"Sir, when do you want to buy the houses?"
Translation:Señor, ¿cuándo quiere usted comprar las casas?
I wrote quiere comprar usted and it was marked wrong. It said it should have been quiere usted comprar. What is the grammar rule here, ¿por favor?
"Quiere" is formal...and.."quieres" is informal..so..when you are using the word "sir".. So..you need to use formal type..thats why " quiere" not "quieres" and thats why "usted" is used also
Yes, you are right, but Spanish speakers so often drop the pronoun, unlike English it is required, so this one caught me! Thanks.
In a question, it comes after the verb. quiere comprar usted, eg. donde esta usted (How are you?)
I think it usted comes before comprar because it makes it clear that 'you' is operating on the second verb comprar and doing the buying and not just the wanting.
In a different situation you might want to say 'Señor, ¿cuándo quiere ellos comprar las casas? If you wanted 'them' to buy it.
but it doesn't show that "usted" is being used. it should consider both uses.
It does show that ¨usted¨is to be used. Señor, will not be mixed up with the informal ´quieres´etc---its like us normal people walking up to the queen and addressing her as ´old girl´or ´mummy´.
¨ustedes¨is also formal but is plural so we would have started with ¨señores¨