"Eso" is a neuter demonstrative (neither masculine nor feminine). It's used when the thing being referred to is unspecified (unstated/genderless/etc). When you use the word to describe the masculine noun "abrigo", you have to use the masculine version, "ese".
- I found that coat on the street. Encontré ese abrigo en la calle.
- That is a real mystery! Eso (the situation I find myself in, etc) es un verdadero misterio.
Thank you! I keep learning this one (esto? lol), but getting it wrong, because eso sounds masculine, like most other "o" ending words. Is there any good trick for keeping this one straight?
"Este" = this (for objects close by)
"Ese" = that (for objects further away)
Just wanted to leave a quick thing I learned in spanish class to remember words by:
This and these have Ts, that and those don't.
Hopefully this helps someone remember the difference between este and ese.
I put "ese abrigo" and it said that I was wrong. Was I really wrong or did it just malfunction?
So I answered chaqueta instead of abrigo, but the correct response listwd was gaban...haven't even kearned that word yet.
Ese is a mexican word which is not a pure form of Spanish. The correct answer is eso.
"Ese" is absolutely a "pure form" of Spanish. It's a demonstrative adjective, and has a similiar meaning to "that" in English. See the official defintion from the Real Academia Española here: https://dle.rae.es/srv/fetch?id=GOaPBVM%7CGOeWVLy
That said, "ese" can be used in slang way in the same way as "dude", or "guy". This is not how the word is used in this sentence, nor is that usage considered "proper" Spanish. This slang term is used in Mexico, but it's more common in certain areas of the United States. https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/what-does-ese-mean
People in South America do not use that word. They consider it slang and therefore improper. But thank you very much for the information it's very useful.
How are we supposed to know what a word or sentence means without those dots underneath so you can peek? Is guessing wrong an important way to learn? Have I skipped a level?
What you're experienceing is essentially the "Duolingo experience". The site teaches by providing you increasingly difficult sentences and having you translate them. Any new words you encounter should have those dots below, but I suppose it's possible you've found some that don't.
Also, make sure you're viewing the "Tips and Notes" section before each lesson. When you select a lesson from the "Learn" tab, click the lightbulb icon (if present) before starting the lesson. This page has general grammar notes about the material in the lesson that you'll find useful prior to being thrust directly into the fray. :)
This = este/esta/esto (m/f/n)
That = ese/esa/eso (m/f/n)
These = estos/estas (m/f)
Those = esos/esas (m/f)
The neuter forms (esto/eso) are used as pronouns when the thing being talked about is genderless or unspecified: "That's what we're doing!" = "Eso es lo que hacemos!".
Spanish also has a "third level" of distance used to refer to things far away. This doesn't exist directly in English, but you can think of it like "that/those over there".
That (over there) = aquel/aquella/aquello (m/f/n)
Those (over there) = aquellos/aquellas (m/f)