Yes, you do. Sentir is either a transitive verb or a pronomial verb. Sentir can mean to feel, to smell, like the French and Italian forms of that verb, or to sense with any of your senses in parts of Latin American. But you always have to feel something. You can feel the material, sense a presence, hear a sound, etc. But when it comes to emotions or things you feel within yourself, in Spanish you always use the pronomial form. You are essentially saying you feel yourself to be happy, although obviously the English uses more words and sounds strange. Actually there is a rare intransitive use of sentir, but it doesn't generally quite translate to feel.
I was aware of pronomial verbs but hadn't gotten around to studying them yet when you brought them up (and the same applies to transitive and intransive verbs).
I wondered if you had 'misspoke' when you wrote, "But when it comes to emotions or things you feel within yourself, in Spanish you always use the pronomial form. ".
Pronomial form! shouldn't that have been reflexive?
I found that reflexive verbs are just one form of pronomial verbs!
Thanks for the lead.
Good write ups on pronomial verbs at
And help with object pronoun placement at
No. The most common way to express emotions is with estar, just as the most common English is I am sad, not I feel sad, but both are "normal". But one of the reasons I think Duo spends time with sentirse is that is another example of how verbs are used reflexively in Spanish but not in English. So many words pop up in unexpected places, though. Consider the Spanish for I'm sorry. Lo siento, I feel it.
I don't think you have to use sentirme, but you do need the reflexive pronoun, so I think it would be: Yo me voy a sentir feliz hoy. However, it seems to me that it is more natural to Spanish speakers to put the pronoun on the end of the verb so that you get the suggested answer above.
When people talk about feeling happy instead of being happy it simply means that they aren't happy a lot. They consider happiness more of a feeling you have from time to time, not a state of being that endures. This is not a case where the same thing is simply phrased different in English. That is only valid for greetings, well wishes and other standard expressions. These are often rather idiomatic and they are almost said by rote. In that case it's more about recognizing the ritual than what words are used in the ritual. But here, changing words is changing the meaning to one different than the speaker intended. The speaker chose to say I am going to feel good today. They had the option to say Yo estaré feliz hoy/ Voy a estar feliz hoy. But they chose not to.
That may be true. I actually think that Voy a estar feliz or Estaré feliz are probably more common in Spanish as well. If the same possible variation exists in both languages, you have to choose the translation that best matches the one shown. The only reason to switch it up would be if this were more common in Spanish, which isn't the case.
Singular vs. plural. Feliz is an adjective so it reflects count. Feliz does not reflect gender because most (all?) Spanish adjectives ending in a consonant do not change to reflect gender, they only change to reflect count.
He is happy = Él está feliz
She is happy = Ella está feliz
They (the men) are happy = Ellos están felices
They (the women) are happy = Ellas están felices
BTW, adjectives that end with "z" are changed to replace the "z" with with "ces".
I hope that helps.
The English phrasal future, I am going to (do something) is translated as ir+a+infinitive. That is always the case. But, for the most part, the Spanish present is translated either by the Spanish present tense or the present progressive which is the tense in English which uses the verb to be and the present participle, the Ing form. But Spanish does actually have a present progressive as well. It is just used less frequently, only to emphasize that the action is ongoing at that particular point in time. This Spanish tense, when it is used, uses the verb estar and the present participle. As I said, it's not appropriate for the phrasal future. If you have the English sentence "I am speaking", the normal Spanish translation would be (Yo) hablo. But if, for example, someone was trying to interrupt you, you might stop them by saying Estoy hablando. That's the Spanish present progressive. There is only one situation where the verb ser is used in a verb phrase, and even then the past participle used in the form has adjectival qualities. This firm is the formal passive voice, although the se passive voice is more common.
Thanks for the clarification. So it's never "hoy" with an English "h" sound. I agree that on the sound tape at the top of this forum there is no "h" but that's not the male speaker I heard when I did the exercise. I played it ten times and have no doubt. Maybe someone else who heard that too can comment?
Be careful. One letter or one accent mark gives totally different meaning to a word. Sometimes the same spelling has different meanings that has to be examined under context or even at different locations.
sentar = to sit
sentir = to feel
Juan es rico = Juan is rich
El pescado es rico = The fish is tasty
El coche = The car (in Spain)
El coche = The pig (in Guatemala)
I am not sure. When I was first on Duo, they often rejected contractions. Now they tend to do the opposite - only accept the contraction. But it can be next to impossible to understand your error based on Duo's response, even beyond unnoticed typos, so it's always best to put your whole answer in.
Shirlgirl007, think of relexives as 'reflexive verb' + 'direct object pronoun'. Reflexive verb sentir plus direct object se = sentirse. Therefore, "They are going to feel happy today"; "Ellos van a sentirse feliz hoy." "I am going to feel happy today"; "Yo voy a sentirme feliz hoy". You are going tonfeel happy; "Tu vas a sentirte feliz hoy."
Except that feliz shouldn't be capitalized, absolutely. Duo used to teach that construction a lot more than this one, but they are both acceptable. Personally I like sticking the object pronouns on the end of the infinitive where possible. If I am speaking fluidly that construction is easier for me to manage and not to have to backtrack and put in the object pronoun when I realize it is required, since I still think in English. I am told that is common for English speakers. But both forms are correct and used.
In terms of a language learning application, that's essentially irrelevant. Even if you speak Spanish regularly, there are a lot of exercises on Duo that you will never say, even those that might well be said. And there are a vast array of sentences that you may want to say that you will never find on Duo. The major unique component of human speech that doesn't seem to be duplicated in the communication systems of other animals is the ability to both construct and understand sentences that you have never heard before. You potentially do that every day. Duo couldn't possibly teach you anywhere near all the sentences you might say in Spanish. It's not meant to be a phrase book. This sentence demonstrates the phrasal future with an attached object pronoun and some vocabulary.
Some San Diego DJs used to have a bit they did periodically where one of the team would bring in some strange sentence that they had either said or heard under what they thought were pretty unique circumstances. They would hypothesize that perhaps no one had ever said the sentence before. But they always found at least one caller, and sometimes more, that had said it. And the show just airs in San Diego, albeit a relatively large city. You probably won't say this, and I probably won't either, although I could construct a scenario where it would sound more natural. But my experience with that show tells me that this sentence has definitely been said by someone. And just look: you understand it.