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'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.
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 tú 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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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".
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.
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.