"Sir, do you need help?"
Translation:Señor, ¿usted necesita ayuda?
Think of Tú as your friends, co-workers, close family, people you talk to on a regular basis and usted is everyone else, strangers, people of authority such as police, etc. With the use of "Sir" in this sample, the formal you, usted, is needed. You would not call your friends or others you know well "Sir".
Spanish changes endings for two very different reasons:
One is connected nouns, pronouns, and adjectives referring to nouns, and changes according to grammatical gender (which may or may not match up with biological gender or anything else).
The other is connected to verbs, and changes depending on whether the subject (the person or thing doing the action) is the speaker (first person: yo), the listener (second person: tu/usted/ustedes), someone else (third person: él/ella/ellos/ellas), or not a person (es). It can also change to match whether the subject is singular or plural (usted/ustedes, él/ellos, ella/ellas), and for second person specifically, it changes depending on whether formal or familiar language is being used (tu/usted).
In this case, "necesita" is the formal second person form of the verb necesitar, meaning to need, is the correct for to use with señor, señora, señorita, or usted. Note that grammatical gender doesn't come into play with verbs.
Yes, completely ok, but there could be some small doubt introduced that usted clarifies. imagine a man standing by the road next to a woman who seems to be in distress. You could ask, ¿Señor, necesita ayuda?. And without the usted could be asking, Sir, does she need help?
You would use the -as ending for the informal you (tú). However, this sentence uses the formal you (usted) for respect. (A general rule is that if you have to use señor/señora/señorita, use the formal.) In this case, the formal you doesn't use the -as ending, but the -a ending like él/ella/etc.
Ok, so my answer was "Senor, necesita usted ayuda?" It was correct. The answer in the discussion is "Señor, ¿usted necesita ayuda?" I understand the importance of usted to establish formality. My question is, does it matter where the usted is in the sentence? Is "Señor, ¿necesita ayuda usted?" as correct as the other versions of the same sentence? A little confusion here, any help would be much appreciated.
I forget the exact grammatical rule but the order of the words does matter, just as it does in english. Imagine someone switching the order of the words in English. They can be understood but you'll probably scratch your head and wonder why they are talking so weird. Yoda is a perfect example. You can understand him but his sentence structure is off and incorrect.
The way I was taught in my spanish text book, inverted was the way to go and it could be either of the other options aswell. Neither seems more "correct" over the other -even though I prefer to adress the subject after the verb in questions- Spanish has "loose" grammar rules looking at it from an English perspective Take the double negatives for an example! (disclaimer: At least on this matter cause adjectives are a different concept and can be a pain in the butt).
I just read through all this and only one other person asked what I was wondering (and they didn't get an answer. LOL) So, why can't it be: Señor, ¿necesita ayuda? I'm pretty sure I've seen other instances where the usted is left off. Thank you for any insight into this!
The phrase uses "Señor" to address the person they are talking to. This is understood to be a formal way of speaking to them. If you were talking to a child (or a friend) you would not adress them as señor. Since the sentance is formal the usted must remain because it respectfully addresses the formal nature of who you are talking to. FYI: I am still learning spanish but I believe this is a pretty accurate explanation based upon other forums i've been reading.
I answered just like that, "Señor, ¿necesita ayuda?", and it was accepted.
I'm also uncertain about both the necessity and placement of "usted" in different sentences. Here I'm guessing that it is OK to leave out "usted" as it is established that "necesita" is in regard to a respectful you, and cannot be mistaken for referring to él/ella. But that's just a guess.
Duo lingo doesn't seem to be consistent when it is ok to drop the usted and when not.... If it is correct to drop in one sentence and is also correct in another, than why not allow for both to be correct. When I apply a rule of using or dropping the usted, I get it wrong and that causes me more confusion than if Duo would put both correct answers down. Just saying.....
In English, you can help (verb) someone, and you can give help (noun). Same spelling, different part of speech. To need help is to need a thing--a noun, even if that thing is an action performed by somebody else.
In Spanish, it's similar. Él/Ella/Usted ayuda (verb), vs. la ayuda (feminine noun). In this sentence, ayuda is a noun.
rhys218010, verbs in Spanish change according to the person/subject, its gender doesn't affect the verb in anyway.
If the subject is yourself:
- you're male: Yo lo necesito. - I need it.
- you're female: Yo lo necesito. - I need it.
If the subject is not you, not me, but someone else:
- they're male: Él lo necesita. - He needs it.
- they're female: Ella no necesita. - She needs it.
In Spanish, it's the articles, nouns and adjectives that do change according to gender.
- you're male: Yo soy maestro. - I am a teacher.
- you're female: Yo soy maestra. - I am a teacher.
- they're male: Él es un ingeniero bueno. - He is a good engineer.
- they're male: Ella es una ingeniera buena. - She is a good engineer.
- I'm male: Tú eres un amigo. - You're a friend.
- I'm female: Tú eres una amiga. - You're a friend.
In Latin American Spanish, there are two kinds of "you": tú and usted(es).
Tú is used when talking to someone you are friendly or familiar with.
Usted(es) is used when they are a stranger or someone whom you need to be formal with.
In the sentence above, you are talking to someone formally because you called them "Sir", so "usted" is used in this case.
Tú necesitas. VS Usted necesita.
I get so frustrated with when to use tu and when to use usted. Duo does not give sufficient instruction or practice on this. Duo gives examples of the familiar -tu- and then expects us non-native speakers to figure out when to use the formal only when we get it wrong on an answer.
I believe there should be an "El" before "Senor." Is that correct? Is that for anyone with the title of: Senor, Senores, Senoras, Senora and Senorita, Senoritas at the beginning of the sentence, IF they are speaking directly to him/her/them? I will greatly appreciate an answer to this question. Thank you very much!