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  5. "Esa papa pertenece a otros."

"Esa papa pertenece a otros."

Translation:That potato belongs to others.

January 16, 2013



YABS (Yet Another Bizarre Sentence)


Better bizarre than creepy or depressing. I once got "I don't want to hear your screams" and another time "I am old. I am a failure."


Too true. Problem with the YABS is you find yourself using the hover word menu to confirm everything just because what you have translated reads like a subtitle in a comedy when someone speaks a foreign language incorrectly.


This is what I am trying to argue with DL (however great they are): When the sentence is bizarre it makes it more difficult to learn and we second-guess ourselves.


I think the point of this sentence is to warn us to watch for accents. I saw "papá" and pictured a mother talking to a child who had gone to the wrong man (which has happened to me.) I laughed when I got it wrong.


I can't wait to use these sentences with my Spanish-speaking family, it shows them how Americans learn Spanish


I can't wait to use these sentences with my Spanish-speaking family, it shows them how Americans learn Spanish


Actually for the most part Duo uses a fairly unique set of sentences as well as a rather unique method of teaching languages essentially by only modeling correct usage, not teaching much grammar directly. And it is the same for all their languages including the English courses from many different languages including Spanish.


Yep, what lynettemcw said. This is why the masses (and their elected officials) are not equipped to decide on educational policies. DL's pedagogy is actually research proven. It may be very different from traditional teaching, but most schools have moved away from rules-based teaching. Instead, it's far more effective to give lots of examples for the learners to implicitly formulate their own understanding of the rules. That does appear to create many mistakes, but it's through those mistakes that we learn what is right.


If the translation were easy to understand in English, too many would use that device to translate and fail to truly comprehend the Spanish. (That's how many pick the correct answers in the multiple choice exercises. They don't even bother to read through anymore. They just look for the words that clearly don't match and guess by process of elimination.) Using unexpected words in common constructions teaches you to develop and trust your skill at reading and translating Spanish rather than rely on your recognition of obvious phrases.

Here, the proper discussion should be about the use of "a". Does it mean "to" and only "to"? Can it mean "with" in this context? Well, since no one asked, the answer is that "pertenecer a" means to be a part of (some group) rather than to be owned by someone. The latter misinterpretation is evident in some of the comments below. But, perhaps you all already knew this and believe the real issue concerns Duo's focus on potatoes.


Obviously, the English answer was not written by a native English speaker. This ought to be proofed by an English mother-tongue speaker and corrected!


Really? I can't tell you how many times I've said that, just in the last week...!


Es un error a creer que puede resolver gran problemas usando solo papas --Douglas Adams


They would have solved The Great Irish Potato Famine


I'm so glad this sentence finally came up.

I previously owned a 10% share in a single potato, but recently sold this investment.

Unfortunately, this left me unable to update my spanish speaking accountant on the current situation regarding my potato assets.

'Esa papa pertenece a otros'

Thankyou duolingo ;-)


If your potato wasn't also your accountant you might speculate you dropped the wrong one. A tenth is the classical tythe... ohh, but no one cares anymore


"This potato belongs to someone else" sounds a lot more natural to me. I agree YABS!


it's because that ONE potato is owned by several people... I guess.


Please down vote this silly sentence, so we can get it replaced. Gracias.


How do you down vote on DL?


At the top of the screen, under the sentence is a button that you can up or down vote with.


Does Duo still have that ability? I can't see it on the web version.


Too many people are bad in English and don't know it. Or they're too proud to learn another language the way that language is.


It was so strange. I assumed that it meant something like this potato belongs with the others. The preposition did give me pause, but there are a lot of constructions with prepositions that do not translate well.


If you can guess from context, then you don't really understand the word or expression. These "weird" sentences test your true understanding of Spanish. You can either learn it or go back to whatever else you want to do so you don't ever get things wrong.


I guess in English we tend to construct this sort of thing as a negative. "That potato is not yours" in this case.


This sort of sentence is why i love DL! You gotta have a bit of fun with your learning... and i've learned a lot after scrolling through these comments! Particularly about the importance if accents ;)


I think "papa" is not standard spanish. We should use "patata" instead.

If we follow this path we could also learn "carro" (typical word in South America) instead of "coche" or we could also learn "tronco" (typical word in Spain) instead of "amigo" / "colega" / "compañero".


I'm in the Southwest, and when you go to taquerias down here, you order "papas fritas" with your frijoles refritos and huevos con machacado a la mexicana. For what it's worth.


I have usually heard papa instead of patata but hey thats just me


Isnt papa also = pope


Yes, but it's masculine.


What if the pope were a woman?

Esa papa...



Yes but the Pope is EL PAPA and a potato is LA PAPA.


The few funny sentences makes you really pay attention to the sentence structure and word meanings and NOT process the sentence as a whole.


Is a man not entitled to the potato of his work? No, says the man in Washington. It belongs to the poor. No, says the man in Vatican. It belongs to God. No, says the man in Moscow. It belongs to everyone.


Too late. The man on Wall Street ate it.


i spelled "potatoe" with an "e". guys, it's right both ways, not a typo


Whatever you say, Dan Quayle.


Could you use it in a sense "this is someone else's problem"? (speaking of Douglas Adams)


This computer speach woman has character, she is the reason for my lols <3


Jajajajjajajjajaja! As if this sentence at is not funny enough, I accidentally wrote 'this dad belongs to others' . jajajajajjajajajjaja!


What I would like to know is if this is actually how this is said by native speakers. Just because the translation is strange in English doesn't mean that this is not correct though I would allow for the potato belonging to 'someone else' or 'another' both sound better in English. Any native speakers please comment on if this is the way you would say this or not. Gracias.

  • Latvian man


Bizarre or not I'm still learning. I will now remember a potato belonging and know that pertenece may sound like 'appears', but means 'belongs'


Just think of pertaining to. That has a related meaning and pertenecer can also be used to mean that formally.


Thanks - good one "pertaining"! Have a lingot!


I am picturing one lone potato, sitting by himself on a park bench. But he is not really alone, because he belongs to the potatoes at Señor Miguel's house. He is only out sunning himself this afternoon. He will return to the other potatoes by suppertime.


In previous examples we learnt that in many cases, when in English we use the definite article, in Spanish it is not used. So my answer was "That potato belongs to the others." Which was not accepted. Without context, how do I know when to use the definite article or not?


You got it a little backwards, Peter. As a general rule, Spanish uses the definite article more and the indefinite article less than English. If you don't see the definite article in Spanish, you don't put it in the English. There are three different situations that may require an article in some languages. Spanish uses it in two of those cases, where English only uses it in one. The case where both English and Spanish require the definite article is where you are referring to a specific one/portion or set. That's the easy one. But Spanish also requires the use of the definite article when making generalizing statements about the "all". This is the one that causes the most difficulty for English speakers. It means that if something is the subject of a sentence it will require the definite article, unless it has another type of modifier that doesn't use one. In the third case, the case of "some", neither Spanish nor English use the definite article. The languages that do, like French, actually call it the partitive article, and it takes a different form. But Spanish has no partitive article. If you can add the word "some" to the English sentence without changing the meaning, then you know that Spanish would also not use the article.


Thank you lynette, excellent explanation, as always. I remembered that there was some difference, but I mixed up the cases. Thanks again.

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