"You write a letter."
Translation:Usted escribe una carta.
Can some1 please clarify the difference between usage of escribe vs escribes?
él, ella, ello, usted escribe
ellos, ellas, ustedes escriben
It is the 3rd person singular personal pronoun, but it is seldom used in Spanish as all the nouns have masculine or feminine gender. "Ello" can be used for abstract things or situations instead of the noun.
Escribe is used for third person singular (él/ella, he/she/it) subjects and for formal second person singular (usted, you) subjects.
Escribes is used for informal second person singular (tú, you) subjects
Ok. Here's the problem I'm having...
I wrote: "Tú escribe una carta"
This was marked wrong because (as it told me): You used the command form "escribe" instead of the tú form "escribes".
Ok. But "You write a letter" can either be a directive/command in English ("What do I do?" "You write a letter."), or a simple statement of fact ("What am I doing?" "You are writing a letter"... which is essentially the same as "You write a letter" in Spanish because of how passive and active verbs appear to work in Spanish).
So... how should one know which approach to take in the future in similar situations?
When sentences are English commands, the subject is a null "you." In English, this is called direct address, and the subject is always understood to be either singular or plural. The command "Escriba un libro" translates to "Write a book."
Una is used as an article (like "a" or "an") with feminine nouns, while un is used for masculine nouns. Uno is actually the number one.
It appears you are still learning Spanish, although you asked this question quite some time ago. If your question has been answered outside of this discussion, or you read some of the other posts and made some inferences from them, just disregard. But, since at least one person upvoted your post, perhaps someone else has this same question. I don't see a direct reply to your question, so I'll go ahead and post a comment that I think will answer it.
Though I am not entirely sure what it is you're asking, I am guessing you think that the word "letter" has both a feminine and a masculine form, as some other Spanish nouns do. The word "carta," however, just has one gender -- feminine -- so "the letter" (when referring to correspondence) will always be "la carta." To my knowledge, "el carto" does not exist in the Spanish language.
Spanish words that typically use both genders are nouns for people and sometimes animals. [Example: el chico/la chica (boy/girl) or el león/la leona (lion/lioness).]
By the way, when you're ready for more details about Spanish gender, you may want to check out a website I recently discovered (actually something another user posted in a separate discussion). You can access it via the link below:
It also includes a quiz feature to test you on what you've learned.
If you are asking if I can write a masculine letter, a "carto," no, I cannot. Some words are bi-gendered, but not "carta."
I wrote "usted escribes una carta", it marked it as incorrect because of the conjugation. Is conjugation different between Usted and Tú, or is this a mistake?
as I wrote above, the conjugation is different between usted and tú. That happens in ALL verbs.
Usted is addressed to you but conjugated as 'he/she'
Ustedes is addressed to you but conjugated as 'they'
Hope this helps to clear it up
Usted is more formal, usually used with strangers. Tu is used with people who know you or if you are trying to be familiar (or sometimes if they are the same age as you).
Usted would be conjugated to "escribe", Tu is conjugated to "escribes". Note that El/Ella/Usted all use the same conjugation "escribe".
Usted uses the third person conjugation rarher than the second person because it was originally "vuestra merced" "your mercy" (Spanish used to have a tú/vos informal/formal distinction like the tu/vous distinction in French)
officially, you don't know. You have to tell from the accompanying particles such as determiners, adjectives, pronouns, ... that is why I recommend to learn nouns along with its article to settle this feature.
Why is there an 's' at the end of ello and usted? Does ello mean 'they' and usted, 'you all'?
The word "ello" is a pronoun for "it" in Spanish, but I believe it is only used to refer to abstract objects, and I don't think you will need to learn how to use it here at duolingo. The word ellos, however, is a word that means "they" and you will need to remember that.
The word "Usted" is the word for "you" in formal, singular form. You will sometimes see it abbreviated to "Ud."
The word "vosotros" is used for "you all" -- the plural, familiar form of "you."
The word "Ustedes," sometimes abbreviated as "Uds.," is the formal counterpart to "vosotros."
"Usted," can be capitalized, but unless you are using the abbreviation, it does not need to be. Here's an example:
"¿Qué pasa cuando usted tiene un accidente con una persona sin seguro?"
From Mundo Hispánico
Also, it is my understanding that duolingo teaches Latin American Spanish, so you shouldn't need to learn the conjugations for "vosotros."
You'll find a lot of interesting information about the usage and subtle nuances in words (to include pronouns) that vary from one Spanish-speaking region to the next, but sometimes it is best to just learn the basics first, so I'll leave it at this for now.
Hope that helps.
okay so I put "tu escribes una letra" and it counted me wrong isn't this correct too???
A weird bug happend. First, I wrote "Tú escribes una carta", and it was marked wrong, because I apparently should have used the usted form (probably Pearson?). So I copypasted it, and now it was marked wrong because I should have said 'la carta' instead of 'una carta'.
I got this wrong because i wrote "Escribes una palabra"... Letter could be mistaked
I wrote "Tu escribes una carta" and it said I was wrong. Not because I said tu instead of usted, even though it could be either, but because I should have written escribe? Escribes is the correct form for tu!!!
Singluar vs plural. Una carta: a letter. So escribes would be tu escribes las cartas: you write the letters. Escribe una carta: you write the letter.
Tú escribes una carta - You (familiar) write a letter
Tú escribes unas cartas - You (familiar) write some letters
Tú escribes la carta - You (familiar) write the letter
Tú escribes las cartas - You (familiar) write the letters
Usted escribe una carta - You (formal) write a letter
Usted escribe unas cartas - You (formal) write some letters
Usted escribe la carta - You (formal) write the letter
Usted escribee las cartas - You (formal) write the letters
Tú is always escribes
Usted is always escribe
la/las has to match carta/cartas
una/unas has to match carta/cartas
Why is "Tu escribes uno carta" incorrect?? And I did include the accent in "Tu".
When speaking of the letters of the alphabet, use "letra." When speaking of epistles/notes to others, use "carta."
"Tu" is first person familiar form; "ustedes is second person formal form.
Can someone plz tell me what is the diffrent between 'la' and "el" and "una" and "un"for abjects ????
All Spanish nouns are masculine or feminine. When we learn a Spanish word we need to know its grammar gender (a good dictionary can help). In English there is only one definite article (the), but in Spanish there are:
el followed by a masculine singular noun: el libro
la followed by a feminine singular noun: la manzana
los followed by a masculine plural noun: los libros
las followed by a feminine plural noun: las manzanas
lo followed by an adjective or sentence used as a noun: lo blanco (=the white part of something)
The Spanish indefinite article is more different to English (a / an, only used in singular). In Spanish there are four: un una, unos, unas.
un followed by a masculine singular noun: un libro = a book
una followed by a feminine singular noun: una manzana = an apple
unos followed by a masculine plural noun: unos libros = some books
unas followed by a feminine plural noun: unas manzanas = some apples
Hope it helps!
Blas_de_Lezo00 gives a good basic explanation, but here is a useful tip: whenever you find a noun in Spanish, look for "a (noun)" or "the (noun)" and memorize it that way. Try to never think of or say or learn the word on its own. The more words you learn this way, the more you get a sense of the typical patterns (most words ending in -o take un and el, most words ending in -a take una and la) and the easier it will be to guess what a new word might be.
There are some exceptions to the basic patterns. for instance, "a/the day" and "a/the hand" feel to me like they are swapped: un dia, el dia and una mano, la mano). I learned these exceptions in phrases and songs that were repeated until they also became automatic, and it helped me a lot. For instance, a mother about to cross a street with a child says "da me la mano" (give me the hand -> "let me hold the (your) hand"). I heard it and said it so many times I didn't have to remember it as an exception.
You'll get it in time!
"escribes una carta" was rejected because I didn't use the plural form. What the heck?
I just received a message that now Escribes una carta. got added to the accepted translations. YES! :D
How about when to use "un" verses "una" in describing "a". When describing a book "un libro" was acceptable but when describing a letter "una carta" is the gender dynamic in play here?
exactly: libro has the male gender. carta the female. We are not used to that in english but most other languages differ here. il libro = the book, un libro = a book la carta = the letter, una carta = a letter and: este/ese libro = this/that book esta/esa carta = this/that letter
It tells me I should've written 'Tú escribes una carta'. I wrote 'escribes una carta' because I thought 'tú' was implied in the conjugation of the verb. Am I missing something? I'm a beginner so I don't really know, but I'd like to know if I'm wrong in assuming yo/tu/ella/él is entirely optional. I had just read in another comment section that in Spanish people really only say 'yo' if they want to emphasise that it is themselves doing [verb]
You're right, 'escribes una carta' is right. We do not need to use subject pronous as they are implied in the ending of the verb form.
You have to learn by heart the gender of the words, at the same time you find a new word, remeber if it goes with "el, un" (masculine) or "la, una" (feminine): el libro, un libro, la casa, una casa.
A good dictionary can help you as well.
It is una carta and not un carta because carta (letter) is feminine. You use una for feminine nouns and un for masculine nouns. Hope that helps :)
Well if i'm correct, una should be feminine. Un is masculine. According to Duolingo: "carta" is feminine, not masculine. Make sense?
The simplest pattern is, match articles - "a" and "the" - that end in "-a" (una, la) with most nouns that end in "-a" (una carta, la silla, una niña) and use "un" and "el" for most of the words that end in "-o" (el niño, un libro, el chico, un perro). This can help you make a first guess.
Some words do not fit this pattern!!! When you learn a noun, learn it in a sentence with "a" or "the" so you can remember it without trying to guess (un tigre, la mano, el jardín, una corazón, el dia).