Hola saessafo: If you wanted to know how that particular person writes a letter, you would ask him or her: "¿Cómo escribe usted una carta?" ....or... informally, "¿Cómo escribes tú una carta?".
But is you just want to know in general how does a person write a letter, then you could say: "Cómo se escribe una carta?".
Unlike in English, in Spanish and French (and probably others), the present tense of the verb has several meanings depending on context. "Yo escribo" can mean "I write," "I am writing," or "I do write."
In the case of "Cómo escribes," it means "How do you write?" (or potentially "How are you writing," but that doesn't really make sense here).
In English "I am writing" is used for simple present more than "I write". "I write" is usually only used for habitual actions. As I understand it, if I say "Estoy escribiendo un libro" in Spanish I mean that I am writing at this moment. If I say "I am writing a book" in English, I only mean that I have started to write a book and have not completed it yet. I would never say "I write a book" in English as a complete sentence. "I write books" or "I write a book every year" are both fine, because they imply habitual action.
How come the word "do" is just assumed? its not anywhere in the actual sentence but when translated to english the word "do" is there.. is the verb hacer, "to do".. wouldnt it be como hace tu escribes una carta? I dont understand that part of spanish, how words are just assumed to be there.. the way I see the sentence it says "how you write a letter?"
Spanish doesn't work that way. While you are literally translating the sentence to "How you write a letter?", the Spanish are saying it in a way that means something much closer to "How do you write a letter?".
Your spanish alternative sounds just fine, but I'm guessing the above sentence is the one that's more commonly used.
But surely that doesn't make sense Alchz. If so, wouldn't that make it much easier to misinterpret what someone was saying if you just assumed words were there? That would be the equivalent of saying "What doing?" in English which is considered improper English. Is there not a more formal way of asking "How do you write a letter? And if so, wouldn't it be better to teach the formal way first? Is this just me or what?
Usually "escribe" is used for "she writes" or "he writes" normally So "¿cómo escribe una carta?" would normally be interperated as "how does he/she write a letter?" It would be more correct to use the informal here I think.(usted is rather formal and I wouldnt use it for a classroom or friendly setting)
Hola ShiyuChen: "How to write a letter" is not correct because you did not conjugate the verb. You only used the infinitive "to write". The sentence says "YOU write". You must start with the infinititve "escribir", but then you must "conjugate" the verb; that is, each person has a different verb form. For instance, in this sentence "escribes" means "you write". Here are some sample of other conjugations of "escribir" in the present tense are: I write = "yo escribo", he writes = él escribe", we write = nosotros escribimos, they write = ellos escriben. CHAU
On a previous question it asked me to translate that phrase into Spanish, and it asked me to use "tu", as in I am talking to someone, but in this question it uses "you" generally. Out of context, is there a way to differenciate between the two phrases (one in which I'm speaking to someone and the other when I'm being general)?
Hi languagecow12, because is the gender of the word, It belongs to the female gender
the letter. (la carta).
the woman. (la mujer).
a letter. (una carta).
the man. (el hombre).
the roof. (el techo).
a car. (un carro).
El= male gender.
I hope to have you helped if there are doubts or mistakes please comment.
greetings and luck
"Escribe", It commonly used with the next subjects - You.
You write a book= (Tú escribes un libro (Only use "Escribes" with "Tú") or Usted escribe un libro)
With - He, She, It, It's translated as "Escribe"
He writes a letter (Él escribe una carta)
She writes as a poet (Ella escribe como una poeta).
I hope to have you helped If there are doubts or mistakes please comment
Greetings and luck
It is always helpful to remember the gender qualities of the words you are using. If you are talking about a word that ends in an "a", let's say "carta", that means that is is feminine and therefore all pronouns referring to it should be used accordingly, such as "una" in this case.. Similarly, if you have a masculine noun, such as "nino" (I apologise I don't know how to do accents on my computer) you must chose describers and pronouns that agree with that gender. There will also be some words where the gender is less apparent, such as "agua". These nouns take just a little bit of memorization, you kind of just have to know whether they are masculine or feminine. It also helps if you say it out loud and test the sound. For instance, what sounds correct; "El agua" or "La agua"? (the answer is "el agua") You just need to develop a little bit of an ear for it, it comes with practice. Hope that helped out a little bit. :)
What ever floats your boat is what people should say when you get asked how do you write a letter (Which everyone can write one when dey are 6 years old) (Techniccaly not saying im 6 because im not) (Techniccaly saying Writing letters are a talent and if you do not know how to write one at lets say 14 your a total idiot) (No offence Non-Talented ones) To Be Honest i am horrible at writing but "How do you write a letter" IS REDICULUS!!!!!!! < Horrible spelling