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  5. "El coronel habla con los sol…

"El coronel habla con los soldados."

Translation:The colonel talks with the soldiers.

February 11, 2013



"Colonel" is a weird word. The Spanish word is closer to the English pronunciation than the English word is.


In English it is correctly pronounced like a kernal of corn, right?


Correct. You can click the speaker next to the word at the following link to hear it:



Severus, what are you doing learning Spanish?


Isn't that the language all the spells are in? Damn.


What are you doing learning Spanish, professor?


English gets it from two French variants: coronelle (similar to Spanish) and colonel (similar to Italian colonello). Colonel is the older variant, and the spelling for that was retained, but the alternate pronunciation is used.


I didn’t know that


still, it's a weird spelling


Why not "The colonel is speaking with the soldiers" ?


Technically, you could translate this sentence to what you have posted, but I have found that duolingo typically wants the present indicative form (for now, but I'm sure this will change in later lessons).

That said, in English, there is a distinct difference between the present indicative "speaks" and the present progressive "is speaking". In Spanish, it is perfectly acceptable to use the present indicative (El coronel habla con los soldados) for both meanings, but in English it is not.

"The colonel speaks with the soldiers" implies the colonel speaks with the soldiers from time to time. "The colonel is speaking with the soldiers" means the colonel is with the soldiers at this very moment and is in the process of speaking to them right now. They have very clear and distinct meanings in English and the former may not be used to indicate the latter, unlike in Spanish.

Another small point is that most English speakers tend to prefer "speaks to" over "speaks with". It is definitely not wrong to say he speaks with the soldiers, but it is just more common to hear he speaks to the soldiers.

To summarize the above:

"El coronel habla con los soldados" can translate to either "The colonel speaks with/to the soldiers", or "The colonel is speaking with/to the soldiers". However, "El coronel está hablando con los soldados" only translates to the present progressive form of "The colonel is speaking with/to the soldiers".

For this reason, you will tend to hear native English speakers that are learning Spanish prefer "El coronel está hablando con los soldados" to describe the current action versus "El coronel habla con los soldados" which is more natural to native Spanish speakers.


Brilliant, thank you


I agree that "speaks with" and "speaks to" are very close in meaning, and are just about interchangeable, but I think that "speaks with" slightly implies a conversation, but "speaks to" slightly implies a single direction of communication, such as a speech or giving a command or simply stating something.

When you speak with someone, you and the other person take turns speaking to each other.


One more possibility: El coronel habla con los soldados ......"The colonel DOES SPEAK to the soldiers"


That is a strange sentence in English, unless it is a change, unexpected or somebody was arguing that the colonel does not speak to them. Otherwise, 'does' is superfluous and sounds strange.

But at any rate, a more clear translation of your suggested sentence would be the equally affirmative “El coronel sí habla con los soldados."


It is wrong when you put "speaks". It only accepts "talks".


The actual issue in DL is that it does not accept "speaks" in place of "talks" which it logically should due to the synonymic nature of the words and due to the context of a colonel's relationship to his soldiers. Talking and speaking are nearly the same but when an authority figure is engaging with lower ranking people he is likely to speak rather than talk regardless if it is "to" or "with" them.


You are correct. In previous lessons, both "speaks" and "is speaking" are accepted translations for habla. Flagged 12March2015.


1) Duo did accept from me "speaks with the soldiers."

2) Duo has accepted, many times from me, the "present continuous/progressive as a translation for the Spanish present indicative. (i.e., is speaking with/to...) This includes several answers in this lesson.

Using the present continuous/ progressive ("is speaking") is entirely appropriate. See these references.




I wonder , does the Spanish speak that so fast, as I hear in the question.


it just sounds fast. I bet that if your reading this right now they would think that you were reading really really fast.


"you're" stands for you are and is different from your, the possessive, since we are on a language site with some learning English at the same time as Spanish..


It wouldn't be unusual


Is colonel a verb?


Colonel is a noun. Google Dictionary: "an army officer of high rank, in particular (in the US Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps) an officer above a lieutenant colonel and below a brigadier general."


If you want a spanish speaker to slow down when they talk say, Mas dispacio, por favor


I am a native English speaker, but even with spell-check...I could not figure out how to spell "colonel".


A recent sentence of mine was "the frying pan is ours" i went to the comments section, and many people were making a war reference, where one side had rifles and the other had frying pans. the frying pan side won, and their war cry was "THE FRYING PAN IS OURS!". this is what the colonel is telling the soldiers.


Sorry for going of topic but I can't help but notice that you play terraria(it's my favorite game ever)


Yeah, I am pretty good at it.


He's probably giving them a confidence boost before going out.


it said it was wrong because of spelling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Shouldnt ir be "to the solder


'con' = with. Los soldados is plural, the soldiers. So it should be "with the soldiers".


In UK English we usually say 'to speak to' someone. I think in American it is usually speak 'with'.


At least in my understanding of American English, you can speak to someone, which is more like giving a direction, command, order; or you can speak with someone, which is more of a conversation, dialog, etc.


does anybody think that if you put talk and not talks it should be correct because its the same thing


Why isn't troops acceptable here?


Hey - I spelled colonel right the second time. One again, learning more about my native language by learning another one. :-)


Hey Everyone,Can this sentence be used with the personal 'a'? El coronel habla con a los soldados.


With my limited knowledge of the Spanish language, I'm gonna try to answer your question haha. 'A' means 'to', so the sentence would translate to "The colonel speaks with to the soldiers." Like I said though, I have a limited knowledge of Spanish, so I could be wrong. But I think the answer to your question is no.


Soeks should be correct It means the same as talks


Lol im soo dum i wrote the angent talks to the solders lol lamo :P


why is general not accepted for coronel?


Because those are two completely different ranks.


If I say 'speaks' instead of 'talks' it says it is wrong; it is not wrong in English. Annoying!


I agree, however talk and speak do have slightly different connotations in this context. "Speaks to the soldiers" implies, not strongly, that the colonel is up on the reviewing stand giving a speech. "Talks to the soldiers," implies something closer to the colonel wondering around the night before the battle patting people on the shoulder and saying things like. "You'll do fine, Sam. Have enough ammo Pedro?" What I don't have any idea about is whether that subtle difference in implied meaning is reflected in the Spanish phrase.


I think more natural english would be to say "The colonel speaks with the soldiers" rather than talks.


He should yell at those trench rats


It starts with colon.


Shouldn't it be "speak with" or "talks to"? "talks with just sounds weird.


I thought hablar means speak as well as talk


Why won't it accept the coronal speaks with the soldiers?


"Speaks" should be accepted over "talks" rather than being incorrect. Seriously, wtf?

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