1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Is your little brother in sc…

"Is your little brother in school?"

Translation:¿Tu hermano menor está en la escuela?

May 4, 2018

119 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rodolfo_1975

Little brother = hermanito Younger brother = hermano menor


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

That is too literal. See my comment above.


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

I seem to have a different question. Why is 'la' used here? To ask if someone 'is in school' is a general rather than specific question. In English, at least, it is not asking if your little brother is at a particular school, but more like asking if he is of school age and enrolled. What is the rule? In particular, I'm wondering because i see similarity to the thinking behind 'jugar deportes' and 'jugar al futbol.' PS Any speaker in the US understands that 'little brother' means younger brother, just as big sister has nothing to do with size. In everyday language, that's just how we say it. Younger and older are used mostly in more formal situations or when accurate descriptions are required, like responding to interviews or questions about age relation.


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

You also normally say "jugar a deportes".

English treats some locations like "school", "church", "home", or "prison" as institutions, not using articles with them unless you're talking about a specific building. Spanish doesn't really have such institutions, so escuela will always take an article. It works for example like "house" in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Donald798622

"Es su hermano menor en la escuela" surely, if my brother is a student at school then "es" is proper


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

"Being in or at school" is still considered a location and needs estar. Ser describes identities, so your sentence translates to "It is your younger brother in the school."


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

Tienes razon. Excepto, a better translation is the DL translation. Not literal, but more likely.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bubbajones3

Titally agree and looked it up ti be sure. Duo can really pigeon hole us into its version of langauges. The pitfall of e learning i guess.


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

It says little not younger can pequeno work here


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

"Little sibling" refers to a younger sibling in English, doesn't it? If he were, physically, taller than you, he'd still be your "little brother".


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

In English, we also call the younger brother "my little brother."

I believe that "little brother, though not literal, is the better translation.


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

Without any context, I would go for "pequeño" here. However, "hermano menor" clearly is "younger brother", not "little".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clint474385

It most certainly can. Duolingo needs badly to shape up, and be a little more specific.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertTorb3

This example requires remembering so much that I have learned...
A "question", in English, is usually translated as a "statement" in Spanish with the correct punctuation before and after the question. Then, there is the Spanish requirement for adjectives ("little" - "menor") to follow the noun. And, finally, the Spanish rule that "la" has to precede "escuela - school")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom530877

I seem to keep getting tripped on when to use "el or la" in front of the noun. I thought it was only needed if the noun was the Subject of the sentence? I don't consider "escuela" to be the subject of "¿Tu hermano menor está en la escuela?".


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

You always use the definite article when you're talking about something definite, just like you use "the" in English: "el libro" - "the book", no matter if it's a subject or not.

The "school" here is an institution, like "church" or "work", and English normally doesn't use articles with those institution. Spanish does, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EsperanzaM664635

por que no puedo usar 'su' vs 'tu'?


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

Puedes usar ambos.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EsperanzaM664635

Pues, Duolingo lo marcó incorrecta cuando yo uso 'su’ hermano; gracias por tu repuesta


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

Su is for his or her....tu is for you


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

Su is the possessive form of él, ella, ellos, ellas, and, important here, usted and ustedes. So it can translate as "his", "her", "its", "their", and "your".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/curlylady3

"en la escuela"... why is la required if the school is not indicated to be a specific one?


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

Curly, Spanish doesn't make that difference between "specific school" and "general school" like English does. It's always a specific school.

You do a similar thing in English with other nouns, like in "We're going to the beach", without indicating a specific beach.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/redda18

está en la escuela tu hermano menor was not accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AngieKing6

That's what I tried too. Can anyone shed some light as to why this was not accepted please?


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

No particular reason for that, except that it's a less common word order.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AngieKing6

So it's another one of those sentences that is "technically correct but will get me a funny look if I say it to someone"? Okay thank you.


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

I agree, rodolfo, it does say little brother. We cannot possibly understand that "menor" is the correct way that "little brother" is spoken in Spanish unless we're taught. Unfortunately, we learn better from remembering the mistakes. So now we sort it out, yes? Gracias!


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

ConnieHayd: You are correct. This is the learning mechanism of DL. Make mistakes. Correct mistakes. When you think about it it is the way you will learn if you immerse yourself in the language by moving to Mexico. Everyone you meet is your teacher. Some have good grammar some don't. But you learn how things are said by different people and you don't lament that everyone says things differently somewhat. You keep moving. Keep learning. I recommend that some who complain about DL keep moving. Keep learning by the natural learning method of DL Make mistakes. Correct mistakes. Realize that sometimes DL may not be presenting perfect grammar. Just like being immersed in the language. DL learners are learning a lot. Poco a poco, dia por dia.


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

llibllens: Excelent comment. Precisely correct about the process of learning! Have a lingot.

You are correct. (tienes razon).

The DL translation is better. (anglohablente)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/44767mt

"¿Es tu hermanito en la escuela?" was marked as wrong, WHY? A little brother is "hermanito" or are we back in South American territory? 21st Sept 2018.


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

You used the wrong verb. Locations are described with estar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fuzzmaster98

True, but to me, the question "is your little brother in school?" could also be interpreted as asking if your little brother is in school in the less literal sense of being a school pupil, which I thought would fall under occupation.

Without any wider context, we don't know if the questioner is asking if your little brother is physically in the location of the school, or asking if your little brother is "in school" as in 'is a student/pupil who attends school'.

If the questioner is asking the former question, then yes "está" should be used because they are asking about a location. However if the questioner is asking the latter question, then shouldn't "es" be used as they are in this case asking about what is essentially the little brother's occupation?

I think that, because we are not given the question's wider context, it is not wrong to use "es" in this scenario since the questioner could be asking about your little brother's occupation. However, I am but a mere learner and could be spraffing complete nonsense, in which case any guidance would be appreciated XD.

Peace.


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

Ademas. We often say "little brother" to refer to "younger brother."


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

Why not Su hermano


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

You can use "su hermano" here as well.


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

¿Está tu hermano menor en la escuela? was accepted.


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

Tús was not accepted. I thought tús was 'your'. No?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/redda18

tus is your when applied to a plural noun. ie tus hermanos plural, tu hermano singular


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

Thanks so much. I did know that, but had forgotten. I appreciate the reminder. Don't you just love DuoLingo and all the support?


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

Also please remember that the possessive tu (your) never has an accent. The accent is for the subject pronoun (you).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kim905776

The question was little brother not younger brother


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

Those two terms have the same meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mary769476

What's wrong with, "Esta en el colegio tu hermano menor?"


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

Nothing wrong with that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/woody852299

What is wrong with 'Tu esta hermano menor en la escuela?"


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

Tu and hermano have to stay together, since it's specifically about "your brother".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John93649

Does Poco a poco, dia por dia. mean little by little and day by day? I'm trying to distinguish the difference between a and por as used here.


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

"Bit by bit, day by day", yes. I don't think there's any reason for the choice of prepositions here. Maybe the a (usually "to" in English) got chosen because you're "moving" from little piece to little piece. Baby steps, so to say. But "día por día" is probably idiomatic, without real reason for the por.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteveEnger1

I thought "menor" meant younger and "poco" means little? But I was marked wrong for some reason.


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

The English term "little sibling" generally refers to a sibling who is younger than you. Similarly, "big sibling" generally means "older sibling".

Poco would the the wrong form of "little" here anyway. Poco is not talking about size, that would be pequeño, but about a small amount. "It rained a little", "There is little water left", "We have little to lose", these things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnMcBrid900465

Hermanito, accepted by SpanishDict and others, was not accepted by Dueling. It should be.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/startrek14

Why is it en la escuela and not en escuela which means in school and not in the school


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

Spanish just doesn't say "in school". English has that weird property where some places are considered "institutions" and don't normally take articles, like "at work", "at school", "at church", but you don't say "at park" or "at supermarket".

Spanish doesn't have that concept of institutions, so they all use articles.


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

It seems like "¿Tu hermano menor está en la escuela?" can translate to both "Is your little brother in school?" and "Is your little brother at school?"

In english these two phrases are pretty different... being "in school" is a general state, like you're a student, versus "at school" means you're physically present at the school.

Is there a better way in Spanish to say one of these two phrases: "Is your little brother in school?" or "Is your little brother at school?"


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

If you want to be more specific, you can say (commonly) "ir a la escuela" or (more precisely) "asistir a la escuela" to say that he regularly attends school. "Estar en la escuela" is primarily talking about physical presence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FlorenceDA344253

Does menor mean both young or younger and also little?


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

Menor only means "younger". But in English you commonly call your younger siblings "little sibling".


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

This particular challenge is quite ambiguous. In English: little probably would mean 'little' or 'younger' The suggested translation in Spanish: definitely 'younger' only. 'pequeño' should be accepted as well (or even by default).


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

I don't think you'd seriously say "little sibling" in English if you're only considering their physical size.


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

I wonder why not hermanito? I learned that from one of the stories.


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

Hermanito is also good, it's more affectionate. "Hermano menor" is the formal term.


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

But I think you can refer to your elder brother as 'hermanito' as well if you want to talk in very friendly terms. In some countries you can just say 'manito' (short of hermanito) to refer in a very friendly manner to a guy of any age.


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

Why is using esta (with that pesky accent on the "a") at the beginning of the sentence wrong? So, Esta tu hermano menor en la escuela?


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

It's also a fine sentence structure, but it's not very common to use it. Usually yes-or-no questions use the same word order as statements.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angie781024

Not sure when esta or es is used in a sentence


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

The verb ser (with the conjugation es) is used when you're talking about identities and characteristics of an object or the time of an event. Estar (with the conjugation está) is used to describe an object's state, condition, or location.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/X2RDnzls

Why can't you use pequeno instead of menor


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

"Hermano pequeño" or "pequeño hermano" are also fine to use.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anna970341

Common usage issue: In UK we would tend not to say that someone is 'in' school (more an American phrase than UK). When a youngster reaches school age we would ask if he had started school or if he goes to school. If talking about someone being physically in the school building we would use 'at school' rather than 'in school'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diane725913

Would hermanito or hermano pequeño be ok?


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

Yes, both expressions are okay. They are just more colloquial than "hermano mejor".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/An-D3

Little is not reserved to age. I took this as height


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve796049

This isn't good enough. It clearly say 'little' not 'younger'.


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

If you talk about a "little sibling" in English, it's usually assumed that you're talking about a sibling who's younger than you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/N5gMyiOH

How would one know whether it should be "pequeño" or "menor"? It could be either, surely!


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

N5gmy, the term "little brother" generally refers to one of your brothers who is younger than you. The formal Spanish term for that is "hermano menor".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AngieKing6

Don't quote me on this, but I believe that pequeño is used in reference to size or quantity, which would not be appropriate in this sentence. Even though we can translate the sentence using the word little instead of younger in English, in Spanish it's not the same.


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

Little does not translate as pequeño per Duolingo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sydney199300

Little brother is not the same as younger brother. If you want "younger" you shouldn't write "little".


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

Sydney, "little" and "younger", when referring to people, mean the same thing (adjective 1.1).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmberMarie272184

Why is it "A mi abuelo le encanta mirar películas. " but ,¿Tu abuelo está en la escuela?" I'm asking about the "A" here.


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

Amber, the first sentence uses the a because the grandfather is the object in that sentence - watching films is doing something to him. In the second sentence, the grandfather is the subject, he's the one actively doing something, so he doesn't get a preposition.


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

I took the question to be "Is your little brother going to school - is he old enough to go to school?" In that case would it not be "es en la escuela" ?


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

Jappoulsen, no, that would still use estar. We're talking about a person being in a location here.


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

Is it false tus hermanito es de escuela?


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

'tus' means plural and if you need plural it will be 'tus hermanitos'. 'es de' is not correct. This should be 'está en la escuela'. The verb 'estar' should be used because it means a physical location (and likely temporary).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mickey763302

when did we start using menor. Are we introduced to new words? And how?


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

Mickey, I'm not sure where mayor and menor are introduced, but it's likely that it's in the very lesson in which this sentence appears.

You're introduced to new words whenever you begin a new lesson. You get new sentences that contain words you haven't seen before, and you're tasked to translate those into English. Or sometimes you get flash cards with the Spanish word and a picture representing that word, which you have to select.


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

Quite frequently we are introduced to new words. That's how we learn new things.
I find a dictionary helps.

P.S., I learned "menor" a long time ago.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GailCox4

'Is your little brother in school'. Answer using menor (small) for little. Surely this should be poco. 'Is you small brother in school ' doesn't sound right


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

Gail, poco means "little" in the sense of "a small amount":

  • Hay poca agua en la piscina. - There is little water in the pool.

Menor means "younger". Pequeño would be "small".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GailCox4

Thank you. Just one other thing. Husband - esposo or marido. Can you clarify this please


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

esposo=spouse, marido=husband. BTW, 'esposas' mean 'manacles'!


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

I see a lot of confusion with this phrase, namely 'little'/'menor'. I think that there is ambiguity in both English and Spanish versions here. In any case, 'menor' should clearly mean 'younger'. I'd leave the interpretation of 'little' to English native speakers. If the original phrase were reworded with 'younger', this thread would be closed, I guess.


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

Hi. Would like to ask why use "esta" instead of "este"? Is that because of la escuela?


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

Yoni, the está here is a verb, and Spanish verbs generally don't flex for the gender of any noun. Está is the él/ella form of the verb estar, so it means "he/she/it is".

Don't confuse it with the demonstrative este/esta, which means "this" and does have gendered forms.


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

Ryagon, I believe that by "flex" you mean "conjugate"? Verbs conjugate based on "person" and "number." Also "tense" and "mood".


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

Sguthrie, I specifically didn't use "conjugate" here because gender-dependency isn't part of conjugation in Spanish. "Flex" is what I came up with for a more general "word changes its shape depending on its grammatical context", something that groups together "conjugation" and "declination" and possibly other ations. I don't know if there's an actual word for that in English.

Though yes, when I think about it, it makes more sense to just use "conjugate" here since that's literally just verbal flexing.


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

Why use esta instead of este? Is that because the "la escuela"?


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

'está' is a verb not to be confused with pronouns este/esta. For example, we can say: "Nosotros estamos en la escuela."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/101lucayaloop

I learned on Duolingo that little brother should translate as hermanito and hermano meno as younger brother


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

Luca, all these terms are interchangeable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DimpleR1

I understood the question as in is he in school vs in College. In that case would "Tu hermano menor es en la escuela" be correct. Would es be correct to use?


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

'es' would be incorrect, because the question is whether someone is somewhere. In Spanish the verb 'estar' is used in this case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamualMill1

Do you really have to include 'la' for 'in school'? Seems like a cheap shot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SGuthrie0

Yes you do.

It is common/standard in Spanish to use the definite article with places that refer to going to (al, or a la ) buildings/ things. For example, all of these use the definite article:
Clase Fue al colegio a las 8
Colegio
Cárcel Lo llevaron a la cárcel.
Iglesia Casi nunca voy a la iglesia.
Universidad
Hospital Mi amigo está en el hospital.
Cama Me fui a al cama temprano.
Casa [Some say “casa” may not belong here]
El cine
Trabajo
Campamento (camp)?

See these references: https://www.hablamejoringles.com/articulo-sobre-articulos-el-uso-de-the-en-ingles/ http://www1.udel.edu/leipzig/Assistant/artdef.htm

I


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Jay9

Why is it wrong to leave la out of the sentence? When do I need it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chaijones22

hermanito is correct also.. duo needs to sort these glitches


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sam91542

So if hermanito is incorrect , why put it on the top of the drop down meaning little brother???????


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

You could say "es tu hermano menor..." or use hermanito


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

I am not sure about that. 'hermanito' is a diminutive of 'hermano'. You can refer to your elder brother as 'hermanito' to emphasise a very friendly manner.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Owen529856

It asked for "little" brother, not "younger" brother, so I said "poco" instead of "menor", this should have been accepted.


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

'poco' would refer to some quantitative properties, like amount. For example: un poco de agua. A brother could be managed this way, but this would not be nice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter223759

I think my answer is correct


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

I'm confused why there's a definite article before escuela and not before school.


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

Yes, it is confusing because in Spanish, when talking about institutions, the definite article should be used. For example:

en el colegio = at school

en la universidad = at university

en la iglesia = at church

en el hospital = in hospital

en la cárcel = in prison

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