"¡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.

May 4, 2013


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)

July 11, 2014


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)

February 15, 2016


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

September 19, 2015


Wow i didnt know that

January 19, 2016


Thank you also, Josh Ramirez

July 22, 2016


How come Alejandro respond with cómo for what instead of qué?

July 5, 2019



Perhaps you are asking your question backwards.

By turning the question in the opposite direction, we might ask why Alejandro responded with "What...?" instead of "How...?" Readers who can speak English fluently already know the answer to this question.

¿Cómo tú dijiste?
How What did you say?

English is different than Spanish. In the English language, we prefer to use the word, "What..."

There are other English expressions in which we use the word, "How..."

July 6, 2019


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?

May 5, 2013


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

May 5, 2013


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!

February 7, 2015



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.

January 29, 2019


(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.

May 5, 2013


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

May 5, 2013


The post begins with a simple confirmation by SpotXSpot. In addition to the confirmation, this was a vague comment by SpotXSpot.

Sometimes I accidentally make vague comments too.

January 4, 2019


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

October 23, 2014


and "Que vayas bien"

June 9, 2015


Gracias hombre!

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

October 26, 2014


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

March 27, 2014


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...)

April 18, 2014


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).

September 4, 2017


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

September 5, 2014


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'.

September 6, 2014


I get it now, thank you :)

September 6, 2014


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

July 22, 2016


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

May 10, 2015


Thanks for your clear explanation!

September 25, 2015


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

September 30, 2015


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

April 14, 2017


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

May 23, 2016


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

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

April 14, 2017


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

September 7, 2018


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

September 25, 2014


I killed Mufasa!

April 14, 2017


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

October 11, 2018


I'm sorry; but I don't understand your point. What was your point?

The following Spanish phrase has no verb. This is okay. I am just pointing out the difference between the Duolingo exercise (same as the Latin America version in the video) and the second phrase that JackMcslay has presented.

larga vida al rey!
― long life to the king!

January 29, 2019


I suggested "Let the king live".

May 22, 2013


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

December 17, 2013


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

April 13, 2013


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.

September 17, 2014



You forgot to add the accent to the word, qué. This was a significant mistake because you were trying to make a critical point... and you failed to correctly explain the point because it is critical to make the distinction between que and qué.

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

January 29, 2019


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

December 9, 2014


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.

May 13, 2015



May 16, 2015



May 16, 2015


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

February 27, 2013


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

February 27, 2013


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.

September 11, 2015


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.

June 6, 2017


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.

March 14, 2013


I am perfectly fluent in English. There is no link between the Spanish word, que, and the English word, long. The English word, long, was added merely for the purpose of making the English translation conform with (& match) a well established (and idiomatic) English expression.

"Hooray for the king!" unquote

No, this English translation is incorrect because you neglected to include the word, live.

And you should not include the word, hooray. Add extra words only if sufficient justification exists.

January 29, 2019


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

April 10, 2013


Which was accepted

June 10, 2014

  • 1592

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.

January 1, 2014


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! ;-)

January 1, 2014

  • 1592

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.

January 1, 2014


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

February 22, 2014


@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.

January 2, 2014


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!"?

December 24, 2015


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!

March 25, 2016


That would be "larga vida al rey"

September 4, 2017


What about "Que vive el rey"?

February 19, 2015


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."

February 19, 2015


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

May 3, 2017


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.

March 30, 2019


I had the same question.... In fact it not the same sentence. (I wish a ) Long life TO the King, with life as a noun. And on the other part Long live the King, with live as a verb, The words' order is emphatic, to insist on long, the ordinary order would be the king (is expected to) live long. Wich could also be said (in a maybe weird English, but it works in French) May the King be given to live long.

December 17, 2017


So, is "The king lives!" wrong, somehow?

May 4, 2014


Yes. "The king lives" ("El rey vive") is a declarative statement, while this is more of a wishful exclamation.

May 4, 2014


It's just not good. Yours is indicative. The Spanish is subjunctive.

Yours fails to grasp the English.
See my comments above.

March 30, 2019


"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.)

October 18, 2018


'that the king lives!' ? why not?

April 29, 2013


Maybe "that the king may live" would be more appropriate

April 29, 2013


That is indeed the best literal translation. It also captures that word "que", which you can translate as "that".

May 4, 2013


Why not? Well, although it's close, the proper – subjunctive – way to express it in English is to say "That the King live", not "lives," which is indicative voice. After all, it's to be assumed that, yes, the King "lives" at the moment of utterance, but the plea is that he (is hoped to) live into the future. And Skye07 is right that another way to say it is "that the king may live," where the "may" also adds subjunctive flavor.

November 16, 2017


that is accepted now.

November 16, 2017


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.

June 6, 2017


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.

June 6, 2017


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.


March 30, 2019


Said NO ONE to Trump! Lol

July 1, 2017


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

July 19, 2017


"The king is dead! Long live the new king!"

"What new king?"

"Why, his heir!"

"That's the exciting part! The king didn't have no hair nor next of skin!"

July 19, 2017


The male voice is so low and distorted that it is always difficult to understand. The female one is way much better. Hope Duolingo can redo all the male Spanish voices.

August 4, 2017


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?

August 16, 2014


Complete guess but it is like in French when you say "Vive la France!" so yay for getting it right hehe

October 19, 2014


Largely got this one right because of the film For Greater Glory. Great film.

August 27, 2015


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

December 6, 2015


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.

July 7, 2016


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!"

July 7, 2016


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

September 6, 2016


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

October 30, 2018


i have waited for this phrase for such a long time!

September 28, 2016


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

January 15, 2017


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

January 15, 2017


I was stumped as to what Scar was saying for the longest time (the subtitles don't always correspond). But now I think it's this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scExmEgw-B0

August 25, 2017


¡Viva el rey!... (Sin que).

December 26, 2017


Thank you for the in depth explanation

January 25, 2019


Who were you replying to?

January 29, 2019


Here is where everyone can read the RAE's 22nd edition of the Dictionary of the Spanish Language. In particular, I am referring everyone to sense number 18 and sense number 20. The Spanish term that I am researching is que.

quote from the dictionary:
18: Precede a oraciones no enlazadas con otras.

Que vengas pronto.

20: Después de expresiones de aseveración o juramento sin verbo alguno expreso, precede asimismo al verbo con que empieza a manifestarse aquello que se asevera o jura.

Por Dios, señora, que el autobús ya está completo.

Phillip's translation of the latter illustrated sentence:
― For God's sake, ma'am, the bus is already full.

February 28, 2019
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