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  5. "Sometimes, the trees do not …

"Sometimes, the trees do not let us see the forest."

Translation:A veces, los árboles no nos dejan ver el bosque.

March 19, 2013



The only variation I've heard upon this in English is "hiding a tree in a forest." I think it's always cool when Duolingo incorporates Spanish idioms into the lessons...even if you sometimes get zapped by the heart-o-meter.


Is this the equivalent translation of the english idiomatic phrase "Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees"? Or is it just a phrase that was created that happens to be similar?


There's a same idiom in chinese. "只见树木(only see the trees),不见森林 (not see the forest)"


same idiom in both languages, says my idioms of the two languages book.


'de vez en cuando' = sometimes, but was not accepted


"de vez en cuando" should work as it means: from time to time/now and again/occasionally/sometimes


Does "Unas veces " also mean "sometimes " ? If I does then why doesn't duo accept it


i think that "unas veces" = a few times. and "a veces" = sometimes.


a veces, los arboles no permítannos ver el bosque - seriously?


"permítannos" is the plural formal command. So, you're addressing a group of people formally, saying, "Please let us [do whatever].

If you want to use permitir, it's, "A veces, los árboles no nos permiten ver el bosque."

But I think using permitir with trees is a little weird. Permitir carries more of an explicit feeling of agency on the part of its subject, whereas dejar is more comfortable in the context of something being blocked by an inanimate force.


Why is "permittanos" given as a clue when "permitir" is an "ir" verb?


The subjunctive (expressing counterfactual or uncertain situations) and imperative (command) forms swap the vowels. "Permitan" would be the 3rd-plural (or 2nd-formal-plural) subjunctive of permitir, which also gets used as the command. When you're in imperative, pronouns (me, te, lo / la / le / se, nos, os, los / las / les / se) get tacked on to the end, rather than stuck in front.


This is something you can optionally do sometimes with infinitives. With positive imperatives, it's mandatory. Though when you switch to a negative command, the pronoun moves back to the left. Nobody's ever given me a satisfactory answer as to where the hell that feature of the grammar came from.

Anyways, here's an example of using the imperative:

Por favor, señores, permítannos ver el bosque. Please, sirs, permit us to see the forest.


That made me cross. I know permitir is an ir verb but I changed my spelling to agree with the prompt and so lost a life. Not fair!


"permitan" is the imperative and subjunctive form of Permitir which do not work for this style of sentence. I suppose they just throw these in here so we don't rely on the hints too much. :P

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