"She is brushing her long hair."

Translation:Ella se cepilla su cabello largo.

March 12, 2018



This is the only example using 'su cabello' instead of 'el cabello'. What is the difference?

March 12, 2018


Sometimes when the body part is modified by an adjective the possessive is used, it mostly happens in poetry I believe, but to be honest, this is not a good example, as it's something a native speaker would not say in actual speech, and the poetic version would be more like "Ella se cepilla su largo cabello". As it stands right now, it sounds like she's got another set of hair apart from the long one.

August 25, 2018


That is a great last sentence! Well put.

August 26, 2018


Genius critique.

August 31, 2018


Thanks, alezzzix. You have answered a question I asked on another question that you apparently have not seen. It's good information!

January 7, 2019


I love it! Thank you

October 2, 2018


thanks. This one always confuses me, since we just did a zillion lessons with emphasis on masculine and feminine.

August 14, 2019


I'm pretty sure it's an error. The reflexive indicates it's her hair so there's no need to say it.

April 27, 2018


Well, at least I was not marked as wrong when I typed "el cabello largo."

April 3, 2019


I was marked wrong with "el cabello largo."

August 5, 2019


It would be nice if someone who knows for sure why "su" is used here instead of "el," would explain it. Please.

August 7, 2018


Should it be "Ella se cepilla el cabello largo"? Or maybe when the direct object is described with an adjective (largo) it necessitates the possessive pronoun?

May 25, 2018


07/14/18. Very good educated guess, lv2jft8s. It is the adjective "largo" which at least permits (if not necessitates) the use of the possessive adjective "su" in this exercise example.

"When the thing possessed is emphasized or particularized by context, or by an adjective or some other words, or whenever ambiguity must be avoided, the possessive adjective usually reappears: [ ] Vi sus ojos grandes, fatigados, sonrientes y como lacrimosos. I saw her eyes, big, tired, smiling, and seemingly tearful." Butt, John and Carmen Benjamin, A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish, § 8.4.3 (Definite article instead of possessives), p. 96 (4th ed. 2004).

But note that the above contrasts with another example from www.thoughtco.com/body-parts-vocabulary-3079570, where a definite article is used with a body part modified by an adjective: "Tengo el pelo ❤❤❤❤❤. (I have black hair.)"

Apparently, choosing the use of a 'possessive adjective' over a 'definite article' with a body part modified by an adjective is more optional than mandatory in Spanish, with the 'possessive adjective' being chosen when the intent is to place greater emphasis on the modified 'body part' noun.

July 14, 2018


Isn't "Tengo el pelo" saying, "I have hair"?

Not, "I have BLACK hair".

June 13, 2019


The word for black was blocked by some automated system

July 13, 2019


what is wrong with "Ella está cepillando su cabello largo"

February 28, 2019


I had the same problem. Accepted when I added "se": "Ella se esta cepillando su cabello largo."

April 4, 2019


someone help us

August 21, 2018


throughout the lesson we are being told to use 'el' and suddenly this is wrong and it's 'su'.

August 23, 2018


I don't yet understand the difference between saying cepillarse vs se cepilla... Anyone know to help me understand this???

September 26, 2018


i think i got it; cepillarse is the infinitive form so for example i could say "he wants to brush his hair" - "el quiere cepillarse el cabello" as opposed to he's brushing his hair "el se cepilla el cabello"

September 26, 2018


Quick and simple; first verb needs a prefix in front, second verb in a row will need it to be added behind. "Tiene que" is also considered a verb so the next verb coming cannot have a prefix.

El quiere cepillarse = two verbs - El se cepilla = one verb

This didn't turn out simple at all. :)

October 31, 2018


I got confused by this as well because i didn't notice that it was one of those reflexive verbs... meaning "i brush my own hair" vs. "I brush hair". The former needs the extra me/te/se/etc. before the conjugation. At least that's how i made sense of it later.

December 23, 2018


what is wrong with "Ella está cepillandose el cabello."?
Or should it / could it be "Ella se está cepillando el cabello"?

March 27, 2019


Why is "esta cepillando" wrong?

May 6, 2019


I believe that either su or el are correct, and el is more common.

August 15, 2018


El is correct also. Accepted 2/14/19

February 14, 2019


Yes indeed, why is "el cabello" wrong? "Cepillar el cabello" as far as I know means "to brush one's hair"

August 20, 2018


'el cabello' is not wrong

May 1, 2019


Yes, it is very tricky to know if it should be "su" or "la"

December 8, 2018


Duo accepts either su cabello or el cabello.

December 22, 2018


I always use PELO for hair.

January 7, 2019


Yes, why is it cabello? After all, you go to a peloteria to get your hair cut, not a cabelloteria.

January 20, 2019


I am assuming that "cabello" is an American usage. I was taught "pelo" by a native Spanish speaker.

April 24, 2019


I got this correct and don't even understand how or why. That's bad.

February 5, 2019


She might well have. I remember my wife's hair pieces.

July 31, 2019


How confusig this is! I love the explanation by alezzzix about poetry, but ostensibly we're learning conversational Spanish and after missing a a similar question for using su, it seems as though the deck is stacked!

August 11, 2019


You used the singular "cabello" here, instead of the plural "cabellos". Ella se cepilla su cabello largo.

W. T. F....

May 13, 2019


"Ella cepillarse el cabello largo."

May 4, 2019
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