"Mamá no encuentra sus llaves."

Translation:Mom does not find her keys.

January 24, 2013

72 Comments


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

"Mom does not find her keys" would not be said by a native english speaker.

January 24, 2013

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

Agreed; we would say "Mom cannot find her keys".

January 30, 2013

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

Or, "Mom didn't find your keys."

February 23, 2013

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

That's the answer I put and it wasn't accepted. But it seems if I had put can't it would have been. I understand past tense but the way this is phrased it seems did not or didn't would have fit.

October 16, 2014

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

Not only is it a tense issue, but it would be inappropriate to translate sus llaves as your keys in this particular case. It could be his, referring to a third person, but when you are talking about Mom not finding someone's keys, it would be someone you address by tu. Otherwise if you were being formal you would say My mother.

February 25, 2019

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

I was debating whether to use "cannot" or "does not" in this answer but Duolingo often prefers "does not" so I chose "does not" over "cannot" although it is odd.

March 13, 2013

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

You would not translate it as "cannot", simply because "cannot" is not in the sentence. It would have to say "no puede" for "cannot", but it just says "no" which, in this context, means "does not". It is not that Duolingo prefers "does not" over "cannot", it's just that it never means "cannot".

April 11, 2013

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

I disagree. I think you should always focus on translating the meaning of the sentence (without straying too far from the original, of course), not of each word. As those above mentioned, "Mom does not find her keys" sounds awkward and unidiomatic in English. I put "Mom can't find her keys", and it was accepted, because that's the way English speakers would express this sentence in most cases. It's dangerous to try to equate a structure in one language to one in another by translating word for word. Different languages simply contain different structures.

May 13, 2013

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

I agree with that, but more so with the "Immersion" articles, where we are trying to translate the meaning, as you say, without straying too far from the original. I think that in the lessons we should not try to add words that aren't there as this confuses people that are trying to learn, people will think that they are saying they can't do something, when they are saying they don't.

For example there is a big difference between "I don't walk" and "I can't walk", one sounds lazy whereas the other one sounds sad.

All that said though, I do feel that in this case "cannot" or "can't" is a more natural translation and so it should definitely be accepted, I was just trying to point out to kaicce that DL was not "preferring" one answer over another.

July 1, 2013

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

Here here! Well said.

June 29, 2013

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

And yet, "does not" and "cannot" do not have the same meaning.

October 10, 2014

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

Duo has recently begun allowing translations with can without poder. I was quite disconcerted when I first saw it, but I can see it from both sides. But the obvious question it raises is in what percentage of the situations where we would ask something with can would a native Spanish speaker not use poder.

February 26, 2019

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

It is not "accurate" to translate from one language to another word for word; if the goal is to convey the meaning, you have to translate from what is idiomatic in one language to what is idiomatic in the other and means the same thing. So "Mom does not find her keys" may be technically correct, but it is not a good translation because a natural English speaker would not usually put it that way, we would say "Mom can't find her keys." Therefore that should show as an accurate translation.

January 7, 2014

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

Le gusta! Miaow.

April 5, 2013

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

I used this translattion and it was accepted (Sept 2014)

September 6, 2014

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

Otherwise, that would be a lazy mother.

April 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZakariaE2

Mom does not find her keys. Instead she finds us, popping a cork and wishing her happy birthday. Surprise!

Syntax is everything.

March 1, 2015

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

I disagree, if I were describing the plot of a movie for example with a character called "Mom", I could say "Mom walks into the room, but Mom does not find her keys." However, you are correct that this is not commonly said.

October 8, 2014

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

Although it's not normally said on its own, it's still useful to learn sentence segments like this.

"Si Mamá no encuentra sus llaves, no podemos ir."

"If Mom does not find her keys, we can't go."

June 24, 2018

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

Actually, it's possible to say this. Imagine you're speaking to a friend and explaining to him or her what happened earlier that day.

We woke up late. We're rushed out the house and to the car. Mom looked for her keys. Mom does not find her keys and we have to call Triple A. This was the start of a horrible morning.

It's not the best example, but it's been done.

March 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/von61099

This is really annoying I say things in English not in American and I do Mum mum see even if I spoke it wouldn't come out as m o m.

May 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/von61099

Oh if you're English you have to say Martha

May 20, 2018

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

How do we know that Mom does not fin HER keys? and not "their keys"? I put "Mother does not find their keys" and got it marked wrong. Explanation? Just context?

June 8, 2013

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

The most likely interpretation is that it's her own keys that she couldn't find. If it were someone else's keys, I think it'd be expressed as "Mamá no encuentra las llaves de él/ella/ellos/ellas", unless the context were clear enough to deduce that it was someone else, though I'm not a native speaker, so this is just speculation.

June 8, 2013

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

Oh that's a really good point. Thanks!

June 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/awesome234

Mom is an individual for herself. She is not with anybody else. Saying mom cannot find her keys is like saying someone is alone and cannot find the keys for other people that are not there. It kind of sounds like mom is going crazy and still has imaginary friends.

July 23, 2013

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

How do you know that "mother" is not "not finding" her own keys and not the keys of some other him or her?

March 19, 2013

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

Mummy does not find her keys. I think that mummy can be used instead of mum or mom.

May 25, 2013

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

they should accept mommy as well

August 2, 2013

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

Mommy is a word generally only spoken by small children, though. We are assuming the speaker isn't.

June 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mohamed-Zaghloul

This sentence makes me wonder about sus being for him, her, its, or their, or you plural. Seems like it would get confusing if she was finding his keys, their keys, or your keys. Her makes the most sense in the context we are given, but not necessarily the only one, right?

December 1, 2013

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

I put in mummy and it did not accept it. Surely Mummy is just another derivation of Mum.

May 21, 2013

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

If you can translate Mama' as Mom, then Mommy should be acceptable.

April 22, 2014

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

I agree! I lost one heart for writing "Mommy can't find her keys." :(

September 23, 2014

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

"Mother does not find their keys" should be accepted if it is technically accurate, regardless of contextual probability.

June 30, 2014

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

I completely agree. DL should handle this sort of situation with a comment "technically correct but not the most likely meaning"

August 27, 2014

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

Madre is also still not accepted as of June 2018. Maybe it's because madre and mother are more formal? However, I'll report it again.

June 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vicki.kura

I agree. Mom may have been looking for her guests' keys that her two year old ran off with.

July 18, 2014

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

Why not, mom does not find "its" keys?

July 19, 2014

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

one of the suggested answers was "Mother bin not find her keys." typo?

March 27, 2013

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

I had the same problem!

April 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/misa1977

Me too, I think 'bin' is German for 'am'

April 9, 2013

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

One mistake in hundreds of answers, pretty good average.

May 6, 2013

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

Another word for "can" (as in a trash can) is "bin" (a trash bin). When you hover over a word, Duo gives you different possible meanings for that word. It is up to you to choose the right one for the intended context of the sentence.

July 15, 2014

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

How would you say "mum can't find her keys"? "mama no puede encuentra/encontrar sus llaves"?

May 17, 2013

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

It's the same sentence as the one at the top here. Read the other comments for a clearer explanation.

May 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/awesome234

I do not think that it's fair that I get it wrong when I say my mom instead of mom

July 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vicki.kura

It didn't say "Mi mama".

July 18, 2014

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

I just got that wrong as well, and you are right, it is correct to put "my" in the English translation. In Spanish if you add a specifier such as su or tu to the word mamá then you are specifying someone else's mother. But when you use the word mamá by itself you're always saying your mother. You would never use it by itself to mean somebody else's mother. When you say "Mamá me dijo..." you are saying "my mother told me". Whether you would put the word my in the English translation or not does depend on context. One sibling saying to another " Mamá dijo que no" Would be translated "mom said no", but someone talking to a shopkeeper who says "mamá me mandó para comprar queso" is saying my mother sent me to buy cheese, even though they didn't use the Spanish word "mi" (mamá).

August 31, 2015

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

How about "his" keys?

October 2, 2013

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

I believe that the proper translation would be My mother can't find her keys

December 11, 2013

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

An unfortunate result of the stiffness of Duolingo is the way we translate this. Normal English would be "Mom can't find her keys" We would not say this for this occurrence.

March 15, 2014

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

Why can't "Mom did not find her keys" be accepted?

April 2, 2014

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

Because this translation would require the past tense in Spanish, but the present tense is used here. That sentence would be "Mamá no encontró sus llaves."

April 3, 2014

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

i said mommy. What is the proper translation for mommy?

June 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mariposa11614

I put "does not " and it was marked wrong . Why??

July 26, 2014

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

I can only assume it must have been a mistake somewhere else in the sentence that you maybe didn't notice.

July 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/j3oglesby

Mom does not find her keys implies she is not looking

February 10, 2016

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

I put "Mom did not find her keys." It is telling me that it is wrong (I know, I put past tense when it's present tense.) However, the problem is that it is saying "Mom cannot find her keys" is the correct translation. This would be incorrect because the sentence would have to be "Mama no puede encontrar sus llaves." It's small things like this that infuriate me about Duolingo. They're picky about what you write, even though they make similar mistakes with their grammar.

May 10, 2017

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

It's not a mistake. While the most natural English translation should definitely contain 'cannot' or 'can't', the Spanish translation doesn't require the use of 'puede', and, in fact, I believe it sounds more natural without it, as it's written here. I provided a more detailed explanation somewhere above in this thread, in case you're curious.

August 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cyberboy64

Andri...comments are supposed to be short.

February 2, 2018

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

Okay, so clearly the sentence translates to 'Mama doesn't find her keys' which would rarely, if ever be spoken by a native speaker. We prefer 'cannot' but to say that 'puede' would have to be there in the Spanish version. How would you say 'Mom cannot find her keys'? in Spanish then?

August 11, 2018

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

Why doesn't "mamá" means "ma" in English?

August 9, 2014

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

It can. But its use is rare enough that you must report it to get it accepted.

March 1, 2015

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

I hate this phrase

June 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/willy84k

Fuc off duolingo i would never say mama does not!! Id say mam how could that be wrong

January 9, 2015
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