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  5. "Los amigos se cuentan cosas."

"Los amigos se cuentan cosas."

Translation:Friends tell each other things.

January 5, 2013



"the friends count things" is wrong. Then why when I hover over se cuentan does it offer count as an option? Very confusing


'contar' has many meanings, count, tell, consider... but in this context the correct solution is tell.


The correct solution is tell, and the useful context word is "se." The use of "se" means that the verb is reflexive, meaning that the subject and object are the same, and in this case only tell works out (or works out best) - they tell themselves, or each other, things.


I've seen people using the word "reflexive," but your comment is the first time I really understood what that meant. I don't know if you explained it better than others I've seen or if my brain only just randomly decided to comprehend what reflexive means, but I wanted to thank you.


The verb is not reflexive but reciprocal. Reflexive-we look at ourselves in the the mirror (subject which initiates action receives it as the object ) and reciprocal-we look at each other across the table (actions are reciprocated).

At least , it could be either but makes much more sense as reciprocal being friends and telling each other things rather than sitting there making up things to tell themselves.


The best answer.


They tell themselves things is not accepted by DL.


I learned that the hard way. Think "tell themselves" should be accepted. The sentences clearly says that.


Lo siento amigo, pero no estoy de acuerdo contigo. As MattPotter4 accurately explained above, this is not reflexive but reciprocal. When we tell each other something, we're not telling it to ourselves; we're telling it to one another--the action of one person is directed to the other person, not to himself.

Please note:
Verbs with SE doesn't always mean reflexive; it can also be reciprocal. "Reflexive" and "reciprocal" are only two of the types of verbs+se (Pronominal verbs).


Could it also mean, "they count themselves"?


Se expresses each other.The following is from elanguage Learn to Speak Spanish by individual software, 2008, Quick Reference Guide, p.56. "SOME USES of SE, 4. To express mutual or reciprocal actions, generally expressed in English as "each other": Elana y Thomas se besan. ("Elena and Thomas are kissing each other.")" Hope this helps. It helped me.


Okay, I got the "friends" and "tell" and "things" but would someone please explain where "each other" comes from in this phrase. Please?


Actually, the way it's written now, it could be interpreted as "each other" or "yourselves". To make it specifically "yourselves" you add "a si mismos" and for "each other" add "el uno a otro". I got this from the comments for the "ustedes se ven a si mismos" sentence, I hope I understand it correctly.


thanks, still not 100% sure but I think it may be clearer.


Hi go_come We have not been given the word 'contar' in any of the lessons so far. We have been given the word 'cuentan' and given its meaning (our only translation to date) as 'count on'.
So we have to have a truck load of books, website references (as indicated by srentsch and others who have pointed out websites) comments from advanced students or Spanish speakers in the discussion section.

I agree with JustOrange. Willy Nilly. And I'm adding NOT FAIR to his Willy Nilly.

The sentences in this lesson are beyond the scope of our Duolingo student status as you can see by the comments of those who have tried to translate this sentence armed only with the data that Duolingo has provided so far.


Cuentar means 'count', and 'tell' -- the root 'count' being in similar words like "give me your account of the events", or "please recount what happened"


How do I know when the sentence is referring to a specific set of friends (LOS amigos) as opposed to this, where it seems to apply to all friends in general? Just context? I can't see a pattern. For example, let's say duolingo gives me the sentence, "Los caballos comen las manzanas." Which would be the translation?

A) The horses eat the apples B) The horses eat apples C) Horses eat the apples D) Horses eat apples

Duolingo seems to be using these definite articles willy-nilly.


I think, in order:

A/D. Los caballos comen las manzanas. Maybe this could confuse "horses eat apples" and "the horses eat the apples", but one could use a pronoun clarifier for the latter, since they are specific horses. This sentence might be in response to "what is it that horses eat?" but also perhaps "what is it that the horses (we know of) eat?". The latter question would be more likely to use pronouns.

B. Los caballos comen manzanas. This may be better understood as: currently the horses eat apples.

C. In response to "what eats our/these/those apples?", like a vermin or pest. One could use a pronoun for this, such as: Los caballos comen las manzanas de nuestros.

I'm just assuming Spanish uses a lot of context and pronouns to clarify when one speaks of a group vs all of something.


I don't really understand why Duolingo has included pronominal verbs like "comerse" and reflexive verbs like "contarse" in a set of lessons meant to introduce the learners to object pronouns.

Pronominal verbs are verbs ending in "se". The "se"-part, after getting conjugated itself according to the subject pronoun, precedes the verb at the time of conjugation. For example, me como, te comes, se come, and so on. As for the meaning, some pronominal verbs are just meant to drive home the meaning in a more emphatic manner (as is the case with " comerse") while others can have an entirely different meaning. Kindly note that pronominal verbs are different from the passive form of verbs.

Reflexive verbs, as most of you might already know, are used to express reciprocal action. For example, "they love each other" would be "ellos se aman/quieren", and so on.


So, why not "the friends rely on things" if se cuentan= rely on or count on?


Good question. I think this is a fault on Duolingo's part. "Se cuentan" is from the verb "contarSE" and doesn't mean "rely on". "To rely on"/"to count on [something/someone]" is "contar con [algo/alguien]".
If "contar" doesn't go with "con", it just means "to count" (as in "1, 2, 3"), or "to tell" [something to someone], or "to recount" (a story/what happened, for example), or "to count for something" (as in "you don't count" as in "you don't matter"). The verb given to us here is "contarSE", not just "contar", that's why we conjugate it as "se cuentan" to match with "los amigos".

If you tap on the word "cuentan" above (i.e., if you're using the web version), it will take you to a page with Duolingo's sample sentences and conjugation of "contar", and you'll notice that the first example sentence (in the English translation) uses "count on" (Cuento con ustedes = I count on you) and the Spanish version contains "cuento con".


The friends tell each other things or the friends count things 'contar' can mean 'to tell' or 'to count', no!


I have the same question. Where is "each other" expressed in this sentence?


Srentch: thanks for the info you directed me to. It is the perfect tool for this point in the lessons. :-)


So...the friends tell each other stuff is invalid?


I said "the friends tell themselves things" I know it says each other, but wouldn't that mean the same thing?


'Si a mismo' in it would change the context from 'each other' to 'themselves.'


doulingo, I'm sorry but your doing a really bad job at explaining this lesson, really confusing...

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I chose themselves too and got it wrong. Themselves seems more correct as each other sounds like there might only be two people when it could many.


Um... is there a particular reason as to why I got this exact same question 3 times in a row? Or is that just a really weird coincidence? I got it right on the first one and just repeated myself twice... Oh well... easier lesson for me I guess... Just found it kinda weird...


This chapter used apples and friends tell each other a dozen times. Can you come up with any other "se" sentences?


I just got this exact same question 5 times in a row...


Two things this lesson has taught me: apples are very popular in the spanish community and i should really communicate more with my friends :P


How times can you repeatedly teach that someone eats an apple or they know things!???


Why not "tell themselves things"?


It should also accept "tell one another" but it doesn't. I'm reporting.


I thought 'cuentan' means 'to count'?! and how do they get 'each other' out of the given sentence?


Contar can mean to count, but it also means to tell. And the "se" is the tip off that it's each other.


'Each other': 'el uno al otro' ?


What about 'se dicen'


Why is contar used here instead of decir?


Decir is more "to say" -- quiero decir algo -- I want to say something. Contar is more "to tell" -- quiero contar una historia -- I want to tell a story.


Would a Spanish speaker use cuentar/contar?, to say tell?


So "cuentan" is more like "account" like to take stock of or retell

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