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"¿Cuándo vuelven ustedes a California?"

Translation:When are you going back to California?

March 23, 2018



I mistakenly flagged this question when I thought I should have gotten in right, but instead of translating it into English, I had just typed it in Spanish again. In my mind, I thought I HAD changed it to English. That means I've started to think in Spanish! :D


Yes. That's a wonderful feeling. I learned German in Germany. I vividly remember the day I was walking into the little village I lived near and was thinking my random thoughts. It was common for me to try and translate my thoughts into German as practice, but I was surprisingly stumped in translating one word until I realized that the word, and indeed my whole thought, was already in German.


"when do they return to california" Why do I not understand this, the vuelven and ustedes makes me think plural "they". Why wouldnt it be Cuando vuelves usted a california if it was supposed to be "you"?


These are correct sentences:

¿Cuándo vuelve usted a California? (you, formal, singular)

¿Cuándo vuelven ellos/ellas a California? (they)

¿Cuándo vuelven ustedes a California? (you all, plural)


Reeion, and here is one more: ¿Cuándo vuelves tú a California? (you, informal, singular) :-)


I answered "you all" and Duolingo didn't accept it! Thank you for your comprehensive answer.


thanks for the help.


I agree. Shouldn't it be vuelves?


When will you return to California means exactly the same thing. Why is it counted as wrong?


I also chose to use return and it was incorrect


why is it not "When do they go back to California?


Can you put ustedes first? Cuando ustedes vuelven.


dorothyfra6 & Pierr, no, in Spanish they want the verb before the pronoun in questions, reversing the S-V-O order.


vuelven refers to "they"


But the addition of "ustedes" makes it "you (plural)", or as our southern friends are fond of saying, "ya'll". :-)


Does Ustedes always come after the verb? I feel its usually the other way so this sentence confused me


Well this is a question with an interrogative pronoun. That means that the most "standard" syntax is this one. Where ustedes cannot be in between the interrogative pronoun and the verb, so these are not questions that can use sentence syntax, although many Spanish questions without interrogatives do. Of course the most common Spanish syntax would be to omit the pronoun, even with ustedes.


Lynette is right, with interrogative words like qué, cuándo, dónde, cuál, etc., it's always Interrogative word + verb + subject Examples: - ¿Qué es eso? - ¿Cuándo sale el tren?


Really Duo, you failed that because of a typo on the word California lololol


"when are you coming back to California" is it correct? or only context of who is asking the question will clarify whether you are home comers or visitors.


The Spanish verb volver means to return. We have two different Germanic style phrasal verbs that should also work - came back and go back. The word return always has an implicit "back" in English. The issue isn't that, it's whether they are coming or going back. In real life only one is correct, but without sufficient context return, come back and go back should all be accepted. But sometimes one option is forgotten.

  • 392

To add to what lynettemcw wrote:

Yes, "when are you coming back to California" is one of many valid and accepted English translation of the sentence.


It is accepted 23 Oct 2020.


Does anyone know if in the Spanish to English courses they accept "you guys," or, "you all," as translations for ustedes? When I was taking Spanish in high school 10 years ago, my teacher made a point to make the distinction.
I'd also be much more likely to use "you guys" than just "you" in this situation (or maybe for funsies throw in y'all).


No. In the Spanish to English course they teach ustedes as you, at least for the most part. This is appropriate, however, since that is the most common practice in most cases in English. Learning Spanish from English is where this device is needed. English speakers have to be "reminded" that sometimes when we say "you" we are talking to one person and sometimes to more than one person. Personally, I rarely say you guys in English, which is what I mostly hear as well, although some people do use it more. My favorite device for ustedes is actually y'all, even though I never say that, except maybe in parody. But it has a couple of advantages. First of all it looks like one word, like ustedes. Inevitably if you say you all or you guys, some of the users are going to look for some additional word in the Spanish that says all or guys. It also represents the dialect in English that essentially does regularly use a plural you. Spanish speakers have to learn to use the context to interpret who comprises "you", because in many English sentences more than one person is being addressed with absolutely no clue in the sentence grammar. It's essentially the reciprocal skill.

As an aside, I have to say the Spanish for English course has somewhat inexplicable but serious problems in both the Spanish and the English. The Spanish uses some surprising vocabulary, while not accepting synonyms. They use anteojos for glasses instead of gafas or lentes, and automóvil for car instead of coche or carro. The Spanish users don't use these words, and they are always screaming about the redundancy in exercises like "Me mostró a mi...". There are random errors in the English like translating ir a la fiesta as come to the party. The pronunciation is also off sometimes such that the word "live" in the sentence They live is pronounced like "live" in the live fish.

  • 392

Thanks lynettemcw. Very interesting.


Thank you for your response, lynettemcw. I think that once I've gotten (much, much) further in this course I'll have a look at the other, too.

  • 392

All of your suggestions ("you", "you all", "you guys", "y'all") are included in alternative accepted answers to this translation.

I believe the same sentence pairs are used in both courses, but I have no way to confirm it.


How do you make the upside down question mark


The answer to that question depends on what device you use and how you get other international characters. On my android phone, it's just a long keypress on the period key to bring up.!, ¿¡.? On my Windows 10 laptop I use the US International keyboard which has different key combinations although I don't remember which creates the ¿. But to be honest it was the upside down punctuation - both remembering and creating it - that helped me discover that Duo doesn't require punctuation.


Upside down question mark? How do you make it,?


Why "when you go back to california" marked as wrong?


En inglés con verbos sin auxiliar, (excepto el verbo "to be") se necesita poner una forma del verbo "to do" en las preguntas así como las frases negativas. When do you go back to California. Además California requiere una letra mayascula, aunque no sé sí Duo la rechaza. Tu frase solo sería correcta si fuera una cláusula dependiendo. Esa "when" sería cuando, no cuándo.


I used vuelvan instead of vuelven. What does vuelvan mean, please?


Vuelvan would be the present subjunctive form. The infinitive here is volver. ER and IR verbs use e in most of the endings in the present indicative, although the IR verbs use an i in the nosotros form. So your present tense conjugation here is Yo vuelvo, tú vuelves, él/ella/usted vuelve, nosotros volvemos, ellos/ellas/ustedes vuelven. AR verbs like hablar use an a in all of those endings. But in the present subjunctive, the endings swap, so AR verbs use the endings with an e, and ER and IR verbs use the endings with a. There are some irregular forms and the present subjunctive uses the root of the yo form instead of the infinitive root, so tener, for example, does end up with unique looking forms like tengas. But for most verbs, the subjunctive has a quite subtle difference from the indicative, and if you don't remember which ending the verb has, it can get confusing.


Vuelven should definitely be plural right?


Yes, as is the associated subject pronoun ustedes, the only plural you in Latin America and the formal plural you in Spain.


"When are they going back to California" What's wrong with that? Isn't vuelven the 3rd plural form?


Vuelven us indeed the third person plural, but it's actually followed by ustedes. Ustedes takes a third person plural conjugation but means you/y'all. When no subject pronoun is present Duo allows all possible pronouns, but when one is included the other no longer works.


Can i not say the "ustedes" part? I mean the people I'm talking to know that I'm talking to THEM and no ome else so is it like a necesity or can i say the sentence without it?


In context you can always omit any subject pronoun, and in conversation most will be, including él and ella. It is the speakers choice. I have noticed what seems to be a cultural issue of tending to used usted as an additional measure of respect in those circumstances where respect/politeness are especially important. But ustedes doesn't do that, at least in Latin America, and I doubt that it would in the plural anyway. Duo uses subject pronouns much too frequently, but as a teaching program, that does serve some purpose. Always report it when they require the subject pronoun.


Going back and returning are the same. The program repeatedly makes this error.


Returning is the same as both going back and coming back. One of the two more English options are frequently missed in the database. Just report it when you see that.


What the difference if make it[ vuelven ustedes, or ustedes vuelven ]?


When you have an interrogative pronoun like cuándo, dónde, quién, qué, etc, the verb phrase must come directly after the interrogative. I call it a verb phrase because any object pronouns that precede the verb would be there, but the subject pronoun cannot come between. This is the "traditional" placement shown by Duo. But since all pronouns, including ustedes, are omitted much more frequently than they are included, and are most likely to be included for emphasis, the form Ustedes, cuándo vuelven... is also quite common.


if we are talking about you(all) why not vuelves . Surely vuelven is for they..


No. Vuelves is only for tú. Tú forms are used to address one familiar person only. But if you use either the formal singular usted or the only Latin American plural you, ustedes, they both used third person forms. Usted is conjugated exactly like él and ella, and ustedes exactly like ellos and ellas.

In Spain they do also use vosotros. In Spain vosotros is the plural form for tú to address a group of people you use tú with like family, friends and children. That means in Spain, ustedes is only the plural of usted, for people you are on a more formal footing with. But since Duo teaches mostly Latin American Spanish, there are only a few lessons that focus on vosotros. The others all use the Latin American ustedes whenever you are talking to more than one person.

Since we are on the subject of things it's hard to remember, I wanted to mention something that Duo doesn't have many mandatory translations that clarify, but it caught my attention watching shows in Spanish. Since usted and ustedes use third person verb forms that also means they use third person object pronouns. Duo has many exercises with verbs like gustar that show le and les for the indirect object pronoun for usted and ustedes respectively. But I don't remember any direct object pronouns for you in the formal or plural you being shown as translations. What I really had never quite figured out was that if you address someone by usted or ustedes, gender becomes a factor for the direct object pronoun. So that exercise I remember because of the redundancy, Te elijo a ti. Would have two versions in usted and ustedes. It would be La elijo a usted for a woman and Lo elijo a usted for a man. The ustedes las, like other feminine plural forms would only apply if everyone in the group were female.


Vuelves is always singular familiar

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