"Él apareció sin camisa."
Translation:He appeared without a shirt.
This might not be very easy to explain though. Let me try if I can help:
As you might be aware of, there is double negation in Spanish. That said, I wonder if you would go for this translation: "El apareció sin UNA camisa". This can make sense in some exceptional context, and I will discuss at the end, but is widely incorrect or unsuitable.
You would say " El apareció sin ninguna camisa" would be de equivalent, although I would translate as "he appeared (or showed up) with no shirt".
In the case of nouns such as "water, money, napalm, people" and the like you would use: "El apareció sin nada de napalm", "El apareció sin nada de dinero","El apareció sin nadie".
Going a step back, the sentences "El apareció sin camisa" and "El apareció sin ninguna camisa" are very similar, as both state he had no shirt at all when he arrived. However you would use the latter if he was expected to arrive with more than one shirt (something like you're playing in a team and the chap arrives without the shirts of the team) whilst the first one could be in a situation where you're meeting a friend and the chap arrives shirtless ( so yes, the original sentence could also be something like "he showed up shirtless)
The sentence "El apareció sin UNA camisa" would be used mostly as "El apareció sin una sola camisa" In a context e.g. is the shirt world expo and this exhibitor comes with a bunch of suits but "not a single shirt".
I hope this can clarify a bit the use. As you can see, there are subtle differences on the use, based on context. I believe that is more important the use of the countable/uncontable names with "nada/ninguno(a)" than the other.
Thank you, Raul. This is helpful. So, If I were to use "una" while speaking to you, and I might accidentally express this sentence in such a way that you initially thought I was a native speaker, but I used "una" in the sentence, what degree of confusion or irritation would this cause? You did say "widely incorrect". Are you using "widely" in place of "extremely" or, are you inferring that it is commonly applied by native speakers? Once again, thank you. And I am glad you are here.
hey mitcorb, no prob, glad to be useful and definitely glad to be here too!
Regarding your first question, I would not be irritated at all, although I have been learning languages too long and not speaking any of them good, therefore I do not get irritated when something sounds funny. Confusion would just happen depending on the context. As you see there is no misunderstanding, I probably might think there might be some references to shirts I miss out, but I would be fairly confident that the message would get across no problem.
Regarding the use of widely, I meant user wise. As you might know, Latin American Spanish can be quite different from Spanish in Spain. Some are subtle, some are big deal. I cannot asses the use of Spanish in Latin America nor wish to discuss what is right and wrong because I believe languages are just about getting a message across. However differences I believe can be compared to American English, British, Australian, ... I have been very surprised to learn that many people in the US is learning Spanish from Mexico actually, (I am talking about what I've seen) and sometimes they get frustrated when many expressions are unknown elsewhere, so the take home message is that local expression should be taken with a pinch of salt because they are not universal! On other hand, I have spoke to many people from many other Spanish speaking countries and, as long as you stick to "standards" you'll be all right. After all that ... I would not be surprised if some native from somewhere else uses that expression. It is definitely not common in Spain and would be interpreted as odd.
Wow! This explanation was much better than the others i looked up after throwing up my hands after omitting "a" because there was no "una". And i think many of us know that DL sentences often seem strange to native English speakers so you kinda roll the dice on some of your translations. I look forward to following you as well
Andrea, I don't know why someone down-voted you; I thought your Putin reference was funny! Also several were down-voted for saying "without shirt" could be OK in English, when it absolutely CAN. Try this example: "Much to his wife's embarassment, he appeared at the fancy dinner party without shirt or tie, but with an empty bottle of vodka in his hand." (Again,it could be Putin!) :-)
It requires the indefinite article when it's shirt. However you are correct when saying shirt and tie it isn't needed. For more information take a look at this article:
PS. Putin joke is hilarious, it's what comes to mind every time I do this sentence!
Duo does that because that's how the languages are. It is not a feature of the app, it is the features of English and Spanish. Sometimes the translation works out to be very similar to the English wording, and sometimes it is different. Please don't follow the advice to translate word for word by default, as that will really slow down the language-learning process because you will not be grasping the patterns of Spanish sentence structure.
If I add a bit: "He turned up without shirt but with trousers (fortunately!)" then that would be acceptable in English.
But we shouldn't suppose that he is bare-chested! So, as suggested above, "he turned up for cricket without shirt and had to borrow one" would also do fine.
As is often the case, context is everything.
"Without shirt" describes a style, "without a shirt" describes describes an article of clothing left behind. Either works here. Language leaves a lot of room for ambiguity. If you are confident with your English usage don't worry and don't let it slow your learning process. There is no single question that really matters. What does matter is the rate at which you become fluent. Worry about accidents in the road not the bumps in the road.