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  5. "¡Que viva el rey!"

"¡Que viva el rey!"

Translation:Long live the king!

February 27, 2013



There seems to be quite a bit of confusion over this, so as a native speaker of Spanish, allow me to try and clear things up a bit:

Some people are saying that this is closer to a figure of speech, and that is true for the most part, though that has to deal mostly with the Que at the start. This Que serves mostly as a way to add emphasis to one's statement, and because of the way these kinds of statements are constructed, they appear more like colloquialisms than grammatically sound statements.

A few more examples of this would be, for instance:

"¡Que venga la comida!" would mean to convey "Bring the food!", but if you translate it word for word, the literal meaning would be closer to "Let the food come!" or "That the food may come!" as someone has already pointed out.

Similarly, "¡Que salga el acusado!" would mean "Bring out the accused!", but the literal meaning is closer to "That the accused may come out!"

As I said before, people mostly use statements like these to add emphasis to their voice. The two examples I provided could also be correctly said as "Traiga(n) la comida" or "Traiga(n) al acusado", for instance. Hope that helped clear things up a bit.


yes and and let's not forget that in spanish whenever we need to repeat ourselves we always say "que" before the sentence

e.g [Pedro] "ya me voy" (i'm leaving)

[Alejandro] "como?" (what?)

[Pedro] "que ya me voy" (that i'm leaving)


Useful to know! Just a theory here, but is that because it's:

[Alejandro] "como tu dijiste?" (What did you say?)

[Pedro] "dije que ya me voy" (I said that I'm leaving)


Muchas gracias josh.ramirez500 y SpotXSpot por la muy útil explicación.


Wow i didnt know that


Thank you also, Josh Ramirez


I have always seen constructions like that as an expression of desire, but with the verb omitted. So what you basically say:

(espero/quiero/deseo) que viva el rey

Without the verb, it's just a general expression of a wish. What do you think about that?


That works for many cases, but some other times it's more of an imperative expression than one of desire.


Yes, that's right, but only when 'que' goes before a verb. When it's an adjective or noun this is used just for emphasis (with no omitted word) : ¡Que bonito es ese coche! or ¡que asco te tengo! Like in English: What a mansion! = ¡Que casa! or ¡Vaya casa!



You neglected to add the accent to the idiom, qué, in your interjections. I added the accent in the illustrations below.

Interjections authored by Securinega_:
¡Qué bonito es ese coche!
― How pretty that car is!

Interjections modified by Phillip:
¡Qué mansión!
― What a mansion!

¡Vaya mansión!
― Quite a mansion!

You don't seem to realize that you are not comparing apples versus apples. You don't seem to realize that you are actually comparing interjections (which sometimes begin with the idiom, qué) versus que + subjunctive mood constructions. The Duolingo exercise that everyone is discussing on this web page is a que + subjunctive mood construction.

Perhaps you extrapolated a misunderstanding after reading the brief post by SpotXSpot in reply to da.big.fella.


(exijo/quiero/pido) que coman bien

That's the same construction, isn´t it? Exactly because you leave out the verb stating the nature of your demand/desire, the construction becomes versatile.


Sure, but even with the same construction there are multiple levels of emphasis.


Thanks a lot. Now I understand how "Que tengas un buen fin de semana!" can be correct.


and "Que vayas bien"


Gracias hombre!

En este ejemplo-- recuerda que "que" se utiliza con frecuencia con el modo subjuntivo.


If you threw a largo in there would it maintain the same exclamatory meaning. eg Que largo viva el rey!!


I agree. I was very hesitant when it came to this one as to whether to put the "long" in there or not. A clear example where the owl can easily trick you whatever you write. (Lost a heart of course...)


I'm sorry Craig but largo does not work well here. You may say "larga vida al rey" or "que tenga una larga vida" (the king is the implicit subject).


What is the difference between 'venga' and 'salga' ? do they both mean 'Bring' in English ?


Only if you translate them based on the "Que..." construction. On their own, they're formal imperatives; 'venga' is from the verb 'venir', which means 'to come', while 'salga' is from 'salir', which means 'to go out/come out'.


I get it now, thank you :)


Thank you SpotXSpot. I hope you continue to "clear things up a bit" in this most helpful manner. Muchísimas gracias.


If there are any hebrew speakers here, it's just like ש.... At the beginning of a sentence.


Thanks for your clear explanation!


Is this also something one would use in mathematics in Spanish "Que exista una funcción...."?


"Funcción" doesn't exist in Spanish. The correct word is "Función."


Hola amigos. Where can I find native speakers to practice spoken Spanish with?


Hey, you can talk with me, i'm a Spanish native speaker.

Hola, puedes hablar conmigo, soy un nativo del idioma español.


Hola VazMuzik! Gracias :)


My city has language exchange nights all over, many nights, and Spanish is fairly popular. Usually in a bar


I hope I'm not the only one who automatically thought of The Lion King...


I killed Mufasa!


It might be a direct reference, the latin version says "¡Que viva el rey!" yet the spanish version says "¡Larga vida al rey!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VKyUHBBY5c


I suggested "Let the king live".


Its's quite the shame that Trudles was voted down three times here. Quite the shame because she was more nearly correct than many.


Perhaps if it's a figure of speech or an expression DuoLingo should notify the user of this.


similar structures that are also a bit variable when you translate: Que no! Que chulo! Que tonto! Que fuerte! Que feo! Que asco! All are used as little two word standalone sentences/exclamations. these are quite popular too (at least in Spain) and worth knowing/using. And worth realising that these structures are pretty bendable when translating into English.


I don't understand is "Que viva" in this sentence mean "long live"? Can we say "Largo viva el rey"?


Que is used as sort of an "intensifier" in many Spanish exclamations, adding emphasis to the idea that follows.


I have a bit of a problem with language teaching matching up sayings that appear the have different literal meanings.

For instance, in several cultures they say "Salud!" before drinking while in english (and probably never every english speaking country) we say "Cheers". That doesn't mean that Cheers = Salud. Although they are used the same often. To me it would be like traveling to a different english speaking country and being told "when you drink to toast you say 'To health'". I'd understand that they toast differently but wouldn't say it means the same as "cheers".

In this instance, I'd rather it be said: Instead of saying "long live the king in < este país>, we say Let the King live or That the King may live". And I'd still understand that the sentiment is the same even if the meaning is different. But if you tell me "Que viva el rey" means "Long live the King", they I'm not sure if Que sometimes means long depending on context or if it is a coloquialism. And it might hinder me on other translations.


Exactly. "Que viva el rey" does not mean "Long live the King"; it 's a cultural equivalent of what the English would say in a similar situation, but in meaning is something more like ("We pray) That the King may live." Like saying "Mucho gusto" means "Pleased to meet you, (it does not), to present it as a "translation" without the perspective of substitution can foster confusion later on. Anyway, that's my opinion.


Still, especially to a non-english native, the link between "que" and "long" is not really intuitive. Alternative correct translations ("The king shall live." or even "Hooray for the king!") may be helpful.


The most direct translation would be "may the king live".


Which was accepted

  • 1993

No! Of course it's "Long live the king", but I chickened and put "May the king live". That was accepted, but it's not right. Word for word translation doesn't work very well.


Why is it not right? Is it not the same kind of syntax as the phrase, "¡Que tengas un buen día!" where there is the understood ¡(Ojalá/Espero, etc.) before the actual spoken phrase, meaning "(I hope/wish) that you (may/might) have a good day?" So then, wouldn't " ¡(Deseamos/Rogamos/Suplicamos or Ojalá)... que viva el Rey!" be properly rendered as "(We wish/we pray/we beg [understood])... that the King [may/might] live," where may or might is implied by the subjunctive?

The comments of SpotXSpot and da.big.fella are especially on-target here, and I hope it won't be too offensive to note that, in SpotXSpot, you've emphatically dismissed the observations of a native speaker. ¡Que tengas un Feliz Año Nuevo! ;-)

  • 1993

I only meant in the sense of translating from what people shout in Spanish when the king appears into what people shout in English when the queen appears. You could, for example, translate "Happy Hump Day" technically correctly into Spanish, but the idea would be lost.


...or completely misinterpreted! Feliz ombligo de la semana!


@gernt: Fair enough. If we were working in the immersion section, translating for an English readership, then yes, the British phrase would be the appropriate rendering. Working off the tree, though, I think the goal (mine, anyway) is to internalize how the Spanish language works, so I want to know and understand what is actually being said, the often repeated admonition against word-for-word translation notwithstanding.

I think both of your options above are correct and apparently Duo agrees.

And despite the undoubted peril of dealing with "Happy Hump Day," I'm not sure the idea, sense and feeling of those two phrases is that much different.


So when I see 'Que' at the beginning of a sentence followed by a subjunctive verb conjugation, I can interpret it as ojala? "Oh that the king live!"="¡Ojala que vive el rey!"? !Que vaya bien!'=¡Ojala que vaya bien!"?


beeohdee: One of the few things I remember from high school Spanish is subjunctive expressions using "ojalá" (either directly or indirectly). I'll have to keep that in mind.

Thanks for jogging my memory!


That would be "larga vida al rey"


I used the personal 'a' "Que viva al rey." Why is it considered wrong?


The personal 'a' is used with transitive verbs and to indicate the object of the sentence when it is a person.

In this case vivir works as non-transitive and el rey is the subject of the sentence, not the object.


What about "Que vive el rey"?


Not a bad question. These kinds of expressions, because they involve a wish, desire or command, take the subjunctive mood instead of the indicative; thus "viva" instead of "vive."


How about "Long life to the king" is that necessarily wrong?


Instead of worrying about a "literal" translation, people need to realize that "Long live....,'" is a very standard hail, or solute in English.

"Long life to the king" is not necessarily a bad translation. It just fails to grasp the normal, standard, English phrase

Just accept the Duo translation as a good, and standard, English phrase.


Said NO ONE to Trump! Lol


Well, Trump isn't a king . . . though I have to admit, no one said "long live the president" either.


Why does r sound like tr to me,thought it was only rr which git rolled?


R is rolled when it is the first letter of the word.


"Long live the King." This is a GREAT example of the English subjunctive.

Good job, Duo!

Notice that this subjunctive uses the "base form" of the verb. The "base form" is the infinitive without the "to."

Thus, "live" is the base form.

"Long may the King live" is another English subjunctive. The words "may, might, let" are indicators of (often used as part of) an English subjunctive.

Go, Duo! (Notice that this imperative uses the "base form of the verb "to go." This imperative is using a subjunctive. Just as Spanish uses the subjunctive for imperatives.)


I was warned in an earlier discussion in this lesson not to go for idioms, but looks like they do require that. Since DL rejected "That the king live!" -- which is actually a more correct translation than "That the king lives!" -- I've reported it. "Long live" expresses a wish, and so does "That the king live." "That the king lives" expresses astonishment that he does at all.


I would call this an idiomatic expression, and place it somewhere else. Would you translate: Que viva el pescado! by long live the fish? or by let's live the fish?


Wouldn't "viva el rey" also be correct ? I found that translation somewhere else.


This is a really bizarre sentence. I knew that the english equivalent was "Long live the king", but it's asking for a translation. Since this form has an implied "Quiero (que)...", I put "I want the king to live!". Not something you'd say in english, but the most direct translation. They said the correct translation should be "That the king live!", which doesn't make sense in English.


It makes sense in some contexts, in my opinion. For example, if you were making a toast: "To what shall we toast?" "That the king may live!"


English and Spanish native here. Shouldn't "Hail the King!" be accepted too?


No. I don't believe "Hail the King!" means the same as this Duolingo exercise.


Being that in almost every other example DL is very literal I put: "Would that the king lives!" While that is not common in English, is it not a correct use of the subjunctive and a correct translation of the sentence? "Long live the king" while a good translation it's not actually what the sentence says in Spanish and not an example of the subjunctive.


That's an interesting and plausible alternative rendering, and at least prior to the past 50 years or so, the "would that..." construct to express wishes or hopes was not so uncommon. But using the English subjunctive equivalent, I believe, it would be "Would that the king live," dropping the 's' from the active verb.


To enhance your comment.

The English subjunctive is created by using the "base form' (unconjugated form; infinitive without the "to" ) of the verb.

Thus, dropping the "s" creates the subjunctive in this case.



¡Viva el rey!... (Sin que).


Thank you for the in depth explanation


Who were you replying to?


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