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"The girl sleeps near the cat."

Translation:La niña duerme cerca del gato.

5 years ago

103 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/Vanny234

how do we know when it should be 'the girl sleeps near BY the cat' as in del and when it can't be 'the girl sleeps near the cat' and just use el? I don't get why they added del instead of just el.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Santi_Minstrel

when you want to say 'near something', you have to translate 'near' as 'cerca de'. Therefore:

near the cat -> cerca de + el gato -> cerca del gato

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LoisAlene

So "cerca de la gata"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bat_Fish

Yeah, I was thinking that "de la gata" should be acceptable also because my cat is female :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amber.akridge91

if gender is not specified you use the masculine version of the word...like you do with niño and niña

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Si_Robertson

that's how I would do it too but when it's not specified DL usually accepts either way

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Santi_Minstrel

Correct =)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/denise.duf

But, I put in.... "el gato" and they said it was supposed to be "al gato"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChazOH
ChazOH
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I did that also and got the same correction. I flagged it because it didn't match the translation in the comments. I guess both are correct but I believe al indicates a certain degree of affection towards the gato as one's own pet.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ELIJAH745956

i think both 'de' and 'la' are referring to 'the' So "cerca de la gata" would translate as "near the the cat"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/naranjachocolate

'de' is used in a lot of prepositional phrases, like 'cerca de' is the equivalent of 'near/close to/around' in time or space. (http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=cerca) 'de' on its own frequently means 'of' and occasionally other prepositions, but never 'the' (which is an article). 'cerca de la gata' is a good translation for 'near the (female) cat.'

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skeets

gotcha! So simple. I'm thankful for the comment section!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Greeny148

Thanks for the clear answer

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TingTingBD

must we ALWAYS combine de and el??

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/naranjachocolate

yes- the contractions 'del' for 'de el' and 'al' for 'a el' aren't optional. but this is only for 'el' = 'the' not 'él' = 'he/him'

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TingTingBD

thx

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeelyHawkins

What about la?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duckfort.d

Thanks your comment helped a lot

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alex._.Wentworth

I agree

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brizzo59

why is it cerca and not acerca here?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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"acerca" means either "about" or the verb "to get closer" (active), not "to be close".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bvnni
bvnni
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One way that helps me to remember: cerca is like circa... "The car was estimated to have been constructed circa 1970" .

And for acerca, I think of "a for about a topic" and "I will arrive in about a mile" (a for active distance).

Cerca vs acerca: you can't move time/years toward you (circa 1970), but something can be sitting(resting/being) close. C for close.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrswadley22

Acerca means about. Cerca just means near

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LittleWing1

Help! Which one of Duo's answers is correct?

I keep getting this exercise sentence wrong. I always put;

"La niña duerme cerca el gato."

Which Duo then dings me as INCORRECT and shows me the correct answer as;

"La niña duerme cerca al gato."

Upon seeing this, I think to myself, "What is "al"? Did Duo already cover "al" and I forgot about it? Well, I should check the comments to get some answers."

But when I open the comment page to look for any hints, tips or explanations about "al", there are none because the answer for the exercise sentence at the top of the comment page show the following as the translation.;

"The girl sleeps near the cat."

"La niña duerme cerca del gato."

So I search the web and find this:

http://spanish.about.com/od/prepositions/a/cerca.htm

Which says;

"The words and phrase cerca, cercano and cerca de are very commonly used in Spanish to indicate proximity or closeness in location, time, number or degree."

It then goes on to explain that "... cerca de, ... is used as a preposition."

And that;

"Cerca by itself functions as an adverb."

Duo introduces "cerca" as a preposition. But, without "de", "cerca" is actually an adverb! So in my translation cerca is describing the girl's sleep? It would literally be something like, "She is near sleep the cat." Which is just nonsense.

By using the phrase "cerca de", (which Duo does NOT mention is a phrase), which takes an object (like a preposition is suppose to do) and combines the "de" with the masculine article for "gato" (like it's suppose to do), the sentence literally means, "The girl sleeps close to (near, nearby, in the vicinity of, etc.) the cat.

Now that leaves the "al" thing, which seems to be a preposition based on the combination of "a + el" and takes the meaning "to the". So, "La niña duerme cerca al gato.", would seem to read literally as, "The girl sleeps nearby to the cat."

But wait, according to that website I mentioned early that would lead to the following. "Cerca" without "de" is an adverb, so we would get, "The girl near sleep to the cat." Which is back to nonsense.

Unless that website really ment to say, "... cerca followed by another preposition makes "cerca" part of a prepositional phrase which takes an object." So it would literally read the way it should.

Does anyone know if this is the case?

Thanks for any help or insight.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Santi_Minstrel

The only possible translations for The girl sleeps near the cat are:

  • La niña duerme cerca del gato
  • La niña duerme cerca de la gata (in case context provides us this extra information, but not wrong per se)
4 years ago

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

I thought they were using "al" as in the personal a. @Santi_Minstrel, how would one use the personal a in this sentence correctly?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Santi_Minstrel

You wouldn't. Personal a is reserved for indirect objects and human direct objects (what we call 'Complemento indirecto and directo' respectively). Adverb 'cerca' is, by nature, (optionally) followed by an adverbial complement, and preposition 'de' is the right and only choice to link them.

That is why you must translate 'near' as 'cerca' or 'cerca de' if the clause continues.

  • Está cerca = it is near
  • Está cerca de la casa = it is near the house
4 years ago

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

Thank you for the info. But I think the creators of duolingo disagree as do some of the other sites. They say pets are personal so they are direct objects. Not saying you are wrong, just that they have a different view.

Unless I am misunderstanding what you mean. I'm not sure what you mean by "indirect objects and human direct objects." Can you give me a few sentences showing the difference? I am still struggling when to use the personal a as I know many others are on here.

Much appreciation for your help.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Santi_Minstrel

pets are personal so they are direct objects

These two things are not related. One is about the treatment in the sentence and the other about the role it plays. The difficulty here is to identify the parts in any given sentence and the role they play. Once this is clear, concepts like 'personal a', use of adverbs, pronouns etc become crystal clear. You only have to know how to build it in Spanish but the concept will not be a problem.

A direct object is the part in a sentence referencing who or what will directly suffer the action from the verb. If I say:

  • I write a letter

A letter is 'what I write' or 'what is being written', so this is D.O. Other examples:

  • I clean the table
  • I watch a movie
  • Let him have it (in fact, it is the thing being had like have it is the thing being let)

An indirect object is the part in a sentence referencing who or what will indirectly suffer the action from the verb. If I say:

  • I tell you a story

you are the final receiver (recipient) of the action performed on the D.O. In other words, the story is being told 'to you'. It is not necessary to have a explicit D.O. to have an I.O. Other examples:

  • Paula passed the money to her father
  • Let him have it
  • Paula passed her father the book

While the case in English is more complex, in Spanish the use of prepositions is much easier. I.O. always take the 'a' if pronouns are not used:

  • Paula le pasó el dinero a su padre (here, there are two references to the same I.O., curious things of Spanish)
  • Déjale tenerlo
  • Te cuento una historia (a ti)

D.O. in Spanish do not require prepositions, but in case of humans (or humanized pets) you put the 'a' as well:

  • Limpio la mesa
  • Escribo una carta
  • Déjale tenerlo
  • Esperamos a tu hermano
  • Julio César derrotó a los galos
  • Mimamos a nuestro gato

Subordinated sentences can also work as D.O. or I.O.:

  • El alumno soñó que aprobaba sin estudiar
  • Le daré tierras a quien venza al dragón

Other complements in the sentences such as where, when, how, why, etc are adverbs (or adverbial clauses) and are not to be confused with D.O. or I.O.

  • I met your brother at 11:00 [a las 11:00]
  • I saw you in the park [en el parque]
  • I hit you because I wanted [porque quise]
  • I am driving near the airport [cerca del aeropuerto]
  • I hit you with a stick [con un palo]
  • My cat is sleeping near the dog [cerca del perro]
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dannyfoe

I like your dog

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dannyfoe

I love your dog

2 years ago

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

Thank you.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

little wing- al is the contraction of a el

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vashii

Nobody is explaining about the 'al gato'

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ashejandro28

'al' is similar to 'del'. It is a contraction of 'a' and 'el'. You would either use 'al', 'a la', 'a los', or 'a las', if using a noun after 'a'.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Companero

when do we use del and de what's the difference?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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"del" = "de" + "el". One means "of" and the other "of the".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/clawedinvader

You would use "de" for "la gata" though. It would be "cerca de la gata", not "cerca del gata" as "gata" is feminine.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nfkozak

"Gata" is only feminine when referring to a female cat. If the gender of the cat is unspecified, "el gato" is preferred, because it can refer to a male or female cat.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NoahPinson3

Would someone like to be the cat?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Julia1942r

Why do you use del instead of el?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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"near" in Spanish is "cerca de", and "de + el" contract to "del". So, "cerca de el gato" = "cerca del gato".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrandiPuck

I don't understand when to use "al" or "del". Can someone please explain it to me? :(

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Santi_Minstrel

First, you have to identify when to use 'a' + article and 'de' + article, which is a more complex point. Once you know that, 'al' is just a + el, and del is de + el. These contractions are mandatory

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/billybolton
billybolton
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Its a mandatory contraction. Unlike english where contractions are not mandatory. "A el" is wrong and so is " de el" unless el is él refering to to him or he

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lucaso777

Why don't we use the personal 'a' here? Is it because the girl is the subject?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

lucaso- with a preposition, never the personal A : I walk with my mother/ camino CON mi madre. Voy a invitar A mi madre/ I will invite my mother. I walk beside my mother/camino al lado de mi madre. al= a el so this isn't a personal A.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zombiesue

Is cerca usually followed by "de"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luis
LuisPlus
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Yes.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Atokirina

These Spanish teachers who made this have a sense of humor.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olisilvadani

Is there any difference between "CERCA" and "ACERCA" ?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olisilvadani

Ok... I just noticed my mistake!

ACERCA = about CERCA = near

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/faithforce

These rules seem so random to me. I translate one as del caballo and it's wrong. So I go to la gata and I'm told it should be de la gata or del gato. How the heck do you know when to and when not to? the cat could be any cat, so the pet theory doesn't work here and neither does the specific cat theory.

4 years ago

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

You are mixing this up with the personal "a". "De" has nothing to do with the personal "a". You aren't understanding "cerca" vs "cerca de". Cerca = close/near, Cerca de = close/near to.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndyrxJian
AndyrxJian
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Why cant it be a girl cat?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisWhatever

If we knew for certain that it was a girl cat, we would use 'gata' but since we are not told, the normal assumption is that the animal is male, so 'gato' is used.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

chris- both were accepted.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

andy- it can, when there's no context, duo accept both masculine and feminine

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lucas.korn

Nena?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rhferia
rhferia
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Error: la nena? No. La niña.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vigouroso

Does chica not mean girl?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CMLitton

Chica means girl

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nannypants

Duolingo marks this incorrect.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/s531219

with

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/juliocesar70000

Coloqué las 2 opciones como correctas, según la costunbre de Duolingo en las correcciones y me calificó negativo, no estoy de acuerdo.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jazzy47

How do u know when to use del or de?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HMeuser

How do you know when to put DEL instead of La or De

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HMeuser

why De

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SandraLDieterich

Thank you Santi_Minstrel. I keep forgetting. The reminder really helps.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A1fie
A1fie
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Am I the only person who sees the correct answer as "junto al gato"?

Can someone tell the difference between cerca and junto please?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/20iegen

I forgot the other c in cerca, and put el instead of del, and I though it sounded natural by saying the girl sleeps near the cat but i got it WRONG!!!!!! DUOLINGO DRIVES ME INSANE SOMETIMES

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CarmenHern779441

There is more than one way to say this. Im a Spanish speaker but i don't know why la niña duerme cerca del gato doesn't work

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tim437599

Why would it be, "del" rather than just el gato? It's not like it means the girl sleeps near of the cat. The girl sleeps near the cat. Anyways, please explain.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MariaStampe

I said that thee times in a row

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michskid

What's muchacha?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MagnificentMutt

and when they wake up: nina contra gato!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MrsMxze

I always forget del

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ConnorNielsen

porque no se dice acera del gato

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sudhanshu15

can anyone explain me , when to use del ? , i am having problem .

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/naranjachocolate

whenever you would use "de el" use "del" instead

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/John210327

Where does it say cat is male?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/8BitCoder

2nd choice was The milk sleeps near the cat LOL this is duolingo world

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jmb5547

I put "La niña duerme acerca del gato", and it was listed as wrong. Can someone explain when to use "Acerca" and when to use "Cerca"? Thank you.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeelyHawkins

What does junto mean then?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/winsomewarlock

where did "del" come from? Why not el gato?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/snwankpa

Why is it del gato instead of el gato . doesnt el mean the???

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ConnorNielsen

el does mean "the." "cerca de" means "next to", and el gato is the cat. Whenever there is a de+el, you combine them.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/snwankpa

Thanks, although I did kinda assume that was the reason.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MeghnaChhu

What does 'junto' mean

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Scharing2
Scharing2
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y por qué no: la nina está dormiendo cerca del gato

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ramarr1

What is difference between cerca and acerca

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WendiDenman

why not la nina duerma acerca de la gata?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BraveBird22

Duolingo, please use the words in the lesson when showing answer. I understand you are allowing different translations but repetition is key and these new words are throwing me off. Thanks....

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/THEFIRSTANDONLY3

pop

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MistyDawn7

This is great!!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OssaiNduka1

How do we know when to say niña and when to say muchacha

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/achampagne18

I guess, but I think it makes perfect sense because it is a word-for-word translation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FranDellinger

why is it wrong to write, "cerca al gato"? As in near to the cat.

2 years ago