1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Mi ciudad está a algunos kil…

"Mi ciudad está a algunos kilómetros de la costa."

Translation:My city is a few kilometers from the coast.

January 28, 2013

43 Comments


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

Why does this sentence have an "a" before "algunos"?


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

I assume that, as in French, you want to indicate the location of the city, it is AT a point some kms from the coast.


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

Ditto. To say "at some kilometers" seems to make good sense, but is wrong in this lesson.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Val572575

DL explained it is the personal a. Maybe it's used here b/c it says MY city, not THE city, showing a kind of affection? like w/a pet.


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

That answer seems correct. The personal "a" is still a mystery to me. Like the mystery of why Al Capone is your avatar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adam.russin

Maybe "ciudad" is treated like people because the inhabitants are implied?


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

Why did people downvote this? It’s just rude.


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

You have the power to negate a downvote with an upvote. I do it all the time when the downvote seems to be just unhelpful and/or meanspirited. :^}


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

No, Adam. It's because the city is somewhere and it's some km far from the coast. "A" is like instead of "far". And I put "far" there and it's wrong, I just didn't see the sentence properly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Craig877964

Hello safuraha: I think your question is pertinent. I still have not seen a satisfactory answer here. Lingot for you.


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

Safurafa, it's because they haven't written "lejos de..." - "far from..." and that's why. I just don't know how to explain it better but I hope it helps...


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

I too would have said 'a few' but was not prepared to lose a heart...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mee-ow

i said "my city is a few kilometers from the shore," which was not accepted as correct either.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cdhicks1

Poco = few

Unos pocos = a few

Un poco de = a little

varias = several


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MikeyDC65

It accepted "My city is a few kilometers from the coast." They may have updated it, or perhaps it's coast vs shore.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adriano732737

As a native English speaker, I sure that "My city is at some kilometers from the coast." is acceptable. In the UK we might say "My city is at some miles from the coast"

"some" does not automatically signify "few" or "many", it signifies an unspecified amount greater than zero or perhaps one.


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

Can "my city is some kilometers off the coast" be right? Can't "off" and "from" mean the same thing in this context?


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

When we say "off the coast" in English, we mean in the water. I guess if the city is an island that would work in English, but I don't know about the Spanish.


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

Hey! And can you please tell me why sometimes it's used "off of"? I'm not a native English speaker and I just wanted to know. Should I say it like that??? Or just "of" or "from"?


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

Evi, it's just a figure of speech. It means the same as away from, so it's like "x" miles away from the coast in this instance.


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

I disagree with @SaraMoren. In English, "off the coast" can mean the distance away from the coast in any direction.


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

I n my experience, "off" the coast means the water side of the coast ( we were sailing 30 miles off the coast of Florida...), "from" the coast means the land side ( we live 30 miles from the coast...).


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

I love Duo because it makes me ponder my native language as well. To me, "off the coast" always means the water side, "off the path" could be any direction, "off the surface" means up, and "off with her head" means stop, drop and roll.


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

"some" and "a few" mean different things. "Some kilometers" can be idiomatic for "pretty far", while "a few" means just that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/D.J.Pass

Why está instead of es?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Craig877964

Hello D.J.Pass: For location use estar.


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

No matter how hard I listen or how often I play the recording for this sentence I cannot hear the woman say the "a" between está and algunos.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MikeyDC65

It's because the speaker is not putting any separation between the adjacent stressed and unstressed phenomes, rather just ever so slightly elongating the sound, which is extremely common among native speakers. It's known as connected speech and it happens in every language, although the specific forms it takes differ.

For example, in English, take the sentence "Give me an apple". If you think about how it sounds pronounced slowly and independently you'll surely notice it isn't the same as how it's actually said in normal speed speech, which is more like "Gimme uhnapple".

Another example, this time in Spanish, is instead of saying «Está al sur» as three distinct words, most native speakers will actually say «Estál sur». In the case of this sentence «está a algunos» becomes «está_algunos».


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Craig877964

Hello ODubhghaill: I agree. I think this may be elision.


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

why is "my city is several kilometers from the coast" wrong?


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

Several implies many more than some.


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

I disagree. "Some" can indicate, quite a few, depending on the context. Consider the following quote from Melville's Moby Dick.

"Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world..."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cdhicks1

Poco = few

Unos pocos = a few

Un poco de = a little

varias = several


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

This is now accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TCAC2

Why do they use "algunos" instead of "unos"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonesjr876

Why is it está and not es, since distance is unchangeable. Or is it that the reference point is changeable ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Craig877964

Hello jonesjr876: For location use estar.


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

"some," what a helpful number!


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

Previously "The café is on the third floor" was translated by DL as "El café está en el tercer piso" -- without the "a." I do not see the difference. Can someone explain?


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

I think 'some' should be accepted it's listed in the hints


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patti880239

My city is "some" kilometers from the coast. This should be an acceptable answer; Dúo needs to correct and accept "some" for algunos.


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

As a native English speaker, I think that "My city is some kilometers from the coast." is acceptable. However I think a better and more natural way of saying this would be, "My city is kilometers from the coast." It is implied that it is some unspecified distance away. But you shouldn't need to include "some". Right now if you leave out "some", it marks the sentence as incorrect. They should fix this.

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.