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  5. "¿Usted perdió a su perro?"

"¿Usted perdió a su perro?"

Translation:You lost your dog?

January 29, 2013


Sorted by top thread


Could you tell me why is there an "a" in this?

January 29, 2013


Perro is a direct object, and the lost dog is your dog, a pet, so it takes the personal "a." If you had lost five dollars, there would not be an "a."

January 29, 2013


If was a hundred, and I lost it, there would be a personal "a" for sure. My dear poor money!

June 19, 2015


You just cleared up a lot of confusion!

November 8, 2013


Thanks for that, I can't get my head round it, but at least I know where it comes from. Poco a poco.

January 29, 2013


You can get a lot of things explained at that site. DL does not always do a good job with grammar, IMO, so sites like that one can be lifesavers.

January 29, 2013


Thanks that helps a lot.

January 29, 2013


Thanks for this link! Really helpful...

January 15, 2014


Thanks for the link

May 31, 2016


So if you used an "a" on losing five dollars, it would seem like you had a very personal relationship with money?

April 25, 2015



May 22, 2015


I thought the personal "a" only applied to people, not animals.

April 21, 2017


It isn't used with animals in general, but it is sometimes used with pets. It can even be applied to inanimate objects as a form of personification. Whether or not it is used with pets seems to vary both regionally and with regards to how the speaker feels about animals. Here are a couple of articles on the topic.



February 4, 2018


In most cases I can guess when an "a" is a personal a simply because the sentence makes little sense sticking a "to" there. However, this is one of those cases where my natural tendency to try "to" got a sentence that made sense. "You lost to your dog?" Naturally Duo marked me wrong, but at least it was a hilarious question.

December 19, 2017


Me too ! I thought the protagonist had been playing tennis with her dog. Animals are very clever in DL. Pigs clean kitchens, after all. Ducks speak English. And I confess, I wanted to see what DL would say...

October 17, 2018


Spanish is my mother tongue and I would NEVER use an "a" in that sentence. "Usted perdió su perro" is perfectly fine. I would use the "a", maybe, when the loss has an emotional meaning: "perdió a su madre en un accidente" (meaning she died). In the same way, if a person "perdió a su perro" I would totally understand that the dog is dead.

June 25, 2017


"have you lost your dog" seems to be equivalent, howver I know that "have you lost your dog" could be expressed by haber and past participle so I am wondering if duolingo won;t accept "have ...." for that reason. Can anyone help with the haber + pp form? I think it would be Usted ha perdido su perro"

June 27, 2013


The drop-down list says "perdió" means "lost", and since "Did you lost your dog?" is incorrect English, I put "Have you lost your dog?". I am sure there are multiple ways of saying this sentence in both Spanish and English. I'm with you on wondering why Duo won't accept this sentence, and what other ways it could be said in Spanish.

August 26, 2013


I think DuoLingo won't accept it because this section is on past tense. So consequently, they want to teach past tense congugations. "Have you lost" is present perfect tense.

October 6, 2013


Good reasoning! and probably why it wasn't accepted. However, "have you lost your dog?" is the most natural way of translating this, so it should be accepted even if its not in the tense of the section.

April 25, 2014


I agree, and think it's probably a mistake, since in other cases they accept both possibilities. It's reported anyway.

July 31, 2015


I would agree. Strictly, in English, "You lost your dog" is a statement and 'have' is needed to make it a question. An alternative would be "Did you lose your dog?"

September 3, 2016


"Did you lose your dog?" is accepted. (The auxiliary verb "did" is conjugated for past and it takes present participle "lose" to mean "lost" in questions and negatives in English.) Possible answer would be "Yes, I lost my dog."

December 12, 2013



June 19, 2015


I'm giving you a Lingot simply because you have so many languages... dang.

March 8, 2017


Your "present perfect" tense is correct paul -t but that is the point: it is a different tense from the one given and it is NOT equivalent in English or Spanish. We don't say "lost you your dog?" In English these days! Form the question thus: "did you lose your dog?" Also use did for negation : " I did not lose..."

November 2, 2014


Este no sonaba como una pregunta.

November 8, 2013


de acuerdo

April 9, 2014


why is "Did you lose their dog?" not one of the correct answers? "su" can also mean their, no?

May 22, 2013


In context I think that is correct. Duolingo makes it confusing. Sometimes they accept all grammatically possible answers, sometimes they won't accept a gramatically correct answer because it does not have sufficient context.

September 25, 2013


Why does it take you more than the shown Duolingo answer to understand what the Spanish statement MEANS?

June 19, 2015


Umm....the context was "usted", which is "you", so while "su" can mean their, it's not the correct answer.

July 8, 2017


Lubita, "Did you lose their dog" is a perfectly correct answer. "Your (formal)/his/her/your (plural)/their dog", they are all correct translations.

July 8, 2017


I wonder, if a man was competing with his dog in running, and then lost, can I say 'Usted perdió a su perro' meaning 'you lost to your dog'?

I know it's a bit strange but not unimaginable. Hope somebody could help me.

January 1, 2017


Hi Wei-Da, in that case we would say "perdió contra" su perro. We can say "ganarle a alguien" (less common but correct depending on context: "ganar contra alguien"), but we always say "perder contra alguien". Cheers.

July 8, 2017


Thanks a lot my friend

July 8, 2017


I'd still say that in strict English you lost your dog is a statement, not a question. & the prefix 'Have' is a given.

October 14, 2014


When is it appropriate to use tu vs su?

January 26, 2016


Both are correct. I don't think I use the formal "you" any more than once every year or two (I'm from Uruguay)... in other regions like Colombia you can see the use of "usted" even between family members, say son and mother for example. So, it would depend on regionalisms, as a rule if you visit a Spanish speaking country you should just imitate the use of locals.

July 8, 2017

  • 211

Usted perdió (formal) ... or ... Tú perdiste (familiar) ... correcto?

February 12, 2016


Yap (y)

July 8, 2017


You lost his dog!?!?! Oh, he'll be soooooo mad! You are in biiiiiiiiiiig trouble!

August 9, 2016


In English I am sure we would normally say "Have you lost your dog?" rather than "You lost your dog?". They do mean the same thing don't they, so why is it wrong?

January 7, 2017


"¿Usted perdió a su perro?" is preterirte or simple past tense which would be "Did you lose your dog?" in English. "Have you lost your dog?" is perfect past, which would be "¿Han perdido a su perro?" in Spanish. While they mean essentially the same thing, Duo marked you wrong because it is trying to teach preterirte tense in this lesson, not perfect past.

April 27, 2017


Surely if the sentence was saying "You lost her dog?" you'd have to specify that 'su' refers to 'her'? I.e. "Usted perdió el perro de ella."

December 15, 2013


We need to learn all the usages of "su." I recommend you switch between them, using a different one each time you see the sentence. None are the "right one" to use here. None are wrong.

June 19, 2015


I agree sjrb! There is an obvious translation that requires no clarification and the one to assume but there are deranged people who try to put the least likely translation for some peculiar reason of their own and then tell the thread about it.

November 2, 2014


They do that because they have idea that working out alternate translations is what Duolingo is all about. And doing that is their challenge. But they are completely off base. Only understanding the Spanish sentences is of importance.

June 19, 2015


I agree that have you lost your dog is more natural in English, I would also point out that the translation at the top shouldn't work since lose is present tense in English, not past. I put You lost your dog and that worked, but it's a but awkward.

May 28, 2014


I take it you are not a native English speaker vr8? You are correct "lose" is present tense on its own but you ignore the auxiliary verb "did". This is the past tense of " do" and plays same role in the past as 'do' in the present. It is correct to say for example "I did lose my dog" as well as "I lost my dog" in some circumstances, eg for emphasis. But see my post above for how it is used for questions.

November 2, 2014


I didn't know pets get the personal a too. Also the audio for this sounded nothing like a question.

August 12, 2014


I'm sorta native to Spanish (I'm doing this bc I don't know it very well, I'm decent at it), & I thought "lost" in past tense when referring to someone directly was "perdiste", & "perdio" was for he/she?

August 28, 2014


he/she/it and you when it is ''usted'' which takes the third person ending. ''Perdiste'' is for tú. You knew all along, didn't you ?

October 17, 2018

  • 1677

how about - did you loose your dog?

April 2, 2015


Or you could say in full, “Did you loose your dog with Ex-lax?"

Best to have a goose. They are already loose.

June 19, 2015


Why would it be 'su' and not 'tu'? su should be he/she/they if i am not mistaken.

April 27, 2015


Because it does not have to be “tu.” If you were talking to a stranger it would never be "tu."

June 19, 2015


If you get the english sentence "you lost your dog", you can perfectly translate it for "tú". The only things to keep in mind is that "tú" (pers pron) has an accent and of course you have to use a different conjugation than with "su".

"TÚ perdiste TU perro" is correct. Then in Uruguay and Argentina (among others) we would actually say "Vos perdiste tu perro". In common use though, we would simply omit the personal pronoun and say "perdiste tu perro" which makes it a lot easier I think.

July 8, 2017


Puppy=Dog ???

May 24, 2015


I thought "su" meant his/her??

July 13, 2015


Yes, but it also can be used for your in formal situations. Usted takes the same conjugation and possessive pronoun as el/ella.

April 27, 2017


Since "a" in Spanish is "to", my translation was, "Did you lose to your dog?". I still think my translation is better than the official one, even though Duolingo does not agree :)

September 12, 2015


it could be...... Do you lost your dog ?

December 31, 2015


Unfortunately, that's not accurate English. The difference between 'lose' and 'lost' is quite tricky. 'Lost' is a past participle and also an adjective. Clearly, in this sentence it isn't being used as an adjective.

So, if it is used as past participle, it has to be used with an auxiliary verb - so we could say ""Have you lost your dog?". And 'lost' tells us that it is an action in the past.

Another form could be " Did you lose your dog" where the auxiliary verb moves to the past tense to tell us that the action happened in the past, since 'lose' on its own does not carry that meaning.

August 8, 2016


how could someone lose a dog?? lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol

February 29, 2016


I think that it would be helpful if the speaker made the sentence sound like a question instead of a statement.

March 6, 2016


hmmmm it let me say: you lost your pet?

March 21, 2016


This is sad! ): )':

March 29, 2016


I am right, have you lost dog? is better than "you lost your dog????" how sarcastic!

May 10, 2016


Why can i not say "Have you lost your dog?"

May 28, 2016


You can't say that because it is the wrong tense.

Have you lost your dog? - ¿Has perdido a tu perro?

September 6, 2016


i thought they played chess or something. And his dog won.) I was wrong

May 30, 2016


Why isn't "Have you lost your dog ?" correct?

August 13, 2016


Have you lost your dog? - ¿Has perdido a tu perro?

September 6, 2016


This seems petty - I used the present perfect tense 'Have you lost your dog?' and it said it was incorrect, It is still the past tense but not the past simple - 'you lost your dog?' is informal and not very good English (perhaps not Received English anyway)

August 13, 2016


The correct simple past form in English is "Did you lose your dog?" Which Duo accepts. I don't consider it petty myself, because this is the preterit tense lesson. The perfect past is taught in another lesson.

April 27, 2017


I had one question,why we are using "a" when there us no need of it.

November 25, 2016


Because of the question marks I put have you lost your dog this was rejected

March 11, 2017


How would you say that you lost to your dog?

March 20, 2017


It's just "You lost your dog?" In this case, it's using the personal "a" The personal "a" essentially tells you that the object has a personal connection with the subject. Since we really don't do that in English, it can be dropped in translation.

April 27, 2017


it is a question, so better English is "Have you lost your dog?"

May 22, 2017


so how would you say "you lost to your dog?" - assuming you and your dog had a race.

June 3, 2017


The translation sounds more like a comment than a question, because they don't raise their voice at the end.

June 3, 2017


Whats wrong with "is your dog lost"?

June 12, 2017


Have you lost your dog? and Did you lose your dog mean the same thing. You lost your dog? is more of an accusation.

July 18, 2017


I think "you lost to your dog " makes perfect sense. You and your dog competed and he won. People love to play games with their dogs!

November 6, 2017


It makes sense, but it isn't what the Spanish sentence says.

November 6, 2017


Can't "usted" be used at He/She/You?

December 15, 2017


What seperates this from "did you lose to your dog"

January 30, 2018


no the dog lost me when i was trying to poopoo in the park

May 10, 2018


Shouldn't it be "perdiste tu perro?" It is preterite and iste is the correct conjugation.

December 24, 2018
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