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  5. "No hablamos con cualquiera."

"No hablamos con cualquiera."

Translation:We do not talk to just anyone.

January 7, 2013



I'm not too sure of this, but "con cualquiera" implies " to just anyone" - "all and sundry" but perhaps it = "con ninguno". Spanish speaker needed! By the way, Duolingo accepted "We do not talk to just anybody."

February 7, 2013


That's what I thought, and I would think "We do/did not talk to anyone" would be "No hablamos con nadie"

July 25, 2013


I think you are correct. I only learned this after reading the first discussion on the main page of this lesson (http://www.duolingo.com/comment/5535?from_skill=bfc1431303748afe15cccf7c79d2f8b8). Duolingo used to accept only "We don't talk to just anyone", and reject "We don't talk to anyone", but I guess since so many reported it, they now accept the less correct translation.

August 10, 2013


not only do they accept it... it is now the default

October 29, 2013


Ugh, that's bad. It's totally wrong. If you want to say you didn't talk to anybody -- i.e. that you talked to not a single person -- you need nadie.

I think actually in colloquial speech, the way many younger English speakers would express this sentence is, "We didn't talk to whoever," putting stress on the word and rolling their eyes to indicate contempt for the unwashed masses. :-)

Like, we were at the club and we were having fun, but then these jerks who were not EVEN in our league tried to hit on us, and we were like, "Helloooo, we don't talk to WHOEVER, get lost!"

edit: Alano0 is totally right, it should technically be "whomever". Although, I was talking about how certain groups of younger people would speak, and I suspect they don't use "whom" in the rigorously correct fashion, in their idiomatic speech. ;-)

March 11, 2014


Idk, I think that in the situation you gave the people in question would be more like, "helloooo we don't just talk to, like, anyone, ok?"

"We don't talk to whoever" sounds really weird.

February 20, 2016


whomever does not exist according to my old Penguin Dictionary. Whoever is not accepted by the Owl, grammatically wrong I think. WHOMSOEVER exists according to my Penguin and was accepted by the Owl. Birds understand each other. Neither English nor Spanish is my language. With the Owl I learn both at the same time.

May 16, 2015


You are correct, except it should be "whomever", as it is the object of the verb "talk"

December 18, 2014


I said whomever too because I that's basically the same thing right?

May 23, 2015


I arrived at the conclusion that whomever should be appropriate as well.

June 27, 2017


"We don't talk to anyone" NOT accepted 22 June 2017

June 22, 2017


Thanks. Makes some sense now, but where did you find the first discussion on the main page? Ie where did you get the reference from.

October 10, 2017


What's correct is correct - that shouldn't really change with how many people report it as being wrong.

'Just' in this usage in English means 'simply' and I remain unconvinced that 'cualquiera' in Spanish would have the same connotation to a Spanish speaker in this sentence as 'just' does to us in the translation. Some of these colloquialisms are simply (just?) untranslatable.

June 5, 2018


The thing about connotations in language is that one cannot be sure that I see exactly the same shade of meaning as another native speaker across the country let alone in another country and another language. But let me try to explain why this is translated as just anyone and perhaps you can come up with a better translation. Spanish is a language which loves double negatives. If a native speaker wanted to say they are not talking to anyone at al, they would say No hablamos con ninguno. That would be the normal way. To not use that second negative means that there may be someone or some group of people that you might speak to, but you are being careful or controlled who you speak to. For me to say that in English, I would say just anyone. Any better ideas?

June 5, 2018


Well, I did wonder about if putting "sencillamente" or even "absolutamente" in there might help, since both can be used as emphatics and 'just' is simply being used as an emphatic in this sentence (like 'so' in 'so big'). But it didn't seem right, so I ditched that idea on the premise 1) that was pushing their meaning too far, and 2) that 'just' as an emphatic is as unnecessary in any English sentence as these would be in the Spanish.

So, "No hablamos con cualquiera" I'd translate as "We don't talk to anyone". But only because without more context, we don't have enough to emphatically say that 'just' is necesary here: it adds no more info than 'anyone' already offers on its own.

As for the other way round, I'm still not convinced that cualquiera would add any kind of emphasise to a native Spanish in the way 'just' does to us in this type of sentence. In this sense, I find 'just' untranslatable.

"We don't talk to no one (at all)" is a different matter. I was going with AurosHarman's '...con nadie' - that was, until you threw 'ninguno' in the ring! :D But both do add a dbl negative so leave no doubt.

June 5, 2018


It's not that cualquiera is emphatic, it's just that this sentence doesn't mean we don't talk to anyone. It means that we may talk to some people. That is a meaning difference between ninguno and cualquiera. It is a distinction that is actually probably expressed better in Spanish than it is in English but just is the only way I know how to express it in English. When I first got this exercise a couple of years ago I translated as just anyone expecting to be marked wrong, but, as I said, I didn't know how else to express that you were only going to speak with a select individual or group.

June 5, 2018


That's my point. As you say, 'cualquiera' isn't an emphatic, but 'just' in this sentence is being used as an emphatic. That's why the two do not equate and the sentence does not translate well for me.

June 5, 2018


I don't think that just is necessarily emphatic at all. It is just a limiting quantifier. Not that much, just this much. Not nobody just not just anybody. If there is a less emphatic way to express it in your mind then fine. But, whether or not you consider just anyone overly emphatic, it is pretty much all we got in English. Potential scenario. We are having an issue in a store. My daughter goes to talk to another store clerk, but comes back frustrated. I say to her No hablamos con cualquier. Necesitamos hablar con el dirjente. The only way I can translate that is We don't speak to just anyone. We need to speak with the manager.

June 5, 2018


Estoy de acuerdo.

August 12, 2013


You are correct. The meaning of "cualquiera" in this sentence is "to just anyone."

January 8, 2014


Because otherwise we would use "nadie" to express "We didn't talk to anyone", aka "We talked to no one"?

February 13, 2014



December 19, 2014


That is interesting. do or did

March 28, 2013


Hablamos is the first person plural in both present and preterite(past).

June 2, 2013



July 9, 2018


High school all over again

January 12, 2017


A dutch version of duolingo will also prevent mistakes like : ... just to anybody - which was wrong..

April 4, 2018


How do you know "hablamos" here is past tense? Why can't this be translated as "We do not talk to anyone"?

November 13, 2013


Hola lucy27lucy: In this Duolingo sentence, just by itself, we do not know if it is present tense or past tense. In real life we probably would know by the context of the conversation. CHAU

November 13, 2013


But there is no context, so why was I marked wrong?

November 13, 2013


Hola lucy27lucy: Because in Duolingo's mind it was past tense. You should report it under "Report a Problem". CHAU.

November 13, 2013

  • 1627

You can check the discussion, but if it looks like you are right, and you are, X out of the discussion, click report a problem, and check "my translation should be accepted". If I'm not 100% certain, I check comments and put "I think". But I do not know how to return to an exercise after clicking done.

November 13, 2013


I wrote "We do not talk with anyone" and it was accepted.

September 15, 2014


Why is the personal "a" not used before cualquiera?

May 1, 2013


personal "a" is not used with "con"

May 24, 2013


I think nik-rao means: in lieu of con. Why was the "a" not used?

August 9, 2013


"hablar con" is a compound form that means "to talk to" or "to talk with" so that's why 'con' was used. It's just one of those phrases you have to learn. There is no "a" because they don't double up on prepositions. Prepositions, for me, are probably one of the most difficult things to learn because they rarely correspond directly with English prepositions.

August 11, 2013


Merry Christmas hunter18288! Here's a lingot for you!

December 24, 2015


The personal "a" is only used with noun phrases representing persons (or things that get treated as persons, like sometimes pets), when those noun phrases are the object of the verb. As soon as you find a preposition intervening, you do not need the personal "a"; the noun phrase is now the object of the preposition, not the verb, and the prepositional phrase as a whole modifies the verb.

Drawing proper syntax trees for Spanish sentences can get extremely confusing sometimes, because "a" is also a preposition. So there are places where it's ambiguous whether you should think of "[verb] a [person]" as being equivalent to "[verb] modified by the prepositional phrase [to person]"; or, "[transitive verb] [with object person]". Fortunately, you don't have to properly diagram a sentence in order to translate it competently. :-)

December 19, 2014


This sentence has Mean Girls written ALL over it

February 28, 2016


Why is "we are not speaking with anybody" wrong?

August 1, 2013

  • 1627

I would think that "we are not (or aren't or weren't) speaking to JUST anybody" should be accepted - just as long as there's a just. Without it, it would be nadie.

November 3, 2013


Why does we don't speak with whomever not work

April 23, 2015


I believe whoever or whomever is "quienquiera"

October 3, 2015


What's wront with "we do not talk just to anyone"?

May 2, 2016


isn't is supposed to be in present time? we do not speak with anyone?

January 7, 2013


hablamos is "pesente" y "preterito perfecto simple", it happens in some verbs second person of plural is the same in present and past.

January 8, 2013


past perfect is again not translated as we did not talk ...(?) isn't it?

January 11, 2013


Perfect is "habemos hablado" . The nosotros form is the same in the present and preterite (preterito) of all -ar verbs, except dar (no surprise there) But surely we're talking about the first person plural.

February 7, 2013


Hola Leslie: Hola. I don't believe there is such a word as "habemos". I think you may be thinking about Present Perfect Tense "hemos hablado" which means "we have talked" in the first person plural. (??) Chau.

November 6, 2013


You're right. My old head keeps coming up with the Latin (habemus) instead of the Spanish. Latin has been in there for 60 years, Spanish for 50 weeks -or less. Also I have just been struggling with the Present Perfect in Portuguese-β : "Temos falado" means "We have been talking".

November 7, 2013


@maxinedev. Actually, "chau" is a word. It's the equivalent of "ciao" in Spanish. However, it's more commonly spelled "chao" in Spanish, even so, some countries use the spelling "chau". http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/chau http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/170912/what-does-chao-mean-in-spanish

November 9, 2014


Past perfect is "had", not "did." We had cooked the chicken is past perfect. We did cook the chicken is simply past tense.

June 19, 2013


If you go back, even before my time, the auxillary verb "do" was regularly used, often for reasons of rhythm, as an alternative to the present, "I do eat" for "I eat/I am eating" or to the simple past "I did sing" for "I sang" (handy because you did not need to know the irregular participles! Both are still normal in negative sentences, "I do not eat cabbage" or "I did not have breakfast". Now the form "I do eat" is used to express a general state of affairs but not the simple present, as in "I do eat fish, but I do not eat meat." In the past tense the simple form "He ate not a morsel" has been entirely replaced in negative sentences "He did not eat a morsel". So: "We did cook the chicken" would shout "foreigner", "We cooked the chicken" - "native", and "We did not cook the chicken" -native; "We cooked not the chicken" -foreigner.

November 10, 2013


first person plural, surely.

February 7, 2013


Yesterday when offline I gave the answer "We do not talk with whoever", and it was accepted. Then something went wrong (as often happens offline) and I failed to fnish. Now I repead, giving the same answer and it is wrong!!! English is not my mother tongue, so I could be wrong, I thought the word Whoever exists, doesn't it? And yesterday it was ok! Should I report it?

May 16, 2015


Yes, "whoever" exists. See comment thread above. If you want to get very technical, "whomever" would be preferred here.

May 17, 2015


Beware, I am also a foreigner. The problem is that who has an objectform: whom. I also wanted to use whoever but since I never saw whomever, I rejected it and took anybody which was accepted. Now I consulted my old Penguin Dictionary which says: whoever= anyone who and WHOSOEVER = anyone at all who. For the latter,only, Penguin has an object form, whomsoever. When I tried: WE DO NOT TALK WITH WHOMSOEVER the Owl accepted it. We do not talk with whoever, wrong says Owl, inorrect grammar says Penguin We do not talk with whomever, wrong says Owl, does not exist says Penguin and WE HAVE PERFECT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE BIRDS

May 16, 2015


Whomever exists. The relationships between who/whom and whoever/whomever are exactly the same. Both whosoever and whomsoever also exist, and have this same relationship; they're fairly archaic.





And "whomsoever" sounds wrong in this context. You could say, "Ask whomsoever you like." But you also can use "whomever" in that sentence. I think most cases where you can use "whomsoever", "whomever" is also acceptable, but the reverse is not true. I'm having trouble figuring out what about this context makes the -so- sound terrible.

May 17, 2015



May 20, 2015


Cualquiera means either, but We dont' speak with either one didn't work?

February 6, 2016


Technically "either" is "cualquiera de los dos"


May 11, 2016


Could this be "We didn't talk to either one." Like if someone asked which girl did you speak to?

February 6, 2016


Nadie translates as "nobody or no-one" in my dictionary. In English it would not be correct to say "I don't talk to nobody" or "I don't talk to no-one." You can say "I talk to nobody / no-one." In English you have to say anyone or anybody in a negative statement. Hence cualquiera seems more correct. I would have expected the emphasis of "just" as warranting another word but Hey! I'm quite new to Spanish.

September 9, 2016


I grew up watching Televisa telenovelas and I can say with certainty that "cualquiera" has a very negative connotation. I laughed a lot when I saw this sentence.

January 5, 2017


Interesting! Will look into that one.

July 10, 2018


Ah, I see! Something I hope I will never be called.

July 13, 2018


Having a conversation with myself here, but at least I can say I am not the first person on Duo to do so.

July 13, 2018


"Just anyone" it sounds pretty weird to me. Is it grammatically right?

March 10, 2017


I put We do not talk to anyone. It was marked correct

July 19, 2017


Well it it shouldn't have been.. Peer pressure got the owl to include it, but it is misleadingly wrong.

July 10, 2018


I said, "we do not talk to whomever". I still maintain this is right.

November 15, 2017


Why is ,we do not just talk to anyone , wrong ? This is something we say in Canada frequently.

January 22, 2018


Yes, but there the adverb just is modifying the verb talk. Here the word just, strictly speaking, is not even in the sentence. But the meaning of the word cualquiera in this context is essentially just anyone. So We don't talk to anyone is an accepted answer, but adding the just is only valid if you have it modifying anyone as it is essentially built into that word.

January 22, 2018


"We don't speak to any old person". Just messing.

July 9, 2018


You almost would have to say any ol' person to differenciate between that as a colloquial translation of this Spanish sentence and No hablamos con ningún viejo.

July 9, 2018


I suppose. I thought that was colloquial enough. Like the traditional Cockney song "any old iron". What about "any ole"? as in" tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree". Don't know what that has to do with it, but this forum by its nature is a free-for-all.

July 13, 2018


Yes, any ole would work. I think you would definitely have to think about the phrase as colloquial. The word old doesn't really add anything from its core meaning to the expression. But it is just interesting looking at that expression from the eyes of a Spanish speaker (or at least trying). Spanish speakers refer to people by their various attribute adjectives to an extent that would essentially be considered rude in English. We do easily call someone "the blond" or other descriptive words to distinguish them, but many English speakers are taken à little aback to hear people referring to el gordo, la vieja, el anciano, etc as commonly as it happens in Spanish. It made the old in any old person more noticeable to me.

July 13, 2018


That's an interesting thought Lynnette. I hadn't really noticed that about those descriptions in Spanish before. Hmm, must do more reading.

July 15, 2018


I´m having a really difficult time distinguishing between the sound of "lo" and that of "no" in the audio of this. Apparently it is saying "no" but when played at regular speed it sounds like "lo." Does it really sound like that when native speakers talk or is there a problem with the audio?

January 17, 2014


when natives speakers speak, i have a hard time distinguishing anything. Try going to rtve.es and watching an interview and you will get a feel for how it all blends together. for me it becomes guesswork

March 7, 2014


At least everything here can be played in slo-mo. In real life, when natives are speaking, there is no slo-mo. They are all speaking at 100 miles an hour and that's why I can't understand a thing.

November 3, 2014


You're not alone there, feels like I will never understand regular spoken Spanish. Have been studying for years, but never with a native speaker. Will try again with News in Slow Spanish and go from there.

July 9, 2018


Why is the English translation in past tense when the Spanish is in the present?

November 25, 2014


For regular -AR and -IR verbs, the present and past tenses are the same for the first-person plural case.

You can see a few examples here:

May 31, 2016


I want to know the difference of cualquier and cualquiera. Anyone can help? Thanks

June 10, 2015


Past? Hablamos?

December 26, 2015


verbs that end in "-ar" typically share the same form of the verb in the present and the preterite (past) tense.

January 1, 2016


Yes. So could it mean "we didn't speak with just anyone" as well? Hadn't occurred to me.

July 9, 2018


Yes. Actually neiht20 understated the case somewhat. Both ar and ir verbs are the same in the present and the preterite in the nosotros form. This means that really most verbs you hear in the present form of nosotros might also be preterite. AR verbs are by far the most common in Spanish, and, if I remember correctly, IR verbs are more common than ER verbs. I have always assumed that the translation basically defaults to present except if there are context clues that suggest preterite.

July 9, 2018


cough cough MEAN GIRLS cough cough

March 19, 2016


why won't it take we don't talk to anyone that's what i put and it counted it wrong

April 6, 2016


I don't understand why the Owl gave an incorrect ...I thought "qualquiera" means to just anyone. I'm confused what is the correct answer?

September 26, 2016


Phrase for your "Snotty Spanish Phrases" book.

December 25, 2016


Just to the people who pay us. That will be $ 5,000

March 8, 2017


?Hay un "nosotros real" en español? Si tan, es perfecto aquí.

May 14, 2017


This is a more general question...when it records you, is there a way to hear the playback so you can see how you sound?

July 28, 2017


Colloquially speaking, is the usage and underlying tone of this sentence supposed to express that one is "snobbish" or "reserved"? Native speaker please help..

September 30, 2018


I am not a native speaker, but your question is not really answerable in any definitive way for almost any sentence of four words. Context is a significant factor in interpreting things like being snobbish or reserved. Just like the English sentence, the Spanish sentence might express that someone is snobbish or reserved, but it might also just mean they were carefully gathering information. Possible scenario. You are discussing a company's new policies regarding something. You tell your friend about the new policy and they say that there are so many rumors about what's going on, how do you know that that's the real deal. You say We don't talk to just anyone, we ask the company's owner.

Duo's lack of context makes it almost impossible to ascribe a motive or attitude to the words. Even the strangest Duo sentence can probably exist is several contexts. Just think of the different situations, comic, ironic, regretful, etc where you have heard or said something about someone killing somebody else. Among the times people have said I am going to kill him. They're going to kill me, he's going to kill her, or the other many variations, only a small percentage ever had any real chance of happening. But only the context gives the clue.

September 30, 2018


LOL, Duolingo has often sent me encouraging e-mails saying, "You’re killing it. Keep up with that 144 day Spanish streak." In other words, You're doing a great job! You're making a lot of progress!

December 16, 2018


"We don't talk with whomever" is literally what it is.

February 20, 2019


Whomever is one possible translation, but it only works in cases where cualquiera is an object or the object of a preposition as here. But cualquiera can also be a subject. It also can refer to a thing instead of a person. So you have whoever, whomever, whatever, whichever, but you also have situations where the best translation is Anyone, any, either or even ordinary. This is definitely a word you should sort of absorb instinctually instead of trying to tie it to any one word.


February 20, 2019
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