"Señor, ¿cuál es su oficina?"
Translation:Sir, which is your office?
I answered "what" is your office, as in "what is the office of special things." Shouldn't that also be a correct translation?
So how do we say "What is your office?" ? Couldn't that also be "¿cuál es su oficina?" ?
Yes, I understand a political office would be ""puesto", but "oficina" can also mean "government department".
"Department", but not "single person", so the señor isn't being asked about his political position.
I'm trying to figure out what exactly you could mean with "What is your office?" otherwise, but I'm getting stuck. :´)
"What does your office do?" "What (kind of) office are you in?"
I also wrote "What is your office" with the thought of political position. It was marked wrong, of course.
Kento, don't know about that, but do know this lesson is about how Duolingo is meaning to teach us cuál means which, here. So that is what one should be learning. True enough, having one's prefered or hoped for meanings can be fun and there is a bit of pain in giving them up. Still, there is an advantage in doing that, which is learning the lesson.
Duolingo's policy since I've been on it (2013) has been to accept all correct translations, whether or not they address the current lesson. New material won't have all correct translations -- we're expected to report them via the Report flag -- "My answer should have been accepted." (Developers will look those over, and reject ones that are actually wrong.)
IMO, purposely rejecting correct answers is lying for no good reason. It harms advanced students. It's like telling someone that 3+8 doesn't equal 11 "because we haven't learned that yet." Duolingo expects us to be learning from the entire world, not just from a rigid set of exercises.
Cuál can mean which or what, actually. There is no "preferred or hoped for" meaning. There are even rules that help one determine whether to use one over the other. Don't believe me? Look it up.
I was incorrect for saying "Mister" instead of "Sir." Both should be counted right. How many times are we told to say "Senor (name)." In English we would translate this to "Mr. (Name)" not "Sir, (name)." So here you should be able to translate it to "Mister" and/or "Sir."
I agree that Mister should be an acceptable translation - I have been fighting this with MANY of the new questions, for both señor (mister) and señora (lady). Where I grew up, both Mister and Lady were taught as the preferred form of address by a young child to an unknown adult. And it is the primary way Jerry Lewis talked in many of his movies!
I don't think mister and lady are good substitutes for sir, and ma'am. If you do not follow lady with a name such as a title, or Mr with a last name, you may very well come off as being rude.
In my opinion sir and ma'am should be the choices. Mr and lady are a very impolite way to address a stranger. I would say lady to a child in my family or perhaps I would call her "little lady" and in a similar manner jest with the little boys as mister but never would I address a strange man as mister, only sir. You see, it's perfectly alright to refer to strangers as mister or lady when speaking to someone about them but never to them. Sir and ma'am are not only polite but also respectful. I hope my opinion makes sense. Graciad
Whether or not these are considered polite or rude vary depending on region and culture. Duolingo's policy to date has been to accept people's regional idioms.
Kento711 has just told us that he was taught that Mister was the polite form that he was taught growing up.
Your polite idiom would have been unacceptable in my childhood, except from someone with Southern accent, which would be tolerated. I'm from New England; I gather you are from the South.
Hello ConnieHayd and PatriciaJH, I agree with both of you here. It is a question of culture depending on region. I'm from the UK, and calling someone "mister" or "lady" as a form of address can be outstandingly rude in my circles. "Mister, can I help you ..." or "Lady, can I help you ..." are just awful - they both make me cringe! Similarly, if I worked in a hotel in the UK, I'd never call anyone "Ma'am". The sole exception to that would be if I ever met the Queen... and she's "Ma'am - rhymes with jam". And I'm never going to meet her!! Otherwise, for formal politeness, I would always use "Sir" and "Madam". I don't know how Duolingo can get round this really, as I think the cultural nuances for Spanish speakers are even more involved.
It doesn't work that way in Spanish. It is only Mister/Mr. if there is a name to go with it(Señor Pérez, ¿cuál es su oficina?). If there is no last name, then señor will always be sir. It doesn't matter how we as native English speakers would say it. There are rules in Spanish that are to be followed. This is one such rule.
On a personal note, I have never called anyone Mister in my life. Mister, which is your office? vs Sir, which is your office? The latter sounds better to my ears. Might be due to my southern roots
The word "mister" in my experience mainly is spoken by old time street kids in movies. "Mister, you got a spare dime?"
It is certainly not ever used in a form of true respect as sir is. Can't be. Does not come across that way.
I agree. Back in the days you are speaking of, that was(while impolite) was socially acceptable. It is not socially acceptable colloquial speech where I live.
I asked my neighbor who was born and raised in Mexico. She says the same. It is not "Mister, which is your office?" but "Sir, which is your office?" She says that the culture of Spanish speaking countries is that of respect and she said that Mister, unless followed by a surname, is quite rude where she comes from.
Very interesting! As a learner of English, I have a problem with the passive voice. You say: "How many times are we told to say" I suppose that a possible translation would be: Cuantas veces se nos dijo que teníamos que decir" " or ' cuántas veces se nos dice que digamos" . Is this right?
There is a sentence in this course that can be a great problem for Spanish speakers:
" He was told to go to sleep" Se le dijo que fuera a dormit.
Tu is your. Tú with the accent is you. Su is used with his/hers/yours(formal). Tu(without the accent) is used when talking to tú, the familiar people in your life. Pay attention to the accents. If you are using DL on a computer, search the internet for how to change your keyboard to Spanish. The accents change the meaning of words. Esta/está. El/Él. Tu/Tú. All words in Spanish that mean different things because of the accent.
People who use a MacBook like myself only need to press and hold the intended key until the diacritic interface comes up, luckily.
You can't just use either tu or su in a coin flip choice. Both require their corresponding verb conjugation.
Su is used here because the person is addressed as "señor". It's a formal addressing, so you go on with usted grammar, which uses su as a possessive form.
I thought "cual" meant what. Now I see it also means which. Does it mean anything else?
If you hover the word when you're on the question, it gives a drop down of all the meanings.
Cuál= what's, which, which one, and what
Thank you for answering. And, wow, that's really helpful about the hover. Something I wish I had figured out sooner.
Beware though -- the hover has some issues. Sometimes it gives translations that don't apply in the current context. In particular, if a word appears twice in a sentence, but translates differently in each place, the hover shows the same translation in both places, even though it's only right for one of them. Use it as a reminder, and don't expect it to be correct everywhere.
In response to which to use, cuál vs qué, please see the provided link
My answer: "Sir, what is his office?" I interpreted it as asking for the name of a third person's elected position. I don't see anything wrong with my interpretation for the following reasons.
I am confused on two fronts: 1) what or which? 2) his/her or your?
1)" Which office" would be asking which among various offices belongs to the person, whereas "what office" would be asking which elected or appointed office belongs to the person.
2) "su oficina" = "his/her office" for él/ella as well as "your office" for usted.
Q: Sir, what is HIS office? A: "He is president." But also it could be asking the person being addressed what his elected office is. Q: Sir, what is YOUR office? A: "I am president." Thanks for your help.
Oficina is not used for the political position of a single person. Oficina is either the room where people do work, or, more expandedly, the office work environment, as in "There's a lot of chit-chat in the office."
The "elected position" is ususally called puesto.
Considering this, "what" doesn't really work here. Maybe as a colloquial way of "What does your office do?" but that's a bit far out there. The Spanish sentence is asking about the location of the [person]'s office.
Either of "his", "her", "its", "their" or "your" would be fine here, depending on the context. "Your" is the most likely one, though.