It wants me to translate this as "I need some red t-shirts". Surely then the original Spanish sentence should have been "Necesito algunas camisas rojas."? Something strange going on here?
The thing that's going on is, that they want you to know the meaning of English 'a'/'an' ; you see, in Spanish 'alguna' could be just that.
I agree, I haven't encountered a lesson where alguna was used as an article for "a" and "an"
It rejected "i need some red tee shirt".
It said "You used the singular "shirt" here, instead of the plural "shirts".
I need some red tee-shirts."
I was using "some" in the same way as "some enchanted evening" -- a literal translation of "alguna". It tried to turn it into a plural!
Reported 24 May 2018.
I digress but, what a lovely romantic song. Some Enchanted Evening is now drifting through my mind. Don't forget everybody that alguna/algun can be "any". "I need any red t-shirt" worked for me.
So, it looks like both "I need a red t-shirt" and "I need some red t-shirts" are both accepted.
Probably because that isn't how it's spelled. "Only T-shirt, with a hyphen and a capitalized letter T, sees regular use. All of the other versions appear only rarely, as shown in the chart below, which graphs tee shirt vs. T-shirt and other variations."
Could someone please explain when you would use alguna rather than una? Thanks.
I think it's weird that they recommend the plural. But "I need any red shirt" is also accepted, which makes sense. But "I need some red shirt" should work too
The thing that DL is pointing out is that with the word "some" you must use a plural noun because "some red T-shirt" is not proper English, "any red T-shirt" or "some red T-shirts" would be proper
Except that as a synonym for "any", "some" does not necessarily have to modify a plural noun, and "some red t-shirt" can indeed be proper English, as in "Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger" or "Some day my prince will come."
So Andrew is correct: "I need some red T-shirt" should work as well.
But some as a singular descriptor is also proper English. I want some soup. I need some happiness. Some enchanted evening. I found some yarn. "Some T-shirt" is much the same as saying any t-shirt.
I agree, gmulry! Maybe think of alguna used like this as "any ol'." E.g., "I need any ol' red t-shirt" or "I want any ol' taxi" (Quiero algún taxi.). Anyway, it's worked for me a couple of times.
Some T-shirt is wrong because here some implies more than one (e.g. get me some bananas, you wouldn't just buy one). Any ol' is slang/dialect at best. Any makes sense in this context, I guess it's one of those language things that doesn't neccesarily translate.
You could say 'some fine day we will meet again', but that implies plural days in the future, one of them that you will meet again, not that there will only ever be one fine day.
Of course it's slang, Hannah! It's meant as a mnemonic for learning, not a translation to be used with other people.
If they want "a" then why not "una" - I have never come across this usage of "alguna" before
On several occasions I've seen, " Duo probably thinks." News bulletin: Duo is a software program. Be amazed.
Sam, I think "Duo" is a number of people (including many volunteers) who work hard to be sure the software is programmed correctly with prompts and responses that help us learn. I hope you can accept our using the shorthand "Duo" for that group!
Could someone please expalin the difference between "Necesito una camiseta roja" and "Necesito alguna camiseta roja"? Are these two interchangeable?
These are the most off-topic comments I've ever seen, veering in to the very nature of Dúo, but I don't see any answer to the basic question, why doesn't this sentence just use "una?"
No, not wrong.
And from the link provided by lambisqueiro, above:
2 Alguno, alguna, algunos y algunas pueden ser pronombres indefinidos; se refieren a personas, pero a diferencia de alguien sí determinan género y número.
Todos dijeron que vendrían, pero algunos no han podido.
Las prostitutas no son malas personas, yo conozco a alguna.
But that usage has nothing to do with what we're discussing, so why did you bring it up here? The primary usage is some or any.
This is all wrong, how does Duo. think alguna should be used here. some is more than one so how does a red T-shirt become some red t-shirt
Duo probably thinks "alguna" should be used here because it can be used here. Although it often does, "some" does not necessarily imply more than one; it may also modify singular nouns, as in
- "Some day my prince will come "
- "Some person may object "
- "Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger" or
- "I was talking to some journalist the other day"
I got: "You used the wrong word. I need one red t-shirt."
They just can't get anything right this morning, that's three in a row they've messed up. I need one decent Spanish learning program. DL now disappoints at every turn.
You have one decent learning program in DL. It was never meant to be the total answer nor to be used without supplemental sources – dictionaries, for example. As far as "messing up" here is concerned (they have not), take a look at the various uses of "alguna" in the "Phrases" section here:
I did take a look at your link. And I saw that they indeed messed up. My answer was in there, so they should have accepted.
You don't say what your answer was, so I can't speak to that, but with regard to "I need one (or a or any) red t-shirt," they absolutely did not "mess up" insofar as those are renderings for "alguna" they are trying to point out for us. As for not accepting a given plausible translation, yes, of course, there are instances of such omissions, but the lack of all possible renderings does not, ipso facto, equate to a "mess-up." If you think your answer "should" have been accepted, report it. DL does, in fact, work to minimize such omissions.
I share DonK's frustration with DL. A better structure to achieve the objective you describe, Tejano, is to accept all correct answers, but expand the alternative translations in the lower left corner of the answer page to include linguistic nuances like this one.
Is this somehow blocking your main goal? Spanish acquisition? Roll with the.punches.
I understand what you’re saying, but many on here are making useful suggestions to improve DL. That kind of feedback is a software designer’s dream. I’m sure DL wants to field the best product they can, not one that requires users to “roll with the punches.” DL is a solid language program and they actively solicit feedback, so don’t jump on those who provide it.
But this is not the place. The programmers don't read these forums but presumably they do look at the reports.
Well, all I can say is that I've been here for years and am on probably 100 forums and I have never seen any changes whatsoever in response to what is posted in the forums. I've been told that Duo can't even keep up with the reports that people file, so how in the world would they manage to mine millions of forum posts?
Roselaw, I highly doubt DL lacks a system for gleaning insight about their product from their own forum. While users may think the forum is just there for chat, it’s actually a gold mine for product data directly from users. Most forums come with an analytic package for the host that allows them to identify trends and specific keywords/phrases.
If that’s the case, they should seriously look into an analytics program for their forum. They’re missing out on really good data about their product. But if they’re trying to do it manually, you’re absolutely correct. That would be overwhelming. Automated data analytics would also help with the report volume by sorting the wheat from the chaff.
What I was told about the reports is that they're machine-sorted on the first pass but then human eyes have to take a look and that's where everything bogs down. If that's the case then obviously something is wrong with the initial sort, and what it leads to is corrections (even obvious ones) never getting made in some languages.