1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "What are the cities in Mexic…

"What are the cities in Mexico like?"

Translation:¿Cómo son las ciudades de México?

June 1, 2018

103 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lambisqueiro

what is/ are... like ? = ¿Cómo es/ son...? ( Character, description...)

What is your girlfriend? ¿ Cuál es tu novia?

Cómo? Question marks, with accent mark

(As a verb)Yo como- I eat

(As a adverb, in comparation) Ella es como mi Hermana / She is like my sister


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spiceyokooko

You have to love Spanish don't you? They put words in that aren't there and take words out that are!

I can understand your confusion, the sentence translates to:

What the cities of Mexico? There's no 'like' in there anywhere!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slanguagefreak

actually, 'Cómo' means 'like what'. It is not Spanish's fault that English uses two words for it. Many languages use one word for things English uses more than one word for.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2710

"Cómo" means "how". The sentence ¿Cómo son las ciudades de México? is literally "How are the cities of Mexico?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doctor-John

Literal translations are not always accurate, but in this case, "How are the cities of Mexico?" and "¿Cómo son las ciudades de México?" are perfectly fine translations of each other. "What are the cities of Mexico like?" is new speak (the way millennials and younger talk) for "How are the cities of Mexico?" Of course, from a mellinnial's point of view, you could say "How are the cities of Mexico?" is old speak for "What are the cities of Mexico like?"

In new speak "like" doesn't actually mean "like" in the sense of "apples are like oranges" or "I like Duolingo." In new speak asking what something is like is not actually asking for a comparison. Unfortunately, elsewhere Duolingo does not accept "How are the cities of Mexico?" as a correct translation for "¿Cómo son las ciudades de México?" Only the new speak translation is accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2710

I'm 45. "What is X like?" is not new.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pattyws

Thank you doctor-John, for sharing your information. But id like to know, why doesnt the pull down info show. Its like duo sets us up to fail


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Siri359557

Which makes perfect sense because it would be the more proper way to phrase it in English as well. "What are they like?" might be common but it's definitely an informal way of phrasing it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GiGi458461

Exactly. So how do we say 'like"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LiseDale

i'd like to inteject here that actually we use how in english for what is it like as well. for instance: how was your meal? how was that book?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dana527209

No you guys use 3


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LiseDale

yeah you may as well say you gotta love english, it put words in there that aren't there and takes out words that are! because of course english is the proto language ... wait....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pjmudd82

co'mo according to "SpanishDict.com" = how, why, what, sorry,to say again. Then w/o the accent even more meanings for these four little letters - (REALLY)!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Walter833699

When they want you to repeat what you said, my Colombian friends say "cómo ?", not "qué ?" while in English we use "what ?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaveNuevaCasa

and in Manabi Ecuador they say Mande? regional dialects will always have a special flair.....I guess one should learn the phrase......tu no eres de por aqui .... eres tu !! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dodoyce

I thought cómo is how? If cómo is also "what," what's its difference from cuál and qué? Thank you for clarification!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2710

"Cómo" is "how". In Spanish, they ask how is it like. But we translate with "what" because in English we ask what is it like.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Julie143204

Makes sense, thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2710

I just realized I made an error in my answer before. They don't say "How is it like", just the way we don't say "how is it like". They say "how is it", the way we say "how is it".

¿Cómo son las ciudades de México?
Literally: How are the cities of Mexico?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhillipMcN2

@Rae.F

quote:
¿Cómo son las ciudades de México?
Literally: How are the cities of Mexico?
unquote

No, your translation is misleading ... unless you were to include an explanation about why a literal translation is in conflict with the correct translation. You are wrong because you are feeding the confusion that we see on this web page and the web page of the reciprocal Duolingo exercise. I cannot say whether you might actually understand the issue. But your post implies that you don't understand the explanation for why "How are the cities of Mexico? is the wrong translation of the reciprocal Duolingo exercise.

Given that you did not explain why your literal translation has any bearing on the correct translation, you appear to be just like a number of other students who have posted their misunderstandings about ¿Cómo son ....?

The solution to this Duolingo exercise is perfectly correct. But there are a large number of mistaken students who are casting votes on this web page. Meanwhile, the students who accept the official Duolingo solution are not very interested in this forum web page. We are not disgruntled or otherwise dissatisfied. Forum web pages sometimes serve the people who are mistaken more than they serve the people who truly understand.

Everyone on this web page is welcome to downvote my post if it makes you feel better. You are welcome to consider anybody who disagrees with you as someone to treat frivolously, lightly, casually, or in a cavalier fashion.

Anyone who is interested in my explanations can find them on the web page of the reciprocal Duolingo exercise: ¿Cómo son las ciudades de México?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HarryKing565112

just read it as "how". it still makes sense.
como son las ciudades de mexico? how are the cities of mexico(direct translation)=what are the cities in mexico like?(if you want to use "what" in place of "how"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slanguagefreak

Cómo means "like what which is the same thing as how" You could say How are the cities in Mexico. And that would be easier to understand. However in English that is not the most proper way to say the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Salazarman

I wrote ¿Qué tal son las ciudades en México? and I got it right, but another acceptable answer was,"Cómo son las ciudades de México?" So are both answers acceptable in real life?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KariRyan22

I thought Que is what, not Como?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2710

¿Cómo son las ciudades de México? is literally "How are the cities of Mexico?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaRataBlanca

I find this interesting, because in English there is a nuance of difference between What are the cities of Mexico like? and How are the cities of Mexico? The first has to do with the description of the cities (are they large, they crowded, etc.), and the second has more the meaning of how do you find them? or what is your opinion about them.?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alice48202

So they don't allow Como estan... because it is a permanent description of quality? What is you say NYC is awful and I say it's great??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Julie143204

And my first reaction to the wording, "How are the cities of Mexico?", would be assume the speaker is asking how the cities are doing.. inquiring into their welfare. So now I am wondering how to ask, for example, how a friend is faring without it coming across as though I am asking whether or not the person enjoys his/her company?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2710

¿Cómo se siente tu amigo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fullstrum

I don't get it, this seems to be saying "What are the cities in Mexico", not "what are the cities in Mexico like". If someone asked me this i would expect to have to start listing of cuties in Mexico.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2710

No, it's literally "How are the cities of Mexico?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/frodojj

Why do they use ser instead of estar?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ifny

Great image Rae.F! I need that on my wall stat :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danindenver

So why are they not referring to the Condition of the cities? If it is my first trip to a country, that might be my biggest concern. Also, what would be the answer to this question?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ktfawcett1

Of course! Confusing, but then in English if we ask the question "What is the spaghetti like?" we mean "How is the spaghetti" Como/how makes sense now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BounceDown

can I know why "en Mexico" is wrong ? I would give you lingot immediately.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhillipMcN2

@BounceDown
It is correct. It is probably being marked incorrect because this oversight still has not been reported to Duolingo. If it has already been reported, then Duo must have lost the report. This issue should be a no-brainer for Duo if we can get the report to Duo.

We (students) only have a small window of opportunity to submit a report. Reports must be submitted at the same time that we do the exercise.

Please report it if it happens again (with the "Report" button during the lesson). After submitting your answer, select "Report". On a mobile device, it will be represented as a flag icon.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AaronEaton5

Ok so como is saying how are the cities of Mexico but in English we would phrase it what are they like. You have to think of Spanish to English or vice versa in terms of not only conjugation but also phrasing.


[deactivated user]

    "Comment sont les villes de la Mexique?"

    I feel that I can relate to French


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jules730827

    What in thw world? This question came out if nowhere, never had an example even remotely like this before.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhillipMcN2

    @Jules730827

    The first time is a surprise. It sure is. You will have future experiences with other Duolingo exercises that share a common concept with this exercise. The common concept that these exercises share is the pairing of cómo together with a form of the verb, SER.


    Other Duolingo exercises

    "¿Cómo son las ciudades de México?"

    "What are the universities in France like?"

    "¿Cómo será mi futuro?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ponkabonk

    What about "Qué parece son las ciudades de méxico"? Seems like that should work.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jean449589

    So if I put que son - what are - that should be correct also?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trholter

    Why not cuales son las ciudads de Mexico como


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 2710

    Because Spanish is not a relex of English. What you said was essentially a word salad in Spanish.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 2710

    What you said is literally "which are the cities of Mexico how".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shen255760

    Why not "como son ellas las ciudades..."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yeta206416

    'What ~ like' is 'How'. So how are the cities in mexico = Cómo son las ciudades de México. Right??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brooke403127

    Por qué no se puede decir así - ¿Qué tal las ciudades de México?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhillipMcN2

    @brooke403127

    You didn't feel that it was necessary to include a verb in your Spanish sentence. Were you expecting Duo to be persuaded to accept your sentence as an idiomatic expression? Well I still don't think you aren't going to receive credit for your answer to this Duolingo exercise without a verb.

    See the post by Salazarman. Notice that Salazarman included a Spanish verb in the sentence. And furthermore, Salazarman included the right verb. Including the right verb in your sentence is essential if you hope to translate from English to Spanish.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PavinKhair

    que son las ciudades en de mexico

    i get so confused by como and que - is there a rule to make this easier


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 2710

    The Spanish is literally "How are the cities of Mexico?" -- ¿Cómo son las ciudades de México?

    "¿Qué son las ciudades en de Mexico?" is "What are the cities at of Mexico?"

    It's a different lesson, but there is a difference between "qué" and "cuál":


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thea.Rodriguez

    Literal translations do not exist for everything in any language.

    Meaning tense and conjugation are king!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Catherine250043

    Why is it cómo son instead of cómo estân when you are a person cómo estás?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/akk28

    Considering this is 2nd person shouldn't "sóis" be used instead of "son". ¿Cómo sóis las ciudades de México?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 2710

    This is 3rd person. The cities of Mexico are like what?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CANILEO

    What the difference between "Qué" and "Cómo" ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MFBeatnik

    Qué = what. Cómo = how. Spanish/English sentences can't always translate word for word. In English we ask "what are the cities like?", but Spanish it seems more "how are they, the cities?".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 2710

    Word-for-word, it's "How are the cities of Mexico?" It's not entirely unlike something we might occasionally say in English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/4shesAjolly

    I think of the following when faced with this translation exercise. (Both ways of asking the question are used in Australia)

    "How was your holiday?" meaning "What was your holiday like?"

    "How's the weather today?" meaning "What is the weather like today?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_clay53

    Would "¿Cómo son las ciudades que en México?" also be correct?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 2710

    "How are the cities that in Mexico?" No.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KyleVerde

    We need an example of this first


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShaneTanner90

    Why is it '' las'' instead of '' los ''?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WIMDispa

    I do not understand the word "like" in the English sentence


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 2710

    English uses the word "like" in a few different ways. This is not the verb that means "to enjoy", this is the preposition that sets up a description.

    https://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/like_1
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/like


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TooLilRowdy

    What are the cities of Mexico? Not the trick What are the cities of Mexico like?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sheila433415

    Where is the word like at in the translation is just automatically dropped in spanish


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 2710

    What are you talking about?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emily207573

    I'm just hoping that when I do speak to fluent Spanish speaker that they get what I mean


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EstebanLeRey

    porque no...que tal las ciudades de mexico ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/utkarshb95

    We can think of it as: How are the cities of Mexico, right?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
    Mod
    Plus
    • 2710

    Yes, exactly.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gregory191495

    Why you change pueblos on ciudades


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CertifiedTrainer

    cities of Mexico = ciudades de mexico

    cities in Mexico = ciudades de mexico

    Why not "ciudades en mexico"?

    How do you differentiate the two phrases ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sdw232

    Cuales las ciudades de mexico como? Confused ahora!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sdw232

    Cuales son las ciudades de mexico como? Confused now!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spiro8

    I thought if the wuestion asks the cities IN Mexico the correct answer should be "en Mexico".Duo has the answer as "De Mexico" which Mol oresumably means "of mexico" not as "IN" mexico which is stated en la pregunda..☹️


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JShea4

    Its confusing, because "what are" is "que son", but in spanish its "how are".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen612614

    Why is la not needed before Mexico?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Darealletti

    How is ciudades feminine?

    Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.