The translation given here, "Whom are you seeing?" is not a natural expression in English. If we were to say "Who are you seeing?" it would mean "Who are you going out with?" or, "Who are you dating?" Can viendo be used in this sense? We would never use 'whom' in this way. Whom is usually preceded by 'to', or 'in', e.g. "in whom can I trust", or "to whom shall I give this". Even so, it is hardly ever used.
I might translate this sentence as: Whom (who) do you see? rather than the progressive "are you seeing". The translation given- whom are you seeing?- is grammatically correct, since whom, and not who, is used whenever the person in question is the direct object (not just the object of a preposition as in "to whom, by whom, etc). It does sound strange to my American English brain, because we tend to only use who in this instance. In any case, if it were talking about dating someone, the verb would be salir, not ver (Con quién estás saliendo?).
I agree, especially with the "A..." at the beginning of the sentence, I think Who are you looking at? is a more natural translation in the absence of the context. Although Who are you seeing? in the sense 'Who are you going out with? could also be correct depending, again, on the context.
Well, while I agree that "who are you seeing" can mean "who are you going out with", I think that it is something that only works in English. I don't think "¿A quién estás viendo?" would be used in the context of dating someone, the verb "salir" can sometimes be used in the context of dating. "ver" is usually used to mean literally having someone in your view, at least, that's my understanding.
Really? Can you show me proof of that? I'm not saying you're wrong, I just couldn't find someone who used "ver" in that context nor could I find an article/translation that said "ver" could be used in that context, but just because I couldn't find it doesn't mean it's not true. I just want to see it for myself.
I am a native spanish speaker, and how I said "ver" is used for dating someone, too
"Es inevitable sentirse triste y deprimido. Si tu ex novia se esta viendo con otra persona" http://comorecuperaraminovia.org/como-recuperar-a-mi-novia-si-esta-saliendo-con-otro/
"para recuperar a un ex (si él está viendo a alguien más) es darles tiempo"
Isn't this translation what people called 'higher' or 'old/older' English?
Thank you so much for getting that preposition rule in there. It is clearly the easiest way to decide when to use "whom". And that is why I am so very annoyed with DL for offering us the whom but not putting it after the preposition. Yes, I am a grammar nerd with a fondness for prepositions.
I thought it meant "Who are you watching?" which is very different from your suggested meaning. Another thing about "whom".. I once taught reading to 12 years in a school. All of them when they came across "whom" didn't recognize it. It is on its way out of at least spoken English.
It's not unnatural, just archaic, or, at best, extremely formal. 'Whom' refers to direct objects when used without a preposition, so it's use here is correct.
In the modern vernacular, 'whom' is practically dead, however, though it still hangs around in zombie form with prepositions in some varieties of formal English.
You are right with your example of when not to use the sentence. But, suppose you are standing on an upper balcony with a friend, looking down on a crowd below, and your friend is staring intently into the middle of the crowd. Don't you think the sentence would then be appropriate?
We may think that many of Duo's example sentences sound strange. But, there is probably a context that can be found for all of them.
Glazewg: I'm assuming you were directing your question at me, in which case I reply that we are at cross purposes here. If I was sitting an English grammar exam, I would definitely use the expression 'At whom are you looking?' But if I was with a friend, in any situation, I would never say that, as it is never used in colloquial speech. I would say "Who are you looking at?"
Certain pronouns, like quién, require the personal "a". http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/personal_a.htm
Google Translate is crowd sourced definitions, meaning that the translations are user-defined through majority votes.
I consider it a well-intentioned but overly optimistic failed experiment. As you can tell from the discussions here on duo, the gestalt mind understands neither English or Spanish very well, yet has no shortage of opinions about what is correct. I expect the majority of Google Translate users is drawn from this same crowd of highly opinionated beginners, since anyone with any actual ability with a language quickly realizes how bad Google Translate is, especially at basic translations like this.
Great comment! Here's a lingot. Couldn't agree more with your comments on how well the mass population understands English (or Spanish), but is ready to unload their ill informed opinions. I'm certainly no grammarian, but I would really love it if (especially Americans, like me) would actually try their best to learn proper English, rather than just accepting what the crowd around them has to say!
And, to all those WHO think "WHOM" is on the way out and shouldn't be used, all I can say is "Tch, tch, tch!" as I wave my index finger "to and fro." :)
(And, just so folks reading this "get it", my last phrase, above, is an example of how older words or phrases are still properly in use today) :)
I was marked wrong for saying, "At whom are you looking?" I know it sounds awkward, but in English it is grammatically correct. I was taught all my life not to end a sentence with a preposition.
The more normal thing to say, grammatically correct or not, would be "Who are you looking at?"