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  5. "No tengo espejo."

"No tengo espejo."

Translation:I have no mirror.

February 13, 2013



Why not "un espejo?"


You are not talking about a specific mirror, just the general idea of "mirror." If you had a specific mirror, it would be different: "Tengo un espejo viejo." But I never really know for sure!! I have asked teachers, in Mexico and Argentina, about "el queso" or "queso" in a sentence and received a shoulder shrug and a look of "whatever!" ;)


In a different discussion about "No tengo secadora" a native Spanish speaker explained that you don't use "una" there because it would imply that you have more than one dryer - two or three maybe. So now I think of this kind of negative-having sentence as "I have no (not even one) sofa/dryer/mirror or whatever" Hope that helps.


That does help a lot. It's nice to know the reason behind it rather than "that's just native Spanish." I get English and Spanish are two very differently structured languages but it's nice to know the reason for something too. :)


"I have no mirror" sounds odd as a native English speaker. We'd say "I don't have any mirrors" or "I don't have a mirror." "I have no mirror" sounds like Data from Star Trek, who used very proper and sometimes archaic English.


I don't have a mirror was accepted for me, I agree it sounds much better than I have no mirror.


Right, "I have no mirror" and "I don't have any mirrors" are logically equivalent but they're probably just trying to get us into a certain mode of speaking being merely speaking in a semantically correct fashion.


Yeah, I got it wrong because I couldn't figure out how to use the limited words provided even though I knew what it meant.


the article shouldn't be used even though it's used in English, Frequently after forms of tener ("to have"), comprar ("to buy"), llevar ("to wear") and some other verbs when generically referring to things that people would normally have or use one at a time: No tengo coche. I don't have a car. Lleva camisa. He is wearing a shirt. Vamos a comprar casa. We're going to buy a house. ┬┐Tiene madre? Does he have a mother?


Sounds too much like "No tengun spejo"


Yeah, I listened slowly a couple of times and heard only "spejo"


There is no "un" in the sentence but when I wrote "I don't have mirror", it's incorrect. :(


Spanish does not use the indefinite article as mush as English does. So even though it is not present in the Spanish sentence, it often is required for the English translation to be grammatically correct.

Here are a couple useful links about this:




It has to make (syntactic/grammatical) sense in both languages. "I don't have mirror" doesn't make sense in English.


It sounded like 'spejo'. This computer voice is crazy sometimes.


even in the slow version.. clearly lacks the e


Totally agree


@deadinibiza - re: Who talks like that in english??

Hola. This is an issue with Duo that comes up a lot. As native English speakers we use our own empirical knowledge of phrases as a guide for what sounds right to our ears.

However, when we get great posts from users like itsmesd and EugeniaAlb, it becomes clear that Spanish can convey subtle nuances by using grammatical structures that are not commly used in the minds of many English speaks from various regions around the world.

It sounds very plausible that the expression "I don't have a (fill in the blank)" in English is used around the entire English speaking world, to mean "I don't have even a single (fill in the blank)."

However, it also sounds equally plausible that claiming, "I don't have (fill in the blank)" in Spanish leaves open the possibility that more than one of the item could be possessed by the speaker.

But the claim "I have NO (fill in the blank)" seems to close that ambiguity by making it clear, no number of them is possessed by the speaker.

Although the sentence structure "I have NO (whatever)" may sound incorrect to different English speakers from various regions, it is grammatically correct and preserves more of the nuance of the root sentence.

In some cases it's important to understand the culture, situation and semantics behind the root language sentence and take that into account when crafting a translation in a target language that may not possess the same drivers.

Even at the expense of creating a translation sentence that you would commonly say yourself.


Excellent response - thanks!


Who talks like that in english?? I have no mirror, seriously?....


What about "Yes, we have no bananas?" :)


Many, actually. Non indigenous english speakers such as myself would say something like that sometimes.


And so would plenty of native speakers like me.


Native to where? UK native English speaker here and if someone spoke to me in the way mentioned above, I'd think they weren't native or just a bit odd.


Native to NZ. I may well be a bit odd though.


Haha, fair enough!


Why is this wrong "I do not have mirror" ?


In English, you need the article if it's a singular countable noun. So, "I do not have a mirror.", or "I do not have the mirror." when the definite article is appropriate, but "I do not have air." (uncountable) and "I do not have mirrors" (plural) or "I do not have the mirrors" (plural, definite).


a comeback to the classic "have u looked in the mirror lately" joke.lol


I thought that un was indefinite... Hmm... okay I get it though, but I sometimes get confused with how they want things translated back into english.


"Un" is in indefinite. I don't understand your comment.


Are we supposed to type these in Spanish or English, I always type in Spanish, am I doing it wrong?


Just follow the instructions. Sometimes it'll ask you to type what you hear in Spanish, sometimes translate from Spanish to English, sometimes English to Spanish.


Sounds like Abnegation from Divergent lol


Interesting I have used "have no" I believe for "I have no mirror in my house" and it was marked wrong. Had to be I do not have... Weird.


"I have no mirror" was accepted


Why not "I haven't mirror"?


In English it needs an indefinite article, so "I haven't a mirror" would work, although it would sound a little odd. "I haven't got a mirror" would be more common.


Although I believe "I have not got a mirror" is improper grammar. "I haven't got a mirror" translates out as "I have not got a mirror," as "haven't" is the contraction of "have not." Once we extend it to the full words we can see how it sounds wrong. Commonly used? Most definitely, (even by me! :) ) but proper? Not really. Just a note. :)


About to reply in the middle of the note, "But it is still more common. ;)" Then I read the rest of your note. :P


Mmmh should it be really counted as incorrect that i wrote 'have got' instead of 'have'? Dont think so!


Not sure what you mean Caroflips but "I have got no mirror" doesn't sound right to me, maybe a regional thing (I am English)?


That's correct, "I have got no mirror" sounds like you're speaking cowboy or something like that. ;) ~cherry


It's also wrong. :P forgot to mention that. :-)


No one says "i have no mirror". You would say "I do not have a mirror"


Or "I don't have a mirror." A lot more common. ;) ~cherry


This one is the first one I got rong


I wrote 'I don't have mirror' (I know that's grammatically incorrect but earlier on I'd gotten an error for using a/an/one where there was Spanish article) and my answer was flagged incorrect. Why, exactly?


No tengo espejo = I don't have 1 mirror.?????????????????? what the heck is 1??? .


What is wrong with "I don't have mirror"?

To me it sounds more appropriate than "I have no mirror"

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