"The girl sleeps near the cat."
Translation:La niña duerme cerca del gato.
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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.
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
Yeah, I was thinking that "de la gata" should be acceptable also because my cat is female :)
if gender is not specified you use the masculine version of the word...like you do with niño and niña
that's how I would do it too but when it's not specified DL usually accepts either way
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.
i think both 'de' and 'la' are referring to 'the' So "cerca de la gata" would translate as "near the the cat"
'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.'
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'
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.
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:
"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."
"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.
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)
I thought they were using "al" as in the personal a. @Santi_Minstrel, how would one use the personal a in this sentence correctly?
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
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.
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]
'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'.
You would use "de" for "la gata" though. It would be "cerca de la gata", not "cerca del gata" as "gata" is feminine.
"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.
I don't understand when to use "al" or "del". Can someone please explain it to me? :(
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
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
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.
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.
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.
andy- it can, when there's no context, duo accept both masculine and feminine
Coloqué las 2 opciones como correctas, según la costunbre de Duolingo en las correcciones y me calificó negativo, no estoy de acuerdo.
Thank you Santi_Minstrel. I keep forgetting. The reminder really helps.
Am I the only person who sees the correct answer as "junto al gato"?
Can someone tell the difference between cerca and junto please?
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
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
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.
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.
el does mean "the." "cerca de" means "next to", and el gato is the cat. Whenever there is a de+el, you combine them.
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....
I guess, but I think it makes perfect sense because it is a word-for-word translation.