"Hablamos acerca de libros."
Translation:We talk about books.
I've been taught to use "sobre" to mean "about," like "hablamos sobre libros." Is this wrong, or is it valid in addition to using "acerca de?"
"Sobre" is a little like "on." For example, "The great writer Don Antonio de Alarcon will speak on (on the subject of) the fine points of Spanish literature."
Why do you use "De" in this sentence instead of just saying "Hablamos acerca libros"
You've asked a good question, Daniel901270. The word "acerca," by itself (when used as a preposition), used to be a word in Spanish, but it is now obsolete/archaic and is not used in modern-day Spanish. At one time, it meant "adjacent." When used as a preposition, you must add "de" to "acerca" for it to mean anything. Having said that, Spanish has the verb "acercar" which means "move closer," so you could see something like
"Él acerca la silla a la mesa,"
which means "He moves the chair closer to the table."
Why is it not 'del' instead of 'de' in this situation? Is it because the books are plural - despite libro being masculine?
First, it's libros, so the article would be los. But think about it this way: "We are talking about books" is not the same as "We are talking about the books." The 2nd sentence means that the person you are telling has some knowledge of the specific books which you are talking about, whereas the first sentence is more of a general one.
Just to add to what eyePod58 wrote, if the sentence were:
"We talk about THE books,"
one way to translate that in Spanish is:
"Hablamos acerca de LOS libros."
So, in a way, Bloomers, your assumptions are correct. "De" and "el" are combined to form "del," but not "de" and "los." But as eyePod58 has pointed out, it does not apply to this particular sentence.
'Del' is a contraction of 'de el' (of the). However in this case the article is 'los' which cannot be contracted to 'del'. Also, it is not saying 'the books', but just 'books'. 'The books' would suggest the person knows which books they are speaking about but 'books' on its own suggests they could be any books.
Is there a difference between "We talk about books" and "We speak about books"? Because according to duolingo there is.
I think there isn't a great difference. Both of them are similar sentences.
"des" is not used in Spanish. Since "libros" is plural, you would either use "de libros" or "de los libros."
The word "de" is a preposition. In Spanish, prepositions do not decline to correspond with gender or number. "De" is always "de," "contra" is always "contra," "entre" is always "entre," et cetera.
As it just says "books", they are not specifying any particular books. However if it was saying "Hablamos acerca de los libros", it would mean they were talking about "the books." Also, if there is an article it will state if they are specific books, random books etc. But if there is not an article, they could be any books.
In English, "we are talking" and "we talk" are identical. Either translation should be acceptable here. It's frustrating to have a heart deducted despite the translation into English being correct.
but it isn't identical. i can say we talk about language and that means a general statement. it doesn't mean we are currently talking about language. it just means we talk about language. if i say we are talking about language, that means we are currently doing it. we are talking is more specific to the occasion. if i were to ask someone taking a class what they are going to do in class today, they wouldn't say "we talk about grammar today." they'd say "we are talking about grammar today."
In English, we often use the present tense ("we talk") interchangeably with the present progressive ("we are talking"). DL, like most other language programs I have used, want the two tenses to be distinct, which can take a little getting used to if you are a native English speaker.
often, yes. but you need to look at the entire sentence and no, they are not always identical.
There are a couple threads going where the Duo expert (agreeing with my grammar books) said that we speak/we are speaking are both viable translations for the present tense. But, still, Duo often rejects the "--ing" form.
That is correct. I wrote "We are talking about books." and it was accepted. I have translated many present tense sentences using the "ing" and they always seem to be accepted. The present tense first person plural of hablar can mean:
we are speaking
we do speak
As I posted above, Hablamos de libros is a correct sentence. Report this.
acerca de ~ about
cerca ~ close/near/around
By the way, "cerca" can also mean "fence."
What's the difference between acerca de and sobre? Could we have said "Hablamos sobre libros" as well? If so, when do you use the other?
In this context you can use "sobre" insted of "acerca de" without problems.
I support what nacho-haller has written, but if you'd like my take on how they differ via some observations I've made, click on the link below:
I was taught that 'acerca de' only meant 'about' as in 'in the vicinity', not 'on the topic of'
Was this incorrect?
you are mixing up
CERCA is ``in the vicinity```. Vivo cerca de la estación. I live near the station.
Because it's "hablamos" ("we talk"), and not "hablemos" ("let's talk").
Also it could be "we talked" ("hablamos/hablábamos").
"We spoke about books." Was marked wrong. Is it?
If context doesn't dictate, how can one be more clear about present/past with regard to "Hablamos"?
I think it isn't wrong, given that for the lack of advervial of time, we can't know if it's present or past.
Is possible to amend the definition of acerca to "about to"? Wouldnt that be more correct?
No, because "about" is "acerca de". It's implicit. So, it would be something like "acerca de a" or something like that.
PS: "Is it possible..."
Why isn't "we speak" an acceptable answer? I thought hablar could mean talk and speak?
That would be something like "we speak books" which makes no sense to me and is not correct in neither Spanish nor English.
Why is 'we speak about the books' wrong when 'yo hablo español' translates to 'i speak spanish'
If I just say Hablamos libros, would any native speaker knows I mean " We talk about books"?
Reply, no doubt, they would. Just as in English, "We talk books." is easily understood. While grammatically incorrect (you wouldn't write it), but it could either sound wrong OR 'hip', in the right context.
That said....probably best to work on getting it right. :-)
No, we will never use: Hablamos libros. We speak lenguages, no books. Hablamos idiomas , no libros.
surely, if it is "we talk about books" and not "we talk about the books" then why is there "de"? shouldn't it be "hablamos acerca libros"?
about, in this kind of meaning, is translated as acerca de or sobre. Also even de. Acerca cannot be used if not followed by 'de'. Possible Spanish translations you may hear commonly:
- Hablamos sobre libros
- Hablamos de libros
- Hablamos acerca de libros
I am getting frustrated. we talk about books - translates to we talk about the books. They put in del and if I put in 'the', its wrong, in other sentances, they don't put in del and if I don't put in 'the', it wrong. What is the rule. There seems to be no sense to this.
I can understand your frustration, Glasgowg. It stems from the fact that Spanish uses the definite article in many situations where we would not in English. The one that comes to my mind immediately is the use of the definite article before nouns used in a general sense, especially when that noun is the subject of the sentence. For example:
La comida Mexicana es deliciosa. (Spanish uses a definite article.)
Mexican food is delicious. (No definite article in English.)
You could make a case that "books" is being used in a general sense in this prompt, but I think the fact that someone is specifically talking about them removes some of that sense of generality. Compare it to this sentence:
Books are educational.
Los libros son educativos.
Do you see how that is different from:
Hablamos acerca de libros.
We talk about books.
One of the best pages I've read on definite article usage in Spanish comes from Span¡shD!ct. The link to it is below:
This one is also very good:
but I'd start with the Span¡shD!ct page first.
If you read through those pages and really take the time to learn what is on them, it may help. It may also help you to realize that languages have rules and exceptions to rules and that you will just have to learn these as you go. There's no "set it and forget it" in learning a language. I'm still learning things about my own language and I'm sure there's still plenty to learn.
Almost. Hablamos acerca de los libros.
Note books is plural and del == de + el , being el singular.
how does 'acerca de' translate as 'of' as well as about. Would the word 'acerca' be left out to make the translation 'of books'
Hola Barry: I am not exactly sure what your question is, but "acerca de" means "about" or "of" if that is what you are asking. Oh, wait, I see your question -- yes, I think you could just say "Hablamos de libros" and get the same meaning, but I think "acerca de" is more common and correct. CHAU
Hola Turtle: Because we are talking about books in general, not any specific books.
I entered "we talk about books", and it was considered wrong. The correct answer was "we talked about books," but I haven't learned past tense yet. How fair is that?
Both translations are correct, so first of all it shouldn't have been marked wrong. Not to mention that past tense comes later. Report it.
Each language has its own idioms. Idioms are beyond logical explanation such as the English "How do you do?", for instance. I'm still a beginner so I don't know if Duolingo includes a section on idioms or idiomatic expressions which defy grammar rules and logic. It should be taken up in the more advance part of the study so as not to confuse the beginner. I myself was surprised to learn that "acerca de" means "about". I was always under the impression that it meant "near" or "come near".
"We shall talk about books" . Is dis correct? It can also be in future tense right?
I read tat the nosotros form of verbs ending in 'ar' & 'ir' will b the same in pr.tense & f.tense
No. The nosotros form of regular -ar verbs are the same in present tense and PAST tense. The future tense would be "-aremos".
Is this the right way to say this phrase? Wouldnt it be "hablamos sobre libros?" Or is it trying to say we talk around the books? Cerca de means near doesnt it?
hablamos sobre libros and hablamos acerca de libros has the same meaning, we talk about books.
sobre ~ about
acerca de ~ about
cerca de ~ near/close to
When "sobre" is being used to mean "about," it is interchangeable with "acerca de." In fact, "sobre" may be more common, but both are considered acceptable translations. "Cerca de," however, is not interchangeable with "acerca de."
So we don't have to use nosotros? For example Nosotros hablamos acerca de libros? I feel like just saying Hablamos acerca de libros is wrong.
It's ok. We use to omite the subject because the verb say who make the action..
No, because the sentence implicates talking about and not reading.
I just don't understand why there is one word that means '(we) talk about" and two words after that mean about?