"What does she feel for her husband?"
Translation:¿Qué siente ella por su esposo?
I was wondering this too. I looked it up and found this explanation: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/porpara.htm
It seems like "por" has more use cases and tends to be used with less concrete feelings and moods. It's still not very clear to me, but it's probably just one of those things you have to get a feel for.
The logic is similar to why a book by an author is "un libro por un autor". The feeling is taken to be caused by the husband; it's not that the feeling is for the husband in the sense of being given to him or used to serve a purpose related to him.
djangosChef, below, puts the same idea another way.
When asking a question, the pronoun comes after the verb. (ie. qué siente él? -- what does he feel? Qué comes tù? -- what are you eating? )
I'm no natural spanish speaker, but this seems to be the norm. Should the sentence have been "she feels for her husband", ella would definitely come before siente.
Well...maybe Duo supports that kind of activity; In the Portuguese course, Duo is constantly using "tráfico" (which translates to English "trafficking", aka drugs and smuggling human beings) where the intent seems to be "tráfego"/"trânsito", i.e. traffic (cars, buses and its likes)... :-o
Basically, try using reflexive in English as a test; "What does she feel herself about her husband". It doesn't sound good neither on English nor in Spanish. On the other hand "She hurts herself" sound better (language-wise, that is...) and shows a typical use case for the reflexive pronoun. :-)
That's actually a really bad rule of thumb. There are MANY uses of the "reflexive" in Spanish that do not at all resemble either the grammar OR the semantics of a reflexive pronoun in English. ( See my long comment on this thread for an extensive discussion of this: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/789137 )
In any case, my understanding is:
Sentirse is generally used with an adjective, describing how the subject is feeling, internally: Ella se siente enferma. Yo me siento bien.
Sentir generally shows up with a noun in its complement, and describes the subject having a feeling toward or about that thing.
Thanks a lot for very good info! (I think my previous comment with your reply may stay there to clarify for future students...)
I notice that you use 'Él se sienta' as an example of finishing an action. This is actually a "true reflexive" as well, so it's a double reason then, I guess :-)
Well, I think with sentarse, it's more that even in English we actually have something similar to what Spanish does with the reflexive as completion of action. "He sits" vs "He seats himself" has that nature. There's also, from the song that NPR's All Things Considered uses to introduce their "mailbag" segment, "I'm gonna sit right down, and write myself a letter." Or "I ate myself a big ol' meal." In these informal contexts, you see the reflexive used to indicate something very similar to the abstract complete-ness of irse and comerse. ("Irse" could even be compared to, "to take oneself somewhere". She took herself home.)
I'm still a smidge confused about the nature of sentir vs sentirse -- the advice I've found in writing focuses on the noun vs adjective distinction (sentir tristeza / sentirse triste), but I feel like in my experience actually encountering them in real life, sentirse also does have some of the completed-action / event property. So if you want to express that you have just had a feeling of sadness come over you, using "me siento triste" is more appropriate, whereas if you wanted to say that you are generally feeling blue, a version without the reflexive might be appropriate.
I'll need more experience and more conversations with native speakers, I think, before I can nail down what's going on...
Thanks again! I'm not quite able to follow you all the way, and I should point out that English isn't my mother tongue either.
Regarding the sitting (down) example, you are suggesting two different verbs in English; "He sits" vs "He seats himself". The latter one really means to "sit down" (get seated) anyway, even without the reflexive personal pronoun. (In English, it's possible to use "sit" even for the act of getting seated by adding "down" at the end; "Let's sit down!" In my native language (Norwegian) this mixing of the verbs isn't possible -- to sit will always be the continued exercise, and it cannot take a reflexive pronoun. The equivalent of "to get seated", however, MUST take an objective, which may be a reflexive pronoun. If the object is not a reflexive, then the verb takes the meaning of English "put down".)
"I'm gonna sit right down, and write myself a letter." In this case, the reflexive pronoun acts as an indirect objective, i.e. to whom do I write a letter? I'm not sure whether you mean this indicates a finishing state...? To me, this is different -- it doesn't imply anything about completeness. Neither is it "true reflexive" if we can use that term, as the subject is not acting upon himself (as in e.g. 'he is seating himself').
"I ate myself a big ol' meal." Again, the reflexive pronoun takes the indirect objective role, pointing out the receiver of the action/direct objective. The actor (subjective) is still not acting on himself, hence not what I called "true reflexive". This form was more common in antique language, I guess. Today, we would still say "I make myself a good meal".
Regarding your final comment about noun vs. adjective, I haven't actually seen the pattern so clearly (that it's always connected to the word classes), but it's clearly present in other latin languages as well (I'm more experienced in Portuguese than in Spanish). In English, I'd say it's somewhat awkward to say "I feel sadness" -- that would (to me, anyway) express that I'm sensing something in the room more than that I have a feeling myself.
A good example of a reflexive verb that doesnt make sense in english is inundarse - to flood.
-- La sala de máquinas se inundó y los marineros abandonaron el barco. -- The engine room was flooded and the sailors abandoned the ship.
Rooms don't "flood themselves" in English. In my experience, you have to kind of memorize the reflexive verbs. It stinks but its true. Its hard to rationalize them from an English standpoint.
I don't understand the difference between sentirse, which I used, and sentir.