1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Sir, are you writing a book?"

"Sir, are you writing a book?"

Translation:Señor, ¿escribe usted un libro?

June 3, 2018

127 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rr1134

why is it ESCRIBE (HE, SHE) instead of ESCRIBES ( TU-YOU)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rick977853

The fact that the individual is addressed as 'Sir', implies that it is not a familiar relationship, so Usted is the correct usage, which uses 3rd person.


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

Gracias, Senor


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wolfe880800

Surely the question was more about the conjugation of escribe?

(Think it's understood that usted is deployed because it is formal)


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

The two issues are one and the same.

Using usted dictates the use of escribe.


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

Yes, I don't think the other comment made that so clear. I hadn't thought that when speaking to people of authority would require changing the verb to its "he/she" form. Just in case the original comment doesn't quite understand the correlation between the "usted" and "escribe", the rules are: leo - I read
lees - you read
lee - he/she/you (formal) reads

The light bulb next to each new set of lessons will inform you of rules you may need to learn as you go. It helped a lot when I discovered that!

(Edit: Daniel explained it well enough, just thought an example would help.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkHartig2

Wow...thanks for the comment about the light bulb!


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

Android users do not have the lightbulb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin653484

Thank you for actually addressing the question. By the time we get to this level in Duo, most understand that "usted" is required when addressing a "senor" or "senora". Your response actually helped.


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

Usted is the formal "you." The same conjugation is used for pronouns "he," and "she," as well as you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/newms34

Usted comes from an (older?) Spanish phrase basically directly translating as "your grace" or "your eminence" or something similar . If you think of usted (formal you) that way, it makes sense:

  • Tu escribes un libro: "You are writing a book.
  • Escribe usted un libro: "Your grace is writing a book".

Put it this way: You'd never say "Your grace are writing a book".


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

Because "Señor" is formal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eliza843276

"Escribe"is not only (HE/SHE) it is also formal you(USTED) which is what is used in this situation because they are not close personally. "Escribes" is informal you


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

In Spanish, Tú is an informal you and usted is the formal you. So depending on what you are writing, both can bee used. But you have to indicate tu and or usted. I know it can be silly


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/D.Reece

I have written ' usted escribe un libro' and DL has said this is correct. What is the rule with word order?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MRB1373

usted escribe un libro = escribe usted un libro = escribe un libro usted


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

I wrote, "Señor escribe usted un libro" and DL marked it as incorrect. I've seen where usted comes after the verb before. As I wrote it in my answer is exactly how I wrote it here. Is this reportable??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Misha841462

I put escribiendo and it was wrong. When I tapped "writing" escribiendo was an option


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelly110588

While they will list multiple forms of the word in the drop-down hint list, usually only one is right...and they don't always list the correct one first which I know confuses a LOT of people. I try to write the sentence before checking the hint list as it helps test memory/comprehension, and use the hint list as more of a double-checking system. Hope this helps a little!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seth97735

It is stupid like that. You can report it at the bottom of the screen and say hover is wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lois946365

Despite Tessa Jade's comment below, she is attributing context to a situation that lacks context. We have only the translation to work with. If the English asks for present continuous, the correct Spanish response should also require present continuous tense. This confuses people who are doing our best to learn difficult verb tensing. DUOLINGO NEEDS TO CORRECT THIS ERROR.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mikeylee48

Present tense (indicative) in Spanish means three things.

Yo hablo inglés: I speak English. I do speak English. I am speaking English.

Yo como pan: I eat bread. I do eat bread. I am eating bread.

Yo vivo en Buenos Aires: I live in Buenos Aires. I do live in Buenos Aires. I am living in Buenos Aires.


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

Indeed. The question, 'Sir, are you writing a book?' implies that it is an action occurring at the time the question is asked. It's difficult to think of a situation where this question would be asked for an activity which is not occurring at the moment.


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

I'm writing a book. I've been working on it for six months.

That is not a continuous action but something I have been doing over a period of time.

Sir, are you writing a book?

Not necessarily continuous.


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

Do you play the Sims?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Manoj32748

senor, estas escribieno un libro when translate it is same Sir, are you writing a book. Why it is wrong ?


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

Why is "Señor, ¿usted estas escribiendo un libro?" incorrect? Isn't it also equivalent to the sentence above?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lois946365

Usted/ustedes (singular/plural) always takes the ending for the 3rd person conjugation


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

Señor estás escribiendo un libro? Why is wrong?


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

You can't use tú forms with señor.

It would need to be: está escribiendo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zach30834

señor, está usted escribando un libro? incorrect? why?


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

I tried "Señor, ¿usted escribe un libro?" and it was accepted too. What is the difference and which one is more appropriate?


[deactivated user]

    señor, es usted ecribiendo un libro? = means literaly, Sir, are you writing a book? so why have they rejected it ??????


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

    Because you cannot use es with escribiendo. It must be está.


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

    So if the rule of 'the noun comes before the adjective', could I not put 'Senor, usted un libro escribe? (Or am I being dumb!!!)


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

    I don't see how adjective word order applies here, but while Señor, ¿usted un libro escribe? might be technically correct, it's really weird word order, like Sir, a book are you writing?.

    "¿Señor, usted escribe un libro?"
    "¿Señor, escribe usted un libro?" and
    "¿Señor, escribe un libro usted?"

    are all better translations.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zahab-G

    Why aren't we learning the gerund stuff?? What about the grammar rules etc?? Can someone look into this please?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dick267403

    Duolingo, how is it possible that after five days, someone could have a score total of over 8000. What am I doing wrong?


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

    You aren't doing anything wrong. It's possible to play the system to rack up points. I have my doubts as to how much one actually learns doing this, however. Remember what happened to the hare and the tortoise ;) .


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EstrellaRi205150

    Señor escribes usted un libro.

    Señor usted tiene dos libros.

    Señor necesita un libro .

    Señor quiero un libro


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Berriegirl12345

    Will they not accept Sr. as Senor?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dave-O.

    I put el Senor and it said it should be Senor, but last time I put Senor and it said it should be el Senor!?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthewCla173244

    I've had that before. From what I understand, you put el Señor when he are talking about a guy. You say Señor when talking to the man himself.

    Ex: El Señor Pérez tiene un libro. Mr. Pérez has a book. (Talking about Mr. Perez) ¿Señor Pérez, tiene un libro? Forgive me if I put the question marks in the wrong spot. But that translates to: Mr. Perez, do you have a book? You are addressing Mr. Perez directly.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jules5168

    Does the inclusion of usted ("Señor, escribe un libro?" vs. "Señor, escribe usted un libro?) convey more respect/is this more deferential? Or is there really no difference in terms of formality whether the pronoun is used here?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen224901

    Can someone clarify why add usted after escribe? I don't know the formal question adds usted after a verb, rather than before.


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

    why is this escribe usted instead of tu escribes


    [deactivated user]

      Like he said earlier, the use of 'Señor' implies the question is formal, 'usted' not tù.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trumaine7

      It's this way off from bring right "Senor esta usted escribe un libro"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan497674

      What is wrong with: Señor escribe un libro usted? (Incorrecr per DuoLingo)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/.Penny.Lane.

      I wrote "estas escribiendo" but oh well


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

      You can't use estás with señor. You would need está, since señor requires usted forms.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spanish4TW

      Also, escribiendo is not a word that has been introduced by DuoLingo yet. Take that into consideration. Try to use the tools provided.


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

      Why isnt escribe recommended? It only has escrbir , which is "wrong" i find this happens a lot


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

      Can the answer be "Señor, ¿escribe un libro?" Isn't the "you" implied? Is it needed/necessary for understanding the question? Thank you.


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

      I put señor, ¿escribe usted un libro? And it said i was wrong. It wanted señor, ¿usted redecte un libro? Wth


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

      How wrong am i to say "Señor, Tú escribes un libro?" Is it because sentence starts with "Sir" in a formal sense, thus "usted" has to be used and automatically the verb form is "escribe" to make it Señor, ¿Escribe usted un libro?"


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

      Two questions back I was dinged out for writing the very same as above, and the correct answer was escribir. So I just put Señor escribir usted un libro? and have been dinged incorrect again?


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

      No, escribir is to write. The question you saw must have been he wants to write or he needs to write, something that requires the infinitive form.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DivyaKrish8

      Why is "Senor, escribe un libro usted" or "Senor, escribe usted un libro" accepted but "usted escribe un libro, senor" rejected?


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

      Why would escribes come before usted?


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

      ¿escribe un libro, Señor? was flagged as wrong and it isn't. It is so annoying when Duo doesn't include basic alternatives such as this.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoku556

      Why not; Senor eres escribe un libro?


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

      In Spanish, we do not use eres (or any form of ser) as a helping verb.

      Escribe - you write / you are writing / you do write

      Está escribiendo - you are writing

      You won't use the tú forms (escribes, eres, estás) because we are addressing him as señor.

      Does that help?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ramiso1322

      Why is escribe before usted?


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

      Does order of usted/escribe matter here, or is the app being reallllly particular about this? I usually don't have much of an issue with these lessons as they jog my memory from high school, but this feels wrong


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

      Wrote what clues gave got it wrong hmmm


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/William534454

      Isn't this supposed to be "estás escribiendo"? Because of gerundio?


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

      I dont understand why escribo comes before usted. Translated would be "Sir, writing are you a book?"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HXoz17

      Why is 'escribir' wrong?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mximo226622

      Is 'usted' used very often?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/souhaib799204

      Why not escribiendo instead of escribe.


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

      May i know why it isn't "usted escribe un libro"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charles340560

      Buy why is it in that word order?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Harvey503075

      I wrote the hint Duolingo gave and they called it wrong. How bad is that?


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

      Señor, está escribiendo un libro


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

      Shouldn't the sentence be 'Señor, ustedes escribiendo un libro' because i learned it differently in my spanish class.


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

      isn't ustedes plural?


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

      I would think this answer would be sufficient: Señor, usted es escribiendo un libro?


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

      They're not taking 'El senor'


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

      You cannot use el señor when you're speaking to him. You use the el when speaking about him.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sue603167

      In an earlier lesson you said that 'usted' had to come before the verb. So I wrote ¿El señor, usted escribe un libro? but you said it was wrong and 'usted' (being formal as you are saying 'sir') should be after the verb - you wrote Señor, ¿escribe usted un libro? Where does usted go in a sentence? What is the rule please?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PenelopeCu15

      Question of word order. Why is it "escribe usted un libro" instead of '?usted escribe un libro?'


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cstephany1

      I thought it should be escribiendo


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paige727868

      Where to put "Usted" after or before the adjective?


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

      Why is it "escribe usted" and not "usted escribe"? It seems to contradict everything they've taught us so far.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Margina2

      Why isn't usted after Señor?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kola743406

      Does it makes a difference to use usted before escribe or after. Confused with this


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

      Why is it "escribe usted" and not "su escribe"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/prabhsg20

      I wrote " Senor, usted escribes un libro" and it was wrong could you explain why?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GwenC.Grat

      If Im speaking to a Sir, why is this 3rd person?


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

      This has already been explained above. Please read the other posts before posting.


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

      This has to be as it is one of the selective word sentence and it does not have escribes as an option. so the only nearest solution usted escribir


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

      You cannot use escribes, the tú form, with señor.

      You also cannot use escribir (to write). It wouldn't make sense.


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

      It would not follow the grammar then!


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

      Please read the posts. It explains why you must use usted forms.


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

      why is senor,tu escribes un libro wrong?


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

      This has been explained above. Please read the other posts before posting.


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

      I don't understand why it is worded like that


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

      Why escribe usted vs usted escribe?


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

      Why escribe usted vs usted escribe


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

      it was are you writing so for YOU we should've used escribes why escribe?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/williamcol311454

      There are two right options. Writing is the progressive form in english, and escribiendo is the progressive form in spanish. "Esta escribiendo" translates more exactly than the answer that is "right". Fix this please.


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

      The given answer is right, not "right". Spanish uses the simple present more than English does.

      It also accepts está escribiendo, so there is nothing to "fix".


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sabyasachi190092

      Why escribe instead of escribes


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matt.Carson

      Isn't the present continuous tense more appropriate?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pam609799

      why is it not escribes ?


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

      Because "escribes" is for "tú" but since you are saying "señor" you need to use "usted" which goes with "escribe"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Francesca203812

      I agree with rr1134, it should be escribes !


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

      Nope. As discussed above, you can't use the familiar escribes with señor. You need the usted form.


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

      The correct translation is: "Señor, está usted escribiendo un libro", yet it is marked as wrong. Learn how to conjugate verbs, Duolingo.


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

      In English, we can use the present continuous tense to talk about activities that are on-going, but that we aren't necessarily doing at that moment. However, in Spanish, this is not the case. In Spanish the present continuous is reserved for whatever action you are completing in that precise moment. For example, in English, it would be common to say "I am working at the supermarket," to one of your friends when you are not actually on the clock. But, if you are speaking Spanish and you say, "Estoy trabajando en el supermercado," that would actually mean that you are on the clock working at that moment. Check out LightSpeedSpanish on youtube - they have some great videos explaining grammar concepts like this. Their videos are very succint and to the point - about 10 minutes each!


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

      Perhaps it's trying to teach you that, although the tenses look similar in the two languages, they really aren't.


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

      Señor, está usted escribiendo un libro .. I just copy and pasted my answer and it looks like that

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