns: These are nouns that refer to a concept or to a substance in general or a member of a class in general, rather than a specific one"
Los americanos son ricos. (Americans are rich.)
¿Tú permites los perros? (Do you allow dogs?)
I'm so confused :S
Articles are so difficult in Spanish, to this day I have not found an explanation I can use, the only rules I know about articles are these: if a noun is the subject of a sentence it always requires and article, and you cannot start a sentence in with a noun that doesn't have an article (these rules can be broken in some very specific contexts). Also, some verbs require the following noun to use an article. I'll give you some examples with the noun paz (peace).
- La paz es importante (Peace is important).
The noun requires an article because it is the subject of the sentence, but if we change the verb to querer (to want) and turn paz into the object, then the article is no longer required.
- El pueblo quiere paz (The people want peace).
But if we change the verb to celebrar (to celebrate), then the article is required again.
- Hoy celebramos la paz (Today we celebrate peace).
The word paz even has a plural form.
- Hicieron las paces (They made peace with each other).
Unfortunately when it comes to Spanish and articles all you can do is memorize when to use them and when not to. And one last thing before I go, the words American and Americano don't mean exactly the same thing, so be careful when you use them, especially around Latin Americans, they can get a bit touchy.
The article is required in Spanish in several cases where we don't use it in English. Most are easily learned like before days of the week or before titles when talking in the third person about someone (el señor González) But the one that causes students the most problems is making generalizations. In English when we are generalizing about something we do not use an article. Dogs require walking. Faith can move mountains. Coffee is hot. These sentences all require the article in Spanish. In this sentence the question is not about ALL dogs. It is more like any dogs. For any who also speak French, in French this sentence would require the partitive article des, which is sort of the opposite of Spanish. Here, like in English, no article is required.
You are correct about the verb conjugating for usted/ustedes, but melanierinm is correct that the passive would work: "se permite" is a passive form of the verb that essentially means "one permits." So the question put that way (Se permite perros?) is like, Are dogs allowed here/Does one permit dogs here?
The subject pronoun in Spanish somewhat flexible in Spanish, but not that flexible. It is never required for grammars sake and is only used for clarity or emphasis of some sort. Additionally the subject pronoun can often go after the verb in statements or before the verb in questions with the correct intonation. But, if present, the subject pronoun will always be next to the verb on whichever side. So using ustedes as in the question Form, the options would be
¿Permiten ustedes perros?
¿Ustedes permiten perros? Or simply
But putting the direct object perros between the verb permiten and the subject pronoun ustedes is incorrect.
Not really. Standard sentence structure for questions is very normal in Spanish and Italian. In fact in Portuguese you can't reverse the subject and verb at all. In general Spanish has very flexible structure in terms of the subject and verb. The subject often follows the verb in statements and precceds the verb in questions. I have always wondered if the fact that subject pronouns can be omitted, but all that is idle speculation.
It's certainly not wrong. But intonation is a major factor and, as I said, subject verb order can vary a lot in Spanish. But I have always found it helpful that Spanish questions start with the ¿ in writing to alert you before you start reading it. Some of this is, of course, personal style, and I am sure that some people do things according to their own style. But as someone who often struggled with statements whose subjects followed the verb, I can say that that alone won't tell you it is a question. Of course, most of my struggle wasn't that I thought it might be a question, it was because I assumed that there was an omitted subject pronoun and took the actual subject as a direct object (or tried to).
No. In Spanish, we always conjugate verbs unless we are not talking about a certian person or if the verb follows another verb. Saying "¿Ustedes permitir perros?" would be wrong, as it is like saying "Do you to allow dogs?" or something similar, it just doesn't translate right. Permiten means You allow or in a question Do you allow.
Well, it's true that the "personal a" is used when the person/entity in question is a grammatical object, but that is, in fact, the case here.
The reason the "a" isn't needed here is that the question is about dogs in general, not a specific beloved pet. Compare:
Necesito médico. I need a doctor, any doctor.
Necesito a mi médico. I need my doctor, who is a specific person.
In english, we only know based on context whether the word "you" is singular or plural, abd we do not have formal and informal verb conjugations in English either. To correctly translate this sentence, these cues should be given, otherwise the program should accept all possible correct answers.