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Write “city” in Spanish

Write “city” in Spanish

I answered: ciudad and got: You need the article "la" here.

Why do I need the article la, when it's only asked for city? Surely la ciudad is THE city?

It's perfectly acceptable in English to use city, without 'a' or 'the' in front of it:

Which city are you from?

What city is that?

That city was bombed during the war.

That is one big city.

They painted that city yellow.

Is this another Spanish weirdism as I call them, or has duolingo got this one wrong?

April 27, 2018



seems to be a duolingo/spanish weirdism

Seems often you need to add la or el to words. Probably has to do with the whole "everything in spanish has a gender" thing.

its not a "chair" its a "la silla" cause a chair is feminine


It's a very good idea to learn nouns with an article because you will need the information about gender for much, much more.


I believe, and someone may correct me here, that it's just improper not to have a/an/the etc. in front of the noun in the Romance languages. Not wrong, per se, just a "Spanish weirdism as you put it".


I'm a native Spanish speaker, so let me correct you here. It's totally right to translate "City" for "Ciudad". It's not necessary to write "La" before "Ciudad", therefore, in this case, it's not a "Spanish weirdism", just a Duolingo mistake.


I can't think of any situation where you would say the word "ciudad" without refering in some way to the gender (una ciudad, la ciudad , esa ciudad, etc) , so maybe it's better for you to get used to saying "la ciudad" :)


"¿En qué ciudad vives?" "Mi ciudad tiene 50 años" "Son ciudades de Japón".


"Ciudad" is absolutely right, it is a problem with Duolingo answers. Report it.


I would say the fault is more on Duolingo because the word isn't in any context so technically "ciudad" would be correct. Context is important and i don't know if Duolingo necessarily knows that. Take "you" for example: Tu and usted are different and not really interchangeable and yet duolingo uses them as if they are interchangeable.

One that bugs me is adjectives. Most of the time the adjective comes after but then Duolingo will have sentences that put it before the noun. Why is it el carro rojo (the red car) but then in another it's Los verdes pantalones (the green pants)? Duolingo doesn't provide the context for me to know whether or not it's a title, or emphasis, etc.

So, yes i'd say you were right and Duolingo is just flawed BUT...as others have pointed out the article "la" is almost always required in Spanish. Sorry.


After a very long time here with intense daily experiences (except when I travel for business so I don't have long streaks) I have come to this conclusion. Most of Duolingo is written by native Spanish speakers with no review by native English speakers. So the Spanish is always right but they often get the translation wrong in both directions when a new phrase is offered to us. Just relax and offer them a correction using the button at the bottom of the screen. In two or three weeks you will get a not advising that your offering has been accepted. We can help make Duo as good as we want it to be.


I should have added that there are many times when multiple interpretations are available. Again, offer then your option and if in some version of the world it is correct, they will accept it to be among the various translations that the system accepts.


Think of it this way: why would you ever want to learn a Spanish noun without the corresponding article? Do you want to have to fix it in your brain separately? It is much better to always practise it this way, so the correct gender will come naturally to you as quickly as possible.


Think of it this way: why would you ever want to learn a Spanish noun without the corresponding article?

That's not the point. I know what 'the city' is in Spanish and I know what gender it is.

But, if you want the answer to 'apple' don't ask for 'orange'!

If you want someone to translate 'the city' ask for 'the city' don't just ask for 'city'!

It's an utter nonsense to ask someone to translate 'city' and then mark them wrong for not putting la in front of the word.

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duolingo really needs to employ a more indepth reason on why answers are marked wrong. It is a huge disadvantage of trying to learn more than the very basics on this site.

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