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  5. "Él no es tan alto."

"Él no es tan alto."

Translation:He is not that tall.

January 11, 2013

130 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blissdismissed

Couldn't "tan alto" also be used to express "very tall" in addition to "that tall"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Iago

No that's be muy alto. Tan means, "as," or "so".

"Él no es tan alto como su papá" he's not as tall as his dad. "¡No esta tan ruido!" Don't be so noisy!/Don't be that noisy!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/quinnculver

In (American) English, "He isn't very tall", "He isn't that tall", "He isn't too tall", and "He isn't so tall" all (frequently, maybe even usually) mean the same thing. The point is that when saying '<NOUN> isn't very <ADJECTIVE>', the meaning of "very" actually changes, albeit subtley. Is this the case in Spanish as well?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roentgen89

Same in (British) English - I just put "...too tall"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kazooka12

You have a 205 day streak!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yikes! That is A LOT!!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elabogado

The word "too" is slightly different, typically meaning that he isn't beyond the what something should be, e.g. Is that too much sugar? That isn't too sweet? It is beyond a certain level that is expected, average or acceptable. In this example, he is "too tall for the ride" - which makes him beyond the tolerable limit. You wouldn't say "very tall" or "so tall". It is a general statement - he is not so tall. He is not very tall. Thus it implies he is slightly above average or average, not extremely tall.

I'm not sure that "very" is such a great departure from "so" since they are so close so as to be practically indistinguishable. Both are used to imply that something is not to an extreme, e.g. the coffee is not so sweet. The coffee is not very sweet. Thus the coffee is sweet or less. And if you said "the coffee is not too sweet" it still can be very sweet - but not to the excess where it is unacceptable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roentgen89

Wow, elabogado; thanks for having a go at explaining that. The semantics are quite subtle. That = tan, in this context, is the point here.

The discussion we are having isn't directly relevant to the translation as they mean different things. Can "too" mean "very"? Are they synonyms? I don't think they are, exactly - as well as your examples, how about the sentences: 1. "The room was too full" and 2. "The room was very full"? Neither room has spare capacity, but "very" suggests no space; whereas "too" indicates overcrowding. So there is a difference. On balance, I think you are right. 1. "No es demasiado alto." or "La habitación estaba demasiado lleno" 2. "Él no es muy alto." or "La habitación estaba muy lleno". Enough, already!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/territech

OK - but I still don't see any difference between "he is not that tall" and "he is not too tall."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SchneiderMorgan

Wow! You do a lot of Duolingo! 387 day streak. I have a 0 day streak!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/panpython

You have a 598 day streak!!!! Yikes!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caesar-chan

You have an 800 day streak. Wow


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rwmorris

"He is not very tall" is idiomatically identical to "He is not so tall" in American English; it is not used in the same sense as "muy" would be, although I can see why that would be confusing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarjireWas

can you say " El es tan alto!", "He is so tall"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gustobelly

I think that's a key question, Marj. I hope somebody answers it!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sunsoil

Correct me if I'm wrong because I'm just learning this. Isn't it "¡No estés tan ruidoso!" because it's a negative command? I'm basing it off this: www.studyspanish.com/lessons/informcomm1.htm

Also, ruidoso (noisy, adj.) vs. ruido (noise, n.)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carolwoe

I used "He is not so tall" and it was correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DJGute
  • 1193

This is a distinction without a difference. Duolingo is wrong, and you are, too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarjireWas

well do you have the correct answer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UserDiego

U ARE WRONG, U WHINER/COMPLAINER, WHERE DO YOU COME FROM, HAWAII????!!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UserDiego

Distinction with blah blah lecture lecture, YOU GANGSTER


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/missmma

well you have to write what you so...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeanet_jeanet

Why does tan mean that in this sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/opsimathos

Why is "he is not very tall" different from "he is not so tall?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gregoryje

"He is not very tall" implies comparison against a persons general knowledge of hight (or their serotype about average/general hight). It is nearly always a negative statment.

"He is not so tall" implies context of a previously mentioned but unspecific hight. Ie. 1st person; "He is very tall". 2nd person upon meeting 'him'; "He is not so tall". Can be either a negative or positive statment

"He is not that tall" implies either; 1. Context of a more specific hight. Ie. 1st person; "He is six foot". 2nd person; "He is not that tall". This can be a positive or negative statement. 2. A hight requirement hasnt been met. Mostly a negative statment. (This is actually a case of specific hight context as well)

"He is not too tall" is can be a case of specific hight or a more general specific preference (ie. He is not too tall 'for me'"). This is nearly always a positive statment.

To finish up. In English, so, that, very and too, are not all always interchangeable any only are when meaning (positive or negative) is not contradicted (Although meaning might be lost when going for an always positive statment to a negative statment). This means that for this statment you can always swap 'very' or 'too' for 'so' or 'that' but you cannot always swap 'so' or 'that' for 'very' or 'too'.

So for this statment in english. '///' = cannot be swapped; '/' = only can be swapped on occasion. Meaning may be lost or gained but not contradicted. Very -----> so Very -----> that Very -///-> too So --/--> very So -----> that So --/--> too That --/--> very That --/--> so That --/--> too Too -///-> very Too -----> so Too -----> that

Obviously this whole post is about english speaking and meaning given. And it is not about translating that sentance. This is because I do not know which meanings are applicable or where contradictions may arrise in spanish. I am a british english speaker and I posted this extravaganza after I saw people saying that these are interchangeable, when this is only sometimes the case.

TLDR; always use 'THAT' when using this kind of sentance and give meaning (positive or negative) through tone of voice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasperRice1

I put "He's not too tall" and got it wrong. This was really informative. Thanks a lot for the clarification


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kazooka12

Looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong post man!! Are you a teacher or something?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DustNC
  • 1363

I agree with you. Duolingo seems to forego direct translations on quite a few things. Why should this be any different as long as it conveys the idea?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cateyes179

The way I see it, "he's not very tall" would insinuate he's a bit short. Saying "he's not so tall" doesn't necessarily mean he's not tall. For instance, a guy is 6'0 tall but another guy is 6'7, so you might say "guy 1 isn't so tall; my friend is 6'7 (even though 6'0 is still tall).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RastaFerrari

"he is not very tall" may be implied but that is not the direct translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/QuietTigerJ

"He is not very tall" is not the same as "He is not that tall". The former is usually a generalized statement while the latter is usually spoken in a specific sense. For example, if someone tells you their boyfriend is really tall like a giant and when you see him he's like 5'10", most people would say "he is not THAT tall" refers to the person's previous statement.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BritniMont

"He isn't that tall". Does this translation mean he isn't particularly tall, or that he's not as tall as a neighbor, a street sign, or whatever height you imagined him to be, or something like that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eugen_Paris

Why "He is not so high" is not accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaeLinda1

In spanish 'alto' may mean 'tall' or 'high,' but in English, high doesn't refer to how 'tall' a person is -- only a concept of height in position. High buildings, mountains, clouds, plants, even. Tall may refer to buildings, mountains, plants, too, but people are only 'high' if they are using illegal substances.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PrismVelocity

Kind of. People can be high without being on drugs too, instead they may be standing on something tall, or flying on a plane.

Barring drug abuse, the difference between "high" and "tall" is REALLY the difference between "altitude" and "vertical length". Maybe an hiker staring out from atop a cliff says to a friend: "Wow, we are really high right now."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/a.warlamov

Can you explain the difference between 'tan' and 'tanto'? Thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Markovkin

Tanto relates to a person on "he"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beto330368

Tan = So, As, That

Tanto = As (long), As (Much), As (Many)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Markovkin

I think "ni" could also go instead of "no".


[deactivated user]

    That dress of hers is too short- please anybody can translate it...


    [deactivated user]

      i got it.....get the explanation...HERE THAT MEANS not very, or not as much as has been said::::example...It isn’t all that cold. There aren’t that many people here.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JulianPadi11

      I put he is not very tall but it said it was wrong


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DreamsOfFluency

      Read the above replies. "Tan" means "so" or "that", whereas "very" can impart a slightly different meaning. You could use "muy" to say "very" if that is what you want.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phil482606

      Somebody's jealous


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yuridado

      why not el no es que alto someone please explain difference


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ash473779

      Y yo no soy tan largo :(


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShaniceHar

      Can you also say "No Es tan Alto."?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luckas_Fortunato

      I'm sorry, I'm studyng english. I can afirm that frase can be changed to "Él no es muy alto"! Could someone confirm if the word "that" is really a correct translate for these frases? ¡Gracias!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DreamsOfFluency

      I believe you have misspelled the words "phrase" and "phrases" in your question. We do not have the words "frase" or "frases".

      To me, and to google translate, you can translate "Él no es tan alto" as "He is not that tall" or "He is not so tall."

      You definitely can translate "Él no es muy alto" as "He is not very tall." But, you may or not be able to translate it as "He is not that tall" depending on context. Usually it would be okay, but nuances could make a difference. Still, most native English speakers wouldn't correct you, I think, because the difference might be indistinguishable.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andy200353

      In English in this situation would 'very' or 'that' not be interchangeable? I am pretty sure they would in common usage of language so in this circumstance you could say:

      He is not that tall He is not very tall

      It would mean the same thing even though your using two different words..?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carol870492

      "es tan alto" sounds like estan alto, until you slow it down.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beto330368

      Lol, I nearly fell for it too. You made a good catch!

      When speaking quickly, there is always a tendency to run words together in any language. (Él no están alto.) is obviously wrong because están does not agree in number with Él, and estar is not used with height (Bajo o Alto).


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loboshiboh

      So what's the verdict on "He is not that tall." Would "that" be an acceptable translation of tan in this instance?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaeLinda1

      Yes. It might mean 'all that' tall. Or as in the previous examples where unstated comparisons are being made (my 6' 7" friend, my 6' foot friend is tall, but not 'that' tall). So this is just to get you used to hearing and thinking this phrase. Like when a baby learns 'run' they later learn various unstated extensions of the meaning. -- cars 'run', we 'run' a machine, ... etc.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulineReyes

      He is not very tall. I think this should be acceptable.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaeLinda1

      Except, that this is not a 'test.' It is just to get you to comprehend a concept when you hear a certain phrase. So don't be so concerned about 'acceptable.' You didn't 'flunk' that question.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Iniesta06

      Why does "tan" mean that in this sentence??


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NevilleDav

      Imagine thinking "He is not so tall" in English. You are basically thinking that he is not that tall.. So it expresses the thought more accurately than saying that "He is not so tall". Sometimes actually saying it and listening to yourself will help u to hear that is the same thing u are saying, but only that using "that" instead of "so" sounds much better.

      Iniesta es un del mejor! :)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoPrat

      Why is he is not that tall good


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jessye25

      What's the difference between tan and que?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bhavyamehra

      "Él no es eso alto" Is this correct?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NevilleDav

      No, remember that in English, we use that to mean different things.

      "Look at THAT house" is different from "I know THAT this house is big" or even "I like the house THAT much"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/simplica

      Why not no es tanto alto?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaeLinda1

      tanto is more 'so very much' or 'extremely'-- just not the way it would be said. Don't worry about 'right' or 'wrong' -- just practice is till you get it. That's why they encourage the writing things and reading more to get to where you don't have to 'translate' in your mind -- it will just be there.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IKECH545

      Since when is "tan" mean "that"? - What about "ese"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaeLinda1

      'Ese' only tells which one, a different meaning of the word 'that' in English. In this sentence 'tan' describes an 'amount' sort of -- a comparison of the height of 'he' to the concept of 'tall.' All languages have different oddities that you just have to practice before you 'get' it.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/habit456

      would "él no es que alto" also work?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaeLinda1

      I believe so. Find someone who speaks Spanish natively and ask! I would like to know -- though my friends who speak Spanish often give me different answers from each other! Kind of like English, right? Depends on what your education level is, what country you are from, what part of the country you are from, etc. (like the hood of the car is the 'bonnet' in England, and the trunk is the 'boot.')


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/selfcurledgirl

      How do I get to my level? This basic stuff is too easy for me


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamGallick

      anyone heard of the game "alto's adventure?" if so, does that mean "tall's adventure?"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaeLinda1

      Alto is a name meaning 'high' or 'elevated' - so I guess people who name their baby's that are either doing it just because they like the name (not everyone looks up the meaning of names they like before they give them to their kids) or want their child to be famous or important? But the point is, it is an uncommon name, but it is a name, so I guess the character in the game is named 'Alto?' Like 'Waldo' or 'Link' or 'Mario'....?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sumsumy

      'He is not tall like that' is unacceptable?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaeLinda1

      That might be close to a direct translation, but awkward and not idiomatically good. I think it would be understood, but duolingo wants you to become fluent, so the idiom is important. A really good dictionary might help. You probably use the word 'that' in many different ways without realizing it.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theophilusrex

      tan could also mean very as in, "He is not very tall."


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Uz-Zaman

      Yo se, yo se ...yo no lo gusta (altura tiene gran importancia en una vida de hombre)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/English_2016

      Hello, my name is Renato, I´m currently looking for people to practice ( speak ) my English and Spanish, ( language partners ), I can help you practice your Portuguese ( Brazil ); My Facebook = ( Re Gue Za ); Thank You.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rosebudk

      He is not THAT tall


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mariarjohnson

      I keep posting without thinking "He is not really tall". That's EXACTLY what my Puertorrican brain thinks then I select it. The first time I actually put "He is not really that tall." GAH.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZezoZelo

      So i guess tan have other meanings


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doc802085

      Please don't tell me there's yet another word that means "that"!?!

      It seems like there are now 12 or 13 Spanish words that can translate as "that".

      To me, this is probably the most confusing thing about learning Spanish.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

      You have it backwards. Having one word represent several distinctly different meanings is literally more confusing than having separate words for separate meanings.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gary878157

      He is not that tall- and -He is not especially tall -mean the same thing.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gary878157

      "He is not that tall" and "He is not especially tall" mean the same thing. They should both be accepted.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

      Not always, in every context. When there's no context, Duo typically wants the translation that is as close to literally word for word as possible.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jpno17

      why isn't that ese?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/simplica

      Why is He is not too tall not accepted?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jae_woods

      Are we talking about markiplier? 'Cause, like, he's only 5 foot 4 inches...


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PunitSadhw1

      "He is not so tall".. Is that correct too?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobDuque5

      I said He is not that tall lmao and it says wrong lmao and i said lmao *dabs


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brunomoro89

      ...como el escribe su tinder..


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria696768

      Emeyr Nunca olvidaré tú explicación: el no es tan alto- he is not THAT tall muchas gracias thank you so much


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Naima87610

      I said " He is not tall '' and i got it wrong. Why?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beto330368

      You just failed to translate Tan (so/that). He is not so/that tall.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alanaomi13

      The overwhelming response below is that "he is not very tall" should be accepted. I agree


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NevilleDav

      I disagree.. Using "so" or "that" can be used to suggest that the person is not as tall as was initially assumed. For example, you can say, he is not as tall as i thought before.. Or even in comparing him.. For example, he is not as tall as the wall.

      Both these examples you can say he is not so tall, or he is not that tall.

      Saying that he is not very tall suggests only that he is not very tall.. You would then use muy instead of tan in that case


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/k-9jellybaby

      Él no es tan alto He is not that tall


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jcjansson

      'that' is a word in reference to an object not a person... furthermore in English it is correct to say 'he is not very tall' ☺


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/88MB202z

      I translated it as, "He is not very tall." Doesn't that mean the same thing in context as, "He is not that tall"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JakeLanzarote

      I thought eso/esa was that so is tan for when you are talking about someone's characteristics?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Romulo.Np

      ''He isn't so tall.''


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hwijaj

      boring boring boring boring boring


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OreoMcsnuffles

      He is not that high should be accepted too...


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaeLinda1

      Except that, just as in English, words have different connotations depending on the context. If you were discussing how tall someone is in English, you would not say 'He is 6 feet high.' So in Spanish, it is the same way. In this sentence 'alto' does not mean high. It means tall, as in how tall a person is, not how tall a building or mountain is. And they want you to listen to it over and over (just as you learn any other concept or connotation, etc. -- over and over) with the most accurate connotation in your mind. Don't worry about 'should they have said it was right?' Just believe them and listen to it over and over while picturing in your mind how someone kind of medium tall.

      When you learn words that have just been created, you have to stretch your brain to embrace the concept -- when the Internet was invented, no one knew what the word meant till they began to experience it. Same way with stretching your thinking to embrace a word in a different language. Love that you are becoming enlarged mentally, socially, etc. Go with it!!!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pintinpin

      I just posted this because I'm fat. By the way don't steal meh milk

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