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  5. "¿Por qué lees ese libro?"

"¿Por qué lees ese libro?"

Translation:Why do you read that book?

March 22, 2013



Shouldn't "Why read that book?" be acceptable?


I'm confused about that as well. How do we know 'do you' goes in the sentence other than it just sounds better in English?


Since "lees" is the 2nd person singular of the verb "to read" (leer). "You read" is "tú lees". So that is why "you" is in the sentence. (It was omitted because it is implied in Spanish.)

If I wanted to say "Why read that book?", I think the translation would go like: "¿Por qué leer ese libro?". I'm drawing conclusions off of my French background. Can someone else confirm?


English just needs a properly-named subject in a sentence, and in questions like this one it also needs an auxiliary "do". Spanish has no need for either. The subject is already hidden in the suffix of the verb (lees = you read).


Why is not "this book" acceptable?


“this book” = ‘este libro’

“that book” = ‘ese libro’


To help me remember the differences I think of it like this:

This and these have T's. That and those don't.


What's the difference between ese/esa ans aquel/aquella ?


Does it matter whether you use the neutral "eso" or the masculine "ese"? If "eso" can apply to both masculine and feminine, can you just use "eso" every time?


Jocelyn, when you know the gender of the noun, you use the demonstrative adjective that goes with that noun. ese libro, esa mujer. Eso is a demonstrative pronoun, not a noun, and indicates things or ideas that do not have a noun expressed for them, so we cannot know the gender. I like that. That is crazy. Me gusta eso. Eso es una locura.


Is there a distinction between "por qué" and "porqué" for this sentence?


‘¿Por qué?’ (two words, with accent mark) = “Why?”.

‘porque’ (one word, no accent mark) = “because”


Why is it do instead of would?


“Why would you read that book?” would be in the conditional: ‘¿Por qué leerías ese libro?’.

“Why do you read that book?” is actually an odd translation for ‘¿Por qué lees ese libro?’, as the use of English present indicative with an action verb implies that the listener keeps reading it over and over. A much more plausible translation is “Why are you reading that book?”.


"What are you reading that book for" is wrong? why?


That would be ‘¿Para qué lees ese libro?’. “What for?” questions the purpose, rather than the cause.


So funny that the same phrase is used to mean why and because. Those words are like the inverse of each other.


A mnemonic aid to help me remember the difference is that ¿por qué? (two words, accent) means why? They are all three-letter words. Porque is longer and so is because. :-)


Thats helpful Melita2....Thankyou.


thank you for your comments with explain about por que and porque, it is important information


I said "have you read that book", why is that wrong, or how would you say that.


I need help remembering the difference between este, ese, esto, etc


Duolingo does not make this easy to hear and understand. The voice reading this sounds like "porque eesese libro.


Why read that book implies you?


No it says why read that book. You is not mentioned


The "you" is hidden in the -es of lees.


Que vs ese like couldn't this sentance also be ¿por qué lees que libro?


No. Que is used to introduce a relative clause, like in "I know that you are reading this book." (Sé, que lees este libro.)


I answered correcty but it replied by saying i gave the wrong answer


Okay, why can't one use aquel instead of ese in this case?


Nothing speaking against it. But it may be little unnatural in this situation, I'd say.

When you're asking that question, the book would usually be in the hands or within reach of the person you're talking to, which would warrant using ese. Aquel is used if it's out of reach for both of you.


Why is it not aquel?


There's a comment literally right above this one explaining the situation, written by a very handsome guy. You should check it out. :)


I put in 'for what do you read that book?' Which while a little awkward is perfectly good English. Is this a good translation?


It's a little awkward (and would sound a lot better with "for" placed at the end, for my taste).

But there's another reason why the translation might not be the most fitting. "Por qué" is asking for a reason: what drives you to read that book? "What for" rather sound like you're asking for the purpose: what do you want to achieve with the book-reading? If you're talking about a purpose, you should use "para qué" instead.

  • ¿Por qué...? - Because of what...?
  • ¿Para qué...? - To what end...?
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