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  5. "Ellos juegan al fútbol en el…

"Ellos juegan al fútbol en el parque."

Translation:They play soccer in the park.

February 24, 2018



Does anyone know why the translation is "juegan al fútbol" rather than "juegan fútbol" without "al"? Both Google and SpanishDict tranlations also use "al" for playing football, but the don't use it for playing baseball or basketball; i.e., they translate "They play baseball in the park" as "Juegan béisbol en el parque". Same for basketball. When is "al" appropriate and when is it not???


Hi gvlalonde. Es lo mismo. Usamos las dos formas todo el tiempo. Es mejor "Jugar a (algo)", pero : ellos juegan al futbol (basquet, tenis, rugby, etc) en el parque es lo mismo que decir: ellos juegan futbol en el parque. Regards.


Thanks grace780329. Your response answers the question for me. Muchas gracias.


...but obviously NOT the same according to DL.


You will discover(if you haven't already) that DL does not cover all acceptable answers a lot of the time whilst on other occasions it is erroneous.


Both juegan al fútbol and juegan fútbol are correct.


"Jugar" is an intransitive verb.
Intransitive verbs cannot take a direct object.
Intransitive verbs require a connecting preposition to a following noun.

For "jugar" that preposition is "A".

As this is grammar, there is one exception to this rule.

When speaking about "sports" in general as in "deportes" or "los deportes" the "A" is not used.

But every named sport or game requires an "A" between it and the verb "jugar".

Look at "Jugar Intransitive Verb" about one-third of the way down the page:



Bruce768614, do all Spanish speakers know whether each verb is transitive or intransitive, or is this a place where even a native Spanish speaker could mangle the rules of the language (as often occurs in English)?


I suspect it is the same as for most native English speakers and English.

It is training and habit not the rules which dictate how one speaks.
Most Americans have no idea what a "Ditransitive Verb" is.
But (nearly) everyone understands that it is just fine to say: "Please, tell Bob that news."

Or "Did you pay for the meal?" instead of "Did you pay the meal?"
But we automatically know we can say "Did you pay the bill?"


Grammar rules attempt to model a language. They are helpful when one is attempting to learn a language, especially a 'dead' one. But people continuously (re)define living languages through daily use.


Not on 0622/2021


It is simply a rule. "To play sports" in Spanish is "jugar a los deportes".
You can insert any preferred sport but the pattern remains the same. It is just how "jugar" works.
Now, you can choose to avoid all that by using "practicar".
"Practicar" does not use a connecting "a".
The sentence above could have been:
"Ellos practican fútbol en el parque." and still mean exactly the same thing.


But the previous questions were about playing baseball and tennis and did not have the al in the answer, so this is inconsistent


There are always exceptions to grammar rules and not everyone follows them.

My understanding is in some areas of Latin America dropping the "a" is becoming more frequent.

The only officially accepted exception is when you are talking about sports in general as opposed to a specific sport.

So, "Ellos juegan los deportes." vs. "Ellos juegan al fútbol."



when referring to sports you need to use "el/la" + the sport, but I couldn't help you with the "a" part of it


The verb "jugar" is followed by the preposition "a". Don't understand why it's not needed with "béisbol" either. I believe it is more correct to say "juegan al béisbol", and it is certainly not wrong to write it that way.


Well, both Google and SpanishDict translators do not use the "a" or the "el/la" with béisbol (baseball), but the same translators use "al" with fútbol (soccer).


Automatic translators are usually pretty rubbish.

"Playing a sport" is usually expressed with "jugar a un deporte". The preposition doesn't have a special meaning and can be left out in some dialects.


Why is football marked wrong? Why is only soccer accepted? I'm English!


The same annoys me with dates... I'm German but I refuse to use "December eight", I want to use it the same way the rest of the world except for this strange country between Canada and Mexico does it :) British English is the real English! In German courses you also don't learn funny Austrian specific words


"Der Fußgeher überkreuzt die Straße am Verkehrslicht." :)

There are many "real Englishes", and Duo strives to accept them all as valid answers. The company, Duolingo, is just America-centric, so both the English and the Spanish that are taught and used here focus more on what is spoken in the New World.


I don't think that's it exactly. It's a matter of the supply of volunteers developing the course. For instance, the Welsh course is developed chiefly by people less comfortable with North American idioms, so it is more likely to mark these as wrong.


Yea, Duolingo is very U.S.-oriented. Open your mind, Duo; there's a whole world that uses different words than you do.


I agree with you and I'm American. We do know the rest of the world refers to soccer (association Football) as football. It's awkward to keep double translating it. And insulting, like we might forget that the cowboys don't play in Mexico.


Why "al" fútbol?


Fútbol is a masculine term, so the direct object pronoun is el fútbol. When putting 'a' in front of 'el', it becomes al. However this doesn't apply for feminine terms. It is just a la.


Did anyone else hear "ellas" spoken by the female voice at normal speed?


When should i use jugar and when practicar?


Praticar means "to practice", as in "to exercise". It's mostly interchangeable with jugar unless you don't actually "play" the sport, i.e. it's not a game sport, like fencing - "praticar (la) esgrima".

Also you should use only praticar when you're actually just talking about a training session.


Jugar - to play Practicar - to practice You can use these verbs whenever they apply to the sentence. (Are you practicing the sport or playing it?). For example: Soccer match. You are not practicing soccer, you are playing it.


The female voice clearly says "ellas juegan" and not "ellos juegan." Please do a better job DL of allowing your listeners to differentiate between the two. Gracias!!


I thought "a" followed a transitive verb when the direct object was a person or personal pronoun. El sigue a ella. That logic doesn't follow here. Is this just a peculiarity of jugar?


Jugar = "to play" jugar +a = to play (something). So they like to play would use jugar. They like to play tennis would use jugar a.


Thanks for that explanation.


why is Ellas, not equally correct?


The female voice defintely says "ellas" and not "ellos". I am really tired of being wrong because the speaker is unintelligible!


Ellas should be accepted when the rest of the sentence is correct, especially since the pronunciation wasn’t clear between ellos and ellas.


In most of the English speaking world, football means futbol . It does not refer to that bastardization of rugby played in the United States. Duolingo should recognize that


Very frustrating. All the right words are not given as an option.


They are there, but they might be hidden from view for you. You can tackle that if you're on a mobile device by rotating it into portrait mode. If you're using the web version, try adjusting your window size or the zoom level (the latter on most browsers with Ctrl and - ). Or switch to keyboard entry.


In the UK we say "on the park" not "in the park". It keeps saying I'm wrong and I've only just realised why. Very annoying.


In the US it's "in the park" and "on the beach". As a native english speaker it never occurred to me that their could be a disconnect until I started learning spanish. Maybe it's because a park generally has boundaries and a beach does not???


The voiced questions (rápido o dispacio) often make 'ellos' sound like 'ellas' and 'ellas' sound like 'ellos'!


Why is "they are playing football in the park" wrong?


Venkat, it's not a wrong translation.


I put ellas rather than ellos - it sounded like ellas to me!


Soccer , ergh so american . It's football


Football is accepted now! :)


Today it was rejected again!


"football" was marked wrong? ??????


There is no choice to pick Juegan


What people in the U.S. call soccer is elsewhere called football! I answered "They play football in the park" and it was marked wrong.


My answer was exactly the same as duos answer and was marked incorrect with no option to report it. SAD


That sounds like you had a listening task and you translated the sentence you heard instead of writing it down in Spanish.


How do i get a classroom code?


Why not "the soccer"?


When talking about a specific game or sport in English, you don't use the article with it. "Football" is the sport, "the football" is the ball.


Why do we use accent mark over the u since it is the next to last syllable?


The Spanish pronunciation rules state that the stress in an unaccented word is on the last syllable unless the word ends with 'n', 's', or a vowel. So in an unaccented "futbol", the last syllable would be stressed: "futból". We don't want that, so we put an accent mark on the 'u'.

That's the reason why words like sándwich, difícil or lápiz get an accent.


The male speaker always stresses the second syllable of sándWICH, which is very distracting.


why not " they are playing soccer in the park"? It was marked wrong for me


Did you report it? Because you should.

That answer is completely valid.


why mark it wrong for putting 'ellas' instead of 'ellos' ?


One of two possible reasons. 1- Duo has not added that to its list of accepted answers Or 2- You missed another error in your sentence.

If you found no error in your sentence, report it. Always.


I got dinged for that too.I too think it shouldn’t be marked wrong especially when their pronunciation isn’t clear .


why is they play football in the park not accepted. The english use football and not soccer


Colmic, That's also a good translation. Please report it if it's not accepted yet.


When will the word soccer be replaced by football. 98% of the world uses the word football.


'They play football on the park' should not be marked as wrong. I assume it will be accepted soon.


Is English your first language?
I ask because "on the park" sounds very strange to my American ears.
"On the field" sounds Okay. "In the park" or "At the park" are fine and either one could be a translation for "En el parque."


I only hear Ellas


OK I have a question How do I know if they are talking about football or soccer (in real life)?


What American's call "soccer", everywhere else in the world, even other English speaking countries, call that sport football. They will say American football if they mean the game that Americans call football.

So in Spanish, fútbol pretty much always refers to what Americans call 'soccer'. and fútbol americano refers to what Americans call football.


Anyone else hear ellas instead of ellos?


Yes, unless I slow it down.


Yes, even if I DO slow it down.


No mercy. I spelled fútbol the english way, and it took away my heart.

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