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"Yo necesito las cartas para el lunes."

Translation:I need the letters for Monday.

June 1, 2018

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Why not "I need the letters BY Monday"?


Good question. In English, "by Monday" and "for Monday "can be taken differently, "By Monday" could be any time on Monday.
"For Monday" might be seen as "for a meeting, or a specific time on Monday." Or it might mean "before midnight on Sunday."

The boss needs to be more specific, or she may be disappointed/upset..


Really, I always thought of "by Monday" as it having to be ready as soon as the teacher wanted it on Monday which would be first thing in the morning. I assumed that if a boss wanted something by Monday, that it better be ready as soon as that boss comes in on Monday. Same thing if a boss said they want something for Monday. Then it needs to be ready first thing on Monday morning. Now if a meeting is mentioned that might give you a bit more time. If no time is mentioned, then it is whenever the boss shows up at your office, so it better be ready.

The problem is that this could also mean that "I need the letters that will be used on Monday. I may need to look at them now, and maybe it is only Thursday or Friday. In that case, you could not use "by Monday" which can only be used as a time when you will need them, but "for" can mean "to be used on" as well as "by". So, "para" can be used for time or purpose. There are more uses, so scroll down as someone has provided a link for all its definitions.


Your comment makes it clear that "for Monday" leaves the sentence in an ambiguous state. If the letters are "for Monday", the sentence does not state when the letters "for Monday" are actually needed - right now, tomorrow, the end of the week?

By Monday is clear that they need to be ready by the time the office opens on Monday.


The english translation does not communicate the intent of the spanish sentence. The english sounds to me like someone needs to review the letters that need to be sent out on monday. Or that someone is requesting the letters that came in on monday. Or that the mailperson is here and needs the letters that are to go out on Monday. Or that the letters need to be ready by monday. Perhaps the spanish is equally vague?


"By" should be accepted. Found this in spanishdict.com under the different uses of para. "We have to hand the work in by the end of the month." "Tenemos que entregar el trabajo para fin de mes."


"..by Monday" still not accepted. (Jan 2019) Also, if "para" only means "for" in this case, what is the Spanish expression for "by Monday"?


The difference is in the context. If you perceive monday as an object, like in office work. Having to do monday's thing, rather than monday being a deadline or timeframe


Exactly. You do need Monday´s letters by Monday and if you are a stricter boss you may want the letters for Tuesday done by Monday also.


That would be another way of looking at it, but your way is just fine.


Elsewhere, DL said "Para manana" was to be translated as "by tomorrow." https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/557771 good example here.


Maybe "por" is a preferred word over "para" for "by"? I know it's another way of saying "for", but they are used in different instances I'm still trying to understand. However, I also noticed that when "by" is translated by my phone, it translates it to "por" and while "para" can also mean "by", of all the English words it can translate to, "by" is pretty far down the list whereas it's the second option after "for" for "por".

Just wondering...


"I need the letters by Monday" is accepted.


But now 7 months later it is not ?


On Monday / By Monday still not accepted!


You cannot put both.


¡Por supuesto que no!


Write your entire sentence, since there could be a different error.

  • 1208

"By Monday" implies that no matter what, something has to be done or available on Monday. He doesn't need it now or on Sunday, he needs it only on Monday.

"For Monday", on the other hand, feels like he needs it on OR before Monday. He's like requesting for the letters to be given or done before Monday, while being okay with it on Monday.


"By Monday" requires it only on Monday. "For Monday" also requires it on Monday, but implies preference for an earlier time.


I disagree. There doesn't seem to be much of a difference between the two--either word could be taken to mean "before/up til Monday" or "at some point on Monday." Ex: "I need the letters for Monday, because I have a meeting at 4pm."

If anything it's "by" that feels like a harder deadline to me, and "for" that feels more casual. But it would really depend on the context.


I wrote that and it was accepted.


"I need the letters by Monday" is accepted now.


You do need Monday´s letter by Monday and if you are a stricter boss you may want the letters for Tuesday done by Monday also


By the way, this dictionary reference agrees: http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/para


Because maybe the boss needs them now.


Why do you need "el"?


That's just how Spanish does days of the week. Instead of saying "Monday" or "on Monday", they say el lunes ("the Monday"):

  • Recibo mi sueldo el viernes. = I get paid on Friday. (this Friday, but not necessarily every Friday)

And instead of saying "Mondays" or "every Monday", Spanish says los lunes ("the Mondays"):

  • Los domingos estamos cerrados. = We're closed on Sundays.


Awesome reminder. Thank you! ¡Gracias, Blic!


Maybe: I need the letters on Monday. ?


Hello OlofSanner: That would be "Necesito las cartas el lunes".


'Para' el lunes = for Monday. 'Por' el lunes = by Monday.


why does it have el? that would be: I need the letters for the Monday


Monday is el lunes.


In the same exercise they both deny and accept "note" and "letter" as a translation for "carta" variably - I've lost all three hearts now due to errors and needless to say it's pretty frustrating.


Why use "el" at all?


It is just the way that Spanish handles its days of the week and it allows you to know it is singular here.

"el lunes" = Monday

"los lunes" = Mondays


Spanish always uses the definite article to handle days of the week except when the day of the week is in an identity statement, such as "Today is Monday." which is "Hoy es lunes." where Today = Monday.


This is a small point - I wrote "by" and see no reason why this would not be good. When I re-do it I will use "for" and move on.


See my comment above. -- (Elsewhere, DL translated as "by X".


I feel cheated by this ! I answered for THE Monday , in a past exercise I was marked wrong for not using THE .


The main thing you need to be doing here is not feeling whatever way you like to translate is automatically correct so as to be learning Spanish instead. How Spanish works. You need to understand WHY the "el" does not translate to "the" here. This has been talked about many times in the Comments.


YES. Have a lingot.


why"para el lunes" instead of just "para lunes"


In Spanish the expression requires it. They use “el” with days of the week except for “Today is Monday.” or tomorrow or yesterday. Since Today = Monday, we are talking about the same day and just giving its identity.


Would it be 'the' letters or 'these' letters? Aren't either of them familiar?


“las cartas” = “the letters”

“estas cartas” = “these letters”


The and these don't mean the same thing at all!


If "para" means "for" and "by", is the following sentence correct? "Yo necesito las cartas para el viernes para el lunes." (If it is correct I think it would be re-worded to avoid confusion). "I need the letters by Friday for Monday." (Because there's no work on the weekend, and the boss has an early meeting on Monday). ... And if "by" means "before" in English, would the following sentence make sense? "I need the letters by Saturday for Monday" (Letters to be handed in before or on Friday)


“by Friday” does mean that the letters would be ready as soon as the boss walks in that morning. So “I need the letters for Monday done by Friday, so I can look at them before they go out.” becomes: “Necesito las cartas para el lunes hecho antes del viernes, entonces puedo mirarlas antes que ellas salgan.”, I think.


The English statement is ambiguous. Meaning, these could be letters which are needed for use on Monday, -or- it could be implying a deadline. What if, for example, she is working at some sort of mail distribution center and needs the letters which are to be sent out on Monday? In english, if there was a deadline, we would not say “for. “


When you click on "para" it gives the translation options as ON or FOR. I put ON Monday and it counted it as incorrect. If it is wrong to say on Monday, then it should not be an option when you are given the hint.

  • 1208

The options shown are the possible translations of that specific word into the other language, but in usage, translations don't go word for word. One counterpart in another language may be valid, and another doesn't.

Let me cite you an example:

If a given sentence is "I like you.", and you hover over the word "you" and you see options like "tú", "te", "ti", "usted", and "ustedes", you would answer with "Me gustas tú.", "Me gustan ustedes", "Me gusta usted", but not "ti" and "te".


If i need the letters by Monday is not accepted, then how would one say the English " ...letters by Monday, if not ....para el lunes?


Watch the you tube channel the spanish dude and look at para vs por it will shed some light on this for you why para is used.


Is the El before lunes necessary for conversation? Could one say "para lunes"?


This is from a comment above. For days of the week you will need “el” except when identifying what day it is, like “Today is Friday.” or “Hoy es viernes.”


Isn't cartas also translated as cards? Why can't they be cards in this case?


Hello Aelise_627: I do see carta translated as card but I think this relates to a playing card. So cards would normally be tarjeta for a bithday or credit card. Context however is King here. In this sentence letters would fit. This is not to say someone could not come up with a scenario where someone would need the playing cards for Monday, but this would be a real stretch and seem like someone was more interested in justifying themselves than learning.


Thank you so much for your response Craig!


Estoy feliz de ayudar.


When u need to translate "el" and when not to i keep having wrong answers all the time. Same with "yo"


For days of the week you will need “el” except when identifying what day it is, like “Today is Friday.” or “Hoy es viernes.”


You don’t have to put “yo” except in the beginning lessons where they are teaching the subject pronouns and if you want to emphasize that it is I and not someone else. https://www.thoughtco.com/use-of-subject-pronouns-in-spanish-3079375


Hello Patryk166689: Please read the excellent post by Majklo_Blic above.


Can you put the 'lunes' in the options, please? It is a bit tiresome, there are a lot of mistakes like this at the moment.


The tiles were designed for portrait mode so switch to that mode to see all three rows or zoom out. On my computer, I had to zoom out to 80%.


Is 'El' needed before a day of week always? Because I thought the 'El' meant 'On' as in 'El lunes' is 'On Monday'.

  • 1208

Probably not always, but most of the time.


i left the yo out and i got marked wrong


Put your entire answer as the error could be elsewhere. If everything else is exactly the same and you were supposed to put in in Spanish, then report it as also correct.


What they really need for all of these lessons is a slide bar to adjust the speed of the speaker


This kind of suggestion should be put in the man Duolingo forum as that would apply to all sentences rather than just the one being discussed in this sentence discussion. Keep in mind that Duolingo uses a third party company for this sound.


Why para “el” lunes not para lunes?


Spanish uses the deinite article to handle the day of the week always, except in identity statements: "Hoy es lunes." in which Today = Monday.


Doesn't "Lunes" translates as "Mondays" again?


Again, no, lunes is the singular form as well as plural.

el lunes = Monday

los lunes = Mondays


I wrote the sentence without using "Yo" at the beginning and it was marked wrong. I thought the use of subject pronouns were optional.


It is also correct when translating from English, did you verify for errors elsewhere? Copy and paste your answer and Duolingo's instructions to you. The Listen and write what you hear exercise would require you to include it since they do say it. Please delete the two copies of your comment below. If everything else is exactly correct, then please take a screenshot if you were supposed to translate from English and include it in your report.


Can't even hear the lady saying el. So stupid. If they insist on using el they outta actually say it when speaking


In Spanish, they handle days of the week with their definite article which is always used except in an identity statement, such as "Today is Friday." = "Hoy es viernes." in which Today = Friday. Otherwise, we treat days of the week as names in English, but they use definite articles with them..


why is it not "yo necessito las cartas para lunes"


Hello Annya: Search this thread for the excellent answer by Majklo_Blic.


I matched my written sentence with their corrected one and it is same


They don't correct your answer. They show you the translation, but double check the instructions that Duolingo gave you, because sometimes the answer is the original sentence.


When I clicked on "el" it showed it translated only as "the"," on", or "his." Yet the translation expected was "for."


I don't know that el is actually translated into English since we don't use it in this type of sentence. I think if you look up information about speaking of days of the week in Spanish, you'll see more about using el in conjunction with them. Para should be the word in this sentence that means "for"


What is wrong with I need the letters on Monday?


That would have been “Yo necesito las cartas el lunes.” “Para el lunes” specifically means “for Monday.”


Those instead of the letters, those is plural the is singular


In English “the” is used for all words singular or plural alike. “Those” would have been “esas” or “aquellas” and “these” would have been “estas”.

“el”, “la”, “lo”, “las” and “los” all translate to “the”.




You can't hear "el" before lunes "pAra elLunEs..."


Yes, words blend together in sentences.

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