"Which" indicates that there is a limited set of options.
I think English often uses "what" in places where the grammatical meaning is "which." If I go to an ice cream shop and they say, "What flavor would you like?" I understand it to be "which flavor." If I run into a friend at the cinema and they say, "What movie are you here to see?" I understand it to be "which movie". The word "which" tends to be used in primarily formal English, but Spanish keeps what and which distinct.
Spanish does not make a difference between "what" and "which" most of the time. You mostly don't get to choose whether you use qué or cuál as a question word.
¿Qué helado te gusta? - Which/what ice cream do you like?
¿Cuál es la capital de España? - What/which one is the capital of Spain?
Margaret, are you accessing the comment section from the app? The app doesn't allow clicking links for some reason.
Here's the URL if you still need it: https://www.realfastspanish.com/vocabulary/que-vs-cual
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.
The issue that your post is not discussing is the issue about whether the answer by Kento711 is right or wrong. But I understand that your post was written in reply to EugeneTiffany.
In hindsight, your reply to EugeneTiffany has little to do with the highest scoring post by Kento711 because the answer to the exercise by Kento711 was the wrong answer to the exercise.
If anybody wants to read the explanation for why the answer to the exercise by Kento711 is wrong, then scroll down to read the reply to Mskb1 by RyagonIV. And afterwards, read my reply to Mskb1.
I don't bother to report my correct answers to Duolingo unless I believe that Duolingo made a mistake. So in this case, no, I did not report my experience to Duolingo because Duolingo did not make a mistake. (Edit: I am a native English speaker.)
― which one
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Before reading my post, first read the reply (to Mskb1) by RyagonIV. I will wait for you.
Sir, what is your position in the organization?
Translation number one:
Señor, ¿cuál es su cargo en la organización?
Translation number two:
Señor, ¿qué cargo ocupa en la organización? (Sir, which position do you hold in the organization?)
Both 'what' and 'which' should be accepted as correct because, of course, both are correct. What is your office? = What are your responsibilities? What is your job? etc. In this early stage in the course, we have seen 'cuál' to indicate 'which' and 'what'. '¿Cuál es tu nombre?' = What is your name? I think this is where some are confused. Being taught one thing, then throwing in and idiom to confuse the student. But, something that has happened here is that from now on you will always be aware that 'cuál' is not always going to mean 'what', it may also mean 'which'. Clever... but don't mark it wrong. Explain the reason before the lesson starts.
In response to which to use, cuál vs qué, please see the provided link
In Spanish (like in many other languages) there are four different translations of the word "you". You have to discriminate between
a) if you are talking to one single person or to several
b) if you talk to very close friends of yours, family members or children on the one hand or to everyone else (strangers, your boss, ...)
- one person informal is "tú", the respective possessive pronoun is "tu"
- several persons informal is "vosotros" with poss. pron. "vuestro"
- one person formal is "usted" with poss. pron. "su"
- several persons formal is "ustedes" with poss. pron. "su" as well
(and note that "usted" and "ustedes" take the 3rd person (singular resp. plural) of the verb).
My issue with this lesson seems to be different from what I have read here. After repeatedly listening to the sentence, I answered, "tu," and then I was corrected with that word being, "su." Regardless of the right answer, no grammatical error has been made and the answer should be allowed, based on the verbal only sentence given.
I am a native English speaker. It's possible that both ways are grammatically correct. However, I don't think it very common in English to say 'Which is your(s) ..........?' instead of 'Which one is your(s) ..........?' in general conversation. In fact, we'd could also say 'Which office is yours?' which drops the 'one'.
I hope you reported it. They absolutely are the same thing and both should be accepted.
Sometimes Duo is insistent on a contraction or an abbreviation and then sometimes not even though they mean the same thing.
There's one lesson where Duo will not accept I'm and only I am.
However Duo may insist on Sir for these lessons.
In principle you are right. But "tu" is only for the informal "tú". The formal "usted" uses the 3rd person singular verb form and therefore has "su" as well.
And because you address the person by "Sir", you need the formal variant.
So, depending on context, "su" can mean "his", "her", "its", "your" or "their".
It's obvious that we are talking about the "Señor".
"Sir, which is your office?
I'm not sure I understand which part of this you're confused about.
"Su" functions as your in both second and third person, I believe, depending on context.
It's a possessive pronoun for he, she, you formal & y'all as well.
Probably the same way I would think.
In your new sentence you've pointed out that you're looking for someone else so then su becomes his because "su" can be both your and his right? depending on the conversation or the context of the sentence of course.
"Estoy buscando a Pedro. ¿Señor, puede decirme cuál es su oficina?"
"¿Cuál es oficina de Pedro?"
Someone is going to have to correct me. I don't know that these are right.
In your new sentence you've pointed out that you're looking for someone else so then su becomes his because "su" can be both your and his right?
Exactly. In this context you could say "Señor, ¿cuál es su oficina?" and it means "Sir, what is his office?".
Btw. "¿Cuál es oficina de Pedro?" is not correct, it should be "¿Cuál es la oficina de Pedro?"
I'm not sure I understand what your issue is with this translation.
What do you mean by English is changing?
It's not really.
Are you under the impression that people aren't formally polite in English? There are many people that do use sir to address someone of older age or authority, even a stranger.
The sentence is trying to force you to recognize the formal your (su), you also can't just exclude señor from your translation.
If I'm wrong about your comment intentions then I apologize but this is what I gleaned from your post.