Spanish Semantics: ¿Quiere bailar el o ella?
I am trying to figure out who this question is directed to: ¿Quiere bailar el o ella?
Is this question direct to a person as in "Do you (the person being asked the question) want to dance (with) either him or her?".
Or is it asking "Do you ('you' here to is directed to him and her) want dance? Either him or her". Basically, the asker is directing the question to two people, one male and the other female. The asker is presenting options of who would like to dance between the two of them.
The answer to the question was: "ni el no ella quieren bailar " which is interpreted as "Neither him nor her, (neither of them) wants to dance ". Which seems to imply that the asker directed the question to two people.
I would have replied with "no quiro bailar ni el no ella" if the asker was asking me if I would like to dance with either him or her.
Thank you in advance?
This is an hypothetical situation, two friends in a party:
José: -- Mira allá (“look over there”)
Luís: -- ¿Qué? (“what?”)
José: -- Quiere bailar (-- “wants to dance” – José is talking about someone else, but he doesn't especify who)
Luís: -- ¿Quiere bailar él o ella? ("who wants to dance, him or her?" - Luís asks José to tell him who wants to dance exactly, because Luís sees a girl and a guy, over there)
José: -- Ni él ni ella quieren bailar, yo me refiero a la chica rubia de aquella mesa. ("Neither him nor her wants to dance, I’m talking about the blond girl on that table”)
I hope this can be useful to understand this better. Greetings :)
Hi! ¿Quiere bailar el o ella? Means "Does he, or does she, want to dance?"
El and ella are the two options for subject (doer) of the verb (action) quiere bailar. Remember that in Spanish the subject is not compulsory like in English, and even if it's present, it's not necessarily at the start of the sentence.
And as Nathans explained, we understand who quiere refers to by looking at the -e at its end. So, ¿Quiero bailar? means "Do I want to dance?", ¿Quieres bailar? is "Do you (familiar) want to dance?" and ¿Quiere bailar? is "Does he/she/it(?)/you(familiar) want to dance?" Since there are options in the last case, a speaker might need clarification who exactly is doing the wanting, hence the question that gave you trouble.
If you were trying to say that you (or anyone else) want to dance with anyone else, you'd use "con" e.g. "Quiere bailar con Jake." = "(S)he wants to dance with Jake."
I hope this helps!
Mariyanna, I admire your expertise and your help. Like you, I often read the discussions to learn something new. The comments you provide in the 'Discussion' topics are so valuable. Are you a native Spanish? if not, can you please share which method you are using to advance so adequately? Thanks
Thanks so much, Canejito! <3 (I hope we're not spamming too much.) I'm not a native of any of the languages I do in Duolingo, but I try not to comment on anything I am not 100% sure of. I've had a lot of Eureka moments while reading forums, so I try to explain things the way I wish someone would have explained them to me. ;) As for Spanish, I just do my Duo exercises and the reverse tree like a good girl, look up grammar at spanishdict.com and studyspanish.com, listen to the Duo podcast and the UnlimitedSpanish podcast, and read/listen to Agatha Christie in Spanish. Thanks again for the kind words and good luck!
Thank you so much, once again.
I have just added the reverse tree; I so much appreciate this advice. I will also discover the studyspanish.com and the UnlimitedSpanish podcast.
I will stop my lessons at the ir future and halt advancing until I enhance all what has been acquired using the methods discussed here and previously.
P.S. Please accept 2 lingots are my appreciation of your kindness.
Quieres =directed at person being talked to(singular) Quiere = directed at person being talked about or Quiero= directed at the author of the question.
You would have replied with "no quiro bailar ni con él, ni con no ella".
You have to say "bailar con" like you would say dance with someone.