1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "¿Tú vas a la universidad?"

"¿Tú vas a la universidad?"

Translation:Do you go to university?

May 13, 2018

This discussion is locked.


Aren't we missing an article (the)


I agree - there should be a THE


I would say "a" would be more appropriate, saying the university would be to vague and no on says that, they say the abbreviation for the college


The spanish version says THE


I think it depends on context: if you are asking if they are traveling to or studying at university. Asking your housemate, you're more likely to ask 'Are you going to the university' while getting to know someone, you would ask if they are going to a university'.


In the United States we would ask, "do you go to college"?


I would agree, here in the U.S. we use the word college as a generic term for an institution for advanced education (what you attend after high school to earn your undergraduate degree), regardless of whether it is actually a university or a college. So we would say Do you go to college (meaning any college or university) vs Do you go to THE university (or THE college) (referring to a particular school - like the one here in town, or the one you are talking about)


Yes, it's strange, but we Americans usually say "to college" but "to the university."


College-in-general does not have the definite article.

Reference to a specific college/university does need the definite article.


In the US, this sentence would definitely have an article before "university".


Both the American and British versions should be accepted.


"Are you going to the university" should be a proper translation...


This translation is the British translation. In the United States, we say, "Do you go to the university?"


No we don't. At least not where I have lived. Possibly because a lot of these places have more than one university in the area. Perhaps where you live there is only one university. In that case "the" makes sense.


It depends on which part of the US. I'm from 'Murica and I say "I will go to university next year."


How would one actually say "the university" as in " "The university of zzz has a great program. Do you go to the university?" I.e. specifying a particular university?


This one doesn't have a single answer. If the university name starts with 'university,' as in 'I go to The University of Arizona' or 'I go to The University of Colorado,' the 'the' is usually necessary. Most others don't take 'the,' as in 'I go to Stanford/Harvard/Oklahoma State.' There are exceptions both ways. UCLA and USC don't take 'the' when abbreviated. And Ohio State University takes 'the' (pronounced thee). There are other exceptions; these are just the first I thought of.


A reasonable question. Why downvote it?


Are you going vs do you go? How does one distinguish which is meant?


They are pretty much the same. Generally, use either one.


What is the difference between ir and vas


Vas is the conjugated form of ir, meaning "you go". When you use two verbs, the first one after yo, tu, él, los ninos, Mi padre, . . . is conjugated, ir is used in sentences like : Voy a ir a la playa.


ir = to go (irregular verb) conjugation: voy, vas va vamos, vais, van See Span¡shD¡ct for translations and conjugations.


I am very confused as to why the word bank didn't have an 'a' in the word bank to choose from. I answered 'Do you go to a university?' Using the keyboard, but I got it wrong. When I looked at the correct sentence, I was perplexed with the answer 'Do you go to university?' Because that isn't proper English grammar. I know that both languages do not translate exactly with each other, and that 'Do you go to university?' IS the exact translation, but on all other 'translation questions' (I put it in quotes because I do not know what the questions are actually called) that I have answered, Duolingo has the right words in the word bank to have a translation sentence with proper English grammar. I was hoping that Duolingo could add 'a' into the word bank to enable the option of proper grammar. I said option because Duolingo could ALSO add the option of choosing the exact translation, which would be 'Do you go to university?' Thank you very much for taking the time to read my paragraph of a post, and have a fantastic rest of your day! :)


One can go to a college meaning that one attends as a student. One can also go to a college without being a student of it. For example maybe there is a social event on campus. Is there a different way to say each meaning in Spanish or does "Tu' vas a la universidad" have both meanings which would need to be determined from context?


Do you go to THE university


Thank you. This is not correct, but perhaps Duo is not familiar with the need for the "the." He has that same problem with fun and funny. Ex. You are so funny. And, "That was fun" meani g something different from each other.


It's a perfectly correct sentence, depending on context.


As a native english speaker, people dont say, "Do you go to university" that dosnt make sense. We either say, "Do you go to college" or "Do you go to a university"


I don't think you can speak for all English speakers. Many say 'go to university'. There is nothing wrong with it.


This translation sounds more like British English than American English to me. Americans would be more likely to say, "Do you go to college?" or "Do you go to the university?"


English vs American. Most Europeans say university or hospital, Americans say the university or the hospital


I don't understand when you would use 'a la' vrs 'al'. Can somebody explain?


You combine the two only with the single masculine article (el), and neither of the plurals: a + el = al a + la = a la a + los = a los a + las = a las


If identifying a soecific university you use 'the' but if you're simply identifying if a person is enrolled at, or attending tertiary education such as a university you leave out 'the' as you're not specifying which uni, just that they go to uni.


American English needs the "the". We don't "go to university." If it is a non-specific university, we say "We don't go to A university."


I said "Do you go to his university"


There's no 'his' in the Spanish.


In Canada university and college are two different things


Technically they are in America as well, but college is the blanket term. Generally, a university offers degrees beyond a bachelor's but a college does not.


It should be, "Do you go to the university?"


Just a bit confused. Why is it that 'a el' can shorten to al, but the same does not apply to 'a la'? At least it isn't accepting it, but I'm uncertain whether I've missed another abbreviation.


Martin, only the article 'el' behaves in this manner. None of the other articles do. Think of it a little like the word y'all. I think these types of things tend to happen because it takes a lot of effort to actually vocalize each syllable the other way. Saying 'a' 'el' is difficult. It is easier to say 'al'. In contrast saying 'a' 'la' is simple.

Only 'a' + 'el' contract to 'al'. Also, only 'de' + 'el' contract to 'del'.


Thanks Michael. The others do roll off the tongue a lot easier, but where this is also written Spanish I thought they might have other alternatives like English.


De nada. I don't believe written Spanish is any different than the spoken one in this regard. Both contract the 'el' article with both 'a' and 'de'. But to be honest I don't know for absolutely certainty this is true. But it is very likely true.


It said the correct answer is "Do you go to university" my answer was "Do you go to that university" and it was marked wrong. How is the correct answer grammatically incorrect? Confusion


If you will consider, your answer does not actually match the correct answer perfectly. Your answer was "Do you go to THAT university;" it is a particular university you are talking about. The original sentence does not denote a particular university, just university in general.


If it's" do you go to university " why is "la" there for?


The definite article is often required in Spanish where we omit it in English.


But you put the la in the sentence, so why leave it out of the answer?


Because you often can't translate literally from one language to another.


I hope not considering the person doesn't know proper gramar


'Grammar' * What do you consider isn't proper grammar?


Absolutely there should be a THE in the (American) English version. How would other English speaking countries say it?


Definitely, England (and perhaps the rest of Great Britain) would say the sentence as written above though we do not. Interestingly, however, we do follow the British pattern when speaking of school and college.
When talking to a five-year-old we say, "Do you go to school (not, to the school) yet?" To a possible college student we ask, "Do you go to college?" Why we break the pattern with the word "university" I have no idea.


We don't break the pattern, as we also say 'Do you go to university?' You'd only include 'the' when referring to a specific university in a specific location.


Can this sentence also mean 'are you going to the university' ?


The correct translation should be "Do you go to THE university?"


I agree. And I was marked wrong. But I don't care if I get it wrong as long as I can understand what they were thinking. People from countries other than USA often say "go to university." We don't, but so what. Moving on.


Are you going to the university ?


I can see that "Do you go to university" is better but the Spanish translation sais "THE university". We need a "the" there


Yup should be either "a" or "the"


If you want American English, you must translate it "the university." Canadians and the British (and perhaps others) omit the definite article, but I've never heard an American do it.


I wrote al instead of a la. Why was I marked incorrect?


Because 'al' is the contraction of 'a' and 'el', which is used with a masculine noun. 'Universidad' is feminine.


Leaving out "the" changes the meaning. Now I don't know if it is referring to the university in my town or just any university in general.


Again, i cannot understand the speaker who slurs the words together. You need someone with clearer diction. Universidad is pronounced universidA.


I understand it fine. That's just how it's said. This is clear dictation compared to how it's said in real life.


Americans would say to "the" or "a" university. British English would say it like Duolingo does.


This isn't a common English grammar, it's very common to say: ''Are you going to (the) university/college?'' It should be English by default.


Duolingo, It's difficult to understand why you don't change this sentence to include an article. Americans say, "Do you go to college?" However, we need an article when using "university". Perhaps you are encouraging people to accept different countries' syntax instead of the rules taught in English classes in the states.


This isnt proper english


It is correct in Britain, not in the U.S. where we'd use "the university."


Or "to college" or just "to school." These are more common especially in the South. But the example says universidad so I guess that's the answer..lol


College implies only BS or BA but no graduate degrees in the USA. In other countries college means high school rather than post secondary education.


Two points: In the U.S.,....

1) Some colleges also offer MAs (e.g., MA in teaching).

2) The term "college" is often used when referring to a "university."


Do you go to university? suggests you are asking if somebody is at a university.

Do you go to the university? suggests you are asking about a specific university.

Both are correct.


It's correct in the USA, at least it is in the northeast.


We are learning Spanish, yes,


It is useful information for us, not English speakers.


Except many native English speakers don't know English very well.

See these on illiteracy in the U.S.: 19 percent of adults cannot read a newspaper, much less complete a job application, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

that 50 percent of U.S. adults can’t read a book written at an eighth-grade level.

14% of adults can’t read anything. https://www.creditdonkey.com/illiteracy-in-america.html

More than 30 million adults in the United States cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third grade level. 19% of high school graduates are functionally illiterate.


16% of high school students don’t graduate. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/10/27/u-s-high-school-graduation-rate-is-up-but-theres-a-warning-label-attached/?utm_term=.5eef9072b02b

Based on ACT scores, only 51% of HS seniors who take the ACTs score high enough to be ready for college . https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED507600.pdf

As a professor at a non-elite university (that accepts almost all applicants), and as a teacher of writing, I have found that a significant percentage of incoming students can't write intelligible paragraphs.


So 1 in 10 can not read, wow!! ;((


The English answer is not right. It should be "Do you go to the university?"


"University" could be a street name which would be perfectly acceptable in American english to say "Do you go to University? Or do you turn a block before you get to University?"


But it is sloppy English and also known as "Conversational Deletion" where omitted words are implied from context.

I agree that it is commonly used in spoken English in the manner you describe, but it is not taught in school as proper English grammar.

I guess I figure that in beginner's language courses like this, the authors' intents are to teach proper grammar, not sloppy grammar exceptions.

I've seen many arguments raised on this site regarding obscure, yet correct per these obscure and uncommon grammar concepts, sentences that were thought to be incorrect but were proven correct in said context.

Then I ask myself "Would Duolingo really be trying to teach such an obscure and uncommon concept in a beginner's language course?" The answer should always be "No." It is more appropriate to teach beginner grammar structure to beginners than to toss in some obscurity and confuse most students.

I personally find it interesting to see the differences in what is considered 'correct grammar' between British and American English. This is where I believe both contrasting grammar styles should be accepted by Duolingo...with maybe a footnote to indicate "British" or "American".


I find it interesting that the big thing is correct english grammer.... etc!!!!!! We should be working on correct spanish...by translating english phrases to the correct form of spanish...no????


------- you might be surprised at the number of spanish-speakers who are learning english right here . . .

Big 16 jul 18


If we don't know correct English, how can we translate correctly? How do you suggest we translate poor English grammar-- with poor Spanish grammar?

I personally have known many international students who speak English better than do some (American English) speakers. I think that is good.

Some student international speakers make mistakes that reflect their Spanish language structure, but at least they generally don't practice the bad grammar typical of some native English speakers.


007, i am shaken by, but also stirred to respond to, your post. The earlier part is nonsense. There is no deletion at all. In Brit English we mean are you going to any institution of tertiary education? " ...to university?" Not a particyular one. So.eone explained it by saying in US you say are you going/did you go to college. Exactly the same in UK. But main thing is you know how to say it in Spanish! The minutiae of the English is of academic interest (to those learning Spanish I mean)


IT states la universiad so it should translate as the. University


Not necessarily. Some things in Spanish are just usually said with the definite article preceding them. La escuela and la universidad are both good examples. I've never heard, "estás en escuela?" always "estás en la escuela?"



Here are some other words that always have a definite article: prision, trabajo, cama, meals (desayuno, etc.), comida, clase,

Reference: http://aprendeinglessila.com/2014/03/articulo-determinado-the/#

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