1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "What a pretty house!"

"What a pretty house!"

Translation:¡Qué casa tan bonita!

May 20, 2018

37 Comments


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mary421192

Incredibly helpful! Thanks for taking the time to write this!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liz996597

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!!


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

Love it! Nice description.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark453320

Thank you for taking the time to explain. Very helpful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bill339499

Exceptional explanation! Gracias!


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

Thank you so much! So helpful!


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

Very helpful. Muchas gracias!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SandraMade11

Guau! Que explicacion tan maravillosa! Recibas 5 lingotes!

Asi que, "Que padre!" no es gramatica. ;)


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

Meow! Thanks for the great explanation. I've copied your little lesson to my running "things I've learned through Duolingo" file.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/john613171

Really helpful. Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anuj361

Apriciate your knowledge


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juanita475979

It did/does make sense, but why, in the previous sentences that are multi choice, is tan not used? It feels like a trick question from Duo. Thank you.


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

This is not technically a sentence as it does not have a verb. This kind of exclamation is idiomatic and requires "tan."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zola-Magician

Why is tan used here?

Can't we just say - 'Que una casa bonita!'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pam27035

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!


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

Why isn't "una" needed here?


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

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.


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

Why does the word "tan" need to be there. An earlier example did not need that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertCohe2

Why is "que bonita casa" wrong here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joan574241

que bonita casa is accepted 9/3/20


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dirk248111

Why tan with casa and not with vestido


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

What so pretty house! = ¡Qué casa tan bonita! , just showing the most correct placement here.


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

You added the word "this." In terms of content, there is no difference between your statement and the Duo translation. But they are not the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnCotten2

why can't there be una before casa?


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

This phrase is a perfect (if frustrating) example of the maxim that "translation is not word-for-word substitution." Sometimes expressions like this evade easy translation. Maybe people learning English shrug their shoulders when English speakers say things like, "looking good" or "long time no see" or other seemingly ungrammatical things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Traci116

"Que un casa bonita" is incorrect, or should it be accepted also, please? Thank you so much!


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

If the exclamation did need an article before "casa," it would need "una" because "casa" is feminine. [But the sentence does not need an article at all.]


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fiddler927

Why? I thought the article was always required?


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

Duolingo is too quick in marking something wrong. I knew the translation and it didnt give me a chance to finish typing the sentence. This has happened a few times before.


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

What are lingots?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fiddler927

But i thought the article was required by the use of the noun?


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

The rules for when to use articles are rather arcane. A good rule of thumb: if the noun is the SUBJCET of a sentence, then use an article. For more advise, see this article: https://www.realfastspanish.com/grammar/spanish-articles


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Allison964276

Except why is it qué-what instead of como-how, when you are saying how fun/how pretty etc?


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

Don't get caught up in word-for-word translation or in thinking that a Spanish word has only ONE meaning. Moreover, the English sentence does use "What" as in "what a pretty house."

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