"My English friends don't ever write to me."
Translation:Mis amigas inglesas no me escriben nunca.
Yes, you can, but it's less strong. Just as never write to me is less strong than don't ever write to me.
- ... never write to me. = ... nunca me escriben. (It's quite neutral)
- ... don't ever write to me. = ... no me escriben nunca. (It's stronger and puts emphasis on nunca)
Good enough, and thanks for the response, but I just want to clarify something. In another comment on this thread you mentioned that my translation would be considered repetitive. I see that, but it doesn't seem much more repetitive to me than "Le voy a dar un libro a Juan". I think that's what's throwing me off.
So, this what I think I'm missing, correct me if I'm wrong. The Spanish indirect object words (me, te, lo, la, le) must be used any time an indirect object is mentioned, but the "a _" is only used when clarifying who the indirect object is referring to, otherwise it's awkward/unusual. So, "Give me the book" would be "Dame el libro"; "I gave you the book" would be "Dite el libro"; but "Give the book to John" would be "Dale a John el libro ", because in this sentence it could be unclear who the "le" is referring to.
Is this right?
Yes, for the most part. Clarification is used more often with "le" because it is ambiguous. Me, te, and nos are pretty clear. (Though you might use "a mí" if, for example, they are trying to give the book to someone else and you want to say the equivalent of, "Give it to ME!")
But "I gave you the book" would be "Te di el libro." Pronouns are only attached to the end of infinitives, gerundios, and positive commands. Otherwise they go before the conjugated verb.
Also, while "Dale a John el libro" is acceptable, it is more commonly phrased, "Dale el libro a John."
Apologies if you get this response twice. My first response isn't showing up for some reason.
Thanks! This is helpful, especially the part about pronouns only attaching at the ends of infinitives, gerunds, and positive commands. I was unaware of this, and it answers some questions I've had in the past. One question though, in the instances you mentioned (infinitives, etc.), do the pronouns have to attach to the end, or is it optional?
I also like the "Damelo a mi" example. I can see why the redundancy would emphasize the "to me" in "Give it to ME". Conversational rules like this are hard to come by on online lessons, and they're one of the main reasons I come to the comment sections.
As for "Dale el libro a John", that's how I wrote it initially. Then I checked myself on an online translator (Microsoft translate) before posting, and it corrected me to "Dale a John el libro"...
And I have learned, yet again, not to trust online translators.
Thanks for the input!
Glad I could help! :)
Pronouns can't go directly before an infinitive, but if there is a conjugated verb and an infinitive, you have a choice. It can either be attached to the end of the infinitive or placed before the conjugated verb.
So, for example: "I'm going to sit down" could be either:
Voy a sentarme.
Me voy a sentar.
Same for gerundios. "I'm giving it to you" could be:
Te lo estoy dando.
I can't think of any situations with commands that would have two verbs together.
Generally a verb goes between the two.
The only situation I can think of having them together would be an emphatic answer or response, and there'd still be a punctuation mark between them.
Something like: "Join the dark side!" "No, never!" (Although I think in Spanish I'd say, "¡No! ¡Nunca lo haré!")
This is probably wrong as it relates to the requested sentence, but I used "...nunca me escriben nada." I'm guessing that likely reads as "they never write me anything," but even if it is inaccurate for this exercise, is that an acceptable phrase in its construction (the 'nunca...nada' pairing, that is)?
I'm with you on this one. Particularly because of the word "don't". If "don't ever" wasn't the wording then I wouldn't have said "no nunca". This translation to me says, "My English friends don't write to me ever." If you reverse translate what Duo says is the answer it comes back as "My English friends never write to me." (which is what it should be, "never" not "don't ever"). Had this been the English example I wouldn't have used "no" with "nunca." While using "no" is technically wrong, it's not at all inaccurate. It would translate to something like "My English friends do not write to me not ever." Sounds a little redundant but it will get the point across.
Earlier in this lesson, I had "no le escribo nunca a mi amiga portuguesa" - I don't ever write to my Portuguese friend. So for "My English friends don't ever write to me" I tried the same sentence structure - "no me escriben nunca a mis amigas inglesas" but Duo said this is incorrect. Why are the two sentences that seem so similar in English constructed so differently in Spanish?
Well, just to take a stab, you have a direct object a in front of "mis amigas inglesas" which you're trying to convert into your subject. Maybe you could put "a me" there, but "no me escriben nunca a me" seems redundant even for Spanish, so maybe we drop that bit entirely. (I bet you could use it if you were really mad though. Or sad.)
Ok, so now the subject , "mis amigas inglesas", is only represented by the verb, escriben, but you really want to name the culprits, so where should we put it? How about up front, since it's the subject?
"Mis amigas inglesas no me escriben nunca" -- wait that seems really familiar.
I have examined my answer and there is no other inaccuracy.
Next time that happens, copy/paste your answer into here. (Especially when there are people in the discussion saying it does accept masculine, as in this case.)
Sometimes we are blind to our own errors. That's why writers have proof readers.
It accepts both male and female, assuming everything else is correct. Whenever it "corrects" you with a gender change, look carefully at everything else in the sentence, as it's quite possible your error was elsewhere.
Or, perhaps your adjective and noun didn't match in gender. And a lot of people are inventing the word "inglesos," which doesn't exist. It has to be "amigos ingleses."