Translation:They are coming here on December eighth.
It accepts “8th” and “eighth” because the ordinal number is correct. It accepts “8” because that simplification is the standard convention for representing dates in writing. It is incorrect to spell out the cardinal number “eight” with dates, so that is intentionally not accepted.
Usually venir=come and llegar=arrive. The meaning can be slightly different in some cases, because “venir” and “come” both refer to the entire process of travelling, “arrive” is restricted to the destination, and “llegar” can be either one depending on the context.
For this specific case, this distinction doesn’t seem important (except maybe if the trip lasts longer than a day?), so I could see DL possibly accepting your answer if you report it.
Incidentally, you only need to ask your question once. Asking it three times just clutters up the forum, so please don’t do that.
Please forgive me - I did not intentionally ask the question three times. I kept getting an error message and gave up, thinking it never went through. But could you please read the answer you gave and provide a bit more clarification, especially where you say venir and come both refer to traveling? It is somewhat confusing.
No worries. You could always go back and delete the extra ones. ;)
This explanation could get really long if I go into full detail, so I'll try very hard to be brief, but this will probably involve a bit of strem-of-conciousness rambling...
- Normally, the verb "come" covers motion of the subject towards a place that the speaker is (or will be) at, the audience is (or will be) at, or that is at least very familiar to both of them. In order to be "coming", the subject has to be closing the distance with a destination (as opposed to "going" which involves increasing the distance from an origin; it's a difference of perspective).
- Sometimes "come" also includes arrival, and sometimes it excludes it. This depends on the verb tense and other time-related context clues. For example: "They are arriving here now." is distinct from "They are coming here now." because the former makes it clear that their journey is at the point of ending and the latter suggests very strongly that some appreciable portion still remains.
- This gets trickier in the past tense. The forms "came" and "arrived" are synonymous unless "came" is marked as an incomplete action. "They came here." is not distinct from "They arrived here." But "They came towards me." is valid while
"They arrived towards me."is strange. Motion "towards" something is an incomplete action, and "arrive" doesn't get used for those.
- For a sentence like this one, where we have present continuous and a future time expression, the meanings are usually the same. There is only a distinction between "coming" and "arriving" on a specific date if the trip will take longer than that day. For example, it makes sense to say "They are coming here on 8 December, but won't arrive until the tenth. I certainly wouldn't want to take such a long train ride myself!"
- The verb "venir" usually works exactly the same way that "come" does. The verbs are all but synonymous in their most common uses.
- That is not true of "llegar" and "arrive". The verb "llegar" does not have the limitation of only applying to completing actions that "arrive" has, and this leads to a common error that Spanish speakers make when asking for directions in English:
"How can I arrive to the library?"The Spanish "¿Cómo puedo llegar a la biblioteca?" is a perfectly sensible sentence, but the direct translation of "llegar" as "arrive" does not work.
- Even so, it seems to me that if the intended meaning was really meant to emphasise arrival, then the Spanish would have used "llegan" instead of "vienen". I don't know Spanish well enough to be certain whether this would be a distinct meaning for Spanish speakers, so I don't know if it is important to maintain it or not. It might be.
- In the absense of any particularly strong reason to switch, I would stick with the usual translation of "come" for "vienen". Maybe it matters, and maybe it doesn't, but I know that "come" is a correct translation for "vienen", and I'm not 100% certain that "arrive" is (in this context), so I'd play it safe and stick with what I'm sure is correct.
- But I'm guessing, and you could always report it and see what DL does. They might decide that there is no distinction needed here and accept "arrive" going forward.
I can't find any sources that confirm that this is a known characteristic of Irish English. What sources I can find indicate that Irish English uses ordinals in exactly the same way that American, Australian, British, and Canadian English do.
My guess is that this is a matter of confusion resulting from the pronunciation, as Irish English uses dental plosives for "th" instead of dental fricatives. To most English speakers unfamiliar with the Irish accent, "eighth" would sound very much like "eight".
Consider whether you would also say "the one of December" and "the two of December". As far as I can see, these should use "first" and "second" in Ireland just as they should anywhere else, and so should it be "eighth" in the sentence in this exercise.
- https://www.bitesize.irish/blog/dear-bitesize-irish-gaelic-news-sites-telling-the-date/ –《Just like in English, the ordinal numbers are used (first, second, third, etc.).》
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_and_time_notation_in_Ireland – 《When dates are spoken, they are generally given in "day month year" order: "the 31st of December 1992"》
- https://plainenglish.ie/build-your-own-style-guide-dates-and-times/ – 《When speaking, we add these words: the 4th of January.》Also: 《Omitting ‘th’ etc. in dates is increasingly common.》(note that this is a writing style guide and that one cannot "omit" the ordinal indicators in writing unless the numbers are ordinals to begin with.)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiberno-English – 《The phonemes /ð/ (as in the) and /θ/ (as in thin) are pronounced uniquely in most Hiberno-English. /ð/ is pronounced as [d] or [d̪], depending on specific dialect; and /θ/ is pronounced as [t] or [t̪].》
- https://www.uni-due.de/IERC/IERC_Misconceptions.htm – More about the pronunciation of /ð/ and /θ/
In general, Spanish uses definite articles in most of the places that English uses “on” when giving a date or day of the week. That’s just how it is.
- Vienen aquí el ocho de diciembre. = They come here on December eighth.
- Voy a casa el lunes. = I’m going home on Monday.
- Siempre nos levantamos tarde los domingos. = We always get up late on Sundays.
and so on… If I remember correctly, I’m pretty sure that this pattern is covered in the hints for this section.
Both Spanish and English have the present continuous (“they are coming” / “(ellos) están veniendo”) and simple present (“they come” / “(ellos) vienen”), but they do not use them in exactly the same way. Spanish generally reserves the coninuous present for something that you are actually doing right now, while many English speakers will find “are coming” a bit more comfortable in this sentence.
I would expect answers in the simple present to be accepted by Duo, but 1. They only ever show one of the accepted answers on the forum page. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other accepted answers, and in practice there are often hundreds or even thousands of them. 2. Your answer may have had some other mistake that we could point out, but we can’t see what your answer was unless you share it with us.