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  5. "Yo tengo un problema con la …

"Yo tengo un problema con la secretaria."

Translation:I have a problem with the secretary.

May 7, 2018

78 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wwhalen85

Shouldn't it be "una"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Slagar1

"Problema" is a masculine noun, despite ending on an "a". There are a few exceptions to that rule, and you'll just have to learn them as you go.


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

It's because "problema" is a word taken from Greek. This shows up with many other words such as "dilemma" and "sistema," both being masculine. Happens in Italian too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laura977380

@SirPugsly I had a pug growing up named Pugsly!!! Now I have a two year old pug that we have had since 6 months old named Henry. I love them!!! Mucho gusto, SirPugsly! Yo vivo circa de Chicago en Estados Unidos. Tenga un buen día!


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

I've never owned a pug myself, I just thought Sir Pugsly was a great name for this picture. I've used this as my online persona for years now hahaha. Thank you though. Have a good day!


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

It's the same in Portuguese as well.


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

Are you saying that these words, with their "a" endings, are considered to be masculine in Greek, therefore also masculine in Spanish? Otherwise, since they fit the mold, why not just declare them to be feminine? Obviously objects do not have gender.


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

Those words were neutral in Ancient Greek, stayed neutral in Latin, and then became masculine in Spanish as the neutral gender merged with the masculine.

The gender of Spanish nouns mostly depends on the gender they had in Latin - or whatever language the noun derived from.


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

Those words are loanwords adopted FROM Greek


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

Problema, telegrama, sistema, clima, idioma, mapa, dia & planeta are some examples of masculine nouns despite ending with an A


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jani245857

Thanks for this list RahultheOw! Lingot to you!


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

Yeah, it's like el dia.


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

Buenos días


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tess568007

Ahhh si, I forgot this rule. Gracias!


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

Thankyou for the information!❤️


[deactivated user]

    I have given you a lingot because you deserve a reward for that huge streak :)


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

    un tema, un problema, un planeta, un diá all have Greek origins. Therefore, most break the rule


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

    Día doesn't derive from Greek (that would sound more like "emera" and it would be feminine), but it's a Latin origin, from the masculine "diēs", which got vulgarised to "*dia" while keeping its gender.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvgeniyChe3

    Why should it be "una"? Una is used for feminine nouns, whereas "problema" is definitely masculine noun, therefore it uses "un".


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

    A NEG-lingot for you


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

    I wrote una problema and got marked wrong.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ashleygirl24

    the plot thickens Hmmm... I didn't know Duo was into mysteries!! XD


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IOK-1

    One can translate "yo escribo una carta" as either "I write a letter" or "I'm writing a letter", so why is "I'm having a problem" not accepted as a correct translation for "yo tengo un problema"?


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

    "Have" is one of the verbs that is used in the progressive tense only in certain situations. You can be "having a drink", "having a party", or "having a shower". These are all uses where it can be expressed with a different verb, "drinking", "partying", or "showering", respectively. But when it comes to using "have" to say that you own something, using the progressive tense and saying "I'm having a car" is very weird. Same with "a problem".


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

    I gave you an up vote for a good answer. However, I suggest that "I'm having a problem" with my secretary is perfectly acceptable.

    I suggest that the issue of "ownership" is fairly clear with cars. But not so clear with "problems." For example, I could say "I am having car problems."


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

    Hm, right. Reconsidering this, "I'm having a [thing]" also sounds like you're experiencing something. Like you could "be having a moment", or "having an experience". I think "problem" can fall under that. "I'm having a problem with my secretary" still sounds somewhat weird to me, though. Like you didn't have a choice in choosing one and require a new one, now. "I'm having a problem with Photoshop" is more familiar.


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

    Ryagon, don't forget that "having a baby" means "giving birth," while "have a baby" means that you birthed a baby at some time in the past: I have (possess) a husband, two dogs, and a baby. (Don't get me started on "having a husband!")


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

    For "I'm having a problem with..." this is not ownership but a temporary state that is expected to be rectified and sounds good English to me. For car, you could express a near future receipt "I am having a car for my birthday" (lucky person!).


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

    "Having a car" would be like "having a baby!" Ouch! "Getting a car" better expresses a near future receipt.


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

    I understand that "problema" is a masculine noun from reading the other comments and replies, but is there a way to tell between masculine and feminine words when they don't follow the usual rule? Or are they just exceptions you have to get used to?


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

    There are some patterns, but for some other words you can only memorise. Those original Greek-neutral nouns almost all end on '-ma': problema, dilema, tema, drama, programa, and so on. Then you have the job names ending on '-ta' which you can use for either gender: el/la artista, arquitecta, optimista, poeta, fundamentalista, et cetera. And there are those more-or-less one-ofs, like "el mapa", "el avión", and "la mano".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rachelpowers643

    Why is it 'secretaria' and not 'secretaría'??


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

    Secretaria without an accent is the person, "secretary". Secretaría, with an accent on the 'i', is the office, the secretariat.


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

    The female speaks so fast her words jumble together. The male is really clear


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Isabelle716242

    This woman reading does not speak clearly. She also seems annoyed, like thisbis the only job she can get and hates it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Craggy65

    Can barely hear "un" and she's clearly pronouncing it "prolema" without the "b". This same lady has cost me a lot of lives in the past, all her audio needs redoing.


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

    What is the problem with writing "Tengo" instead of Yo tengo?


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

    No problem with that. Personal subject pronouns can usually be dropped.


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

    Is this because of learning the Duolingo "flirting" skill?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElTecolotito666

    Yo tengo un problema con problema being an irregular noun


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

    No bebe su té......escupir ahora está incluido!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alvera13

    Thats what I wrote


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GloriaMart818554

    My answe was correct


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GloriaMart818554

    My apologies my error


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LoriDay7

    Why do you mark me wrong when I have not even finished or check my spelling?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peach2500

    this is getting intresting uu


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

    ¿Quién todavía tiene una secretaria en 2019?


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

    Muchos jefes que tienen que hacer tareas administrativas.


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

    Another correct answer is that "the" is a definite article and is translated by "el, la," and not by "una/una".


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

    Why do you say the use of "the" is "another correct answer"?

    What is the other correct answer?

    I don't see how there could be any other than the one shown at the top of the page.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tvindy
    • 2060

    The question wasn't 100% clear and has at least two different interpretations. Since it's unclear which question is being asked, there are two correct answers, one for each question.


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

    Could you supply both interpretations because I'm not quite sure what the second one is, unless you are referring to the fact that English speakers often use the present continuous tense (I'm having) and the present tense (I have) interchangeably.

    Eugene Tiffany is right about one thing, though. There is no reason to translate "la" as "una" in the sentence "Tengo una problema con la secretaria."


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

    Thanks, Twindy. Congrats on your 981 days. Almost 1000!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aaron97705

    1349 as of 11/12/2019


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

    This is 2019 folks! Hasn't anyone got the memo? They're "administrative assistants", not secretaries. ;)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pyke115690

    I forgot to type it in


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EverettWoi1

    What is the problem!!!!!!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EverettWoi1

    ... and I do not have a problem with the secretary!!!!!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robertasmi12

    I am thinking the show "Madmen" and Joan.

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