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"No puedo decir cómo se hace."

Translation:I cannot say how it is done.

5 years ago

48 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/kevinp2k13

"se hace", according to Duolingo, means "since", "ago" or "he/she/it makes"..

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/exoart
exoart
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I am not totally sure but I believe this an example of the se passive. Basically, hace means he/she/it makes. However, se is used before so that the expression could refer to any of those three. All the reader knows is that some agent "made something" in this case.

A brief explanation of spanish passive voice:

true passive: In english, passive voice is when we say a sentence like "the car is sold". Who sold the car? I have no idea, but someone did and now it is sold. The true passive is basically the exact translation of this: el coche es vendido.

se passive: Se passive has the exact same meaning as the true passive, it's just a different structure. In the se passive the formation is as follows: se + verb conjugated in he/she/it or them/you-all form. Example: se venden. This literally translates to "they sell themselves". There might be some context in which this makes sense, but if this is referring to an inanimate object(s) as in "se venden oro" then it would make no sense for the object(s) to sell itself. However, because we just said that the gold sold itself, the gold must be sold, which leads us to translate the phrase "se venden oro" to "the gold is sold".

Analysis of se hace: "hace" all alone would mean he/she makes, or it makes. Because of the context of the exercise, we'll assume the "it makes" case. When we put se before hace, we now translate to "it makes itself" which is synonymous to "it is made" as per the se passive explanation above.

If you are still having trouble understanding spanish passive voice, here is a nice article explaining it all pretty well: http://spanish.about.com/cs/verbs/a/passive_se.htm

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SusannaEDavis420

Thank you for your help! Have you noticed that politicians frequently use the passive. They say, "Mistakes were made". That way they don't take responsibility for their errors. It always stands out like a sore thumb to me.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tessbee
tessbee
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Lol! Exactly my thoughts, Susanna. Politicians and business companies alike. It's "prices are hiked up" but "we lowered the prices" When it's negative, use the passive; when positive, use the active. When I see a passive construction, I get a little suspicious :D!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SusannaEDavis420

You're right, tessbee! Watch drug commercials. The narrator will frequently list mild side effects and then use the passive tense for the severe ones, so it sounds like the medicine didn't cause those -- they just happen to have happened for some unknown reason.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tessbee
tessbee
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HAHA! Exactly!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/inckwise

Thank you for such a nice explanation!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/walrath21

Great job explaining this, you helped me a lot. Have a lingot.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
rocko2012
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"Hace" is a conjugation of "hacer". "Hacer" can mean "to do" or "to make". Maybe duolingo should add "he/she/it does". I guess "se hace" could mean "itself does" which could mean "it is done".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Charley-Farley

I know - I would have got it right, but 'checked' the hover, changed my answer and got it wrong!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN
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"Since" or "ago" would require an amount of time be inserted into the expression.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rmcgwn

We use 'se' when a subject is not identified. It is also what makes a sentence passive. So 'se' is translated as 'it'. Answers accepted are 'how to do it' or 'how it is done'. Hacer is conjugated to third person singular to match to the use of 'se' as it. I am writing this out for my own benefit and I'm sure if anything I said is wrong someone will point that out which I do appreciate.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/venetoblu

¡Gracias por sus comentarios! I've a bit more understanding about the use of 'se' [and the conjugation of 'hacer'] in this sentence.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/learnTACO32

Why was i marked incorrect for writing, "I cant TELL how its done"? Thanks

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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That seems like a legitimate translation. Report it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joshua6261

maybe because TELL is like Q:"can you tell how he did it" A:"I can't tell" (as in i don't know) JUST GUESSING

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Obedgilles
Obedgilles
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It is still marked wrong. 05/13/2017

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChristineckaK
ChristineckaK
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8/9/2017 still wrong

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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DL accepted: " I cannot say how it's made,"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SpicyChai

Can it not be translated to 'I cannot say how to do it?' 'How it is done' is past tense in English, but the Spanish sentence is in present tense.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bf2010
bf2010
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Both Spanish and English are in the present tense; the Spanish "se hace" is a form used as a substitute for the regular passive voice (es hecho) which translates as "it is done"; hope that helps :-)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rsmi1230

in a way, at least in english, those are both saying the same thing in slightly different ways. I've noticed that in some instances spanish has a way of generalizing english phrases, and other times english generalizes spanish phrases. By generalizing, I mean a single phrase stands for several different meanings in the other language and therefore requires context.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StacyBursuk

I didn't put "how it's made" b/c I was SURE that would be wrong since "made" is past-tense! And if "it" is part of the sentence, shouldn't there be a "lo" or something?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dj63010
dj63010
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I'm sorry but I could look at that sentence for hours and never come up with the correct translation. This is one I'll just have to memorize.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ken.goodwi

Could how he/she makes it be a possible solution?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cecilykohler

Is this also correct to say: no puedo decir como hacerlo?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TimCzarkow

Yes I also would like to know why se is used and not lo.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mohammed.d

How I suppose to know that translation ?!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rob2042

The issue here is, where is "it" in the sentence. If you translate the sentence literally you get "I cannot say how it does itself." You can even say "I cannot say how it makes itself." Since we don`t say "it does/makes itself" in English "se hace" becomes "it is done". Hope that helps.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mombrell

I'm glad that DL allows me to fix my mistakes!! I must have tried a dozen solutions for this before I got it right! WHEW!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tone02

This entire level of duolingo has gotten ridiculous.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidGokhman

Why can't it be translated to: "I cannot say to you how HE does it"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuevesHuevos

The use of "se" in this context makes it passive voice - I cannot tell you how it is done ("it" is being done/acted upon by an agent that is not stated in the sentence. "it" is not actively doing anything, it is having something done to it)

So say "....how HE does it" you would say: "No puedo decir cómo él lo hace" or, if context allows you to omit the "él" - "No puedo decir cómo lo hace"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sheila.mcg

Come se dice How does one say Como se hace To me would mean How does one do/make

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iannoone41

Why is it that in tis section on infinitives, it's full of idioms we have not seen?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skittlzz
skittlzz
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Why not "I can't say how it works"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pastorsteve99

"I cannot say hot it happens?" Wrong?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuevesHuevos

"To happen" is usually "pasar"

http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/happen

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pastorsteve99

gracias

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Diego_Thuet
Diego_Thuet
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I translated this as "I cannot say how it happens." Not sure why it is incorrect. Can someone tell me why?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuevesHuevos

To happen - pasar, ocurrir, suceder

To do - hacer

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pavelmeshchanov
pavelmeshchanov
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"I can't say how to do it" has been accepted by DUO.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamPea2

Could 'No puedo decir cómo es hecho' or something similar mean the same thing?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gubban9

Does this mean "I am not allowed to say how it is done", "I do not know how it is done", both or something else?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KLTah
KLTah
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it's a secret recipe.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KLTah
KLTah
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coca cola recipe

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carradee
Carradee
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Can it not be "I can't say how you do it" if it assumes Usted?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sankxx
Sankxx
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Every time this sentence appears, there is no audio. How can I write what I hear when there is nothing to hear?

1 year ago