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  5. "He who has bread does not ha…

"He who has bread does not have teeth and he who does not have teeth has bread."

Translation:Quien tiene pan no tiene dientes y quien no tiene dientes tiene pan.

March 2, 2013



Why no accent on "el"? I put accents on both instances of "el" and Duolingo tells me this is wrong. Apparently the correct answer should be "El que tiene pan no tiene dientes y el que no tiene dientes tiene pan"; so "el" not "él". Confused.


Let me answer this. Is correct that the translation of "he" is "él" with accent, but in this case this is like a popular phrase told in some towns.

When you are referring to no one (like in this case) you should "Aquel" o "El". Let me show you an example with the "él" and "el" being translated to English.

"Aquel/El que tiene pan" --> The one who has bread. "Él que tiene pan" ---> He who has bread.

The difference is that you are referring to no one specifically in the first case, and the second one is like you were pointing at someone - "Him, that has bread."

I hope this explains, if doesn't then I'll try again later.


5/27/2014 They got the "el" out of there. >;-)


I am also confused by this. Is duolingo making a mistake here?


Yes, I believe there is a mistake here. I'm reporting it so they can have a look at it.


Because here "el" refers to "the one". It's like saying "el hombre que..." "Él" is for talking about a specific person. "Él está, pero ella no."


If this is true, then why is the translation "he"? El is used as a substitute for he in this sentence; unless that is just the way the idiom is traditionally written. If it is "the one" that is gender neutral, and would not be "he' necessarily unless Duolingo is just using the masculine as a default (which seems strange). So, I'm not sure I understand your explanation.


It's common to use "he" this way in english: "to each his own" doesn't refer only to male folks. You can check out this thread on wordreference if you want: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=851342


What is the meaning of this idiom - I'm guessing it has to be more than literal.


It essentially means life is unfair. I think a good English variant is "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer."


There is an idiom: Dios da pan a quien no tiene dientes which means that someone gets an opportunity but is unable to seize it. Not sure what the above sentence wants to tell me exactly, but I would guess it has something to do with that idiom.


I'm not sure either, but it sounds like it might be kinda similar to "The grass is always greener on the other side." El que tiene pan envidia al que tiene dientes, mientras el que tiene dientes envidia al que tiene pan.


I don't really think it's similar to the "grass is greener" idiom. That idiom is about how silly we are to think there something better just over there. This idiom is about how unfair life is that we only get given something when we can't use it.

I tried to find a similar idiom in English. I see lots of references to this one "The gods send nuts to those who have no teeth" but I don't recall ever hearing it before.


It seems like an early version of catch-22.


is it a mistake? isn't it supposed to be: "he who has bread doesn't have teeth and he who has teeth doesn't have bread"?


You're right. I only paid attention to the first part while I was translating it, and did the second part too quickly.


Another idiomatic expression. I think the correct ones are "Dios da pan a quién no tiene dientes/Dios da pan a quién no tiene hambre/Dios le da sombrero al que no tiene cabeza.

=God gives bread to those who have no teeth / are not hungry/God gives hat to whose who have no head.

I didn't find the equivalent expression in English, but I'm sure it does exist, except "it's an unfair world".


It is not prudent or efficient to use an idiom clearly documented to be Italian in origin as a translation question from English to Spanish. It is even less prudent to use it in a module about nature, not idioms.


What's the Italian expression?


Perhaps technology has outsmarted me. The other day when I put this, I could not find any Spanish results containing it. Today, I can find some Spanish results but not the ones I found the other day, just English ones with labels claiming it is Italian. Lo siento.


You should use google url to shorten your url. I don't think it comes from the Italian. I found this expression widely used on the internet in Spanish. The Italian could come from the Spanish, or both Spanish and Italian from another third language, old expressions have often equivalents in the other languages of Europe, it's the reason why I'm surprised not having found this one in English. I'm sure there's a similar expression in French, but I don't remember it.

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