My answer was, he caught the bird, because I thought that alcanzar also means : to catch. Am I right?
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.
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.
Oh my goodness! Duolingo doesn't have a "French - Spanish" course?! Ooooh that is sad. I am sorry, to the both of you :(
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
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.
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!
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
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?
mitain56: Yes, "catch" is one of the definitions of "alcanzar" in the GRAN DICCIONARIO OXFORD.
Catch in the sense of "He'll never catch us." which could mean "He'll never reach us."
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?
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.
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
"He caught up TO the bird" should be correct to, right? I would say that rather than "with" the bird.
"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.
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.
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?
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?
"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. :)
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.
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.
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.'
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.
to reach for the bird
To resort to the act of showing someone the middle finger, oftentimes after other measures have failed.
my answer was : "he reached TO the bird" . Is it incorrect english ? or should my answer be accepted ?
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.
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?
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)
I also wrote, 'He caught the bird.' and it was marked incorrect. Google Translate also translates it as He caught the bird. Confused.
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."
Why al instead of el? Or would "reaching" out to pet the bird be a different verb?
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
Why the personal "a"? My translation, "He reached at the bird" was considered wrong.
It's just another stupid duolingo sentence that nobody would ever say. Go on to the next sentence.
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.
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)
He did not stand still and reach just his arm. He moved towards it and reached the bird or caught up to it.
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.
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.
I might have written what Tryin2 wrote because all of that is true for me.
In English, "reach to" isn't said (or is very seldom said). More often said is "reach for" or "reach towards."
What about "He reached to the bird"? When I clicked on "al" it translated as "to the"
"reached to" isn't said in English. In English you would say "reached for." Or maybe "reached towards."
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.
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.
For microphone questions I have figured out that all sounds will be accepted
Yes! Alcanzar also means to catch, which is a better word for this sentence if you ask me! :)
Why wouls i ever need to say 'he reached the bird' just an awkward sentence
I answered He reached to the bird as that was what the translation said
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.
"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?
(Spam) Doves and or pigeons? Rats of the sky? Now I'm too analytic... asking about the ground numbers... pH
My correct English translation was "He reached the bird."
This sounds awkward to me. "He reached for the bird"?
More commonly it would be "reached for the bird" or "reached towards the bird."
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?
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!
Warning: Don't uh, misspell 'alcanzo' as 'elcanzo'. It is apparently a much different word.
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.
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.
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)
Why put 'down' in the choices for the sentence, encouragement to learn not make avoidable discouraging mistakes
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.
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.'
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.]
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.
Native speakers say, it should be Él alcanzó EL pajaro. And al pajaro would mean He reached the bird with a stone / a gunshot.