"She does not find her keys."

Translation:Ella no encuentra sus llaves.

January 24, 2013



Instead of "does not", english speakers would use "can not", as in "she cannot find her keys". This mistake is repeated right through this lesson. The literal translation doesn't work.

January 24, 2013


It's not incorrect, it's just unusual. In English it would refer to a specific event. "She finds her keys" would refer to the event of her looking for and finding the keys, and "She doesn't find the keys" would imply the event of her looking for and then not finding them.

January 31, 2013


I agree with you! It seems there are students in Duolingo that forget it's purpose--to translate from one written language to another. If one wants to increase reading comprehension, stick with Duolingo. For spoken language skills, one may want to go elsewhere.

Which auxiliary verb to use? Here is what I found. http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/auxiliary.htm

To express the negative in simple present tense, use "do." "She does not find the keys." "She does not read the book."

To express ability as in being able to do or knowing how to do, use "can." "She can not find the keys." "She can not read the book."

February 2, 2013


Yes, and in this exercise she is not able to find her keys, hence "she cannot find her keys". A quick search bears this out. Google results: "she does not find her keys" - 1 result (0.35 seconds) ; "she cannot find her keys" - 32,400 results (0.32 seconds). the one match was on a Portugese language site.

The purpose of duolingo is to have students of these languages do the translations. It has little to do with whether the words are written or spoken. If the exercises that train the students are flawed, duolingo will offer very poor quality literal translations, which unfortunately is what is happening so far. To improve the translations, the student translators need revisions to these exercises, otherwise the inaccuracies will only continue to ripple from the exercises through to the translations. Not a small problem. There are some very good threads suggesting how to improve this in the discussions section.

February 2, 2013


I don't think that it is wrong, it just isn't a common thing to say. We would say "She does not find her keys" if we were, say, narrating a scene in which a woman does not find her keys. In Spanish, "She can't find her keys" is different. It is Ella no puede encontrar sus llaves, or She is unable to find her keys" which necesitates a type of verb usage that we have not gotten yet in this chapter because it is more advanced.

December 3, 2013


Spanish doesn't translate precisely into English and vice versa. Many Spanish verbs have more than one meaning: probar, to taste AND to try, valer, to be worth AND to cost etc. Translating backwards and forwards therefore has to put things into context to get the right translation, you'll rarely get an exact translation. Hence 'does not', 'can not' = exactly the same meaning, but not a literal translation. This is not the fault of duolingo, it's the differences between the languages.

February 13, 2013


You're making my point for me. Each language has its way of saying things. We don't want Spanglish versions of english or vice versa. If the site is about translation, it is not that hard to translate accurately, especially in exercises. These are beginner level mistakes and Duolingo should have hired experienced teachers because they DO know how to teach the differences you are talking about. Just look at the translations this site is coming up with and ask yourself if they are even remotely close to professional calibre. In order to reach that level, we need to start with expert BILINGUAL teachers and error-free exercises. You don't crowd-source the teaching right?

April 11, 2013


"Ella no puede encontrar sus llaves" would be she cannot... Since poder was not used, obviously cannot does not apply in the translation.

April 4, 2014


I guess that's why many learners here feel that we should have been presented with these stuff early on. If the verb "can" is too advanced to have been presented here this early, then maybe DL could have at least taught us words in the likes of "able/unable", for then we would have other choices of the verbs, adjectives, etc. to use and so to be more able basic translators.

October 16, 2014


For the longest time i've forgotten that users are able to hover over words to view various translations. When i use that option most of the time it seems helpful. However, i must admit that i took a few years of Spanish in high school and despite that being almost a decade ago, most of the nuances have been helpful. i think the best thing about Duolingo are the discussions.

October 16, 2014


I agree this is a very awkward sentence to ask one to translate. Would be better to allow the past tense of encontrar as a possible response or perhaps the present participle (also a bit awkward). Given that this is fairly early on in the learning process a better sentence to translate would be She is unable to find her keys Ella no puede encontrar sus llaves....

April 27, 2014


Yeah.. I had the same concern about this. Really, the only scenario I can think of is if you were writing a play or something: The character enters the room. She looks but she does not find her keys.

You are 100% correct that one otherwise would always say 'she can't find her keys'. Using does or does not almost always implies a choice in the matter which in this case is pretty silly.

She could if she wanted to, but she does not find her keys.

August 22, 2018


What is the difference between "sus" and "su?" I keep making that mistake.

August 21, 2013


"Sus" is plural and "su" is singular, but it always refers to the object. If it is "her key" it's "su" and if it is "her keys" it's "sus".

December 30, 2013


buscar means "search?"

January 10, 2014


It means "to look for"

February 14, 2014


For those comments above: The spanish translation of "She can't find her keys" is "Ella no puede encontrar sus llaves."

January 28, 2015


Shouldn't it be "Ella no encuentra su llaves" as su/sus depends on ella/ellas and not llaves?

March 20, 2013


You're mistaken :) Reverse your rule, the pronoun adjusts to the possessed noun's number.

March 20, 2013


Oh right! Thanks for clearing that up :)

March 21, 2013


I might be totally off base here, but in my Spanish class we were told to use encontrar with "a". I wrote "Ella no encuentra a sus llaves". Is this incorrect?

March 27, 2013


I believe that you're talking about the personal 'a'... I think that only applies to people and or pets...

January 24, 2014


Haha, yeah, thanks! Sometimes it's like...


My head

January 26, 2014


I am not clear as to why busca was not accepted. Buscar is to search... Are there differences between how it might be said in Spain and how it might be said in Mexico? I use a lot of Spanish in my line of work. Most of my clients are from Mexico.

February 5, 2014


Buscar means "to look for" and encontrar means "to find" which have two different meanings.

February 5, 2014


Thank you, that clears things up.

February 5, 2014


Why is there no "le" in this sentence? Encontrarse is a reflexive verb, no?

July 7, 2014


Not sure if there's a reflexive verb "encontrarse" but it would mean finding oneself. So unless the keys find themselves, it's kind of weird. Also most reflexive verbs have a non reflexive counterpart. In this case, encontrar, so you wouldn't need "le."

July 10, 2014


Thank you. Reflexivity is not my strong suit. I appreciate the explanation. Also, I wish my keys would find themselves!

July 10, 2014
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