"Tengo que hacer la compra mañana."

Translation:I have to buy groceries tomorrow.

February 24, 2018



I don't get it - where is the word for 'groceries' - I could get 'do the shopping' but that would not automatically mean groceries

March 20, 2018


Its an idiotmatic expression. "Comprar" and its various conjugations mean "to buy", while "la compra" means "groceries".

September 23, 2018


I do not think that is correct. The correct translation is "I have to make the purchase" . Nothing is stated or implied about groceries. Duolingo flubbed on this one.

April 1, 2019


Why not read the other comments. Groceries is implied in hacer la compra.

April 1, 2019


I disagree with the other comments.

April 1, 2019


This isn't something Duolingo made up. Spanish speakers use hacer la compra to mean buy the groceries.

April 1, 2019


M.-J. ... Read UN1CORN2's comment above.

Maybe look up the word idiom in a dictionary.

I'm not pulling your leg

April 13, 2019


Get used to things like this. In UK is full of similar things that does not make sense for the strangers ;)

June 14, 2019


It's just one of those idiomatic expressions. It's frustrating because unless there is someone/place telling you that first there is no way you'd know.

April 1, 2019


Remember, this seccion is called "groceries" So, if we are talking about "to do the shopping" in this context that means to buy groceries.

I think if we were in the clothing section (by example), to do the shopping it could mean many other things.

August 26, 2018


Yeah but in the farm section we didn't talk about farms :-)

October 13, 2018


There was a farm section!?

January 3, 2019



June 20, 2019


It shouldn't matter what section you are working on

May 29, 2019


To me I read it as "I have to do the shopping tomorrow," and hearing this spoken, one would maybe assume that they were referring to buying the groceries. But no, there is not mention of a word that directly translates as "groceries" for those confused.

June 18, 2018


That's almost exactly how it translates but the clue is in "the" being there instead of "some". As in "the" weekly shop or monthly shop for groceries rather than generally having to do "some" shopping. In England it's common to say "do the shop" or "do the shopping" meaning grocery shopping. We hardly ever use the word "groceries".

October 16, 2018


I too am confused! Where is the word for groceries?

June 25, 2018


"Las compras" is colloquially used for "the groceries." "Hace la compra(s) is colloquial for "buy the groceries."

July 24, 2018


In previous sections it was defined as "the shopping"

August 6, 2018


You are right, but when you say "I'm going to go shopping" You could be talking about buy shirts, shoes, hats, or whaterever.

But, when you say I'm going to buy groceries you are talking about buying groceries and nothing else.

Esa es mi conclusión, para lo que he tomado en cuenta que estamos en la sección llamada "comestibles" y que el Inglés es mi segundo idioma. (en aprendizaje).

August 26, 2018


hace la compra means to 'go buy' one should not be punished for not knowing how a language is used colloquially.

September 29, 2018


But teaching effective language means imparting colloquial use. Why does it matter that we get it wrong the first time. Are our egos hurt? Let it hurt once, be proud on the many more occasions coming that you are going to use the phrase correctly.

June 17, 2019


Well said RodBags.

August 24, 2019


See this: https://www.wordreference.com/es/translation.asp?tranword=groceries

Groceries =
(food from store) provisiones nfpl
comida nf
comestibles nmpl

September 16, 2018


For more understanding, you might want to try the discussion forums on this site: http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=hacer%20la%20compra

December 6, 2018


I read: "I have to make the purchase tomorrow." We are inferring the word "comestibles" from the theme of the lesson I guess? Normally I would expect the word "comestibles." I'm not complaining, I'm just genuinely confused. I only got this one right because it was a write-what-you-hear exercise. Or could it be "Tengo que hacer la compra manana de los comestibles. " I double checked that translation and it came out correctly.

February 24, 2018


My objection is their strict English translation of a Spanish idiom... for example "I have to grocery shop tomorrow" is deemed erroneous while "I have to shop for groceries tomorrow" is acceptable. The word "groceries" is merely implied in the Spanish and thus we should have some latitude in translating the Spanish into English. This has nothing to do with learning the Spanish idiom, we need to memorize that. My objection is the English.

November 3, 2018

  1. "hacer la compra" is colloquial (somewhere) for "to buy groceries"
  2. Duolingo should probably refrain from colloquial expressions (that are most likely regionally specific).
  3. We are here to learn. So learn. And stop complaining about "being punished for getting it wrong"
January 4, 2019


I don't think the expression is limited to one place.


Without colloquial expressions we wouldn't be learning Spanish.

Edit and yes, your third point is spot on.

January 4, 2019


daniel and nEjh--both sites you respectively recommend (muchos gracias, btw) suggest "hacer la compra" to mean "to do the shopping" or "to go shopping." I do not suggest that those definitions are colloquial. "To buy groceries," while listed (3rd mind you) in nEjh's reference, the "(US)" before it suggests that "to buy groceries" is, indeed, a reference to American English.

Moot point either way. Thank you both for the feedback.

January 4, 2019


JosRossi, hacer la compra appears not to be regionally specific. Please check the "forum discussions" on this page: http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=hacer%20la%20compra

I completely agree with your third point.

January 4, 2019


I am confused with this answer! There is no context here to assume that what is going to be purchased tomorrow must be groceries. What if it's cars or clothes or some mundane item? Is there something I am missing?

June 13, 2018


abarrotes=groceries! Tengo que comprar los abarrotes manana.....

December 27, 2018


Why do we need hacer ? Tengo que is already I have to. Seems to also use hacer is repeating the I have to

March 8, 2019


Hacer - to do

Tengo que (I have) hacer (to do)

Does that help

March 8, 2019


Hacer = to make (also)

In the southern U.S. it is common to hear.

I need to make groceries

I see this as an idiom that came about because the biggest purchase of the week or month is groceries. the big buy Or la compra (the buy). Or I dont have any money to spend on partying or whatever I need to make the buy Or I need to hold on to my money for the more important purchase of food for the children

Necesito hacer la compra

tengo que hacer la compra

I have to make the big purchase

I have to buy groceries

It's great to have this knowledge of an idiomatic use of compra

Gracias DL

April 13, 2019


Got marked wrong for "I have to do the groceries tomorrow" but i did get it reported because I think it still makes sense (the dictionary hints didn't specify 'buy' and i think 'do' in this case also seems right).

June 23, 2018


Sorry english speakers buy groceries or get groceries but don't do groceries. However they do the shopping. It doesn't make sense, it's just the way everyone speaks.

August 9, 2018


Do the groceries is commonplace parlance in Canada where I live.

September 23, 2018


also from Canada, and I also 'do the groceries', as does everyone I know, so not all English speakers are the same.

January 29, 2019


That depends where you live. I've certainly heard that phrasing in the US and no one would be confused if you said it. The point, really, is that this particular course is about learning Spanish. I think they could be a little looser on the English and tighter on the Spanish.

December 3, 2018


I believe I have heard "do (the) groceries" in the U.S.

October 2, 2018


In Ireland (Dublin) it would be 'get the messages'.

October 4, 2018


"messages" somehow meaning "groceries"?

February 28, 2019


I've heard that many a time when i was a young un Bedl0w:-))

March 24, 2019


I thought "buy" was "comprar"?

September 28, 2018


You are correct. Comprar is "to buy", but in this case, we are not looking at a verb, were looking at a noun.

The hint in the sentence is "la", which is the feminine version of "the" and would make the following word a noun. I realize "compra" is also a conjugated form of comprar, but in this case you have to completely disregard verbs altogether and treat it as a noun.

Comprar - "to buy"

Yo compro - "I buy"

El/Ella/Ustede compra - "he/she/you buys"

LA compra - "THE groceries/shopping"

September 29, 2018


Thank you for taking the time to thoroughly explain! :)

October 1, 2018


Buy is a verb and verbs need to be conjugated!

1 - yo compro

2 - tú compras

3 - él/ella/Ud. compra

4 - nosotros compramos

5 - vosotros compráis

6 - ellos/ellas/Uds. compran

September 29, 2018


It is not so simple as that. When two verbs are together, only the first verb gets conjugated.

"Yo compro una manzana" - I am buying an apple.

"Yo voy a comprar una manzana" - I am going to buy an apple.

The reason behind this, is the raw verb is "to buy" and the conjugated format is "I/you/we/they buy". In the second example we've already conjugated the verb "ir" (to go) to "voy" (I go). If I were to say, ”yo voy a compro una manzana", I would literally be saying "I go to I buy an apple".

September 29, 2018


I get it. Thanks

September 29, 2018


it is, but it seems that it is being used colloquially in this instance.

February 28, 2019


there is no word for groceries or shopping

January 29, 2019


That would be compra (from the verb comprar).

Hacer la compra is a phrase in Spanish http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/hacer%20la%20compra

January 29, 2019


Wow, is this confusing! I was taught 'hacer' means to do or to make. Ay-ay-ay.

March 29, 2019


What's the real translation?

July 28, 2019


I think a lot of the time ......its not what the exact translation is it is what it means and i think this means i have to do the shopping tomorrow

September 21, 2019


I put, "I have to shop tomorrow" and DL corrected it to "I have to go shopping tomorrow." No mention of groceries :) But it seems to me that "shop" and "go shopping" are used interchangeably in English.

June 24, 2018


According to spanish dictionary:

  • To shop = comprar / hacer compras
  • To go shopping = ir de compras
  • To go shopping (buy groceries) = hacer las compras
April 27, 2019


I have to do the shopping tomorrow was marked correct :)

June 27, 2018


I only have certain words to choose from and shopping is not one of them, how are you all able to put words that are not there? I've noticed this a lot from reading comments

July 8, 2018


not everyone uses the word bank. you can just type your answer in some exercises/versions.

July 13, 2018


You have an entire dictionary of words to choose from, if you so choose. For example: https://www.wordreference.com/es/translation.asp?tranword=groceries

September 16, 2018


Does anyone from Duolingo answers these questions?

July 4, 2018


No, not necessarily on the discussion board. Some of the moderators will monitor the discussions and answer here, but as volunteers, some of them may not have time. Generally these boards are here for the members to share questions and insights, as well as some great resources on the web. Luckily some of the members are native to the language we are learning, since they are strengthening their English, so we can get great feedback from them.

Check the duo website for tips on each lesson. It will explain many questions you may have. And if you think there is something wrong with the lesson, flag it and send your report or question to the moderators directly that way. I don't think they will actually answer questions, but if they change the lesson, they will send you a notification. Understand that there are few moderators and because of the number of Duo users they might get thousands of reports to go through on each lesson. As volunteers, it can take a while to make changes, like adding other possible answers that are considered valid.

July 13, 2018


I have read that there is a commonly accepted way to say go shopping for groceries and another to go shopping for things like clothes. This was a while ago and I don't remember the distinction, but I think I saw it on memrise. I am looking forward to hearing from people of different regions to verify this.

July 13, 2018


I did "I have to buy things," in the word bank and it didn't accept it. I was really surprised by the groceries thing.

July 23, 2018


Why is" I have to do shopping tomorrow " wrong?

September 8, 2018


See comments above.

September 16, 2018


I never would have guessed that except I used the word bank instead of the keyboard. I would have said "I have to do the shopping tomorrow."

November 21, 2018


'I have to get the groceries tomorrow.' is marked wrong. Correct answer: I have to buy the groceries tomorrow. Hacer now means 'to buy'? Why wouldn't one say "Tengo que comprar la compra mañana." The colloquialism used here needs more explanation.

March 25, 2019


Hacer la compra is a common Spanish expression that means "to buy the groceries". There are about twenty common ways to phrase that in English and the course contributors did their best to include all variations. They missed a few.

March 25, 2019


I have to buy groceries tomorrow. = Tengo que comprar comestibles mañana. "Tengo que hacer la compra mañana." = "I have to make the purchase tomorrow."

June 7, 2019


What if you want to buy organic groceries eh!

June 12, 2019


Tengo que hacer la compra a Whole Foods. I'm just taking a guess on that.

June 12, 2019


I have not heard it spoken this way. I have heard "necesito ir de compras" which means "I need to go shopping". Shopping in the more general sense.

June 12, 2019


It's funny we are defending the Spanish phrase via colloquial use and yet "doing the groceries" in this thread sounds alien?

You hear it in TV programs all the time from Native English speakers.


June 17, 2019


Yes, this is a tricky one. Comprar means to buy, however compra has a double meaning and doesn't mean "i buy", it means he or she buys and, alternatively, groceries. Hacer as to buy is also a curveball. I found a definition of "to get" for that one so i guess that's expanded to include "i buy"

July 5, 2019


"I have to do the groceries tomorrow" is incorrect. I believe that this can easily be an alternative translation.

July 8, 2019


This is rather vague, my research indicates hacer la compra could mean to buy groceries or to purchase something. Needs context.

July 29, 2019


'Hacer' translated as 'to buy'???

August 4, 2019


La compra also means shopping yes? Oh man. There are so many meaning to one word

August 10, 2019


GrantBrian, I think
hacer la compra = "to buy groceries and similar necessities," while
ir de compras = "to go shopping" for other things (e.g., clothes, shoes).

August 10, 2019


Strange, I don't get it.

September 12, 2019


“I have to get the shopping tomorrow” was rejected (I’m a native English speaker) September 2019

September 16, 2019


I came here looking for more of an explanation on this sentence, too, but as I was reading through the comments, ended up chuckling to myself. It actually DOES make bit of sense. "I have to do the shopping" (for the week, for the party, etc.) is a phrase we ALL THE TIME (as native english speakers) without ever saying the word 'groceries'. (We live in the midwest, just outside of Chicago.) I never gave it much thought until this phrase came up here in Duo. So I tested it out. (lol!) I called to my hubby and simply asked him when he thought "we should do the shopping". Without skipping a beat, he said, "I don't care as long as we don't go to that [grocery store] on Division St. They never have the right cuts of meat I like."... :D

September 17, 2019


I answered "I have to do the shopping tomorrow" and got it right. Confusing when facing this sentence for the first time. "Hacer" means to do or make, but the tip said have, and the real answer is buy.

I get that there are idioms, but this could have been put under the light bulb.

September 29, 2019


Aha, when I say 'do the shopping' it is accepted but not 'do the groceries'. That does not make sense

September 30, 2019


Do the shopping is a common expression, but I don't believe do the groceries is.

September 30, 2019


"I have to do grocery shopping" be accepted?

October 7, 2019


Why doesn't Duolingo accept the expression "make groceries" not accepted? I know we don't literally make the groceries, we buy them. But it is an acceptable expression. Thanks for any insight.

July 30, 2019


You are a slave to literal translations.

September 29, 2019


This method of teaching through error is a little bizarre. I have used other learning applications and in them an idea is taught before it is tested.???

September 3, 2019


I agree. But this is how Duo does it much of the time. The comments in the discussion groups show it confuses people and gets them mad. But Duo people don't read the comments.

September 29, 2019


"I have to do the grocery tomorrow" is good.

October 10, 2019


Why is "I have to shop groceries tomorrow" wrong?

January 10, 2019


That sentence doesn't make sense in English. Shop is an intransitive verb, so you can't use a direct object after it.

January 10, 2019


Show me the groceries

July 5, 2018


"Groceries" is a colloquial translation of "la compra," a Spanish noun that I assume derives from the Spanish verb "comprar" (to buy/to shop[?]).

July 24, 2018


I don't like the use of idiomatic expressions in the initial test.

October 12, 2018


It may be an idiomatic expression but it is the ONLY way to express this. Why in the world would you want to learn an incorrect literal translation that no one would ever use and would make you look foolish? That's senseless.

Learn it right. Learn it once. You're making your life harder to learn the wrong way only to have to relearn if the right way later.

October 12, 2018


I'm going respectfully disagree. I've traveled through every country in Latin America and a large part of South America as well. Doing so I've come to acknowledge that (a) I have a gringo accent, (b) my Spanish is woeful, and (c) I will not improve either unless I get out there and risk being senseless and appearing foolish. In all my time I've never had anyone -- except other English-speaking students of Spanish who are more fluent than me -- laugh at my Spanish. I submit that if neo335868 or any of us were to say to someone in La Paz "mañana voy a ir al mercado y voy a comprar comida" the hearer would know exactly what was meant. No one should hesitate to risk saying something the wrong way especially in the real world. That's how we improve.

December 27, 2018
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