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"Estos pasteles, ¿ustedes no los comen?"

Translation:These cakes, you are not eating them?

April 29, 2018

108 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/john115117

They need to accept "crayons", just to make the sentence better.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jackmacrae2

This is actually the best comment I have ever read on duo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda_from_NJ

"Lápices de color" is the phrase I found that means "crayons/pastels." I hope you reported that the English word "pastels" is used to refer to the colored chalk used by artists.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paulainsandiego

You didn't get John's little joke. He made a pun and it referred to eating crayons as a kindergartener might do!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fedor-A-learner

there are multiple ways of saying this, the question is how consistent can duo be, because from what it seems, it tends to confuse things from one lesson to the next.

  1. are you not eating them?
  2. aren't you going to eat them?
  3. won't you eat them?
  4. don't you eat them?
  5. wouldn't you eat them?
  6. wouldn't you be eating them?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sqeeezy

No.6 would be being the Irish gerund


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sguthrie1

Duo accepted my "Aren't you eating them?", which I think is the best translation.
"Wouldn't" requires a conditional.
"Going to" = "ir a"
"Are you not eating" sounds very formal, and not natural. The contraction is more natural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OmSharma0

I gave the no. 5 as answer but it was termed wrong by duolingo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sguthrie1

"Wouldn't" requires the conditional tense. "No me los comería."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdoyle30000

Duo didn't like no. 4, either.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/susanescott

It did not accept "Are you not eating them?" December 2020. Reported.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LHMUFC

Doesn't sound right in English. Nobody would structure a sentence this way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda_from_NJ

Although this is a little-used English word order, it IS correct. The point of this unusual sentence is probably to help SSL students recognize a common Spanish syntactical order of words in a sentence. I find it very helpful to learn this order so that, when I read Spanish, I don't need to pause to rearrange the word order to conform to one I'm more comfortable with. Instead, it's easier to sail through, which is good because the best way to build comprehension is to increase speed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bamdorf

I agree, the english word order is correct if rare. Sometimes as mentioned this sort of thing helps one transition to "thinking in spanish".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nathanjr123

And either way, it's actually quite common unlike what most people think.
"Sir, this wallet, is this yours?" "This amount of money, I, I-I cannot accept it" "This dress, wow, s-so beautiful" "That guy, he seems familiar"

It's not very manifested because we can't immediately point the "big pause" on the commas on texts except on real life but they're actually not that unusual.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elena989657

So this is a common word order in Spanish? I'm trying to figure out if that's so, or if they're just creating awkward sentences to get the antecedent before the object pronoun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tolunayo

They are working here on a very specific grammar rule. In Spanish you normally do not have direct object (estos pasteles in this case) and direct object pronoun (los in this case) in the same sentence unless the direct object is precede the verb.

This is done to draw attention to the direct object. The normal order would be:

¿Ustedes no comen estos pasteles? or
¿No comen ustedes estos pasteles?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sguthrie1

What doesn't sound right?
In addition, saying "no one" would say that is a very bold claim that is hard to accept. Out of 300+ million people, no one?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrBJones

Getting a little frustrated with the "woman's" pronunciation (I know -- it's machine generated). As with so many others, it's impossible to hear "estos" at full speed...it sounds like "esos". I just listened to it at full speed, and at slow speed, several times each. No way to hear the "t" at full speed. It's at the point where I listen to everything that she says at low speed, with the expectation of the full speed being lacking.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paulainsandiego

Agreed. The woman's pronunciation, although probably authentic, is too difficult to understand for a learner. Full of elisions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TranitaAka

These cakes, arent you going to eat them?-------what's wrong with this response pray tell?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paulainsandiego

It's awkward. As an English teacher, I tell my students when a sentence sounds clunky. Even when the sentence is correct. I think they appreciate my tips. Another example of an awkward, though correct statement, is, " The boyfriend of my sister is very tall. " The smoother version of that is, "My sister's boyfriend is very tall."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sguthrie1

As an English teacher myself, I like your word "clunky." I tend to say "awkward" or "clumsy." However, I like "clunky" -- I'll have to remember that. What's the Spanish for "clunky"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/t5dcFYJV

According to WordReference, it is "torpe"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda_from_NJ

Nothing is wrong with your response, TranitaAka, except that it is a literal rather than a colloquial translation. As far as I can remember, it is accepted by DL, and if it isn't, it should be.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gaviota_es

That would translate as "¿no los vas a comer?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gaviota_es

Oops, "no los van a comer" (I forgot it was ustedes and not tú).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda_from_NJ

Your comment, Gaviota337744, is beside the point, as the English subject pronoun "you" is both singular AND plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hjh788272

Gaviota does have a point as the sentence specified "ustedes".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fantomas50

Are you not eating them? should be accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tolunayo

Did you precede it with "These cakes," or not? If not, it is probably why Duo has rejected your translation as it is also a part that needs to be translated. But I will also consider that there are missing translations if you did translate these cakes.

I know it sounds ridiculous in English but the Spanish version is grammatically correct structure which is what Duo is trying to teach here (but such instruction through translations is not the best).

In Spanish, you can only use both the direct object (estos pasteles) and direct object pronoun (los) if the direct object comes before the verb. It is to give emphasis to the object. In English we really do not have that concept although in Speech it is sometimes used that way. We would rather say:

Aren't you eating these cakes? or
Are you not eating these cakes?

But these cakes should be mentioned somewhere or otherwise the translation is incomplete: before the question like Duo did or as part of the question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TedFinger

Yes, my full answer was:

“These cakes, are you not eating them?”

I accept that the sentence is grammatically correct in Spanish, and I understand that the order of the wording in Spanish has to be exact.

However, since this was a translation from Spanish to English, it would seem that “... are you not eating them?” and “... you are not eating them?”

would both be correct.

In English, both ways are awkwardly worded, but both ways have the same meaning.

Thanks for your reply.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TedFinger

Thank you. I was surprised that “are you not eating them?” was not accepted. I reported it and I hope Duolingo will address the issue.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tolunayo

Hi @TedFinger. See my response to ChikanoChico.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benjaminwh226314

The sentiment expressed by the spanish sentence here could be better translated as "these cakes, won't you eat them?" (comma splice notwithstanding) than what was accepted for me "these cakes, don't you eat them?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda_from_NJ

The most literal yet colloquial English interpretation uses English present progressive tense "aren't you eating them." When people switch to English future tense (won't you eat them), they are not wrong because context dictates word choice when there is no possible way to translate in a word-for-word way. I personally prefer to switch from English simple present tense to English present progressive tense because these tenses are both present tenses. To me, interpreting Spanish present tense as English future tense seems like an unnecessary stretching of the rubber band.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthewGBr1

"these cakes, aren't you eating them"

was accepted 8/26/2018


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bluebirdW

Linda from NJ sounds right. The correct way to ask this question in English is, " are you not eating them " or "aren't you eating them". The contraction "aren't" is short for are not. What duo gave was a statement. It could have been made a question by intonation at the end. But since it wasn't a listening exercise & you couldn't hear anyone raise the pitch at then end to make it a question, Duo is wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jane209225

This isn't how English people speak...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetJohn2

The exact translation given as correct sounds ridiculous in English. One would say, "Aren't you going to eat these cakes?" or "You're not eating these cakes?" Wow! I got marked wrong for not typing "These cakes, you are not eating them?" which sounds like something an alien or a robot would say in a bad sci-fi story.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IglzaI

Thank you! No matter how many commenters try to defend this nonsense utterance from duo.. _ Aren't you going to eat these cakes?_ is the proper way a sober human or cyborg will translate this phrase.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Opri-Amira

Very weird......


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonWilliam742885

Another incorrect structure, and with no way to report it!! Aaugh!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Taffy1115

I wrote as my answer "Estos pasteles, ¿ustedes no lo comen?" and it was accepted as being correct but should it not have been "Estos pasteles, ¿ustedes no los comen?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0J1dSZF1

Aren't you accepting this garbled translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter802775

That should be "This garbled translation, don't you accept it."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sguthrie1

I don't think "it should be" what you said. Your version sounds to me, clunky, awkward. Also, to what does the "that" refer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chak278071

I answered 'you don't eat these cakes?' because it's a better word order.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Senseisaf

These cakes, are you not lot eating them? this is the correct answer according to duo, doesn't seem right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sguthrie1

You're correct. "Not lot eating" is not good English. I have no idea what that means.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LannySchroeder

Is there a way to distinguish this, these, those and those further away?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter802775

Sometimes, I just let some "odd" things pass without comment until it gets to the point when I think that's enough. So this reaction is not specifically about this sentence.

There have been a number of sentences following the same pattern. My knowledge of Spanish does not allow me to say if this is how a first language Spanish-speaker would say this, but I have my doubts. But I can say for certain that no first language English speaker would only utter such a sentence unless he's forced to do so under torture.

But there must be a reason why the creators of these lessons want students to become familiar with such contorted sentences. I just can't figure out what reason that might be. DL - zero points.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DreamsOfFluency

The reason for this sentence construction is because Duo is trying to teach direct object pronouns in this particular lesson. By forming the sentences this way, it is very obvious what the subject is so that the student can pick the best direct object pronoun and Duo can know if they understand them properly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tolunayo

Besides that, this is not artificial. Putting the direct object before the verb is a way of focusing attention on it and naturally used by Spanish speakers from time to time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MamaLori5-30

I was taught that the conjugated infinitive could translate to: you eat, you do eat, you are eating. If that is right, then "you don't eat them" should be correct for "no los comen" but Duo marked me wrong. Any ideas why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GracePersa1

I was taught that "pasteles" can be translated as "cakes" or "pastries".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gordonjackson1

I didn't put it on slow but I listened to that girl's voice several times and I could almost swear she was saying ESOS!!!! Is this REALLY how Spanish speakers sound?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/natashareidnine

Incorrect English translation. The correct English translation is "Aren't you eating these cakes?" Is Yoda doing your English translations?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SheaRegan

why is pasteles neutral and has "estos" instead of "estes" ??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tolunayo

Singular: esto, este, esta.
Plural: estos, estas.

There is no estes in Spanish. There is estés which is present subjunctive conjugation of the verb estar which is completely different.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/msevier31

It sounds like she says "esos" not "estos". Even after I was marked incorrect for esos, I listened to it many times and it still sounds like esos. BOOOO


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/msevier31

you should be able to say "estos pasteles, tu no los estas comiendo" I think


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanKaufman9

I had a menu of words to pick, ustedes was not in the menu!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adam218501

This question was so confusing to figure out in English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/7rG6aiFV

Why doesnt it accept - aren't you eating these cakes?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dwsherm

I get so frustrated with the way that this lady reader swallows the last syllable that I make errors. Please get a reader with a better voice intonation. She varies amplitude poorly. The man is excellent. I wind up listening 4 or 5 times. Example Me(silent G) el. Really not good.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mary271498

The english word "ARE" is not shown!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/micksong2021

"These cakes, you aren't eating them?" was not accepted. 'Aren't' is perfectly acceptable for the English translation of 'are not'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nimrod507021

I wrote: "those cakes, aren't you eating them ?" And got it wrong. Reported


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uiLmXHMu

holy shnitz, the "child" voice actor i just heard in the version of this I did is flippin terrible. the lisp and extended s's make what they say not only painful but almost incomprehensible.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TedFinger

Why was my answer marked wrong? “These cakes, are you not eating them?” Isn’t this an accurate translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tolunayo

I think your translation is correct. "Are you not eating ..." or "Aren't you eating ..." are proper ways to form a question in English. In fact, Duolingo's translation is not a proper English question formulation but people do that informally from time to time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TedFinger

That was my thinking too. It seems it should be correct either way. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phillip587624

Sometimes, tge app accepts contractions and sometimes it doesn't. It needs to be consistent. Doesn't and does not are the same thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tolunayo

Except you should use do not and don't in this case in the translation. Ustedes (you) is third person plural in Spanish but in English it is second person plural and you use do not and don't instead.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DreamsOfFluency

First and foremost, this lesson is about direct object pronouns - lo/la/los/las. Therefore, this lesson sentence is structured in a way that allows the Spanish learner to know what direct object is being discussed so that the learner can determine if it is masculine or feminine, and then proceed to use the correct masculine or feminine direct object pronoun. Therefore, in this case, this sentence structure is used as a teaching aide.

Nevertheless, for all those saying this sentence translation is terrible English and that no one would ever say it this way, I beg to differ, as have others in the comments. There are many, many situations in which someone will clearly state the direct object in order to emphasize it or clearly identify it, and then follow it with a comment. Duo is not teaching a course in writing formal English. It is primarily a course to teach translations into everyday spoken language. And, English speakers do talk like this all the time.

As for this lesson sentence, the scenario I imagine is a mother notices that the snack cakes she bought have not been eaten and is wondering if the kids don't like them. Since the kids are moving all over the kitchen and everyone is engaged in various things and haven't been talking with each other, she wants to be clear what she's about to talk about. So, instead of asking "Why aren't you eating the cakes", she makes them the focus of her verbal exchange by first saying, "Estos pasteles," and, once they know the topic, then she asks, "ustedes no los comen?" in order to elicit a response from the kids.

Other Examples -

Example 1: I'm in the kitchen and am putting away the groceries. My spouse comes in the room. I point to the fruit on the counter and say, "Those bananas, do you want me to leave them all on the counter?"

Example 2: A Spanish teacher is in front of the class. They have an apple in their hand. They say, "This apple, can you say you want it in Spanish?" (As in this Duo lesson, the teacher may want to see if the students know how to use the direct object pronoun. Or the teacher might simply use this technique to get the kids to stop chatting and to focus intently on something in order to get their attention before starting the class.)

Example 3: A shopper is at a jewelry counter with a store clerk. They tap on the glass and say, "That watch with the Mickey Mouse hands, can I see it?"

Example 4: A person is at the tire repair shop. They need to tell the mechanic why they are there. They walk around the car and point to a tire and say, "This tire, it has a leak. Can you fix it?"

Example 5: A kid is at the animal shelter. A volunteer comes up and asks if they can get a dog out for them to see. The kid points and says, "Yes. That dog with the black spots, I want to see it, please."

Example 6: A couple meet at the movie theater and one of them has already bought tickets. The second person takes a ticket and sees the name of the movie. They exclaim, "That movie? Oh, no, I don't want to see it!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roberta992855

Aren't is a contraction for are not. Answer correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tolunayo

It is likely that the error was somewhere else. What was your entire sentence? Sometimes you cannot easily tell the error from the suggested correction. People concentrate on the wrong part.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scott119560

The audio with the woman speaking sounds like esos for the fast audio but estos when you slow it down. Very frustrating. I listened to it over and over and it is definitely esos that she is saying.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katlyn189718

When referring to one person ( you), it would be better to use the word usted instead of ustedes because ustedes is referring to multiple people, and would translate to "they".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DreamsOfFluency

Katlyn18718,

Ustedes = You (plural)/You guys/You all/Y'all/etc

https://www.spanishdict.com/translate/ustedes

Ellos/Ellas = They

https://www.spanishdict.com/translate/they


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tolunayo

Ustedes never translate to they. Unlike English, Spanish officially has plural you forms and ustedes is one of two ways to express plural you. It just happens to share the conjugation of verbs with ellos/ellas.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/suchi79144

Are you not eating them wasn't accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tolunayo

Was that your entire translation? Did you include These cakes part? If not, it was not complete in the sense that where is no understanding of what them refers to.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LynnCousin

Why is Duo using estos instead of estes? I thought estos was not to be used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DreamsOfFluency

Lynncousin,

There is no "estes". This link to a Duo forum discussion explains it all:

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/5388844/When-do-you-use-Esto-esta-este-eso-esa-ese-estos-estas


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DreamsOfFluency

The word "estés" (with an accent) is the present subjunctive form of the verb "estar" in the second person singular.

https://www.spanishdict.com/conjugate/est%C3%A9s


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeannieOdl

Why is “you aren’t eating them” not correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Keira148712

I think I must be the only native English speaker to actually use this phrase. It sounds perfectly normal to me and not clunky or weird and the "better" ways to say them don't have the same nuance of elegance about them that some situations call for.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marcy557057

How would you translate "You don't eat them?" "Do not" instead of "are not"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tolunayo

You translate the same. Spanish tense presente can be translated to English using simple present or present continuous tense depending on the context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M.artine

Another topic: estos. I thought it had to be estes in thia sentence. Because esto= general form of this (I want this). Este= specific masculine (i want this book), ans esta= specific feminine form (i want this bracelet). Is this not correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tolunayo

Singular: esto, este, esta.
Plural: estos, estas.

There is no estes in Spanish as demonstrative. There is estés which is present subjunctive conjugation of the verb estar which is completely different.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeniseR1982

I'm not sure I understand your question. Estos pasteles = "These cakes", and ESTOS must be used because pasteles is masculine and plural.

I'm learning as you are and I can't find the word ESTES (without the accent mark) in Spanish; I found ESTE, which = East, no 'S' on the end. I have used three dictionaries, and I only find "ESTÉS" with the accent.

From SpanishDict . com: estés ≈ you are The word estés is the present subjunctive form of estar in the second person singular. See the full estar conjugation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bridget171313

I think my answer is correct also: aren't you eating them?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sguthrie1

Yes. And that was accepted from me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susan511353

I shouldn't have to use "ustedes" - it's optional in the context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diane72505

I wrote just what duo has on this page, but the "correct" answer was "these tarts" sigh


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ErnestGree4

The suggested answer does not seem much like question ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GhostSaviorX7331

the real translation is "these cakes, you don´t eat them?" the verb is saying something that is happening at the moment, but the Spanish are talking about something that is NOT happening, it's about something that could happen

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