"¿Dónde se quedan ustedes?"
Translation:Where are you staying?
Why is the 'se' necessary. The sentence makes sense as: 'Donde quedan ustedes'
Theo, i have learned from doing these lessons and reading the comments that the best way to answer your question is to think of it this way. Everytime you see "se" someone is doing something or feeling something to or within themselves.
So in rhis case look at it like this. "Where do you keep yourself"
Agreed. I think the grammatical term for the form of verb is "reflexive". This means there is no object to the verb it merely refers back to the subject.
You have to use the reflexive form (quedarse) because the subject, ustedes, is performing the action of staying on themselves. So you need to include se as the pronoun that receives the action.
I believe it would be "te" if you were using the "tu" form of quedar (quedas), but since they are using the ustedes form (which means "you all", plural of "you"), the "te" changes to a "se" in this case.
Please correct me if I'm wrong someone!
The question has been adequately answered already. My two cents' worth: One of the big things stepping outside of one's own language is recognizing that the rules for "reflexive verbs" is different in other languages. Also, from these lessons in Duo, it appears that Spanish uses the reflexive a lot more often than English or German. A lesson or two ago (from this unit), Duo mentioned cases in which "me," "te," "se," &c would be required in sentences but did not specifically mention that it was because these verbs were reflexive, per se.
I'm thinking that is where the confusion comes in. (I know it did for me)
Does the Spanish mean the same as the idiomatic English, i.e. "what hotel or similar place are you staying in?" Or is it more literal?
Quedarse can definitely refer to "staying at some hotel". Or generally remaining in some place.
I put "Where are they staying" which was wrong, but how do you know it's "you" instead of "them?" Can't ustedes mean someone else?
So if you're talking about people you would normally refer to as ustedes, how do you talk about them when they're not there? Ellos? Or is there a more formal way?
Yes, you'd use ellos or ellas in that case. The formality distinction is only made with people you're directly talking to.
Is it just me, or does the Duo voice sound like "queRan" instead of "queDan"? I've noticed this in just about every instance and any version of the verb, "quedar."
The female voice? She pronounces a pretty clear 'd'. But yes, the sounds for 'd' and the tapped 'r' are very similar, so they occasionally sound alike.
Probably because of the "at". It's pretty informal. But nonetheless, it's okay to use, so feel free to report it.
I think that when translating 'ustedes' to english it should be you guys.
Where are you GUYS staying? Or Y'ALL or you FOLKS. "Where are you staying" is singular