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  5. "El niño usa la computadora."

"El niño usa la computadora."

Translation:The boy is using the computer.

April 24, 2018

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This is incorrect! El niño usa la computadora. - The boy uses the computer. The boy is using the computer. - El niño esta usando la computadora. Am I mistaken?!


Forgive me. everyone. But I was wrong..... they both are correct. El nino usa, can mean "the boy uses" and "the boy is using". It depends on the context.


How do we determine in which context it's being used? For instance- how we determined here if it has to be -ing form?


Ashish, that's only a matter for English, since Spanish doesn't make that differentiation. When you're talking about an event that's only happening once, you generally use the Progressive Present: "It's happening right now." When you're talking about something that happens more on a regular basis, you'll use the Simple Present: "It happens sometimes."


The boy uses the computer is perfectly correct in this sense: Who uses this computer? The boy uses the computer.


It should also be correct. “The boy is using the computer.” is just one possible answer.


Thats what i was thinking


The tenses from one language do not have a one-to-one correspondence with the tenses from the other language. We use our present progressive at times that they would still use their simple present. When we would say “I am in the middle of using the computer.”, then you can be sure to use “esta usando” which is only used for at this very moment. When we use the present progressive or continuous for the near future, that would be the simple present in Spanish. See Chilotin below.


When to use usa usas usar


You know how in English we say “I use”, but “he uses”. It is like that. It depends on which pronoun, only in Spanish there are more ending changes for more of the pronouns.

yo uso” “I use

Tú usas” “You use ” (singular familiar form for family, friends and children)

usted usa” “you use “ (Formal singular form in Spain, regular singular form in Latin America)

él usa” “he uses “, “ella usa” “she uses” (“it uses “ will be one of those two, since everything is either masculine or feminine in Spanish.)

we use “ “nosotros usamos” or “nosotras usamos

You use (plural). “ ustedes usan” (Latin America or formal plural in Spain or “vosotros usáis” or “vosotras usáis” (Masculine and coed or feminine plural familiar forms used in Spain)

They use “ “ellos usan” or “ellas usan

In Spanish, the subject is not required, though it can be used for forms that have more than one pronoun using it.


Thank you for the detailed explanation.

How/when is "usar" applied?


Usar is the infinitive form, "to use", which is used mostly when there's already another conjugated verb in the sentence.

  • ¿Puedo usar eso? - Can I use that?


We need more "tips" and explanation


How is the sentence in that tense? It seems like it should be "the boy uses the computer". Please explain


Spanish simple present is broader than English simple present. It covers also progressive, some types of future and even historical past.


It seems to me like it would be usando though? (I took Spanish for several years, I'm just refreshing my memory so I've forgotten some of the stuff that would allow me to skip)


The progressive-tense sentence in Spanish would be "El niño está usando la computadora" and has an "it's happening right now" feeling.

Progressive tenses are made with a form of estar and the gerundio (English present participle form) of the full verb.


What is the difference between Uso/Usa/Usas


Usar is a regular verb, so these are the different conjugations of that verb.


Scroll up for more information

and here is even more information on conjugating the Spanish simple present tense: https://www.thoughtco.com/conjugation-regular-verbs-present-indicative-3079160


Why is it, usa instead of uso? The boy is masculine so shouldn't it be uso to keep the sentence masculine throughout?


That does not work here. Every verb has a conjugation for every pronoun.

the verb usar means to use. So you conjugate for each pronoun like this:

Present tense

I use - Yo uso

You use - Tu usas

He/She/You (formal) - El usa / Ella usa / Usted usa

We use - nosotros usamos

They/you all (y'all) use - Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes usan

So for the boy uses - El nino usa.

I hope this helps.


Pretty sure when I was a kid, we called a computer "un ordenador"


Sure, that's the term that's used in Spain. LatAm usually uses computadora or computador. This infographic is pretty great for this topic.


Duolingo answer is wrong.


Yes I noticed the same thing. It is incorrect. It should be "The boy uses the computer."


Why do you think it's incorrect?


It is not incorrect. “Usa” can mean “uses”, “is using” or “does use”.


Wow i accidentally put the girl wow lol


I just found put about the comment section. This is very very helpful.


Can't see my mistake as the pop up covers it.


"El niño esta usando la computadora" ...eso es lo que dice, deberian buscar mejor los traductores por que de español medio bien..


La forma progresiva del español y la del inglés se usan en circunstancias diferentes. En inglés siempre se usa cuando hablas de una acción que realizas solo una vez, aun cuando esta acción no ocurra en el presente:

  • I'm getting up early tomorrow. - Me levanto temprano mañana.

En general la forma progresiva del inglés se usa en muchas más circunstancias que la forma española, y la inglesa siempre se puede traducir como el presente simple del español.


How would you say is in past tense? The boy used the computer?


"El niño usó la computadora."


I answered " the boy uses the computer" and was not accepted. Why?


No reason for that. It's a good translation.


Yes, perhaps they were not supposed to translate if they had the exercise to write what you hear.


If the correct translation is "the boy is using the computer" the Spanish sentence needs to be in the present progressive, which it is not. It should be "està usando" instead of just "usa".


No, “él usa” can mean “he uses”, “he is using” or “he does use”, and “ he is using” can mean “él usa” much of the time and “él está usando” only if he is in the middle of doing it right now. We just don’t use our tenses the same way in English than in Spanish. https://www.thoughtco.com/ways-spanish-english-verb-tenses-differ-3079929

You need to concentrate on meaning rather than literal word forms.


It must be ( the boy uses the computer) not using


Wrong, see above for more information.


I should have gotten that correct


Everything is male why would it not be - el computadora


Because computadora is not male. The subject of the phrase has no influence on the grammatical gender of other nouns in the phrase.

If you insist on a male version: you can use computador or ordenador. Be aware that depending on the region one of these three will be preferred (but the other two understood).


What is wrong with "The boy uses the computer" ???


Irwin, there's nothing wrong with that translation.


Thanks. I asked the Spanish teacher two doors down and he agrees with you.


I translated it into "that boy is using the computer"... How silly I was.


"use" in spanish isn't even using


Usa can be:


Is using

Does use


Finally I found the answer to my question. I'm beginning to lose interest in learning spanish then I saw this. Thanks!


MarioA.X.T is correct they have this one wrong


No, please read the rest of the posts. It was explained why he was wrong. He even admitted he was wrong.


Is it more common to use la computadora or el computador? How about in Mexico, do they say la computadora or el computador?


Here's my (this far) favourite infographic about Spanish dialects:

Computador o computadora? Ordenador!


In Mexico you say, La computadora... I have never heard El computador before. Computer in Spanish, to my knowledge, has always been feminine.


I am confused by the use of el computador and la computadora. Why the switch male and female words?


Computer is a fairly new word and so different countries created different words. It is "el ordenador" in Spain. https://dictionary.reverso.net/english-spanish/computer



Ah, the last one says the masculine "el computador" is used chiefly in Chile and Colombia.


How can we judge that it is in present tense ?


You should always be correct in Duolingo if you use the English simple present for the Spanish simple present.

There are verbs in English that are considered “stative” which are not used in the present progressive or continuous, such as “believe”, “hear”. Some verbs which would be on that list of stative verbs are used in the present progressive for a totally different meaning, for example in “I have a cat.” the meaning is possesses and is a state of ownership which cannot use the present progressive, but “I am having lunch.” is an action verb which means that “I am eating lunch.” and “I see the bird.” is a use of your senses which is considered stative in English, but “I am seeing him.” is an action verb that means that “I am dating him.” Verbs such as “like”, “love” and “hate” were also on this list, but the media to gain attention similarly to misspelling words are using the progressive form with stative verbs and this may cause people to use more stative verbs this way in the future. For now, I would avoid it, but keep in mind the McDonald’s commercial “I am loving it.” which is now an expression that is used. Still if you were to say “I am loving him.”, it would probably still be considered wrong, since it is considered a feeling.

All verbs that are not “stative”, are often likely to also be used in the present progressive or continuous and will also be accepted in that form, such as “is using”, “is drinking”, “is eating”, or anything which shows action rather than a state of being. You can pay attention to verbs that Duolingo uses in the present progressive or continuous form to help you learn how English normally uses these verbs.

We will be very specific that something is happening right now. Here is an expression that will always trigger “está usando”: “ I am in the middle of using the computer. Can you ask me later?” or it can be used when any word specifies the current time, such as “I am eating now.” I think that the Spanish form “está usando” will be prohibited when the English specifies a future time, then it will probably be the Spanish simple present, such as “I am writing another book next year.” or would you prefer the future tense? I had heard that the Spanish simple present can be used for the future, but I think that the English simple present can only do that for a recurring time, such as “I swim every Sunday.” or in a list of activities that you will be doing, such as “On Monday, I wash the clothes, on Tuesday I iron them.” or an itinerary. “What do you do after that?” “I arrive home.”



The boy uses the computer. Is using should be esta usando.


Seriously, do you think if another person says it, then it must be true? Perhaps you simply didn’t bother to read the earlier comments. Both “uses” and “is using” is correct for the Spanish simple present, because in English we use the present continuous “is using” most of the time or at least way more often than in Spanish for things that Spanish would not use its progressive form for. In Spanish the progressive form “está usando” is only used if the action is actually in the process of happening at this moment. https://www.thoughtco.com/ways-spanish-english-verb-tenses-differ-3079929

“is using” can be “está usando”, but very often it is “usa”. You need to get past trying to translate word by word.


I would just like to thank you for all of the incredible effort you go to in writing your explanations. It is very appreciated y mucha ayuda.


I totally do not understand this at all


C'mon! The boy uses the computer , it should be correct!


How do you know if you need to use usa uso or usas?


Conjugation! The verb changes its form depending on who does the action. If I use something, I'll say uso. If you use something, I'll say usas. And if a person who's not part of our dialogue uses something, I'll say usa. That means, the verb form changes with the grammatical person of the subject:

  • yo uso - I use
  • tú usas - you use (singular, informal)
  • él/ella usa - he/she/it uses
  • usted usa - you use (singular, formal)
  • nosotros/as usamos - we use
  • vosotros/as usáis - you use (plural, informal, not used in LatAm)
  • ellos/ellas usan - they use
  • ustedes usan - you use (plural; outside of LatAm also formal)


Por qué no se puede usar la palabra ordenador? Por que es español de España? Los latinos usan más computadora pero ordenador no es incorrecta. Y la bandera es española...así vomo la bandera de Portugués es brasileña...


Puede reportar la palabra “ordenador” como otra palabra correcta.


Muchas graciasALLintolearning3 me deja más animada.España es no vecina:)


¿Qué bandera elegirías tú? No hay un solo país grande e importante lo que habla español como Brasil es para portugués. :)

Duolingo enseña el español de América Latina (esto se escribe en la pagina principal de este curso), pero trata de acceptar frases de todas las variaciones de español.


Amigo solo hice una pergunta y hablé de las banderas por que también leo los comentarios nada agradables cuando los portugueses piden un poco de Portugués de Portugal. Discúlpame no leí esa página. Sí la hubiese leído no preguntaría por qué ustedes no consideran correcta la palabra ordenador. Y creo que no soy yo que no aceptó los varios tipos de español sino ustedes, por qué entonces ordenador la aceptarían como correcta. Muchas gracias por su ayuda RyagonIV :)


Discúlpeme si me expresé extrañamente. Solo soy un aprendedor del español, pues aún no sé cómo expresarme. :´)

La palabra "ordenador" se debería aceptar, por supuesto. Y las banderas para representar los idiomas solo son un tema difícil para el español porque hay muchos países igualmente importantes los que hablan este idioma.


Sin problemas RyagonIV. Tambien yo,solo que mi país hace frontera con España. Todo bién y muchas gracias por contestarme


I wrote "el niñO usO" Why not?


Verbs do not match nouns the way that adjectives do. The verb conjugation “uso” is for the pronoun “yo” and “él” and “ella” both use “usa” while “tú” uses “usas” and “usted” also uses “usa”. If you were to replace the words “el niño” with a pronoun, it would be “él”, so the verb conjugation for that noun is “usa.” https://www.thoughtco.com/conjugation-regular-verbs-present-indicative-3079160


How would you say "used"? That is how i translated it but i dont know about present or past tense.


The ending of a Spanish verb encodes both the person doing it as well as the tense (and aspect and mood). Meaning that in every tense you use a different set of verbal endings.

"The boy used" would be "El niño usó".


Thats confusing it seems if i had entered in the is using computer it would be wrong. The word uses and is using being the same should be wrong


It is not that they are the same, but that in many situations that we use “is using” they would use the Spanish simple present.


I put uso here instead of usa as the sentence could read He uses the computer. Can anyone explain why I am wrong?


"Uso" is the form you would use to say "I use the computer" - "Yo uso la computadora." To say "The boy uses the computer" you must use the él/ella form of usar, which is "usa" - "El niño usa la computadora."


MarioA.X.T has a great expla ation about this below!


That would be usando wouldn't it? Spanish is like English and does have an -ing


No, Spanish is not exactly like English. They only use their “usando” if you are in the middle of doing it. In English, we use our -ing way more even for future or ongoing things that we don’t happen to be doing at the moment and that is when they will use their regular simple Spanish present tense. https://www.thoughtco.com/ways-spanish-english-verb-tenses-differ-3079929


So, what's the difference between "usa" and "usas"? Because i typed in usas, but it did not accept that answer.


It is in a reply in a comment just above yours: it's the conjugation. Usa is for he/she/it/you(singular,formal) and usas is for you(singular,non-formal).

  • 1587

Am I missing something


I'm pretty sure you're not.


Why usa is the correct form.I assumed nino=uso,nina=usa (o/o,a/a).


Verbs do not flex for gender, but only for the grammatical person. Él/ella and "el niño"/"la niña" all share the same conjugational form.

  • usar - to use (infinitive)
  • yo uso - I use
  • tú usas - you use
  • él/ella usa - he/she/it uses


Using is the gerund..not correct should be uses...


The "using" in "The boy is using" is a present participle, not a gerund.

Using the present progressive as a translation of a Spanish simple-present sentence is okay. English and Spanish use their present forms differently.


Can i have lingots plz i have 7


That would be really nice if not that is fine too.

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