"What a pretty house!"
Translation:¡Qué casa tan bonita!
The "tan" is used to add the emphasis needed to turn the sentence into an exclamation rather than a simple statement.
"Qué una casa bonita." Would be a grammatically incorrect way of making a simple statement that a house is pretty. "La casa es bonita."
If using "qué" alone in front of noun, adjective or adverb the emphasis is implied.
"¡Qué hombre!" = What a man!
"¡Qué inteligente eres!" = How smart you are!" "¡Qué bonita!" = How pretty!
But when you are referring to a noun (casa) along with an adjective (bonita), you need a way to cue the reader/listener that it is an exclamation rather than a statement. You do this by adding either "tan" (so) or "más" (more/most).
"Qué casa tan bonita"
"Qué casa más hermosa."
I realize 'What house so pretty!' and 'What house most beautiful." seem like odd phrases to English speaking ears, but Spanish is a unique and colorful language all its own. And it follows its own rules.
As my high school English teacher once told us. "The purpose of speech is to communicate. So if you tell me 'I ain't got no pencil,' I will understand that you need a writing implement. Thus, you've fulfied the purpose of 'speech', but from a grammar standpoint, you'll probably flunk." :-)
DuoLingo is a tool. It ptovides us with the basic knowledge to communicate, but doesn't always review all the rules of grammar. Still, if I went to the home of a native Spanish speaker and said "Qué una casa bonita." they would likely smile and say "Gracias." because they would grasp the meaning of my sentence even if my grammar was less than perfect.
Don't lose heart. Just remember......
Qué plus verb/adjective/adverb = exclamation!
Qué plus noun = simple sentence (probably not grammatically correct)
Qué plus noun followed by adjective = needs "tan" or "más" to add the emphasis and make it an Exclamation!
Hope that made sense.
Thanks for the detailed reply. I realize we have certain conventions in English, as does Spanish, but they are not obvious & need explanation. This makes sense now, and helps a lot!!
Guau! Que explicacion tan maravillosa! Recibas 5 lingotes!
Asi que, "Que padre!" no es gramatica. ;)
To truly become competent in another language, it's important to learn everyday phrases without translating word-for-word. Rather, "get" the sense of the phrase. Qué + noun + tan + adjective is a template for exclaiming certain reactions, good and bad. This is a perfect setup for that.
I'm confused. The sentence prior to this one asked me to translate "What a pretty garden." I wrote " Qué bonito jardín," and it was counted right. But when I translated "What a pretty house" as "Qué bonita casa," it was counted wrong. I don't understand why "tan" is used with this sentence, but not with the previous sentence? Can anyone explain it to me? Thanks!
What so pretty house! = ¡Qué casa tan bonita! , just showing the most correct placement here.