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"¿Cuántos pantalones necesitas?"

Translation:How many pants do you need?

June 2, 2018

31 Comments


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

In American English you would never hear this without "pairs of" (pants do you need). Never realized how dumb that is until this exercise.


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

It's just a classifier like "head of cattle," probably with its own particular history. Considering how many exceptions English has to its own rules, I'm not sure what makes this particularly "dumb."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ritzg_98

English doesn't have an exception to this rule. It's always "pair of pants", never just "pants" on its own.


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

So do you wear pants, or do you only wear a pair of pants? I wear pants. I bought some pants the other day. When my friend Tim wore some shorts that were a little too tight, everyone told him to "put some pants on!" These are just some examples I have offhand that I hope make clear that there's no requirement for pair of.

I will concede that in the particular sentence above, though, I would probably say "How many pairs of pants do you need?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G-M2
  • 428

I've heard just pants on its own. In fact, I've heard mothers talking to teenagers use this exact phrase.


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

True. It is dumb. Maybe the thinking is one leg is a pant, two legs is a pair of pants. Dunno. I wasn't there when they thought this up LOL.


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

In British English you'd say pairs as well but they'd be what you wear under your trousers


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

Cuantos and cuantas is the same thing? Just that cuantos is masculine because it is referring to pantalones? Which is masculine?


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

Yes. The same logic that follows for "this" in estas for female and estos for male.


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

In British English we never say "pants" to mean "trousers", "pants" ALWAYS means underpants. We would also more commonly say "a pair of trousers" than just "trousers".


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

Hi Adam, you can use the Report Button to suggest alternative translations. These sentence discussions are here to discuss the grammar and structure.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/v9cunVYA

why does this woman refuse to pronounce the s at the end of words???


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

I believe it's a dialect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NaDaYouSef15

I wrote "cuántas pantalones necesitas So it's only one letter


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

it's not only one letter, it's a real word of the wrong gender

a908 rich739183


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KathyDias3

This is helping me learn a lot


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lois323280

We say pair of trousers, pants are only underpants


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

If it didn't accept trousers you can use the Report Button, but please do not try to report alternative translations here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rob434451

Whilst most of uk say trousers...I know several people from Manchester who use pants to mean trousers


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

I didn't know that anyone in the UK did that!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

Must be a Northern thing. I've heard Peter Kay call trousers "pants". Sounds a bit weird to my (midlands) ears.


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

I would imagine so!


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

I wrote "how many pants do I need" How do you differentiate I or You in this sentence?


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

The "necesitas" tells us that it's the familiar you (tú) form. For the first person singular form (I), it would be "necesito". In the present tense, the endings are distinct.

I'm giving a condensed form here that mostly avoids differences in -ar, -er, and -ir verbs: First person singular (I) always ends in "o", first person plural (we) always ends in "mos", second person familiar singular (tú) always ends in "s", third person singular (él, ella, usted) ends in "a" for -ar verbs and "e" for -er and -ir verbs, and third person plural (ellos, ellas, ustedes) always ends in "n".

Here's a more complete set for regular verbs of all three types: https://www.wikihow.com/Sample/Present-Tense-Conjugation-of-Regular-Spanish-Verbs


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraJ1212

If cuantos is masculine because pantalones is, then why is it Necesitas instead of Necesitos? This stuff really confuses me! What us the tip in the sentence that tells me, as it apparently isn't male or female, which one is used? I just get these right by dumb luck!


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

The only things that change depending on gender are adjectives, and that's why, as you say, it's "cuantos pantalones".

But necesitar is the verb "to need", and verbs don't ever change according to what is masculine or feminine. What determines the form a verb takes is the person (or thing) it's associated with. In this sentence, it's "...do you need", so you need the verb form for you.

Duolingo's sentence uses the singular familiar "you": , and the correct verb form is "[tú] necesitas". Including the pronoun is optional in Spanish.

The English doesn't tell us whether the "you" is formal or familiar, or singular or plural, so any Spanish "you" could be used. Duolingo just happened to choose .

You can always look up all the verb conjugations for any verb. For example, for necesitar, see https://www.spanishdict.com/conjugate/necesitar.

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