In case you're wondering, it's "el tema" and not "la tema". This is because it comes from a Greek root rather than Latin, and most words of Greek origin are masculine in Spanish.
I was very relieved to hear this because I know Greek. BUT la filosofia, la aritmética, la lógica, la democrasia, la tragedia, la sátira, la asma ... ON THE OTHER HAND el tema, el problema, el poema, el cronograma, el alfa, el beta, ... el omega In Greek most nouns ending in -a are feminine, except for those ending in -ma and the letters which all are neutrals. Maybe the rule is: Borrowed from a Greek -a noun not feminine as usually then masculine in Spanish. What?
My college Spanish teacher said that a general rule is that the Greek-based maculine words look like English words and end in -ma, -pa, or -ta. So, el tema, el mapa, el problema, el poeta, etc.
Well there are no Greek - pa words and very few in Spanish: el Papa and el papá have natural gender and no Greek origin. El mapa is from Latin: mappa and is χάρτης (hártis) borrowed to En as chart
The masculine Spanish -ma words are from Greek neuter -μα words and often look the same as their origin. These words have lost the final -a in English το κλίμα/ Sp. el clima/ En.the climate
το φάντασμα/ el fantasma/ the phantasm
το πρόβλημα/ el problema/ the problemτο σύστημα ...
The masculine Spanish -ta words are from Greek masculine -tis/-της words and this - tis becomes -ta in Spanish and -t in English
ο πλανήτης/ el planeta/ the planet
ο κωμήτης/ el cometa/ the comet
ο προφήτης/ el proféta / the prophet ...
el poeta is masculine ok and could I say la poeta when I talk about feminine poet?
La poetisa is the traditional word for a female poet «Doctora, periodista y poetisa, fue presidenta de la Liga de Mujeres Albanesas»(Alborch Malas [Esp. 2002])
La poeta is a more modern form «Sor Juana, la poeta mestiza de México»
See: Real Academia Española http://lema.rae.es/dpd/?key=pronombres%20personales%20%C3%A1tonos
Dratted tricky a-ending masculines. Grumble. Actually this does help. I know Greek, so any time I see a Greek root word ending in a, I will know it's masculine.
HelenWender! Greek nouns ending in -ma have neutral gender and since this gender does not exist in Spanish they make them masculine not to defend the noun by degradating its gender. The other Greek nouns ending in -a are feminine and of course get the same gender in Spanish.
However -ta nouns in Spanish from Greek masculine tis-(της) nouns keep the Greek gender: el planeta, el cometa
One of the most famous poems in British English goes:
"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax-- Of cabbages--and kings-- And why the sea is boiling hot-- And whether pigs have wings."
I'm with you, Percy. I wrote "talk of many themes," and DL was unhappy with the "of." I guess it's going with casual speech as opposed to poetic. (In either British or American English)
@ Sabrecellist: It's probably not so much that DL is unhappy with the "of", or that they have chosen one mode over the other, but they simply don't consider all the acceptable alternatives in these cases. Personally, I left DL a little over a year ago because of frustration with just such things, but when I returned about three months ago, it had improved enormously. The point is, if there are enough reports about this, they will likely add "talk [or speak] of many things" to the list of acceptable options. Please report it.
I dictated "talk", it was transcribed " talked" and i noticed after pressing check. I thought it was going to be flagged; now I know why iy wasn't :-)
How come "We talked about many subjects" and "We talk about many subjects" are both acceptable? Wouldn't the first one as past tense be something different?
If you hover over the verb and click the button "conjugate" you will see that hablamos is both present and past tense. There's no difference, you would only know from the context of the rest of the conversation.
hablamos has 2 meanings one in the present tense and one in the past tense. Therefore to translate the phrase as " we are talking about many themes" should be correct
"we are talking" is the present progressive tense and would be "estamos hablando" in Spanish. The present tense is simply "we talk".
I think you will find that the Spanish present tense can be correctly translated into BOTH the English present tense (usually used in English for habitual actions or facts that are always true) and the present progressive. I understand that the Spanish present progressive is mostly used when you want to emphasize that the action is happening now.
My guess is that temas would most likely be translated as subjects/topics.
My reading says that the english present progressive is usually translated as spanish present tense unless one wants to emphasize that the action is taking place at that precise moment. So translating the spanish present as the english present progressive is quite natural.
I thought "temas" could also be translated as "things" - we are talking about many things. Unless "temas" indicates that there is an agenda, perhaps? But there is no indication of that.
We talked about many subjects is in the past tense, but hablamos is in the present tense. I put "We speak about many subjects" and got it correct.
Yes, I just noticed today that hablamos is both past, and present: we talked, and we talk. Good luck with the connotations of that one...
Yes for all regular -ar verbs the we-ending is -amos both in present and imperfect, for -ir verbs it is -imos in both.
Only -er verbs have different we: -emos in present and -imos in imperfect
I would have thought acerca de would be fine. They seem to be interchangeable in this context.
Thanks to Jalnt for reminding me that it is "el tema" and not "la tema". That answered my question about muchas temas, which I now know should be muchos temas. Oh Boy DL was correct as usual. Pauline Reyes
when you mean position in space, it is over (over the table, over the seas), but when you mean "refferring to" , concerning, it is about.
In Spanish, yes, but in English it is perfectly acceptable to use "over' when the meaning is "about", "concerning" or "in reference to." For example, "Let's talk about it" and "Let's talk it over" mean exactly the same thing. :-)
(However, in keeping with the common collocation, 'over' goes with "talk"": so that we can say "We talked it over", but "We spoke it over", not so much.
We talked about many things was accepted
'Hablamos' is both present tense and past tense (preterite). In actual use, you will know (or specify) which it is either by context or by time reference in a sentence. Present tense: "En este momento hablamos de muchas cosas." => "At this time we speak (or are speaking) about many things." Past tense: "Anoche hablamos de la fiesta" => Last night we spoke about the party."
Pretérito indefinido = Presente for "we" of regular -ar and -ir verbs: fuma-mos = we smoke/ smoked, escribi-mos= we write/ wrote but aprend-emos = we learn; aprend-imos = we learned
Yes. One can foresee this lack and add something to clarify it, I suppose. In my language we do not have progressive present so we just add something when we want to point out that it is an action in progress.
I was thinking about maybe: We talked over many subjects. Thinking that sobre could be used in this way. As a matter of fact, in my paper dictionary, over is one of the definitions.
'about' in this case for 'sobre' is more correct in English and it wasn't accepted! Not quite sure why?
DL picks up four diferent translations for theme and alternates the correct answers, for that; it is not fair.:<
round my way we would (usually) "things" rather than "topics" or "themes", so is the answer to be given meant to be an exact translation or a translation of meaning for using "things" should be acceptable in the latter case
Sometimes they are the same, sometimes not. In Duo we often discuss the grammatics of a sentence. Then the actor is the subject, the act is the predicate or verb and what is acted on is the object.
In "Pedro knits a pullover" Pedro is the subject, to knit is the predicate and pullover is the object. The topic of the sentence is not its subject, Pedro, but the knitting of pullovers.
How do I know it is in the past? Hablamos to me means we are talking, not we talked.
We don't know whether it's past or present because the nosotros form is the same in both tenses. Both correct answers are accepted, "we talk..." (present) and "we talked..." (preterite). However, if you want to say "we are talking" in Spanish you would say "estamos hablando" (present progressive).
why is a correct solution: "we talked about...." , when it is a past tense, and the spanish one is in present?
Both tenses, past and present, and the same for 'nosotros', 'we'. Context usually tells you which is appropriate.
For verb with an -ar ending, the first person plural, 'we', is the same in the present as the past.
Grammar gender in Spanish is a bit hard to learn. Only with practice and attention to the different sentences you will manage with it. The first thing we have to know is that Spanish nouns are masculine or feminine. There are no neutral nouns in Spanish. Maybe secondly, we have to know that Spanish nouns agree with the adjectives and articles in number (singular / plural) and gender (masculine / feminine), and this is a very important difference with the English grammar: "good boy" = "niño bueno", "good girl" ="niña buena", "good boys"= "niños buenos", "good girls" = "niñas buenas". Even though when we reffer to things, it gets much more difficult, since we have to know the gender of the noun, I mean "techo alto" (masc.) = "high ceiling", or "casa bonita" (fem.) = "nice house". I will give you more advice if you ask me. Therefore, good grammars, diccionaries and practice can help.
Too many exceptions for words ending in -a: taxista, acróbata, maquinista, cura, poeta, profeta, poema, problema, mapa, fantasma, clima, sistema, artista, periodista, violinista, accionista, crucigrama, día... They are masculine. By the other hand: mano, nao, seo, dinamo, radio... They are feminine. Do you still dare to talk about the endings?
DL sentence - "Hablamos sobre muchos temas."
DL translation - We talked about many subjects.
Is my answer incorrect? "We talk about many topics."
Your answer is not incorrect. But I'm fairly sure this exercise is in the past tense unit, and "hablamos" is first person plural in both present and pretérit (simple past) tenses. The way you know the difference is usually through context, but the Owl provided none here.