"Is your little brother in school?"
Translation:¿Tu hermano menor está en la escuela?
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.
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.
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")
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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?"
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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
Cárcel Lo llevaron a la cárcel.
Iglesia Casi nunca voy a la iglesia.
Hospital Mi amigo está en el hospital.
Cama Me fui a al cama temprano.
Casa [Some say “casa” may not belong here]