"Los reyes escriben las cartas."

Translation:The kings write the letters.

January 28, 2013



"•The kings write the letters. •The kings are writing the letters.

You missed 1 correct translation!"

Am I crazy, or wouldn't the latter be "Los reyes estan escribiendo las cartas"?

January 28, 2013


lago -- The king's are writing the letters. can be translated into Spanish as either "Los reyes escriben las cartas." OR "Los reyes estan escribiendo las cartas."

The present tense "escriben" can be translated as: "they (or you plural) write" or "they (or you plural) are writing" or they (or you plural) do write.

February 5, 2014


if the present tense can mean both, than why does the -ing from even exist?

September 10, 2014


Well I guess there are tenses in English which are replaced more often than not but are still used formally

November 21, 2014


The regular form is the plain present tense, the -ing form is the present progressive. The present progressive indicates a current ongoing action, whereas the normal present indicates habitual or brief action, notice how "I am fishing" sounds different from "I fish"

May 11, 2015


We are all entitled to our opinions about what should or should not be. I am simply sharing what Spanish grammar books, and Mexican and Argentine Spanish teachers, have pointed out to me. If you ask me how I spend my weekend, I can say "Estudio espanol," studying Spanish. That does not mean I spend every minute at it. If you call me on the phone and ask me what I am doing, I can say "Estoy estudiando espanol," I am studying Spanish.

The Spanish book I have before me now gives three translations of "hablo:" I speak, I am speaking, and I do speak.

January 28, 2013


If I understand correctly, the Spanish 'reyes', is ambiguous - it could be two or more kings, or a combination of kings and queens. I think 'monarchs' captures the ambiguity better than kings, much like 'siblings' for 'hermanos,' but it was not accepted.

September 13, 2013


or "royals."

January 2, 2014


I typed in kings and it corrected me to rulers. Without context, king should be accepted

May 4, 2018


My Oxford Spanish dictionary gives 'los reyes' as 'king and queen'

May 14, 2013


Just like los padres are the parents or the fathers.

March 22, 2014


In Spanish the present tense, "escriben," for example, is often translated as a gerund, an "ing" verb. The present progressive tense "estan escribiendo" is used only when there is an emphasis on the fact that something is being done RIGHT NOW!

January 28, 2013


The present tense SHOULDN'T be translated as a gerund... "The kings are writing letters" carries the same emphasis, that it is being done at that exact moment.

January 28, 2013


I have to agree with rspreng. Obviously I'm still learning as I would assume you two are as well, but this is what I remember learning in school, and present tense can often translate into our ing words.

March 17, 2013


@ jbokhari, I agree. My text book says that if the "kings aren't writing" in THAT very minute, present tense MUST be used. There is nothing in this sentence that says they are writing at that moment, so Present Tense it is! Question: Who writes the letters to the Pope? Answer: The Kings are writing the letters, or The Kings write the letters. It can be translated either way to English, If one could know the context of sentence it would be easier to determine what tense to use. English Present Progressive is sometimes used different from Spanish.

April 2, 2013


Thank you.

March 7, 2013


why is it 'the' letters and not just 'write letters'?

November 10, 2016


I wondered the same since we have been tought we have to include the article even when we mean refer to 'letters' in a general way.

'The kings write letters' I expected to correct as well.

August 20, 2018


One of the translations of 'reyes' that DL provides is 'precious'. So why can't we say 'the precious write the letters' which seems more poignant to me.

September 26, 2013


"Precious" from the Lord of the Rings?

April 30, 2014


In English, the definite article is optional. Omitting it should not be counted wrong.

June 28, 2014


I agree - who would say the kings (or monarchs) write the letters? Unless of course, in Spanish, the article is included or omitted in the same manner

July 23, 2014


Whose job is it to write to the council next week? The kings write the letters. I can argue for both sides

March 16, 2013


I don't think it has to be a choice. They both could be correct, depending on the context. English often uses the present progressive when Spanish uses the simple present. That's just the way it is. A common example is ¿Qué haces? = "What are you doing?" I've heard and used this countless times. And, yes, it could also be "What do you do?"; it depends on the context.

It is rare to hear ¿Qué estás haciendo?. I'm not saying never; it's just not as common. The progressive form in Spanish does mean the same as in English, but it's used much less frequently and more for emphasis than anything else.

July 31, 2013


The present progress in Spanish is NOT always used the same in English. Present Progressive is used in Spanish when you want to answer or ask 'what is the subject doing at that very moment'. It is when one is in the mist of doing something RIGHT NOW! Other wise the simple present tense must be used in Spanish.

July 31, 2013



My comment :" The progressive form in Spanish does mean the same as in English, but it's used much less frequently and more for emphasis than anything else." was not intended to contradict this.

July 31, 2013


I think should be "the kings write the letters."

April 22, 2013


For me the sentence is OK. According what I've learned, if the sentence was "Los reyes estan escribindo las cartas", then I'd translate as "The kings are writing the letters." There are different rules for English grammar and Spanish grammar.

December 26, 2013


In some sentences while the article 'the' or 'a' is written in Spanish it is not always translated in English. And also the other way around not written in Spanish and yet translated into the English. Is there a way of knowing when to use or not to use the word 'the' or 'a'

March 16, 2014


I agree, this seems to come up a lot

May 22, 2014


What about: "The royals write the letters."

November 20, 2014


How many kings are there? And who are they writing letters to? Have these people heard of an e-mail or a fax machine?

February 27, 2015


In some it says cartas means letters and others it says cartas is wallets so which one is it

February 25, 2017


"Wallets" is "carteras", not "cartas". http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/wallet

November 17, 2017


I wrote "The king and queen write letters"!!!!!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!1

December 17, 2017


Technically, the English translation is "the letters". But in normal circumstances, we native English speakers wouldn't include the word "the". We would say "the letters" instead of "letters" when there were definitely some particular letters that were the topic of conversation and the kings were writing them instead of someone else writing them. It's a subtle nuance but omitting "the" sounds more natural in English.

January 24, 2018


Why is "the kings write the cards" wrong?

March 24, 2013


Before I've been able to use either cards or letters for cartas, but for some reason it is wrong on this question.

March 28, 2013


Carta means a letter, not a card, unless you're talking about playing cards which are not written but, as the name implies, played :)

March 25, 2013


What about a birthday card?

April 12, 2013



That's the Spanish wikipedia page for "greeting card."

Tarjeta is used, as you can see. As I said, carta means letter or playing card. Tarjeta is used for greeting cards as well as, I believe, business cards.

April 12, 2013


Good to know. Thanks!

April 12, 2013


Yes, like "tarjeta de credito - credit card".

December 26, 2013


According to the Talking Translation and Dictionary app, "carta" means: letter, card, carte, menu, charter, epistle, map, playing card.

February 24, 2014


You should report that as you were correct.

February 24, 2014


I'm confused because if you "peek" at the definition of reyes, it says that it can be kings or pets. So I put "pets" just for fun, and it said that pets was wrong. I think it's just because pets cannot write letters, but then why would they put it on there?

January 14, 2014


Well, it's frustrating, but those "peeks" work more like a dictionary. You can look something up, but often there are choices one has to make; not all of the words listed are appropriate for the particular task at hand. What's worse is that sometimes the right definition/translation for the particular exercise is not even listed by DL in the "peek". (I am not taking a shot at DL; I just want to tell it like it is so that others won't feel like they're doing something wrong.)

January 15, 2014


What you are expressing is not even close to "taking a shot". It does, however, qualify as constructive criticism and the producers of DuoLingo would do well to address this particular error in order to improve the effectiveness of this program as a learning tool.

February 26, 2014



February 27, 2014


Reyes = pets?

March 10, 2014


Speaking of Spanish royalty, I recommend "Isabel," the Spanish TV series, available on Hulu Plus in the US, with English subtitles. Great for absorbing the sound and rhythm of the language, and you get some historical insight too. Dos pulgares encima.

May 12, 2014


Where did the T come from in front of "reyes" ? I keep losing hearts because of poor pronunciation.

May 30, 2014


so, this section is supposed to teach us about "occupations" and I personally don't think many of us need to speak about Kings and Queens all that often! How about teach us more common jobs?

June 26, 2014


I put the king and queen, as my dictionary said, for "los reyes" and it was marked wrong! Surely, I thought, they must be expecting that as "the kings" is completely bonkers!

July 7, 2014


So what are they paying their secretaries for?

September 30, 2014


It is correct to translate 'los reyes' as 'the king and queen' so why does the system say it is wrong.

March 24, 2015


hi ;)

April 6, 2015


For those of us who are MLB fans and in particular- new york mets, florida marlins and toronto blue jay fans- it makes sense why Jose Reyes was such a good player back in the day. Jose Kings!

May 10, 2015


After listening to Dutch for an hour, I feel like a fluent master when I understand a Spanish sentence after one listening XP

July 7, 2016


i put "the kings write the consitutions" and it was wrong?

November 22, 2016



June 6, 2017


what is that

June 6, 2017


Why is the first "The" necessary in the English translation? It seems to me that the statement remains the same with or without it. Just wondering.

October 2, 2017


Please give me lights I am new in Spanish

November 7, 2017


The king and queen must be pen pals

December 3, 2017


If 'the kings write the letters' is accepted, but reyes could be either kings or queens or a mixture- how come 'the royals write the letters' isn't accepted?

December 4, 2017
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