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  5. "The girl heard a dog in your…

"The girl heard a dog in your house."

Translation:La niña oyó a un perro en tu casa.

February 21, 2013



why is the "a" necessary here?


personal "a", assuming the dog was a pet, perhaps


So if it's an animal that is likely to be a pet (e.g. a dog) and it is in a place where pets usually are (e.g. in a house) then you would assume it's a pet and use the "personal a?" Does this hold true for other animals that are usually pets...?

What if it was some stray dog that wandered into a house? Would you still use the "personal a?"


It is your call -- you are logical :) Stray dogs, vermin, animals at large, in the zoo, etc. do not earn the personal "a." Just people and critters that you "hold dear," like my Yellow Lab, Gus.


The dog in the photo has a name!

Whenever I see your patient and typically well-worded responses, I always imagine Gus sitting at a computer typing away.


Ok, that makes sense. Thanks for the clarification! One more question, would it come off as rude if I were to say to the owner of the dog, "Oí un perro en tu casa" if I didn't know it was his pet? Or would he assume that I just didn't realize it was his pet?

I'm just wondering how it's perceived when you miss the personal a in regard to animals vs. other people.


I don't know. I think expectations about the personal "a" and dogs would be pretty low if they knew you were not a native Spanish speaker.


When I read the sentence I assumed it was a stray dog that she heard outside and thought the "a" was odd.

Perhaps it's a untaught nuance of conversational Spanish that if you don't use the personal "a", the person you're talking to will automatically know that it was a stray and not a pet.


My answer today was accepted without the personal "a" - just as well as I had forgotten about it!


I would argue that it isn't. If she was truly familiar with the dog, the sentence would say "the dog" or "her dog." In both cases, especially the latter, the personal a woukd be great. Sating "a dog" implies, at least to me, that she isn't familiar with the dog.

However, there are always dialects and evolution of the language to consider.


Duolingo does us a disservice in emphasizing the personal A when it is not indicated. I heard your/my/Pam's/your mother's/or any other specific dog would merit the personal A. A random animal holds no specific meaning for the speaker and should not require the personal A.


It also seems just overall odd to use it with "un," since the indefinite article suggests that the dog's identity IS unknown. If you knew it was someone's pet, you would say "the dog" or use its name.


I'm a little confused about direct object pronouns. Can anyone explain to me why you couldn't say "La niña lo oyó a un perro en tu casa."?


Forget about the personal "a" for a moment as it's not relevant to this discussion.

Now, pronouns by their very definition are used in place of the nouns. Since the sentence has made use of the noun - "un perro" - itself, you can't use a pronoun for it as well. That won't make grammatical sense.

But if el dueño (the owner) replies, "¿Cuando?" (when?), and you want to respond with "the girl heard it yesterday," you would now have to translate the "it" with the direct object pronoun "lo" as, "la niña lo oyó ayer."


Except that, in Spanish, a pronoun is still required for indirect objects even_when the noun they refer to is also present. So you can't really reason from the grammatical rules of English.

In this case, the pronoun isn't needed because the dog is the direct object.


Ah okay, so (1) if the owner were to extend this dog conversation with another sentence like, "but I gave the dog its food yesterday," it should translate to, "pero le di al perro su comida ayer" with a mandatory "le" but optional "al perro." Correct?

(2) But if he then shares, "I received the dog as a gift," he would say, "recibí al perro como un regalo" with no "lo" required now.

And lastly, (3) my understanding is that the "a" in (1) is the preposition "to" omitted in English (gave (to) the dog) but is a personal "a" in (2).

Am I correct on all three counts now?


1 and 2 are correct. The "a" in 3 is the preposition, because the personal a is used for direct object, which in this case is "su comida", nothing animated/personified.


Thanks, it helped.


Congratulations! You will have a 2 year streak tomorrow! Here's a Lingot in advance.


I would really like to know as well! I put the same response as you and it was incorrect - not sure why.


I am also confused on this and have found no definite answer in the comments section of similar questions. The ideas I have are:

1.) The use of the verb 'to hear' in spanish has some peculiarity in being a direct or indirect action. (I.e. gustar translating as the direct action verb 'like', but acting as the indirect action of 'something/someone pleases something/someone')

2.) I believe that the seeming 'personal a' in this sentence is not a 'personal a' and instead denotes that 'un perro' is the subject of the verb action. This 'a' negates the use of the IO/DO object pronoun?

3.) There is some kind of rule that states that if the subject of the action is uknown/?of uknown gender, (una persona) then a DO/IO subject pronoun cannot be applied.

I am very confused here and would greatly appreciate some clarification!


So confused. I too saw the "a" as personal, as in the hearing was done to, or toward, the dog


None is true. :|


I wonder if its because of "perro" being a noun.


But I don't have a dog :O


I didn't include the personal a and it was marked correct.


Could you use the word escuchar?


Escuchar is usually translated as "listen" and oir as "to hear". There's definitely some overlap but "listen" is a more active action: you choose to listen to music or your parents. "Hearing" can be more of passive action: you weren't specifically listening for the birds but you heard them singing outside your window.


I want to know why "residencia" doesn't work for "residence." Is it not a word?


Yes, residencia is a word, equivalent to residence. (House = casa)


Im confused about he sh it conj thought ió ending


This one is spelled with a "y" for pronunciation purposes. Oir is a strange verb, one of many. Still ends in ó


It is, but oir is irregular.


My answer was correct and I was given an error...what's up with that???


What is the rule for past tense accents. Why oyo with an accent?


My answer was exactly the same as the correction but said i was wrong. Why! they the same


It accepted my answer without the "personal a." How necessary is this a (oyó a) in this case?


Why does an unknown, unseen dog get a personal "a," while two green turtles don't?


I write the same. Where is the error?

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