1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "I had arrived a few minutes …

"I had arrived a few minutes before."

Translation:Yo había llegado unos minutos antes.

April 30, 2018



"habia llegado unos minutos antes" was marked wrong, because I left out "yo".


the yo is needed to differentiate from he or she.


This goes against the rule I always hear that "we already know about whom we are speaking". Other sources agree that "yo" is unnecessary.


Agreed, Duolingo freely accepts either yo or el/ella in literally hundreds of situations. While I know where Frank (above) is coming from (my first teacher in Bogotá insisted that I always use the pronouns) the use of pronouns is nearly always optional. I've reached the end of this course and have gotten over 500 crowns and missed lots!!! of questions. But never for not putting a yo in there...


Hi Frank, I am confused by this also, sometimes it is yo había, and sometimes me había, how can I know when to use which?


Hi Shirl, You have to use 'yo' because 'habia llegado' could mean 'I had arrived or he/she had arrived. When you use 'yo' it means 'I had arrived'. I would explain the difference between 'yo' and 'me' this way. 'Yo' is the subject pronoun ie I want = yo quiero, or I ran = yo corri. 'Me' pronounced 'may' is the the indirect object pronoun ie he called (to) me = el me llamo. In English it comes after the verb, in Spanish it comes before the verb. Hopefully this explains it, I am not a teacher but have been studying Spanish for a few years now but don't usually explain things very well.


Nonsense. That doesn´t apply elsewhere, why here? 'llega' could mean he, she, or you arrive{s{. 'llegan' could mean they or you. This is no different. They are just flat wrong. The 'yo' is not compulsory.


In this tense the first and third person singular forms are identical, which makes the "yo" not strictly compulsory, but certainly recommended to avoid ambiguity.


You have explained it very well Frank, and I thank you...


pocos is also correct for a few !


Right now not including the "yo" is considered incorrect.


Agree, yo is not required to be correct. It might be required to be clear, but not correct.


Marked wrong for Había llegado unos minutos antes. !!


Yes, the standard accepted answer other places is not accepted here at random.


Why is this imperfect (había llegado) rather than preterite (hube llegado)? This event appears to have occurred at a very specific time.


Because había llegado is not Preterito Imperfecto (Imperfect) and hube llegado is not Preterito Indefenido (Simple past). had arrived is Past perfect which translates into Pluscuamperfecto => había llegado. Of course, there is a Preterito anterior => hube llegado, but it's almost never used in Spanish and really difficult to explain in a short comment.


Thanks! I've learned something new as a result.


"Había llegado unos minutos antes" accepted September 25th 2020


What.... it got marked wrong for not including yo


Yo había llegado hace unos minutos. Why is this wrong?


This should not still be marking incorrect for excluding the 'Yo'... this one is an obvious error to fix, and yet I just got it wrong. Reporting.


I've noticed the further one progresses in Duolingo Spanish the sloppier the lessons are constructed, probably because not as many students progress this far and therefore Duolingo gets fewer suggestions on what to change/improve/accept. It's rather disheartening.


The other issue is that Duo added a bunch of new lessons to the spanish course this spring. The bulk of these were on the more advanced levels and there simply hasn't been as much time for people to weigh in.


if "i arrived" is 1'llegué' then why is "i had arrived" not 'habia llegué' ?


The problem is that the word "arrived" in English can mean two things. It is the simple past tense form of "to arrive", but it also is the past participle of the same verb. In English these are spelled the same for some words, but in Spanish they never are.

Take the English word "eat". For past tense we say "he ate" but we don't say "he had ate", it's "he had eaten". For this verb, the two forms are different. For "arrive" they are the same, which can cause confusion in translations like this. Another English example is "he fell" but "he had fallen" (not "he had fell"). In Spanish the simple past tense and the past participle will always be different.

So if you make a past compound verb in Spanish like we are doing here, you must always use the past participle, which will in regular verbs end in -ado or -ido -- although there are a lot of verbs that are irregular in the past participle. One example of an irregular that you will see on a daily basis in Spanish-speaking countries is for abrir (to open). If it were regular it would be "abrido" but the proper past participle is "abierto" which you see displayed in shops everywhere to show the shop is "opened". :)



Thanks for your terrific explanation...


Happy to help!

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.