1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "I am listening to music."

"I am listening to music."

Translation:Yo estoy escuchando música.

May 18, 2018



I wrote: Yo estoy escuchando a la musica....(to the music. I'm not saying mine is right, but why is it WRONG....


"escuchar" already means "to listen to", so "escuchar a" would be "to listen to to" And the "la" before "música" is wrong (I think), because in Spanish when you say "la música" it means the general concept of music. However you were not listening to the concept of music, but rather to specific instances of it, therefore there is no "la"


Great explanation . Thank you.


Very helpful, thank you!


Great explanation. Thanks.

[deactivated user]

    I answered "Estoy escuchando musica" and was marked wrong....They insist on my adding "Yo" at the beginning, which seems redundant.


    Got accepted 25 nov 2018


    They accept without yo. I had rejections I didn't undery first then upon further inspection I found out other reasons for a rejection like a minor misspelling.


    Maybe it's because it's not "musica" but "música" .... :-)>


    Duo seems to be pretty lenient on accents (thankfully!).


    Dumb question why is it not "la musica" ?


    Because "la música" to my understanding would rather be the concept of music or music in general.

    "me gusta la música" -> I like music generally without referring to specific songs.

    "estoy escuchando música" -> I'm listening to some pieces of music

    I think it boils down to: You can't really listen to the concept of music


    Although what you say is correct, the usage of la here is trickier than that.

    With the phrase escuchar (la) música the article is used in the same way as it is in English.

    Case 1. la not used:

    • ¿Qué estás escuchando?

    • Escucho mùsica (some undefined piece of music)

    Case 2. la compulsory:

    • ¿Porqué no escribes las notas de la canción que estás escuchando?

    • Porqué no estoy escuchando la música sino las palabras.


    You need the 'la' in "me gusta la música" because 'música' is the subject of the verb. Remember, gustar means to please, so this sentence has the syntactic structure of "Music pleases me", even though it has the same meaning as "I like music".

    'música' is the objject of the verb 'escuchar' in "estoy escuchando música". Adding 'la' here would change the meaning in exactly the same way that the English sentence "I am listening to music" is different from "I am listening to the music".

    As for why common nouns require the definite article when theyre the subject of a verb but not the object, well thats just how the rules go.


    Great explanation, very helpful thanks


    So "escuchando" and all of the other verbs conjugated to -endo and - ando, are the same regardless of who we speak about? Estoy escuchando, ella esta escuchando, ellos estan escuchando etc..?


    Correct. The conjugation of "estar" tells you who the subject is.

    This is actually just like English. I am listening . . . he is listening, etc. The "to be" verb changes, but the -ing word doesn't.


    Why is the estoy necessary? I thought esuchando meant I am listening


    Escuchando means is/am/are listening. It doesn't say who.

    Estoy escuchando = I am listening

    Estás escuchando = you (informal, singular) are listening

    Él/ella está escuchando = he/she is listing

    Usted está escuchando = you (formal, singular) are listening

    Estamos escuchando = we are listening

    Estáis escuchando = (Spain only) you (informal, plural) are listening

    Ellos/ellas están escuchando = they are listening

    Ustedes están escuchando = You (plural, Spain - formal, Latin American - formal and informal) are listening


    Escuchando does not include is/am/are, thats exactly what the estar is there for, just like in english

    Also, thanks for the conjugations of estar, but..


    Why not the reflexive form here: "me escucho la musica"?


    Why not "escucho música"?


    Report it


    Because escucho is "I listen", simple present tense, rather than estoy escuchando for "I am listening", present continuous.

    Eg What do you do for fun? "escucho música" What are you doing right now? "estoy escuchando música"

    It's the same construction in English - we use "to be" plus the "-ing" version of a verb (the gerund).

    I am walking He is sitting They are dancing


    Except it is not the same as English. Spanish uses the simple present in a lot of the situations for which English uses the present continuous.

    You can only use the present continuous in Spanish if you are doing the action as you speak. That works for this sentence, but it's not wrong to use the simple present in this situation (in Spanish), either. I think they just forgot to include it in the database for this particular sentence.


    why do the hints above the words say "a la musica". Why give these hints when they are marked wrong. That is why duolingo can be so annoying

    • 422

    Hints are automatically generated without regard to the rest of the sentence, and many will not be correct for the context that you need.

    In this case, the English sentence has "to music" which taken on its own translates to a la música so the hint is correct, but not helpful.

    Whilst hints can be useful, you need to be careful especially if you are not sure about whether a hint is correct for the sentence being translated.

    Knowing that the Spanish verb escuchar means "to listen to" would help you to modify what follows to construct a correct sentence.


    Based on pitman's comment below, I understand why "a la música" is not correct, however "to" in the English sentence still prompts "a la" when hovered over, which feels misleading to me.


    Why not " yo escucho musica?

    • 422

    That works.


    It was marked wrong.

    • 422

    I'd love to see a screenshot of your submission and Duo's response, because that answer is in the accepted answer database, so either you had a typo in what you submitted or there is a Duo bug that we need to have evidence for so we can submit it to Technical Support

    The only response you should have had is "Pay attention to the accents"


    My esposo and I were discussing it and he said perhaps Duo is looking for "I am listening to music" rather than " I listen to music". ???

    • 422

    English present pogressive "I am listening to music" can translate to either:

    simple present: "(yo) escucho música"
    present progressive: "(yo) estoy escuchando música"

    What answer did you give when this sentence was re-presented to you? Did you retry "yo escucho música"


    It was in the "test" section so I didn't get another chance at it. My answer however was Escucho musica. (And, because our keyboards are so inept, I often leave out accents.)

    • 422

    I'm having to reply here as we reached maximum conversation nesting level.

    At least be reassured that your answer was correct, even if Duo did mark it incorrect.

    Thanks for contributing to the discussion. 👍


    Why is "me escuchando musica" wrong


    "me escuchando musica" = "to me listening to music"


    Previously when she was not listening to the teacher 'a' was used. What's the difference?


    Because the teacher is a person, so we needed the personal "a."



    I did not put the yo and it got counted wrong???


    Por qué "estoy escuchando" perro no "estoy escuchar"?


    Because "Estoy escuchar" is nonsense in Spanish.


    I thought only the first verb changes. In a previous page i wrote 'Estoy escribiendo en la pizarra' and was marked wrong, and i was told it was 'Estoy escribir.' This lesson I was marked incorrect for not changing the secong verb.


    Just a couple instances back, I'd written estoy escuchando al maestro, and it was right. Then I write estoy escuchando a música and it was wrong. If it's because escuchando means "listening to" rather than just "listening," that still doesn't explain why it was right for the teacher but not music. Can someone explain?


    Because the teacher is a person, so you need the personal "a."


    Music is not a person or a pet.


    Your hint used a la


    I have only studied present tense so far. Don't remember any session tips on past or future tenses so I am going to cancel this quiz for now.


    This sentence is present tense.

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