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  5. "¿Tú dónde pones la carne?"

"¿Tú dónde pones la carne?"

Translation:Where do you put the meat?

March 17, 2018



I've never seen this word order before. How common is it to place the subject before an interrogative, like "dónde"?


Very common, remember you can switch word order in Spanish for emphasis.


would you also stress the word "tú" as you spoke the sentence?


You'd give it a bit of stress, most likely. Similarly to English, "I don't know what's happening, do you?"


Wouldn't it start as "a tu" then?


No need. There's no te. Besides, she isn't asked where (dressing room or something) she put on the meat, a la Lady Gaga. She's being asked where she put the meat down.


Same question here: this word order was very different.


I've always been taught that the subject goes behind the verb and the interrogative in a question. For example, in English, if we asked "Where are you going?", in Spanish, it would be "¿Adónde vas tú?"


Subject pronouns are very flexible in Spanish, and the word order is generally not very rigid. The word order here suggests a meaning like "I know where I would put the meat, but where do you usually put it?"


RyagonIV I've come to really appreciate your helpful presence in this discussion board. Thank you! You are a big reason I click in to see what I can learn from your offerings.


Thank you so much! As I've progressed further in Spanish, I've come to realize this, but when I first came across this sentence, it seemed very strange at the time


Yes! This makes so much more sense when you put it that way!! Thanks!!


Nice answer. Very well explained.


Most of the time you wouldn't include the "tú" at all. Most of the time subject pronouns are unnecessary and therefore not used.


The ordering of words sometimes perplexes me, but after a while you start to get used to it.

I'm not sure if this is a good explanation, but I think you sentences like this as "You, where are you putting the meat?" (Even though there's not a comma in Duo's sentence).

I wonder if "Donde tu pones la carne" would be acceptable as well...Or maybe it's technically acceptable, but might sound weird because nobody says it that way?

I honestly don't know...about that...Maybe someday I'll be traveling in South America and someone will laugh at me and tell me I sound like I learned Spanish from a website.


It is not very usual, we use instead: ¿Dónde pones la carne? or ¿En donde pones la carne? The option ¿Tú dónde pones la carne? is used in caribbean countries like Puerto rico or in very polite situations, but in this case you have to replace "Tú" for "Usted".


This has to be the weirdest word order in my DL history. I have never seen donde put between the subject and the verb. If I had done this, it would have been marked wrong for sure.


I have tried it in a couple of other sentences and it was, in fact, deemed wrong. You won't often see this word order in writing, but it's widely used in speech.


Thank you answering this question alezzzix.


It's not that its incorrect. Trust me. At first sight it looked weird to me too. Then I remember putting the tu/usted/él etc. at the front is always an option if you need or want to clarify whom you are speaking to or about.

Like if we say, and you, have you been?. You! Where are you putting the meat?! Clearly a terrible, unspiring sentence but if we are at the same DL point, all they are trying to teach here really is how to conjugate poner.


I see it as a question by someone helping to unpack groceries and they are loading the fridge, hey where do you put the meat?


Good scenario, but doesn't explain why Duo begins the question with ""tú." Seems as though it would be "¿Dónde pones la carne?" or "¿Dónde tú pones la carne?"

EDIT (a week later): I now understand that my first suggestion (¿Dónde pones la carne?) is the usual way of asking the question and that my second suggestion (¿Dónde tú pones la carne?) is simply wrong. Apparently, Duo's purpose is to have us understand that, if you are going to use a pronoun with a question word, the pronoun precedes the question word.

So, now I have two more questions:
1) What if the verb form doesn't make the subject clear (e.g., two kids unpacking groceries in their mother's kitchen)? Would it be more common to hear ¿Ella dónde pone la carne? than ¿Tú dónde pones la carne?

2) What about using a noun, not a pronoun, with question words? For example, "Where does the cook put the meat?" Would that be ¿Dónde el cocinero pone la carne? or ¿Dónde pone la carne el cocinero? or something else?

Please forgive me if I'm taking up time/space with basic questions, but it has been a very long time since I supposedly learned some Spanish.


"¿Dónde tú pones la carne?" is not exactly wrong, but to me, personally, it sounds weird. Subject pronouns are very flexible and you can put practically anywhere in this sentence.

In questions with a question word, the usual word order is QVSO, so "¿Dónde pones tú la carne?", or "¿Dónde pone ella la carne?", or "¿Dónde pone el cocinero la carne?"

The purpose of having the pronoun before the question word is purely a matter of emphasis - Where do you, personally, put it?


Thanks to you, Alezzzix and others who have pointed out the "word order for emphasis" part.


I have never seen this word order either.


¿Dónde pones la carne? without tú


Perfectly acceptable.


Is the Tú even needed? Doesn't "¿Dónde pones la carne?" convey the same question?


Neal, the is not needed and "¿Dónde pones la carne?" has about the same meaning.


Would it have been correct to drop the 'tu' and simply said 'donde pones la carne?' because the conjugation of poner contains the subject?


Absolutely in fact it is much more common


I think that the word order in spanish is not that strong as in for example in english. I speak hungarian and in this language I can say sometimes the same sentence in four different word order and it would mean the same thing. I think this is probably what happens in spanish too. It doesnt count as much where you put the words as in english or german.

[deactivated user]

    This is a strange thing Duolingo drills into people. Subject pronouns are only absolutely necessary in Spanish to specify a third person or to emphasize the subject. "¿Dónde pones la carne?" is both totally fine and more natural.


    It is done here for emphasis. It's a pretty good sentence.


    Maybe like: You! where do you put the meat? In English I am guessing


    Except it's not past tense...


    Yes I did overlook that critical element :) So I have edited my response accordingly. Thanks for that

    [deactivated user]

      It may be easier to understand if there was a comma after the tú. This would create a pause and be easier to understand.


      Seems to me that this is one of those situations where most spanish speakers would omit the first word tú knowing that the verb tells u who they are addressing. but it was added into the sentance by DL to show us students the technically correct way that the sentance should (could) be said. Like writing yo te amo. Instead of just te amo.


      Last time we had this sentence it said "Adonde". Now it's Tu donde. Why the difference?


      Thomas, I do not know which sentence you're referring to.

      ¿Dónde? means "at which place?", and ¿adónde? means "to which place?", talking about a movement somewhere.


      Adonde would be for "Where are you putting the meat?" (The meat is in motion).

      Dónde is for "Where do you put the meat?" Meaning what location does it go to.


      I don't agree at all. It has nothing to do with whether some motion might occur, but rather whether the verb is about motion. We don't say, in either language, that we're "putting" something "to" a place, we say we are putting something "in" a place. Of course, if we're putting something somewhere, we have to move it there. But the "putting" is about the final place, not the motion towards there. If the verb were "moving", or something like it, then "to" (or "a") would be appropriate.


      If you say "Where do you put something?", that is true. If you ask "Where are you putting something?", that something is clearly moving.

      Where means at, in or to what place.



      It clearly implies a motion, but "putting" is still about the final location, not the path. We don't say "Where are you putting something to?" In the same way, you wouldn't use "adónde" in Spanish. It's harder for English speakers because in English, it is not considered proper to use the "to" even with verbs of motion. Most people would say, "Where are you going?" and not "Where are you going to?" But hopefully you can see the difference of why "to" works better with moving than with putting.


      Forget about motion, thats too complex. In aimple words:

      Dónde: location Adónde: destination


      I do wish Duo would offer a little more explanation to the significance of the word order. The tu just adds emphasis. It’s like in English if I started the sentence with Hey! Another example could be Tu que opinas. Hey! What’s your opinion. I hope this helps a little.


      This word order is very strange. If you want to put the focus on "you", the "tú" has to go at the end of the question: "Dónde pones la carne tú?" There is a big literature on how when doing subject focus in Spanish, speakers put the subject at the end of the sentence.

      For instance, this paper: https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/probus-2014-0004/html discusses the literature on the topic. The base presumption in the literature is that subject focus occurs at the end of the sentence (rightmost) and while this paper discusses the possibility of initial focus, it occurs only with full nouns (e.g. Maria), not pronouns (tú).

      There's also not many Google hits for the phrase "tú dónde" and most of them are for "tú dónde estás" (though the phrase "dónde estás tú" has almost 5x as many hits). The phrase "tú dónde pones" has very few hits (5000), most of them being "y tú, dónde pones..." (and you? where did you put...) which is not the same construction as in this Duolingo sentence. Compare that to "dónde pones tú" which has 111k hits.


      As more evidence that Duolingo is doing something ungrammatical:


      Quote: "The Spanish question formula is: ¿(Preposition) + question word + conjugated verb + (subject) + (additional information)?"

      So you would never put "tú" before the question word "dónde".


      Not true my friend. I could say to you y tu de donde eres? And it would be good Spanish


      That is not the same structure, because of the "y" in front. "y tu? de donde eres" is translated as "and you? where are you from?". That is not the same construction as simply "where are you from?" The "y tu" is there to address the person, similar to saying the person's name explicitly. It would be correctly punctuated in Spanish as "Y tú, ¿de dónde eres?" because you're addressing the person, like "Y Juan, ¿de dónde eres?" ("and Juan, where are you from?"). You have to distinguish addressing a person before the question from the actual question.

      And I explicitly mentioned the "y tu" construction in my post above, saying it was different. "y tú, de dónde eres?" is not the same as "tú de dónde eres?". Again, the first phrase is addresses the person before asking the question "de dondé eres", while the second phrase just has an ungrammatical placement of the subject "tú" before the preposition + question word "de dónde". You didn't read what I said.


      I believe you misread what he wrote. Yes, if you change the structure of his sentence, it is no longer the same structure, but that hardly invalidates his point.

      He wrote: ¿Y tú de dónde eres? = And where are you from?

      You changed it to: Y tú, ¿de dónde eres? = And you, where are you from?

      You seem to have done a lot of research. However, Alezzzix, a native Spanish speaker with a reputation for insightful and well-grounded messages points out above:

      You won't often see this word order in writing, but it's widely used in speach.

      Maybe Google just doesn't search speach? ;-)


      I am an English speaker studying Spanish. I, too, have a tendency to look for a word-to-word translation. That's a mistake. We just have to accept the word order/word use and quit trying to make it fit the word order/word use of our native languages. Quit fighting it and just learn what they're telling you. For example, in English we say "I'm 40 years old," but the Spanish phraseology translates word-for-word as "I have 40 years." So we have to open up our minds to new things. I will learn and remember "Tu donde pones la carne?" Sorry, my keyboard doesn't have accent marks.


      So true. I keep in mind that when little two-year-old me was figuring out talking, it was sounds and their rhythms that I heard. Their meanings only became apparent with repetition. And the touchstone for correctness became "Does it sound right?" So, as much as possible, with Duolingo I close my eyes and play the audio over and over so I hear it rather than belabour it. An interesting development is that with our first language, if you hear incorrect grammar over and over, it sticks. A multitude of English speakers think it is correct to say "I was laying in my bed" or "I laid there for hours". When I point out that they really mean "I was lying in my bed" and "I lay (past tense) there for hours", they are adamant that I am wrong. Explaining carefully that "lie" and "lay" are two completely different verbs, that "lay" requires an object, doesn't help. And so, the repetition that Duolingo provides in Spanish allows us to hear over and over the correct sounds and rhythms. Word-for-word translation makes it tricky.


      I agree Susan. It is hard to do but fighting will slow the learning. I was getting a massage here in Tijuana yesterday “real massage” and after I got situated she knocked and came in and said “hace calor”? I thought what did she say and then it clicked. Is it hot. I said no todo bien. That lack of immediate comprehension was due to trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.


      Good questions. And what is the significance of the structure. Does it add emphasis or not or is it just a minor change?


      It adds emphasis. We're asking where you, specifically, personally, put your meat.


      "Where do you put the meat?" was marked as incorrect? Odd Indeed.


      How is that possible? "Where do you put the meat?" is the official answer.


      You put the meat where? is another way of saying this, but it wasn't accepted.


      That is a very weird word order and wouldn't match the tone of the Spanish sentence.

      ¿Pones la carne dónde?


      I get the impression this is like being at a job orientation and you ask, Where do you put the meat? But you are asking for yourself, Where does one put the meat?


      I do not understand why "Where are you putting the meat?" was not accepted.


      It's a fine translation, but the Spanish sentence sounds to me more like "Where do you usually store your meat?"


      "Where are you putting the meat?" was accepted 2020/02.


      What would you change to make it "Where did you put the meat?"


      The verb would need to change to the preterite form: "¿Dónde pusiste la carne?"


      How else could you write this sentence? Could you say "Donde pones la carne?"


      Sure. You can usually leave subject pronouns out.


      The word order here is confusing to me.


      I understand the word order much better by removing the "Tú". "¿Dónde pones la carne?" Simple. Just looks hard.


      but how do we know if it is just a question or if there is emphasis like " where do YOU put the meat?" I put it on the table not in the fridge.. confused.. sigh


      Usually you'd just put emphasis on the respective word while speaking, like in English. In writing it's a bit more complex, but you should remember that subject pronouns aren't usually used in Spanish. If you use them, there will be some emphasis on the person.


      I don't understand this word order either. I have never seen it when studying Spanish before.


      I am another learner that finds this format different and strange. I am glad to learn here that the format is commonly used, and am getting used to it, but I wonder why, in all the Spanish classes I have taken, it has never been introduced by an instructor. Just one of those holes in instruction, I suppose, and another reason why I love DUO and these discussions.


      I get it, we're learning. But this wording, threw me for a loop. Okay, back to Duo.


      Donde? En tu coño, por supuesto!


      What are the rules about when to use dónde or adónde?


      Why wasn't: Where did you put the meat? Accepted?


      As we've done the lessons, many times sentences start with Donde.

      Why now do we start some sentences with Tu donde?


      It’s merely to show you that it’s another option. Not necessary but an option


      This isn't a common sentence in english. I might say "where do you keep the meat"


      Why is the Tú required at all?


      It’s not required it is totally optional


      La señorita Gaga se pone la carne.


      Is "Dónde tú pones" correct also?


      It is correct and used, but it sounds a bit odd. Usually you wouldn't put anything between the question word and the verb.


      Can i say donde tu pones la carne ?


      Adventiani, you can say that, but it might sound a bit sloppy. If you have a question that's beginning with a question word, you shouldn't put anything betwen the question phrase and the verb.

      Another natural variant would be "¿Dónde pones tú la carne?"


      why not, "You put the meat WHERE?"


      Do you need "Tu"? Or is it just there for emphasis?


      Is there someone who can answer these questions about the word order?


      Yes, probably.


      Why is it la (and not el) carne


      Carne is a feminine noun, easy as that.


      Perhaps the word "tú" was placed in the sentence by mistake.


      The is very fine in this sentence. Why do you think it wouldn't be?


      It just provides emphasis on the person you are asking. Say 3 people standing in the same area and you look at one and say tu donde pones la carne. It is clear who you are speaking to

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