1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Time cannot be stopped."

"Time cannot be stopped."

Translation:El tiempo no puede ser detenido.

February 18, 2013



no se puede parar el tiempo is what I answered. they wanted me to use detenido in a sentence though


It should be correct now. "No se puede parar el tiempo" is the same as "El tiempo no se puede parar", and the latter is now accepted.


It didn't accept "No se puede parar el tiempo" for me


Me neither...this really should be fixed.


Morian1. Your comment was too deeply imbeded so I could not reply directly, but since this is the same stream I am hoping you will get this. The use of the reflexive form is a more common form of the passive voice in Spanish. You translate it using passive voice into English. Although some sentences using this passive construction might be translated into other languages using the equivalent of one (on in French or Man in German) the English use of one has connotations and emphasis which these other languages do not have. In English we tend to use an amorphous "you" for general statements because one is generally used to indicate what is "proper" But as I say this reflexive use is passive voice as in the English translation


Hi lynettemcw, Thank you for the reply. Are you saying that the reflexive form in Spanish is most commonly and more accurately translated into English speakers' use of an amorphous "you" when making general statements, rather than a "proper" "one?" Just want to be sure I understand completely. If so, is the reflexive form ever translated to "one?" and are there any helpful hints as to when it would be translated as such.

Just on a side note, I habitually use "one" in writing and speech because of an English teacher that would go nuts when we (her students) would use "you" in our essays haha.


Morhion1. I cannot respond to your question directly as it is apparently too deeply imbeded and has no reply button. I know that there is a way to "comment on your activity", but either it n isn't available on phones or I haven't figured it out. At any way, I hope you get this.

There are many expressions in Spanish that would be translated using one (or your English teacher's hated you or they), but most tend to be questions like "Como se dice?" I have included a link for you about this. http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/87. I should mention that Spanish does have a passive voice more similar to ours (using 3rd person of Ser + past participle), but it is used much less than the se form.

As for "one", while I tend to be somewhat of a grammar conservative myself (about the only conservative thing about me), I think this battle is already lost. I doubt that most Americans form a sentence using "one" once a month, unless they are a diplomat who is being carefully tactful or maybe a lawyer (??). This is quite different from Mann in German or on in French. You will notice in that link they sort of shied away from one. I do remember in the 60s when I was in high school there was a store in Coolidge Corner near where I lived with a sign in the window "Ici on parl français" The French I had taken since 6th Grade told me that that meant "Here one speaks French" Now I spoke French but not comfortably, and I never went into that store because I interpreted it to mean that one must speak French. Now I confess it was a lot more than a better language education that I needed since I didn't understand that in Brookline (outiside of Boston) with no significant French speaking population a store would not stay in business that way. But the point is my native English speaking brain interpreted that as a requirement. I think that one may eventually share the fate of thou, so I reserve my grammar rages for things I consider still salvageable like using I am me correctly and not EVER saying "And yourself".


Replying to this earlier comment because now yours is too deeply embedded as well. Thank you so much for the link, that site is incredibly helpful and cleared up a lot for me. I'll be using it alongside Duolingo from now on.

That was a pretty silly thing to think about the corner store but I think we all thought a few quirky things when we were younger.

I wish you luck on your grammar scavenging crusades lol!


Just a polite note to lynettemcw that in German it's 'man' that is used for English 'one' and not 'mann' (properly 'Mann'), which is English 'man'.


to Morhlon1

I typically use "one" also -- especially in writing. In informal speech, I more often use "you." In writing, I find that when people use "you", especially in this forum, it does not refer to "me."

Using "you" leads to an overgeneralization which doesn't ring true.

My inclination is to respond, "No, I don't do that."

This is why "one' is much better.

By the way, as information for others, in Spanish, use "se" for the general "one".

It seems to me, (but I am no expert in Spanish) that the Spanish does tend to use "se" in situations where the correct (formal) English is "one."


still not fixed


Not a native speaker but wouldn't "no se puede parar el tiempo" translate more to something like "One cannot stop time?" which is slightly different from "Time cannot be stopped." I'm not well versed in grammar nor linguistics but it seems that in the former the subject is "One" while the subject in the latter is "time." If it can't be said that the subject has changed, I think it is at least clear that emphasis has.

In the sentence "One cannot stop time" the emphasis is on one's lack of ability to stop time.

Whereas in the sentence "Time cannot be stopped" the emphasis lies in "Time" possessing a quality of unstoppable....ness lol.

I fear that the way Duolingo is set up is a double edged sword; When one is correct it feels great and provides motivation but when one is incorrect it is equally as frustrating and even more so when it is a seemingly small error and then we feel the need to be validated. I fear that sometimes we get so hung upon wanting to be correct that we forget that this is all a learning experience and errors and misunderstandings are a path to knowledge.

Going to stop here because I feel like I am preaching and this message is a lot longer than I initially intended.(Thank you if you are still reading) I just want to say that I am not defending Duolingo because there often are awkward translations and tons of errors but if we ever want to achieve eloquence in a language we have to remember that there are these little nuances that change how words are received and I thought this was a beautiful example of how a simple change impacts meaning and if we hound Duolingo to make changes that simply aren't necessary, we are losing the meaning in the other language. The takeaway is to simply not to forget that Spanish or any language for that matter does not exist to be translated into one's native tongue but is a living existence of it's own with it's own nuances.


Thank you, Ampus_Questor, you are correct. I make quite a few errors typing these comments with my Thumbs and I guess I was missing my German editing hat. But I appreciate being corrected. As I hate to transmit faulty information, I am correcting my error above.


Isnt that "one cannot stop time" its a tad different but says the same thing.


Zach - I am not sure if you are responding to a particular comment here. Your comment is indented, but less so than the previous comment. But in Spanish you can't differentiate between the impersonal se and the se passive in a sentence like this. But since it is generally not thought that a person can stop time anyway, the passive voice is the more logical choice here.


El tiempo no se puede parar -- was accepted.


As it should be. There are two passive voices in Spanish. But your answer uses the se passive which is more common. Both should be learned of course.


Why "ser" detenido when estar is used in, for example, "estas detenido"?


perhaps because of the implication of permanance


Why does this require a definite article?


My grammar book tells me that "the definite article is used when the noun represents an abstraction: life is short; time is money..."


All abstract nouns require a definite article in Spanish. It is difficult in English because if you add the definite article you are referencing one specific instance of the noun. A good example of this, if you are familiar with it, is one of the more well-known verses from I Corinthians. "Tres virtudes hay que ahora permanecen; la fe, la esperanza, y el amor. Pero la más excelente de ellos es el amor" The NIV version is "And now these three remain, faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.


I also didn't answer with detenido and got it wrong. I forgot what section I was in XP But I feel like there's more than one way to translate this so.... my answer technically is right even if it's not what they were looking for


If you are 100% percent sure, tick the 'My answer should be accepted' box.


Can I use: "El tiempo no se puede ser detenido"?


I used: "El tiempo no se puede detener". It was accepted.


Oct 18, 2015 - Hm. How odd. I put "No se puede detener el tiempo." and it was rejected. I'm going to report it.


Isn't that more like "time cannot stop itself"?


Looked into this and learned something myself.

puede+ser vs puede ser (looks the same doesn't it)

So..puede(verb)+ser(verb) vs puede ser(adverb)

Puede ser is synonymous with 'quiza' according to translation, but 'quiza' is not reciprocal when that word is defined.



Can someone please explain why detener is a better verb to use in this sentence than parar? They both mean the same. No se puede parar el tiempo is not accepted as of 10/22/14.


I looked into this. Seems detener is the best choice. It reflects more on the stopping IMO.


Parar=stop/stay/end up/stand


is "No se puede detener el tiempo" okay?


How about: No puede dejar del tiempo


no se puede parar el tiempo is still not accepter


Is "no lo puede ser detenido el tiempo" correct? if so, do both mean the same and which one is more common?

Thanks in advace


No se puede detener el tiempo not accepted 9/16/2015


Why "Tiempo no puede detenerse" is not correct?


With an intangible, the article is necessary. Thus, because "time" is intangible, the sentence must read "El tiempo no se puede detener."

Also, while the pronoun "se" can precede the verb "puede" or be affixed to the end of the infinitive "detener," these phrasal verbs have slightly different meanings. When the "se" comes before the verb, then it has more of a "One cannot stop time" meaning.

However, if "se" is combined with the infinitive at the end of the verb concatenation, then it has more of a "Spanish passive voice" meaning, as in "Time cannot be stopped."

Thus, depending on the context in which you want to say this, you place the reflexive pronoun before the verb to make it an "impersonal" statement for (you are speaking for an imaginary person who you don't know), OR you affix the pronoun to the infinitive in order to make the verb "detener" perform as an adjective, answering the question "Be like what?" with "Be like stopped.


I am probably missing something, but I don't see why so many want "se puede parar". I don't see why this would take a reflexive verb - time isn't being asked to stop itself. and pararse means "to stand" anyway.


As the comments above indicated, "se suede" can be translated as the "English impersonal one."


"El tiempo no puede ser parado" was accepted, but I don't know whether it should have been.


"El tiempo no se puede dejar" should be accepted as well, but isn't


I typed the translation without "El" and got it wrong. D:


Why does "el" need to be infront of a sentence that starts with the subjects. If i want to say "Boys eat a lot" in Spanish i have to say "Los niños comen mucho"? Why can't i say "Niños comen mucho"? Thanks!


It is not only when something is the subject, but that is certainly a notable instance. In English, we use the definite article to talk about a specific item or subset of the whole. In Spanish, they also use it when they are talking about the whole set. If you say Boys eat a lot, you are making a generalization which at least purports to be about "all" boys - the whole set. Obviously, many times when you makes these types of statements you are aware of exceptions, but you also know that the response the argumentative person would have to you would be, "Not ALL boys eat a lot". As I said, these generalizations are often made as the subjects of sentences, but not always. In a sentence like "You have to have faith", most people would say Necesitas tener la fe. That is because this sentence is comparable to Faith is necessary, which would always use the la. If someone doesn't use the la in my first sentence, it is basically like saying you have to have "some" faith.


what example of the usage of participles is this? is it the passive or as a predicative adjective?


This is the Spanish formal passive voice. It is constructed similarly to the English passive voice. It uses ser and the past participle. The somewhat more common but less formal passive voice in Spanish is the se passive. In that Form, Spanish essentially drops the form of the verb to be and essentially says that the verb performs itself. So instead of El tiempo no puede ser detenido, it becomes No se puede detener el tiempo (Or El tiempo no se puede detener, although this syntax is less common)


El tiempo vs tiempo? I thought el tiempo was weather vs tiempo for time but after this question it accepted el tiempo but not tiempo.


Just to be clear, there is no noun in Spanish that isn't used with the definite article at least sometimes, and Spanish requires the definite article more frequently than English. El tiempo means both the time and the weather, and the context is generally sufficient to know which is being referred to. What is somewhat more difficult is knowing which word to use for time among tiempo, hora, momento, vez, época, etc. But, although we often use time where a Spanish speaker would use one of the others, it's not like we don't see a difference among those options for the most part.



'El tiempo no puede ser detenindo' not accepted, correct answer: 'E tiempo no puede ser detenido', is 'E' a thing or just a typo?


It's a typo. I am hoping it's just one of Duo's random, one-time flukes. If not, it could be that someone accidentally deleted the "l" when making some edit to the database for this question. It doesn't happen often, but I that sort of thing lasts a long time, generally. These database files are incredibly hard to proofread, and if an error creeps in that wasn't there before, it often takes staff a long time to catch it.

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