1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "¿Quiénes están nadando en el…

"¿Quiénes están nadando en el mar con él?"

Translation:Who is swimming in the sea with him?

February 3, 2013



Are we to infer that there is no difference in Spanish between "Quiénes están nadando" and "Quién está nadando"? If so why bother having singular and plural at all?


I am not sure what you are using as the basis for your inference, but your two example sentences are clearly different, one being "Who?" and one being "Who all?"


In Spanish there IS a difference, it is in English that there is not!


To be sure (I am not native English speaking): is that completely true? Can "Who are swimming..." also mean you are talking about a singular person? Or is it that "Who is swimming ..." can as well mean you are talking about one or more people, but "Who are swimming..." always relates to more people?


"Who is" is used when there is no direct object, such as when it is immediately followed by a verb (like swimming), "there", or "that", or a singular direct object that is not "you".

"Who are" is used when the direct object is "you" (even if not plural!) and for plural direct objects.

The following are the correct usages... "IS": - "Who is singing those songs?" "Who is there?" "Who is that?" "Who is he/she?" "Who is your mother?"

"ARE": - "Who are you?" "Who are they?" "Who are Ed and Jill?" "Who are your parents?" "Who are you talking to?"

("What" is used for the same cases as "Who".)


A correction. In "Who is swimming", the "who" is a subject, not an object.

In all the following cases, "who" is the subject:

Who is singing those songs?" "Who is there?" "Who is that?" "Who is he/she?" "Who is your mother?"

In this sentence, "Who called whom? ", "who" is the subject; and "whom" is the direct object (of the verb, "called".

Take this (somewhat) non-sense sentence:

"Who gave whom to whom?" "(Who gave (which slave) to (which owner)."

<pre>In this case, "who" is the subject",; "whom" is the direct object of the verb "gave"; and "whom is the object of the preposition "to". (And if the "to" were left out, then one "whom" would be an indirect object. ) </pre>

"Are" always goes with "you"., even if the "you" is singular. "Who are you?" "You are who?" But NOT "who is you" "You is who?"


I understand now. Thank you.


"¿Quiénes están nadando en el mar con él? " Who is swimming in the sea with him? --Indicates, that I know that at least two persons are swimming with him?

¿Quién está nadando en el mar con él?" Who is swimming in the sea with him? -- I know it´s one person with him?


Are you asking that as a question? Yes, it's mostly correct. If you know there are multiple people involved, you use quiénes. If you don't know how many there are, or if it's only one, you use quién.


Who are swimming was not accepted in April 2018. I knew it sounded weird, but I got caught up in the notion of word for word translation


If I needed to ask this question (either way, knowing or not knowing the amount of people swimming), I would just ask, "Who's swimming in the sea with him?" or "Who else is swimming in the sea with him?" The specifics of how many people there are will be clarified as soon as someone answers my question. FYI, I'm a native New Yorker.


My 'Who are' was not accepted


This is a bad example of teaching somebody a new language! Quienes están nadando is "Who are swiming". Even if you think that your translation is correct, what en example to Use!


To the contrary, it's a good example. If DL only chose examples that translated literally, then you would only learn how to speak like a foreigner.


Who are swimming in the sea with him ... is now rejected and 'who is' given as the correct answer ... another heartless (!) heart loss from DUO :-(


There seems to be a lot of debate here, just accept that ''quiénes están'' can be translated as who is or who are in English depending on the rest of the sentence. We would say ''who are those people, swimming with him ? Hey, they're not people they're sharks!'', but we wouldn't say ''Who are swimming with him?'' as some people here try to do. Just one of those things, unfortunately. English seems to require a plural point of reference in the sentence if ''are'' is going to be used, and there is no such reference in Duo's example. In real life, if we wanted to make it clear that there were two or more people around our target swimmer, we would add more words, as in my example above.


The program proposes this as a correct answer: "Who has swimming in the ocean with him?"


Yeah, report that!


Who are they? Who are swimming in the sea with him?


Who IS swimming in the sea with him... because there is no direct object. "Who are" is used only in cases when there is a direct object and it is either "you" or plural. (Example conversation: -"They are at the door." -"Who is?")


Ah, makes sense.


Again, in "who is at the door", the "who" is the subject. There is no direct object.

"is" is a "linking verb". (a "being" verb). It does not have a "direct object". A direct object has to follow transitive (and non-linking) verb. It (direct object) has to follow (be the object of) an "action" (doing) verb. "Is" is not a "doing"; it simply "is"

Linking verbs (is, are, was, were) do not have objects.

See this website on "subject" of sentences: http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/subjects.htm. It's a great website http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/verbs.htm

See this site on "objects" of sentences: http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/objects.htm


Reading the comments I note that all are, without exception, about English grammar rather than Spanish!! And the dispute on English grammar seems to be rather intricate without a clear conclusion.

As I am trying to learn Spanish and the correct English translation is disputable at best, "who are" is a better translation than "who is" because it is closer to the Spanish!


I have to disagree on both counts. Ryagon's comment (currently directly above yours) is probably the best and most concise explanation:

"Who", as a question word, is generally regarded as singular in English, unless it's a copula sentence of the form "Who is/are [noun]?", like "Who are these people?" So it's always "Who is swimming?"

Earlier in the comments Ryagon has also mentioned the following, specifically regarding the Spanish:

If you know there are multiple people involved, you use quiénes. If you don't know how many there are, or if it's only one, you use quién.

These two comments highlight the difference between English and Spanish in this matter, and why "who are" as a literal translation is not better than "who is" as a correct translation.


I used the plural form because of quiénes, and not quién, and got dinged for it. Does DL think the rules don't apply to them. I sometimes get so p.o.ed that I feel like quitting this app, but sanity pervails and all is well. I find Spanish hard enough without these roadblocks cropping up. Sorry for venting, gang, but there it is.


"The plural form" of what? The only thing that the plurality of quién has an influence on in this sentence is the conjugated verb, so either está or están. Everything else stays the same.


Phil712772 probably means that he used are (plural) and not is (singular), like many others.


Por que no " whom are swimming in the sea with him" ??


"Whom" solo se usa para objetos, pero en esta frase buscamos un sujeto. Además, "who", como palabra interrogativa, solo hay en singular en el inglés.


Surely 'Quienes están nadando´means who are´not ´who is´?


"Quienes están" means "who are", BUT it is poor grammar in English to say "Who are swimming?"

  • 1261

I thank all the english speaking people for their clear explanations. In the dutch language we use in this case the plural form. Now I understand it, thanks to you, folks. And to the others: we are all learning, accept your mistakes and learn from the comments and explications.


fwiw, I think both 'Who is' and 'Who are' both work in English. However, as the lesson is called "gerund" and I got that right it's time to to move on!


Who are swimming in the sea with him should be correct because the plural of estar has been used


That's because Spanish has a plural form of quién, being quiénes, but the English translation "who" only has a singular form. "Who are [doing something]?" is ungrammatical.


Someone please tell me what is wrong with the translation "Who all are swimming in the sea with him?"


So, the interrogative subject pronouns "who" and "what" are generally singular in English. It's always "Who is swimming?" or "What is going on?", no matter how many people or objects you're talking about.

The addition of "all" complicates this a bit. This forum discussion suggests that "who all" is still considered singular in American English, but it's frequently plural in Indian English. For most people, "Who all are swimming?" will sound wrong, but it's still a valid sentence in some dialects.

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.