"Yo tengo los mensajes de la secretaria."
Translation:I have the messages from the secretary.
If this sentence translates to "I have the messages FROM the secretary", how are we supposed to say "I have the messages OF the secretary"?
Better English would be "the secretary's messages", (rather than "of the secretary."
Right. The OF or FROM can be excluded.
”I have the secretary's messages."
Both are correct. 'From' is when you got the messages from the secretary and 'Of' is when have seen the messages somewhere (on a publication board) and spread the news.
DL did not allow the "OF" version hence I was curious. Thanks for the clarification
It may be wordy but it's not clumsy. Remember contractions in english! "The messages of the secretary" when contracted becomes "The secretary's messages."
BOTH are grammatically correct. BOTH mean possession.
I would call not taking advantage of commonly used linguistic shortcuts clumsy as well. Yes both sentences are grammatically correct and both sentences assume possession. But one of the many hats I have worn in my life is editor, and I would edit the messages of the secretary virtually every time. The only exception would be for dialog if the intended impact was that the speaker was somehow struggling with his thoughts or communication in general. It's pretty much the definition of clumsy speech
OK. How about I have the secretary's messages, as in I have messages left from others for the secretary?
Are we trying to learn english here? Seems that way. Geez! Let's skip sentences like these!
This sentence is a perfectly normal sentence in both Spanish and English. There are many, many sentences in Spanish that have different possible translations. All language is extremely dependent on context, and there are a couple of factors that makes that even truer in Spanish like the practice of omitting subject pronouns. The Spanish construction el/la/los/las X del/de la/(etc) Y ALWAYS will have a couple of possible translations. Possession is always a possibility, especially if you are talking about a living being that we generally consider to possess things, but a sentence like las hojas del libro, the book's pages is also possible. La carta del maestro could be the letter from the teacher, the letter of the teacher or the teacher's letter are all possible. But this sort of sentence you will hear daily if you speak a lot of Spanish and most people don't have any problem with them, unless they don't understand all the possibilities.
Becca, while in our effort toward becoming fluent in Spanish we ultimately need to abandon all thought about English, there are students here who have minds that are reluctant to give up thinking in English. Many of them like to believe what we need to is learn to do is good translations in our heads so as to be able to converse in Spanish. While Duoling is not in the business of teaching translation, there are many exceedingly vocal students here who like to think Duoling is supposed to be teaching translation so they want Duolingo to be accepting sentences in English in the way they say stuff. Perhaps they will one day see the light and leave off doing that for gaining an understanding that they are supposed to be learning Spanish here and not the different ways something can be said in English. And possibly not.
Let me add to the confusion about the different ways to say stuff in English here.
I wrote: "I have the messages for the secretary."
And it was correct.
That's interesting. I wonder if that is actually a meaning that a Spanish speaker would likely understand or if Duo just got tired/lazy. That translation does, however, has a distinct alternative translation that makes for the obvious translation: para. But it is quite possible that in informal language settings that this might be interpreted as the same thing. Either from or of or the possessive pretty much has to be de. I guess the issue is that theoretically the secretary's messages could be either messages FROM the secretary or messages FOR the secretary.
Which way it would mean would be according to how the subject matter has been being talked about.
Perhaps someone just said, "¿Quien tiene los mensajes para de la secretaria?" ("Who has the messages for the secretary?")
The English translation of the response could then be, "I have the messages for the secretary."
What is the difference between "para" and "de" How do you know which to use where?
When I answered this earlier this way, it was incorrect. Please fix. Very confusing.
Your comment is out of place. To report an error or request a change in the exercise you have to contact the Duo team directly. The easiest way to do that is by clicking the flag icon. But just as a note, when you click the flag icon it captures your answer. If you want feedback from users here, you have to specify what your answer was. Even if the Duo team were to see this message and want to work on it, I don't know if they would understand it either without that captured data.