"Do you use the car?"
Translation:¿Tú usas el carro?
Technically, yes. But in Spanish as in English, if one wants to emphasize what one is doing right now, one will use the gerund form: "¿Estás usando el carro?" That literally translates as "Are you using the car (i.e., at the current moment)?" "¿Usas el carro?" doesn't really specify "right now" v. "from time to time".
Full disclosure: I am not a native speaker of Spanish.
I took Spanish about 13-14 years ago. I remember using present progressive tense. I know in French, that "you eat" and "you are eating" are considered the same other than when you use a similar progressive form that's more formal. I'm just trying to wrap my head around this particular translation because I can't think of many scenarios when you'd ask someone in English or Spanish "do you use the car". I suppose you could be asking them if they use the car in general.
Spanish will only use the continuous tense if it is happening now. So where English easily allows; I am going home tomorrow, or I am using the car all day today ( but you are not actually driving it for the next 2 hours or so), Spanish cannot use this tense. Spanish will say ¨I use the car today¨ or even ¨i use the car TOMORROW¨ instead.
This use of the present can be correctly translated into English as ¨am using¨but i feel that DL is carefully keeping them separate so learners see the difference in Spanish and do not mix and mash tenses. The present habitual use (i use the car every wednesday) lines up well across English and Spanish.
But if you add a time indicator you can also use the v+ ing for a moment that is not the present: yo estoy yendo al gymnasio todas las mañanas (I am going to the gym every morning). Means that is something that you are doing in this lapse of time (not define precisely but including now).
I'm in the same barca, Jeffrey. Studied Spanish formally in the 1960s-80s. My general sense is that Spanish uses the simple present more than English, but that may just be an impression created by the structure of formal lessons. The bottom line may be that Duolingo hasn't taught us how to use gerunds yet, so they use simple present instead.
ETA Since I wrote this post over a year ago, I have learned that, yes, indeed, Spanish uses the present tense where we often use the present progressive ("ing word") in English. Spanish uses the present progressive ("ndo word") only to emphasize that something is happening RIGHT NOW.
As for scenarios in which "Do you use the car?" might apply, I am generalizing, but I don't think Europeans or Latin Americans are quite as car crazy as we are here in the USA. I think they are more likely to have one car in the family rather than each member having his own car. So "Do you use the car?' is perfectly reasonable; it means do you have use of the family car which officially belongs to Dad or Mom, etc.? Just my guess.
I think so, yes. With this new rollout, Duolingo seems very inconsistent when it comes to translating the English "You are"--which, of course, can be either "Usted es" or "Tú eres" in Spanish. I hope Duolingo fixes this soon. It's one thing to memorize vocabulary words; it's quite another to have to memorize which form of "usted or tú" the program happens to want in any given Spanish to English translation. The latter is random and I don't see the value in having to memorize random choices.
ETA out of fairness, I should add that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new design and additional exercises. It's making a huge difference in my ability to retain what I learn in each exercise. I just wish Duo could get its answer key fixed.
ETA2 After a year of use, discussion and consideration, I have changed my mind about the above. What difference does it make if we are marked wrong? We get to do that prompt over and try a different response. No harm, no foul. In the meantime, we can use the Response Menu to get DL to expand its list of accepted answers.
NOTE TO JEFFREY: the program won't let me reply directly to your post, but I agree that "Usas un carro" is probably a more common sentence than "Usas el carro", but the former isn't what they asked you. It's hard to create a varied list of exercises, particularly in the early steps when we haven't been taught a wide vocabulary yet. Myself, I just keep going with whatever Duolingo supplies and I try to remember these aren't "exams" that will be recorded on my permanent record. LOL.
I can only guess why DL marked something wrong. It's still a work in progress.
But based on your post, I would say the error is in your use of "tener + verb". When it means "to have to do something", "tener" ALWAYS takes "que" in between "tener" and the verb. So you should have written, "Tienes que usar el carro", which means "You have to use the car." It doesn't exactly answer the prompt you were given, but at least the syntax is correct.
With respect, Patricia, you are confusing a verb with a noun. Verbs (words that convey action) have no gender even though they have more forms (number, tense, mood, etc.) than nouns (words that represent a person, place or thing).
Usa means she uses, he uses, or you (formal) use. If you want to specify who is doing the using, put Él, Ella or Usted before the verb; if you want to specify an object (the thing being used) list it after the verb. E.g., "Él usa el carro." "He uses the car."
I'm not sure there's a simple rule, but for most verbs the form ending in "ar", "ir" or "er" is the infinitive. The English equivalent begins with the auxiliary word "to": to work, to learn, to see, to love, etc. Some of the Spanish and English uses of the infinitive are the same, some are not. We are learning how to use the infinitive as we go along.
For regular verbs where the infinite ends in "ar", the second person familiar ends in "as" and the second person formal/third person singular ends in "a".
So "usa" = s/he uses or you (formal) use.
"Usas" = you (familiar) use.
As is discussed in various threads, the familiar form is used for people your age or younger, close friends and God and saints. The formal is used out of respect for strangers and elders.
ETA I've been encountering instances where tú is also used for strangers of one's own age or younger. I read a real estate ad from Puerto Rico, for example, that used the tú form. Now obviously the writer wasn't assuming she knew me personally, she was addressing adults in general and as if we all were part of her peer group.
Everyone Is Talking About How They Took Spanish And High School And Stuff, Lmao Im In The Fifth Grade, Dont Know If Thier Are Any Other Youngesters Out There! But If So Learning A Language At A Young Age Should Help You Speak It Fluently, So Far Ive Only Maxed Out On More Than 6 Lessons I Think, And I Have A Couple More Done, I Still Have Long To Go!
Sure. You're just conjugating the verb usar or "to use" in English"
I use = yo uso
You use (familiar) = tú usas
You use (formal) = usted usa
He or she uses = él or ella usa
We use = Nosotros usamos
You all use = Ustedes usan
They use = Ellos usan
In Spanish, usar is a regular ar verb and is conjugated like other ar verbs.
You can omit it. ¿Usas el carro? is a perfectly correct, Spanish sentence.
HOWEVER, you may have noticed how both of the Spanish prompters tend to drop the final n or s from words in the middle of a sentence. So if, in context, it is obvious you are asking about tú, feel confident in omitting the pronoun. But if there is no clear context, one might want to include tú to make sure the listener knows you are talking about her, and not someone else.
I know this sounds like a lot of thinking for a three-word sentence. But in practice, I believe one gets used to making such choices without a lot of conscious thought. Think of the English question, "Use the car?" Now this isn't correct, because the subject is mandatory in English, but it's a type of question we all ask in everyday speech. And for the most part, we don't drop the subject pronoun unless we're confident it will be obvious. We certainly don't stop and draw a chart before speaking. LOL.