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These "poco" exercises are making me un poco loco. The Spanish>English translations are awkward, if not downright ungrammatical. If I ruled the world, I think I would render this particular sentence as: "On the weekend I work only a little." But, sadly, I do not rule the world. Yet.
DL has a bit of a problem with this one I think. Once more they reward a literal translation. The English translation is not how one would actually say this although it will work. I would say "On the weekend I don't work much" which I think the above is how Spanish would express the same idea. All languages have options how to express an idea and some are more elegant than others.
Duolingo told me my answer of "I work little on the weekend." was incorrect and that the correct answer is "I don't work a lot on the weekend.", but the words don't (no) and a lot (mucho) aren't in the sentence. ("I don't work a lot on the weekend," would be "Yo no trabajo mucho el fin de semana.") .
There is nothing wrong with saying "work little". "Little" and "a little" are both good English, but have different meanings. Assuming Spanish and English are similar, then "yo trabajo poco" means I work little (not much), whereas "yo trabajo un poco" would mean I do work a bit.
Duo's English translation is correct. Your assertion is incorrect. No wonder they are ignoring it.
Take some time and learn some English. See https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/quantifiers/little-a-little-few-a-few
I will add that you have a run-on sentence. You need a period after "at the weekend".
You ascribe omniscience to yourself and Duo. Words are trickier than that. Meanings depend on the speaker, the listener (reader), the immediate circumstances, their history and many, many other things. Two different people can speak the same words and mean very different things.
This is language--not math.
What dose are you referring to? :)
It looks like you work little at the English language.
"I work little, to be sure, but at difficult things." - Edgar Degas.
"I work little while Fitzgibbon's over Lanesville." - Wheeler.
Nobody cares about your concepts of the English language. But if Duo comes across this discussion, they will know that "work little" is good English.
I hope this comment comes out below Bruce's post about "verbal harassment," because I completely agree with him, whether or not there is a typo.
But, my comment also is meant for EdNed2: You are correct about the translation of Duo's prompt. For that reason, I up-voted your remarks.
You (to be fair, others, too) seem not to have read Duo's guidelines about discussion forums, though. May I take a little extra space (okay, a lot of extra space) to paste a few here?
Always be Respectful We come together from across the world at varying language levels with the same goal in mind - to learn. Curiosity, questioning, and cultural understanding are something we celebrate. Be respectful of others and where they’re coming from.
Help and support across all skill levels We are all in this together. Learning a language is hard and takes a lot of courage and dedication. If someone uses incorrect grammar or has a question you think has an obvious answer, kindly and calmly help them out. Heckling and being straight up mean doesn’t help anyone learn. Can’t say it nicely? Don’t weigh in.
Embrace and share regional language differences A language can have many words, accents and ways to say the same thing. We think that’s one of the wonders of languages. Approach these conversations with an open mind and attitude.
Sorry--hope this doesn't get too many "TL;DR" comments!
I am not impressed by your remark for me to learn some English I am seventy one years old and have been speaking English since I was about eighteen months old. Work little is not CORRECT English just read some of the other comments and see how many say work little is not good English
Thanks again, EdNed2 for this excellent link. It would appear that few people have read it as the argument for 'a little' versus 'little' still goes on. Here is is again, in case anyone missed it: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/quantifiers/little-a-little-few-a-few
The Spanish is "El fin de semana," which is singular. Therefore the English must be singular: "weekend".
Then the Spanish says, "yo trabajo poco", which is "I work little". It means I don't do much work.
"I work little" and "I work a little" are both good English but mean different things. The former is intended, not the latter.
Ergo, we come up with "On the weekend I work little". That's the correct translation. It sounds very awkward in English, though, because weekend is left undefined. We want to know if it is this weekend, last weekend, next weekend, all weekends, whatever. But adding a qualifier is not our job; it is just to translate the sentence - which for all I know is also awkward in Spanish.
Unfortunately, it is sometimes impossible to do word for word translations between different languages. For example: In Spanish, a person might tell their age by saying "Yo tengo dieciseis años.", meaning "I have sixteen years." In English, the same person would actually say "I am sixteen years old." In Spanish, a person might say "Hace frio.", meaning "It makes cold." In English, the same person would actually say "It is cold." Added to that complexity, colloquilisms like "on the weekend" in the United States of America versus "At the weekend" in Great Britain create more confusion. So, the answer is yes. Guess as well as you can. If you don't like the answer given by Duolingo, read the discussion for the question; and, if necessary, submit a report challenging the answer.
'literally' in language translations means 'word for word'. So 'el fin de semana' literally (word for word) means 'the end of week' - this is simply the turn of phrase that Spanish uses. In English we use 'on/at the weekend'.
The challenge that DL faces is when it wants to teach us a comparable phrase (such as 'at the weekend' - or another example might be 'me caes bien') or when it wants to teach us the individual words.
Thus far DL has not indicated very clearly when it is trying to teach us one vs. the other. I hope it adds that in the near future.
(By the way, 'me caes bien' means 'I like you' but more literally the words mean 'you fall on me well' - a wonderful phrase!)
I think the amount of confusion concerning the subtle difference in meaning between 'I work little (not much, hardly ever)' and 'I work a little (a small amount, for a short while)' stems from the fact that this course is designed for English speakers. If English is your first language, then the difference is obvious. If English is not your first language, making sense of this subtlety is doubly difficult. Added to that, we have speakers of English English and speakers of American English - hence the use of 'On the weekend/on weekends' versus 'At the weekend/at weekends'. Many people have already explained this very well and suggested links. Here's another: https://pediaa.com/difference-between-little-and-a-little/
It is difficult to translate from Spanish into the varieties of spoken English. In the parts of the U.S. where I have lived, I would naturally say: "On weekends, I work little," or "On weekends, I do little work." But, that could be different in other parts of the English-speaking world, even in the U.S. Reported, in hopes Duo will accept more possibilities.
It's singular in the Spanish sentence. Weekend, not weekends.
The English translation sounds very awkward to me; not many people would say "On the weekend I work little". So we look for translations that sound more natural. "On weekends" sounds better. But it is not an accurate translation of the Spanish. Similar with "This weekend...".
In language courses, they are usually very fussy about singular and plural (and gender, and tenses, and so on). So one needs to get that part right even if it sounds poor.
IMHO We are here to learn Spanish, not to polish our English. And therefore, the meaning and context of the translation from Spanish are supposed to take priority over grammatical and spelling errors in English. Thus, the answers in English (NOT in Spanish), which are making sense but are not right just "technically/grammatically" (the way DL decides so), should be accepted with the correcting comment (sort of "You have a typo in your answer...") and such answers should not be counted wrong. Otherwise, instead of concentrating on Spanish, we are getting sucked into the time consuming forum discussions about usage of English.
I am a native English speaker from the United States. In English, "Work little" literally means that a person does not do much work. Unfortunately, "Work a little" is ambiguous in English; in some contexts, it could mean that a person works a lot. I do not have sufficient knowledge of Spanish to be sure of all the nuances of that language. A native Spanish speaker might be able to provide additional insights.
Hope this helps with the confusion. :)
"Little, a little. " from English Grammar Today
"(A) little" has a quantifier meaning ‘some’. We use it to mean ‘not as much as may be expected or wished for’.
Compare: She saves a little money every month. (some, a small amount). They had little money to spend. (not much/almost nothing).
A: Have you got any money? B: Yes, a little. (some, a small amount).
A: Have you got any money? B: No, very little. (not much/almost nothing).
"A little" with a noun. We use "a little" with singular uncountable nouns: Mary said nothing, but she drank some tea and ate a little bread.
"Little" with a noun. We use "little" with uncountable nouns. It is used in formal contexts: I’m not very happy about it but I suppose I have little choice.
"(A) little" without a noun. We can use "(a) little" as a pronoun. We can use it to substitute for a noun when it is obvious from the context: After that, she began to tell them a little about her life in Scotland,…...
"Little" is not very common without a noun. We use it in formal contexts: Little is known about his upbringing and education.
"(A) little of". We use "of" with "(a) little" when it comes before articles (a/an, the), demonstratives (this, that), possessives (my, your) or pronouns (him, them): Put the flour into a bowl, blend with a little of the milk and beat in the egg yolks.
"A little" as an adverb. We use "a little" as an adverb of degree. It is more formal than a bit: He smiled just a little. Her hands were shaking a little.
"A little" with adjectives, determiners, adverbs. We use "a little" before adjectives and adverbs to modify them. It is more formal than "a bit": She seemed to be getting a little better. What you need is a little more romance. We often use "a little" with "bit": I find that a little bit hard to believe.
"Little" as an adjective. We use "little" as an adjective to mean ‘small’: ‘You’re going to have a little baby brother, Martha,’ her mother told her one day. I know a little restaurant not far from here.
"Little" or "small"?
"Little" and "small" have similar meanings. We use small to refer only to size. We use "little" to refer to size, but also to express a positive emotion (especially with words like beautiful, lovely, wonderful): He’s a small baby. (He’s smaller than average.) He’s a lovely little baby. (He’s lovely and small.) There’s a wonderful little café at the end of the street. (preferred to: There’s a wonderful small café at the end of the street.)
Thanks - the original article shows things in a better context... at the end the bit about 'positive emotion' is also applicable to negative emotion, as in ”ugly little baby” - it's really just using it as a simple adjective (anyway, a minor detail).
The main trouble people report here on DL is that they think 'little' (used as an adverb) is not acceptable English. They go on to state something like: 'people NEVER say this' (my emphasis added) - when in fact they probably should say 'I have never heard anyone say this'.
It has been pointed out many times that this is all good English (and that it is the correct translation of the Spanish phrase) - to help here is a phrase that uses 'little' in a similar manner:
”He always works as little as possible”
I hope it shows how the word 'little' can be used (in common usage) to show a negative position with regard to the amount of work done.
So, some people just don't understand or just don't care. Perhaps they are worried about their DL score and being 'right' more than they care about learning Spanish or English.
You can't learn Spanish in an effective way if you don't know the English variations. I suspect that some of those that have a problem with the translation do not speak English as a first language - and the others just haven't encountered the term in normal usage.
I would really encourage both groups to be more positive about learning both languages - rather than trying to argue a point without knowing all the facts. As I have said before: there is little point in such an exercise.
I also wrote "The weekend I work little." DL also marked me wrong. I gave the absolute most literal translation because I was certain, from past experience with DL, that DL would not accept the more commonly spoken translation "I work little on the weekend." Unfortunately, translating this particular sentence is problematic. I will try the more common translation next time. I am moving on. But, I am reporting it.
there is a different meaning to that then the sentence, On the weekend I work little. "A little" could be a euphamism or a truth, but either way it implies you ARE working on the weekend(s). The way this sentence is (...I work little) implies that you work either none at all, or very little. So, while they are not OPPOSITES, they are nevertheless, separated on the spectrum: They are not the same thing.
Dee, your question has been hashed and re-hashed many times in this discussion... if you can't/don't read those responses I fail to understand why you would read this one!
...but here goes: 'a little' is a statement with a positive focus that 'some' work is/was done. 'little' (by itself) has a negative focus that 'no' or 'minimal' work is/was done.
Many people here claim 'little' by itself is wrong or outdated - but it isn't. Maybe they just haven't experienced hearing it from someone using it in a useful way. Here we go: there is little point debating this as both forms of usage are valid and in current use.
I suppose, like 'The Blind Men and the Elephant' we can argue this from several different standpoints. From where I stand, I can see that Duo doesn't work much at weekends. I think if he worked 'a little' he would have said 'yo trabajo un poco'. Nowadays, in English, we would tend to turn the sentence into the negative 'I don't work much'. To say 'I work little', although technically correct, seems to be an unduly archaic construction.
unfortunately, there's no rule for this that I know, but it is true that "on weekend" is not what we say in English--and, in this case it actually is a direct translation because the Spanish version includes "el" But, you are right, it is confusing, because we do say "on weekends" more often than "on the weekends" (so, if the Spanish were los fines de semana,,,,,)
Here it goes. Èl= he, el=the, en=on. So where in the hell did el mean on the weekend. I even checked the Spanish dictionary to see if el could mean on. There is no examples in the dictionary, where el = on. I researched to see in spanish what mean on. The only examples I can find is that the Spanish word en= in, on or at, depending on the structure of the sentence . This question is shit. And the people writing the sentences should know the difference between el an en.
Jeff, I'm no expert, but I believe Spanish omits the preposition en with days of the week and also the weekend. For example, we have learned that el lunes is "on Monday," and los lunes is "on Mondays." In the same way el fin de semana is "on the weekend," and los fines de semana is "on weekends." (Apologies to people in the UK who say "at the weekend.")