"Can we touch that motorcycle?"

Translation:¿Podemos tocar esa moto?

January 22, 2013

54 Comments

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mkelly00

Why is "eso moto" not acceptable as opposed to "esa moto"?

August 16, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LS650

Moto is short for motocicleta, and is still considered feminine.

November 10, 2013

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

Yes! I put ese and was wrong. Now I remember that rule holds for fotografia as well, therefore esa foto..where moto and foto are feminine nouns

January 10, 2014

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

Just remember it's like la bicicleta for bicycle. I was proud to have thought of this on my own before answering! Haha.

January 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1625

There's a bit more. A Mexican lady confirmed for me that the usual rule is to use the masculine ese with a masculine noun. But you always use the feminine esa with a feminine noun. Eso is more for when the noun is not mentioned.

November 10, 2013

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

Thanks. That's a big help...I always get these wrong.

May 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1625

I think maybe it can be. The masculine is ese and the feminine esa, but if it's a foreign word, and moto may or may not count, I see eso. I looked up "esos blueberries" and found it easily.

October 22, 2013

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

But "esos" is the plural of the masculine "ese" (i.e. there is no such word as "eses"). So you may find "esos blueberries," but you will NOT find "eso blueberry". "eso" never takes a word after it, it's not an article but a pronoun (i.e. "THAT!" rather than "that bike").

Also, "moto" is not a foreign word. It's just short for "motocicleta." Even foreign words get assigned gender, anyway.

June 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hfh777

Ditto. Adding to that something interesting to notice:

  • although the plural of "ese" is "esos", the plural of "este" is "estes" (not "estos"). No parallelism here.

This drives me crazy specially because in Portuguese the parallelism is there (esse->esses; este->estes). It is a little confusing! :P

February 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OWEN1OWEN

I believe that - eso is the neuter form, so it is possible that there many bikes there, and the person whom you are talking to does not know which one you are on about. if you use - esa - you are most probable pointing to a certain bike.

January 12, 2014

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

I think that you would use the gender neutral form of "that" when the object is not further identified as in "Can we touch that?" Once you know the identity of "that" then you know which masculine or feminine version of "that" to use.: ese dinero o esa moto. But I'm just learning so I appreciate the insight of native Spanish speakers.

January 22, 2014

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

Thanks for the insight, weather to use - ese - esa. But I must tell you I am not a native speaker. I am from Wales. I am Welsh. ?

January 22, 2014

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

@willbyzx Sorry for any confusion I have caused. In reference to a native speaker I was referring to gernt's comment above where he referred to a Mexican lady. I have picked up much useful information on these discussion pages.

January 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1625

You spoke Cymric in your school classroom? Where in Wales?

January 23, 2014

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

"Eso" would be used not for one bike among many (where I know you're talking about A bike) but for an unidentified thing, like a weird object, "¿Qué es eso?"

Also, I don't think "eso" ever has a noun after it--it's a pronoun, not an article.

June 13, 2014

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

That means aquella too. Why duo rubs me one heart?

January 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1625

“Podemos tocar la moto aquella” es correcta pero se traduce un poco diferente: “Can we touch that motorcycle over there?”. How did you answer?, ¿Cómo contestó Ud.?

January 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Benjamin17

Aquella= that, but farther away than eso/ese/esa. So since we don't see the moto why is the 1st choice not an option? Does not make sense to me.

November 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hfh777

Same opinion here.

February 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lauren.swa

Tricky tricky. La Motocicleta

March 2, 2014

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

Can someone please remind me of something? Tell me if I'm wrong, but are there three "thats"? Ese, eso, and esa? Which is feminine and masculine?

March 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1625

Ese masculine, eso unknown (neuter), esa feminine but when they're plural, you use esos for masculine. Eses exists, but look it up yourself in the Urban Dictionary.

March 23, 2014

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

Thanks!

March 23, 2014

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

Doesn't 'moto' specifically mean a motor? Isn't 'motocicleta' technically the correct word to use?

July 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1625

If you believe WordReference.com, moto first means motorcycle, then an adjective for homeless, then as a modified noun for other powered vehicles such as a jet ski. Motor isn't even in the list.

July 21, 2014

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

I put: Nos podemos tocar esa moto. Any idea why this is wrong?

December 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1625

Nosotros podemos tocar... Nos podemos doesn't work here (or anywhere as best I know).

December 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdK4kY

Would "podemos nos tocar esa moto" be ok?

August 25, 2015

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

what would we can touch that motorcyle be?

February 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1625

Same thing save for the "signos de interrogación". The difference in intonation has to be pretty strong along the lines of the difference of intonation in these answers: "I'm going to the party". "Yes, you are" vs. "You are???"

February 9, 2015

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

thanks a lot

February 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KissSho7

Why is "Podemos a tocar esa moto" not accepted? A friend who speaks Spanish (native from the Salvador) told me that they put an "a" between two verbs all the time. I am aware that this is Spanish from Spain, so my other question is "Is this also a situation where Spanish from both places differ?" (both places as in Spain and Latin America"). Thank you!

April 9, 2015

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

why would "that" be "esa" more that "esta"?

August 14, 2016

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

Eso, ese, and esa are the forms for that. Esto, este, and esta are the forms for this. For me, it has always been difficult to remember that. For some reason esta seems more like it should be that, but of course no one asked me. .

August 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1625

And Duo is strict in separating this, that, and it. A good translator may well translate esa as this, it, or spell out what the object is if the context calls for it.

August 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KimberlyHo502895

I'm still confused. I was given the English sentence "Can we touch that motorcycle?" and asked to select all correct answers from the three options provided. I selected both ¿Nosotras podemos tocar aquella motocicleta? -and- ¿Podemos tocar esa moto? Evidently, only the second is correct. (¿Podemos tocar esa moto?) Is the first one wrong simply because aquella translates better as "that one over there" from a distance, while esa means "that" when it's not so far away?

Or is there some other reason for "¿Nosotras podemos tocar aquella motocicleta?" to be marked wrong?

August 22, 2016

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

Yes, as a general rule, Duo has an issue with aquella as that. In fact, Duo doesn't do much with aquella because in contextless sentences it is hard to differentiate. Interestingly enough, I don't think I have ever seen a sentenced like Quieres esta o aquella, which would give a better picture. And I know it is kind of a cheat, but anytime you see a word like motocicleta which is correct but not really taught on Duo at all, take a very careful look at the sentence. I have complained to them, for example, that every time you see either vos or vosotros in a choice, you know there will be an error in the sentence. I understand that Duo's doesn't teach either form, but putting them in only incorrect answers may give people who are unfamiliar with the forms the feeling that they are by nature incorrect.

August 22, 2016

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

Why is this not "¿Podemos tocamos esa moto?" Does having podeMOS invalidate the need to use the mos version of tocar?

September 5, 2016

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

Poder is a modal verb. Modal verbs are always directly followed by an infinitive. Podemos tocar esa moto. Quiero hablar español. Necesitas comer. Other verbs will generally have an a or a de between the verbs, but the second verb will always be in the infinitive. Many modal verbs are the same in English actually. I want TO GO. I need TO BE. But English is not as consistent

September 5, 2016

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

Is there a reason why "ese moto" is not considered correct? I thought that "ese" was the neutral form of "that"

July 10, 2017

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

No. That's incorrect in a couple of important ways.

  1. There is no such thing as a neuter/neutral demonstrative adjective only a neutral/neuter demonstrative pronoun. In other words when this or that stands directly before a noun it must agree with that noun in gender and number. Only when it stands alone can it refer to the amorphous this or that which cannot be tied back to a gendered noun.

  2. Ese is actually the masculine singular demonstrative adjective or pronoun. Eso is the neuter demonstrative pronoun. The masculine plural form however is esos. Ese coche, esos coches.

  3. I can't tell from your post whether you understand this or not, but moto, like foto, is actually feminine. Both moto and foto are shortened forms of longer words and the shortened form maintains the original gender. La motocicleta is shortened to la moto and la fotografía becomes la foto.

So here the feminine singular form is required esa moto.

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gringa420734

Why did it use esa once and then aquella the second time

December 2, 2017

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

Esa and aquella are both translated as that, although aquella refers to something somewhat more remote. Either should work any time you see that on Duo unless they come up with a sentence that talks about this, that and that one over there.

December 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rebecca1121

I used "moto" but I was corrected. The correct answer said "motor". Why is "moto" wrong for "motorcycle"?

January 14, 2018

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

It isn't. But if I might make a wild guess did you perhaps say ese moto instead of esa moto? Despite ending in o moto is short for motobicicleta and is feminine. The reason I suspect this is that for some very strange reason Duo generally will suggest an answer of the same gender as you used instead of simply saying you used the wrong article or adjective.

January 14, 2018

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

It seems that Spanish needs a unique word for playing an instrument and let "tocar" be what it is for touching an object. It seems English needs a unique word for it too?

January 22, 2013

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

Both languages seem to function just fine without a specialized verb to refer to only the one activity.

March 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Johngt44

Ridiculous of Spanish to use "tocar" for two meanings. Never happens in English! I'll never touch that language again. I hope you are touched by my despair. Can I touch you for a loan? Or would I be touched to believe that?

November 21, 2014

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

I don't think Spanish speakers have a problem distinguishing between playing an instrument and touching, just as I doubt a native English speaker sees a problem with playing a game and playing an instrument. Languages unfortunately do not take into account the ease of learning as a foreign language.

January 17, 2016

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

I never know when to use an ”a". I wrote podemos tocar a esa moto and was wrong.

February 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1625

Bienvenido al club.

February 13, 2014

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

"a" is used only before talking about a person.

June 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1625

Try Googling "tocar al" or "tocar a la" in quotes.

June 8, 2014

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

I hate duolingo! -.-

December 18, 2013
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