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  5. "I want to teach my daughter …

"I want to teach my daughter music."

Translation:Quiero enseñar música a mi hija.

May 27, 2018



what about "Quiero enseñar a mi hija música " ?


I'm not %100 sure that it is wrong but I think at the very least it would be awkward to Native speakers. Since 'música' is acting as an adjective and describing what you are teaching you would normally keep that as close to the verb as possible. I would love a second opinion here. Especially one that know for sure what the rule is.


In an earlier exercise I was asked to translate "they are teaching my son Spanish" into Spanish. My answer was "Ensenan a mi hijo espanol". This was marked as correct but yet i cannot now put "musica" at the end of this sentence. Why not?


Wouldn't that be an adverb instead of an adjective and/or a direct object? Just asking.


Yes, I think you are correct. 'música' is the Direct Object. I believe that makes 'a mi hijo' the Indirecto Object. Grammar isn't really my strength.

Like I said... I think it might sound unusual to a native speaker. Not sure though. Still would love a second opinion from someone who actually knows for sure.


I thought this too but I've learned quickly that translations are not always direct and ive got round to seeing the structure as:

I (want to) teach (the subject) to (the peron/people)

Quiero enseñar musica a mi hija.

Ensenò musica a los estudiantes.

Not sure if this is correct but seems to be working for me


I put "quiero ensenar a mi hija musica" why's this wrong and why arte the words switched up


Shouldn't it be "la musica" here?


No it is music in general, not a specific piece of music.


Hm. I'm not sure how to apply this answer more broadly. I think we learned earlier that "me gusta la musica" means "I like music" (in the general sense), right? Is there a specific reason why we drop "la" in this case, or is it just one of those things we have to learn on a case-by-case basis?


Yeah... this 'in general' meaning is rather misleading and there is a lot to unpack regarding this. I'll try to keep it brief.

Me gusta la musica = I like music.

Without going into the issues with backwards verbs like 'gustar'... in this sentence we are talking about music as a category. I know many say the rule is 'in general' but really it is applied when you are talking about a subject as a whole.

In duo's sentence we aren't really talking about 'music' as a whole or as a category. We are simply talking about music in a non-specific manner. I know this is a subtle distinction but this is what is so confusing about the 'in general' rule. Let me try this with a different sentence.

La leche es mala para los gatos. = Milk is bad for cats.

Notice that both milk (the Subject) and cats (the Object) takes articles in the Spanish but not in the English. It is because we are talking about both of them as a category or a sort of class of noun. That is what the 'in general' is referring to.

In contrast look at this sentence.
Tengo gatos. = I have cats.

Notice that even though it is referring to 'cats' in a general sense it is not referring to 'cats' as a category or as a whole. I don't have every cat but I do have them. So this is referring to non-specific members of that species. So no article is used. If we include the article it would function the same in both Spanish and English and would instead refer to specific cats.

Tengo los gatos. = I have the cats.

Does that help?


I'm a beginner also, however I've found out a few things that may help you as they've helped me. If anything i say is incorrect, i hope someone will correct it!

  • the statements given regarding articles are misleading in regard to how we interpret them.

  • the advice we've been given about article use with the noun mostly refers to the subject part of the sentence.

  • the latter part of the sentence tends to use the article with nouns in Spanish almost the same as in English. If the English sentence has it, then use it.

  • additionally in the latter part of the sentence, if a general category of a noun is used (as in Michael's example with cats), then the article is used.

  • so, to recap, the article is almost always used in the subject of a sentence, but not usually used after that unless it's included in the English sentence or if the noun is referring to a very broad group or category.

  • when a job title is spoken about, the article is omitted.

  • when school or work is spoken about, the article is almost always included.

  • after using gustar, encantar, interesar, or other similar irregular verbs, if a noun immediately follows the verb, it is almost always preceded with the article.

  • if another identifier is used, the article is not necessary. Ex., tu gato, unos gatos, ese gato, etc.

  • when speaking about a formal person, the article precedes their name unless they are being spoken to directly.

  • if the beginning of a sentence starts with a noun, it usually is preceded with the article.

I'm sure there may be other reasons to include the article or not, but from what I've learned, these items above cover the majority of them and aren't too difficult to remember. Any comments or suggestions regarding these instances are more than welcomed.

Happy Spanish-ing!


So it seems to keep that structure, itd be okay to say "Quiero jugar fútbol" Correct? If that's incorrect, would it be correct if we added details are that part of the sentence?


I'd give you a lingot if i could work out how to!


It doesn't explan why in this sentence "la musica" is wrong. Isn't it meant as a category here?


Porqué no enseñarle?


Wouldn't "Quiero enseñar la música a mi hija" be correct?


Edit Lol... oops. Let me try that again as I was working on too many things at once and mixed up my posts.

You wouldn't use the article here as that would be talking about specific music... 'to teach the music'. We are talking about music as a subject here.


I've wondered this too. It really seems as though this sentence needs the indirect object pronoun, but Dúo left it out of a series of questions using "enseñar." Does anyone have information on "enseñar" and why it doesn't use an IO pronoun?


I asked my friend from Argentina, and he said that it should be enseñarle, but lots of people omit the le in casual speech even though, strictly speaking, it's not correct.


Alternately, couldn't it be "Le quiero enseñar..."?


Thanks, Sara! Now I wonder why Duo is omitting it. Guess they're going for what lots of people do in casual speech. I would hope they would at least accept the le though, instead of marking it wrong.


Because it's being used in its infinitive form right next to another verb.

Quiero enseñar... I want 'to teach'.


Does it make a difference if you put a mi hija before música?


It's marked wrong :/


"Quiero enseñar la música a mi hija." is marked wrong. Why is "la" wrong here?


Why the capricious word order strictures?


Capricious? How so?


I see different word orders being demanded


Different word orders happen.

But I expect that they are accountable. If you could provide examples, then hopefully someone can provide explanations and we can continue to learn as a community.


Why not Yo quiero enseñar......


So in this sentence is the 'a' the personal 'a' or is it meaning 'to' as in I want to teach music TO my daughter???


To me, "Quiero enseñar a mi hija música" sounds wrong. However, because I am not willing just yet to trust any intuition of mine on Spanish grammar, I looked it up. It is much easier to find information on pronouns than nouns, but I did find this:


And the relevant quote: "As in English, objects are placed after verbs. If the sentence has both a direct and an indirect object, the direct object comes first:

Margarita da comida a los pobres. Margarita gives food to the poor."

You will have noticed this is the exact opposite of the way pronouns are listed in a sentence. Yay Spanish!


"Quiero enseñarle música a mi hija" accepted on April 17, 2021.


I just can't truly believe duolingo is teaching us the right way (maybe we should try Babbel) any thoughts on this


If you use the word order in the English, it should be accepted.


Por qué? That is like saying English should use gendered nouns for everything. You have to remember that Spanish and English are two different languages. They each have their own rules.

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