Report it? This seems unnatural and I suspect it may be that they just put the literal translations for the word in and didn't do a sanity check.
I have noticed that over the past few sections of the Spanish course, the stuff has gotten very sloppy...I wish there were a way I could like, prod them to improve.
I love that DuoLingo is free but I'd be willing to chip in a donation if they could use it to hire people to improve the quality of these courses. I've seen numerous sloppy things like this and they are annoying.
This should work for all three of the following. This is going to work for YOU-HIM-HER. All 3 are perfectly valid. We native English speakers would not however use the verb serve in this case. Yes, there are similar situations where serve would serve well (see, I just gave one) but not here. It would sound very awkward in English, even though it would be understandable.
That's what I'm trying to figure out, too, mariebarke. I thought the direct object takes the action of the verb -- you ask the question, "what?" and it can be a person or an object. And to have an indirect object, you have to have a direct object in the sentence or an implied one. I don't see that with this sentence. Can someone help with this?
Hey, Susan. One of my grammar books has a section entitled Lexical Variations / Terms and Expressions. Therein it says that “sevirle” is used to mean to serve or to help (a person); “Servirlo, servirla, servir algo” to mean to serve (something). Seems like it’s one of those “that’s just the way it is” things peculiar to “servir”.
Hey it's been two years so you may have the answer to this by now but the distinction is actually quite clear and not an exception. the direct object pronoun indicates WHAT it is that is useful, while the indirect object pronoun indicates TO WHOM it is useful . The same for decir as well.
Yo LO digo = I say it (answers the question WHAT, what do I say, I say it)
Yo LE digo = I tell him/her (answers the question TO WHOM, to whom do i say, I say to him/her and in this case it is gender neutral)
she gives it: ella la da (or ella lo da depending on the gender of the object being talked about)
she gives him: ella le da
she gives it to him: ella se lo da (where you use say to avoid ella le lo da which sounds ridiculous)
hopefully this helps to clear it up a little
Gracias for your help, but I believe esto is the subject. I had thought the same as you. Maybe servir is a special case? I believe, if I remember right, that certain verbs always take the indirect object instead of the direct object, but I'm unclear about that. I hope someone will help us!
"Esto va a funcionar." I think. It is not working or It won't work is "No funciona."
What you needed was "This is going to work for him." or "This is going to be useful to him." or "This is going to serve him." but I don't know if that last one is accepted by Duolingo. You have to translate the "le" which is the indirect object for "him", "her", "it" or "you". http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-spanish/work http://spanish.about.com/od/pronouns/a/indirect_object.htm
Then the sentence would have been "Le lo va a servir." Esto is the subject. It is never used to replace a specific noun. The direct object pronoun "lo" would be needed without a noun. Perhaps, you could say "Le va a servir éste." We would need a Spanish expert to step in here please.
Start here for more information: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/iopro1.htm
"The indirect object answers the question "To whom?" or "For whom?" the action of the verb is performed."
So, to or for whom will "this" serve? It will serve him.
If the sentence were "He would be useful" - he would be the direct object because he is the object being acted upon by the verb.
Hello, JuevesHuevos, Doesn't there have to be a direct object (actual or implied) in the sentence for there to be an indirect object? What is the direct object in this sentence? If the indirect object answers "to whom?" or "for whom?" but a direct object answers "what?" it seems like the direct object would also answer "what?" in the above sentence. I'm so confused! Thanks for any help!
Susanna E, This may be pertinent to all the discussion about d/o pronouns, and the discussion is confusing enough that I am trying to get a sense of the reasoning behind the correct answer. Perhaps confusion comes from the fact that, in English, the verbs "to be" or "to go" do not take a direct object. These future tense exercises that start with the verb combination "is going to be" need a subject; in this case, it is "this." These verbs have prepositional phrases or adverbs following them, telling where or when." For example, "I go fast," or "I am sleepy," or "You will go to the gym (prep. phrase used adverbially to say WHERE), every day* (describes WHEN, so also used adverbially).
Maybe a linguist can explain better or correct my premise, but as I said, I'm trying to propose a grammatical reason to take the "direct-object pronoun" premise out of this future-verb construct. Once you get past the future-tense, saying "This is going to" and then get to the next verb, "serve," it CAN take an object pronoun, "him/her/it/you pl." And that object pronoun should be in front of the verb, or attached to the back of it, I think. My memory is not good enough to say if "serve" is one of those "reflexive" verbs in Spanish, that would explain the rest of the sentence. I think someone pointed out that you need a d/o pronoun before you could have an indirect object pronoun, so that part of the discussion would only relate to the second verb, which is not conjugated. Can you advanced forum-folks explain if you see errors in my thinking on this sentence? Thank you for your patience in following my effort to reason this through; I get so far down the screen on my phone app, I can't see or remember the sentence!
I'm not sure I completely follow your argument. I can say that the phrasal future won't change the nature of the verb to the point that it will or will not have a direct object. "I'm going to throw the ball to John" has a direct object. Throw is still a transitive verb.
As we all know, if the verb is not transitive, then there's no direct object. I think there may be confusion about the verb "servir," which can be transitive and intransitive. Here it is intransitive. It's saying that this is "useful to" (i.e., serves a purpose for) some he/she/it. In this particular sentence, this is not an agent or tool serving something. A change in context, however, will change that. "This (robot waiter) is going to serve him (caviar)." Apparently, Duo does not have such contexts in mind here.
Megan, sorry if this is an old thread, but I cannot tell on my phone app. You usually provide useful links and good advice, but there is a problem here - it seems in your last sentence, "he" is the SUBJECT. He can serve it, or it can serve him, but changing the verb from something that will SERVE someone, to saying something WILL BE useful, makes "useful" no longer even a verb! It would then be either an adjective describing "he," or an adverb describing what "will be." Compare it to: "The car will be fast." That will be useful."
Our sample sentence is more complex. It started out saying That (subject) is going to (future verb) serve (a + infinitive-form second verb) him/her/it/you pl.." That sure seems like a direct object, unless "serve" is reflexive ... ?
The DL initial answer I got translated LE as "him". When I entered the discussion the correct answer was "her'. So that supports LE meaning He-She-It. Then I looked up the word in my little dictionary where servir had multiple meanings listed along with the ocassion used. Servir is used to indicate "to be useful". It seems DL didn't make an error, and perhaps this lesson WILL be useful to him-her-it.
"This is going to work him." still comes up as the correct answer on their main page when we fill in our answer. I have reported it (August 4, 2017). Your comments started back 4 years ago. DL has not corrected the translation on their main page but seem to have corrected it on this discussion page where they have written "This is going to be useful to him."
What do you mean by "main page"? I believe "This is going to work him" stems from combining the simplest correct syntax with a verb that fits "servir" but not the syntax. Duo sometimes makes these mistakes when offering suggested corrections. I'm not sure if that is at all relevant, since I don't know what you mean by "main page."
"this is going to serve him" = "esto le va a servir"
"he is going to serve this to him" = "esto se lo va a servir"
If "this" is the object of the verb rather than the subject, you must insert an object pronoun (i.e., "lo") in order to clarify it's role. That's because "this" is in the standard subject position and is interpreted as such unless something in the sentence changes that.
As of 8 February 2020, 7 years later, the lazy self-congratulating owl still does not accept that "le" can mean "you". Years ago this part of the course was described by a correspondent on this question as sloppy, and it seems they really still can't be bothered to do anything about it. Shame on you, Duolingo. After so much hard work to get this far in the course you are really making me feel like giving up.