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  5. "Él alcanzó al pájaro."

"Él alcanzó al pájaro."

Translation:He reached the bird.

January 31, 2013

118 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

My answer was, he caught the bird, because I thought that alcanzar also means : to catch. Am I right?

January 31, 2013

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

I think this is an awkward sentence on the part of DL. I think alcanzar means catch in the sense of catch up to, as in catching a bus. There are better verbs to express actually "catching" a bird, and bus or train would be better here than bird, IMO.

January 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

Thanks a lot for your fast answer.. My problem is because I'm French and the mistakes that I make here, are most of the time in English. I think it's funny, finally, it looks like I'm learning two languages at the same time.

January 31, 2013

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

I think your English is tres bien!

January 31, 2013

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

haha me too, I can't wait for the "French - spanish" course !!

March 24, 2014

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

Oh my goodness! Duolingo doesn't have a "French - Spanish" course?! Ooooh that is sad. I am sorry, to the both of you :(

June 4, 2016

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

There is now: https://fr.duolingo.com/course/es/fr/Apprends-l'espagnol-en-ligne WARNING: After taking the Duolingo link it was very troublesome to get back to English as a learning language. I finally succeded but don't ask me how

This one is also nice: Cours gratuits espagnol débutants http://www.espagnolfacile.com/guide/

I use them because I want to learn both languages

June 4, 2016

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

Haitian Creole is my first language, and my French is way better than my English. But I decided to take the English - Spanish course so that I can also improve my English while studying Spanish. As you said it, sometimes the problem is not Spanish but English.

April 18, 2017

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

You're trilingual!

August 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sharon449540

Haha! My mother tongue is English, but I'm a Francophone as well, so I make mistakes by trying to conform Spanish to French. C'est compliqué!

January 3, 2018

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

True, if that were the context. But if the context was he was running after the bird and gained on it (foot race with an ostrich maybe?), wouldn't alcanzar be the best verb? ..DL just likes throwing curve balls like this :p

September 5, 2014

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

Rspreng. I was just reviewing another module and there was a discussion about the use of llegar for reach. I think the sentence was You don't have to reach so far (my translationm hope it's right) Tú no tienes llegar tan lejos. People didn't like llegar there. Which verb (alcanzar o llegar) do you feel fit better in both my example and the one we are discussing here?

August 16, 2013

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

yes you are correct . . . I put that too.

August 2, 2013

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

mitain56: Yes, "catch" is one of the definitions of "alcanzar" in the GRAN DICCIONARIO OXFORD.

September 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

Catch in the sense of "He'll never catch us." which could mean "He'll never reach us."

http://dictionary.reverso.net/spanish-english/alcanzar http://lema.rae.es/drae/

December 13, 2013

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

My answer was, "He reached for the bird," and it marked it correct. However, I'm not so sure that it should be. Reaching for something is distinct from reaching something. "Reaching for" does not necessarily mean having gotten, while "reaching it" means having completely made it. For example, if a child were "reaching for" the cookie jar on the counter, but were not tall enough, there is a much different meaning than if they reached the cookie jar; in which case, they must have been tall enough. Anyone know if there actually is a distinction in Spanish or not?

July 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chaolan77

Reached for is correct, but theairfieldman. Reached the bird is marked correct but has a completely different connotation, meaning 'arrived'. The most common correct example for 'alcanzar' here is 'The girl could reach the table.' meaning tall enough to touch. Another is 'to catch up to my friend' (when walking). Hope this helps.

March 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael189866

theairfieldman wrote ''does not necessarily mean having gotten'': what does ''having gotten'' mean ?
Maybe the Spanish conveys the colloquial English sense of ''he got the bird'', https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/get-the-bird

October 16, 2018

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

bump

March 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jay.Ey

"He caught up TO the bird" should be correct to, right? I would say that rather than "with" the bird.

June 24, 2013

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

"caught up to" and "caught up with" should be the same in English, yes. And I would agree "to" seems more appropriate, since "caught up with" creates the impression that you are good friends with the bird and hadn't seen it in a while.

July 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

Jay.Ey, You are mixed up because en Spanish, you have to say al pájaro because it's an animated noun. Same thing if you say : I will invite my friends= Voy a invitar a mis amigos.

June 26, 2013

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

What you say is true, but that is not what Jay.Ey meant. In English, either 'caught up with' or 'caught up to' would be correct. There are subtle differences that few people would notice.

August 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

Sorry I was mixed up

December 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1677

Avec quatre langues ? Je peux comprendre pourquoi.

December 10, 2013

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

Mitaine56 I think I see what you're saying. So if I wanted to say "I caught up to the dog". Let's assume he's a pet. We have to deal with the personal 'a' and 'to'. How does that translate?

Then if we wanted to say "I caught up with the dog (pet again) now we have 'con' and personal 'a'. How does that translate?

August 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

If you use "con" you won't use personal a.EX : Salgo con mi perro. Voy a comprar un regalo a mi gato. Those are nouns animated and in the sentence of Duolingo, the verb is an action verb, so that's 2 reasons, I guess, to use the personal a. I caught up to the dog, could be : Alcancé al perro. I caught up with the dog, could be : Alcancé con el perro, but, are you sure we can tell this sentence in English, it sounds funny no?

August 3, 2013

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

"I caught up with the dog" is a little funny, because as an English speaker, it doesn't sound unnatural /at first./ This is because "caught up to" and "caught up with" are synonyms, with an exception that "caught up with" can also mean to reacquaint oneself with someone/thing. So my first reaction is, It's absolutely okay to say this! but my second reaction is, Okay, maybe that's a little weird, too. This sounds like the basis for an English joke. :)

March 10, 2014

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

I entered "He caught up to the bird" and it was marked correct.

March 6, 2014

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

I entered "He reached to the bird" and it was marked "incorrect"!

February 18, 2015

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

He reached to the bird is not correct english. He reached the finish line, is correct (and common), but he reached to the finish line is not correct.

February 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeffreyCam13

If Duolingo wants an exact translation then they can't put El Alcanzo Al Pajaro as a sentence. It translates to "He reached to the bird" Every time Duolingo does this to me, I report it as a problem. I have done this over 100 times and will continue to do so. I translate exactly what Duolingo has taught me. If it's wrong, it's because Duolingo has not taught me how to translate and speak Spanish correctly.

November 6, 2016

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

Actually, 'he reached to the bird' is correct English, as in, 'He reached to the bird but it drew back before he could touch it.'

February 18, 2015

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

Both he reached for the bird and he reached towards the bird sound right to me, but he reached to the bird still sounds wrong to me. To is for a destination (drive to the house), while towards is for direction (drive towards the ocean).

Google search results show this:

reached for the bird: 170,00 matches

reached towards the bird: 5,390 matches

reached to the bird: 1 match only, and that match is this duolingo page.

February 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sharon449540

He reached to the bird is not correct in English.

January 3, 2018

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

to reach for the bird

To resort to the act of showing someone the middle finger, oftentimes after other measures have failed.

September 9, 2014

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

my answer was : "he reached TO the bird" . Is it incorrect english ? or should my answer be accepted ?

March 24, 2014

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

Sounds weird. I'd say "reached for" or even "reached towards"(meaning I tried to reach it but didn't make it - perhaps the bird flew away as I reached towards it) but "reached to" doesn't make sense to me.

May 29, 2014

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

It all depends on what one is trying to say. If you said that he reached to the bird, then that means he may have stretched up and touched it. To reach for the bird would imply that he wanted to grab/catch it. The real problem is what does the Spanish imply, reaching to, or reaching for?

December 9, 2014

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

He reached the bird! Obviously he was running across a desert island, trying to find the parrot that could lead him to buried treasure. He reached the bird. The bird was his destination. (this is what I do when I come across sentences that don't make much sense, I form a story in my mind to justify them)

July 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kar2044

I also wrote, 'He caught the bird.' and it was marked incorrect. Google Translate also translates it as He caught the bird. Confused.

February 1, 2014

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

Google translate is not all-knowing. In the course of using this site, I've often used google translate as supplemental help, and because of that, I know that google translate is often a dirty stinkin' liar. Apparently this phrase exclusively means "caught up to."

March 10, 2014

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

Why use "al" and not "el"

August 24, 2014

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

Why al instead of el? Or would "reaching" out to pet the bird be a different verb?

February 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertTudo2

I misunderstood the meaning. I entered 'he caught the bird' (as if he were a hunter) and it was marked wrong. I thought thst sounded more logical than he reached the bird

December 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ken.Coyote

Why the personal "a"? My translation, "He reached at the bird" was considered wrong.

February 6, 2016

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

It's just another stupid duolingo sentence that nobody would ever say. Go on to the next sentence.

May 1, 2016

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

So I have read the whole discussion and I am still so confused. Did he reach the bird with his hand and catch it? Or was he flying (somehow) and caught up with it? Or could these both be correct interpretations (if not actual possibilities)? thanks.

April 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

He could catch it or not, but he definitely caught up to it and reached it can also mean caught up to it. He was on the ground, but the bird being a pet was not that far.(probably inside)

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kwill23

Why cant I say.. he reached to the bird?

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MelissaMil981126

Poor English

March 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

He did not stand still and reach just his arm. He moved towards it and reached the bird or caught up to it.

June 28, 2014

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

Why not " He reached to the bird "?

July 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MelissaMil981126

Poor English

March 26, 2015

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

llalolo, I'm a native English speaker. I can't really answer your question of "why not", but what you suggest would sound very peculiar to me, although it may not break any grammatical rules.

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tryin2

I am a native English speaker and have the same question: why not "reach to the bird" I have a bird and reach "to him" quite often. I "reach to him" so he can jump onto my arm or get a treat.

October 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MelissaMil981126

Reach towards him

March 26, 2015

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

I might have written what Tryin2 wrote because all of that is true for me.

February 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tryin2

Ahhh, a fellow bird person! Nice to meet you Minombrees! Hola!

February 18, 2015

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

In English, "reach to" isn't said (or is very seldom said). More often said is "reach for" or "reach towards."

October 11, 2016

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

What's wrong with he caught the bird?

June 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mandasmom12

What about "He reached to the bird"? When I clicked on "al" it translated as "to the"

May 27, 2016

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

"reached to" isn't said in English. In English you would say "reached for." Or maybe "reached towards."

October 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aldemar1993

How would one translate "He had reached the bird"?

September 5, 2013

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

“Él había alcanzado al pájaro“.

November 19, 2014

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

As an English speaker, I am not sure of the correct Spanish translation, but you are in another tense entirely saying "He had reached the bird" versus "He reached the bird." The first is past perfect tense, whereas the second is simple past tense. To find your answer, I believe that you would switch the verb "alcanzar" to a subjunctive mode.

March 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gernt
  • 1677

I put "alcanzó al pájaro" jaula in Google and found instances where caught made more sense. I added "jaula" to make sure it was trapped.

October 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TamFerg33

Why couldn't it be ... He reached to the bird.

July 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spanish.waffles

For microphone questions I have figured out that all sounds will be accepted

November 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KrisBlack1

He must have had a Red Bull.

January 27, 2016

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

As those below!

February 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Millymolly4

Caught ....

February 8, 2016

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

Yes! Alcanzar also means to catch, which is a better word for this sentence if you ask me! :)

January 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jessica23y24

el pájaro enseña ingles

April 16, 2016

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

Glad to see the bird that fell in the earlier sentences is unharmed!

September 27, 2016

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

Why wouls i ever need to say 'he reached the bird' just an awkward sentence

September 30, 2016

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

I answered He reached to the bird as that was what the translation said

November 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ryanhi2k

This doesn't make any sense. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. I followed the directions. I listened to make sure i was doing it correctly. I'm lost.

December 26, 2016

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

"He reached the bird" is a weird sentence, I'll give you that. Alternate definitions for alcanzar are "to catch", and "to catch up with", and both of those make much more sense. "He caught the bird", "He caught up with the bird". Duolingo is a little funny sometimes... Does this help?

January 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/newera3s

(Spam) Doves and or pigeons? Rats of the sky? Now I'm too analytic... asking about the ground numbers... pH

January 30, 2017

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

My correct English translation was "He reached the bird."

This sounds awkward to me. "He reached for the bird"?

February 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fasteagle190

Is "He reached to the bird" not correct?

April 10, 2017

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

More commonly it would be "reached for the bird" or "reached towards the bird."

April 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fasteagle190

Thank you! I appreciate that you answered me.

April 17, 2017

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

In English, "Caught up with" could ALSO mean... learning of all the latest news (of a friend, for example, who one has not spoken with in a while). I see this is not what alcanazar means, but is there another verb or term for this in Spanish?

October 15, 2017

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

Should "he reached to the bird" be accepted as well?

November 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

No. That's a mistranslation.

November 1, 2017

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

I got this question 4 times in a row... Is that normal?

December 30, 2017

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

When Duo gives you the same sebtence 4 times in a row.....

January 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JAM4718

This is the third time in a row that this sentence has been repeated in this lesson even though I got it right first time!

January 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JH959

I was just about to write "he caught up with the bird" and then I spotted the other hint, which was more realistic. Whomever they're talking about is probably fast, but I thought that's stretching it.

January 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nc.chelle

So what? You're not a fan of ostrich racing? :D

February 24, 2018

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

Warning: Don't uh, misspell 'alcanzo' as 'elcanzo'. It is apparently a much different word.

March 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nc.chelle

As far as I can tell, 'elcanzo' is not a word in Spanish. However, every correct answer has to be programmed in individually. DL has a lot of the more common typos entered (like teh for the), but they can't be expected the think of every single one.

March 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phil712772

Can someone tell me why this says ' the bird ' and the answer is al pájaro and not el pájaro.

June 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

al = a + el

The preposition a combined with the article el is always written/said as al. It's being used here to mark el pájaro as the (personified) direct object of the verb alcanzar.

June 24, 2018

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

How do you "reach a bird"?

January 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lana998284

The DL correct answer for "el alcanzo al parajo' was "he reached the bird." I said "he reached toward the bird" because, without context, it makes a lot more sense in English. Am I totally wrong? (Sorry no accent marks via my keyboard)

March 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TonyJones12

Another crap DL sentence

March 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andywal51

Silly sentences no learning gain not sure teachers set these questions

April 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andywal51

Why put 'down' in the choices for the sentence, encouragement to learn not make avoidable discouraging mistakes

April 4, 2017

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

"Al pajaro" is incorrect. The personal a should not be used in this case.

July 27, 2013

[deactivated user]

    I think it is right in this case. Like 'Vamos al restaraurante' - we are going TO THE restaraurant.

    So we contract 'a la' to 'al' .

    In this one, he reached the bird - the bird was his destination.

    That is how I reasoned it in my non native speaker brain.

    August 14, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel-in-BC

    For clarification: a + el = al but one cannot contract a + la

    August 14, 2013

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

    I agree with you, Mhsutton. I saw someone walking climbing a mountain trail littered with a bicycle, a dead bird, and a basket of gold. 'How far did you get?' asked his companion when he returned to base camp. 'I reached the bird.'

    September 14, 2014

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

    A pet bird would apparently justify use of the personal a.

    December 10, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

    artur- I f the bird belongs to someone and the bird escapes from his cage, his owner catches it, personal A is necessary here, because this bird is a pet and known by its owner.

    June 16, 2017

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

    The personal a for an animal or object is not necessary. It is used if they are personified. If one does not want to offend them by regarding them as human beings then a is left out.

    See also Daniel-in-BC this discussion 3 years ago

    June 16, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

    kira- For a pet, it's necessary, I have articles on personal A given by a profesor who is born in Spain and still lives there, and told me it's very important to make the distinction.

    June 16, 2017

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

    Not according to Real Academia Española. Explaining the use of a before a direct object they have two points with animals

    1.2 e) with or without a according to your affection «DOBLE USO: Los nombres comunes de animales se usan con preposición o sin ella en función de la mayor o menor proximidad afectiva existente entre el hablante y el animal:

    Suelta al caballo para que corra (mayor proximidad afectiva), frente a

    Suelta el caballo para que corra (menor proximidad afectiva).

    Por esta razón es muy frecuente el uso de la preposición con los nombres que designan animales domésticos, mientras que los nombres que designan animales no domésticos normalmente no admiten la preposición. »

    1.1. a) mandatory before the name of an animal

    «Uso forzoso: Ante nombres propios de persona o de animal: Vi a Pedro en el cine; Dejé a Pluto en la perrera

    ask for a in DPD http://lema.rae.es/dpd/?key=pronombres%20personales%20%C3%A1tonos

    June 17, 2017

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

    Would you be willing to explain use of the personal a & go over the use of al/el/la as well. I feel like I know it and then I question myself.

    July 29, 2013

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel-in-BC

    Al is like a contraction: a + el = al and I think I read in another comments section that it is not optional, as contractions are in English. (another one in Spanish is de + el = del)

    Edit: Btw, I'm pretty sure that the a + el = al is only for when el = "the" (without accent mark) and not "he" (él with the accent mark).

    As for the personal a, I have to admit when I'm corrected. I always thought it was only for people and when an animal or object is personified. Then, the following was submitted by AndreasWitnstein in another discussion on DL about the personal a; I hope it is OK that I re-post (once again):

    The usage of the ‘acusativo preposicional’ has been studied perhaps more than any other phenomenon in the Spanish language, and found to depend on a number of different factors which have evolved over the centuries and differentiated among Spanish dialects. As long as Spanish continues to evolve and differentiate, the details of the prepositional accusative will never be settled. Nevertheless, essentially all studies have concluded that the two primary factors are (1) animacy and (2) specificity. Animacy is a hierarchical concept, and in borderline cases a slight statistical tendency has been found for the direct object to marked more often for animals of higher rank — but in these borderline cases, even unquestionably inanimate nouns are sometimes marked. [See, for example, “El avance diacrónico de la marcación prepositiva en objetos directos inanimados” by Concepción Company, in ‘Presente y futuro de la lingüistica en España’ vol. II (2002), edited by Alberto Bernabé et al., pp 146..154.]

    July 29, 2013

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

    Wow that's an intellectual/philosophical discussion but I get the idea. I find there are inconsistencies which is ok with me but first I need to know the rules and then I will learn which ones I can break.

    To me al pájaro seems right. Its a direct object so 'el' is needed and the personal 'a' is ok if we are talking about a pet. Seems that's assumed in this sentence. 'al' is logical. But I will always favor native speakers opinions. Thanks for the repost.

    July 29, 2013

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

    Native speakers say, it should be Él alcanzó EL pajaro. And al pajaro would mean He reached the bird with a stone / a gunshot.

    May 29, 2014

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

    So al pajaro is He got the bird (with a stone / gunshot)

    May 29, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

    serguyn- wrong, if the bird is a pet, you use Personal A, thats a grammar rule

    June 16, 2017
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