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  5. "¿Necesita un taxi, señor?"

"¿Necesita un taxi, señor?"

Translation:Do you need a taxi, sir?

June 7, 2018



Why is it 'Necesita' instead of 'Necesitas'? Its necesitas with tu right?


Since the question is addressing the man formally (he is called 'sir'), we need to use the 'usted' form of the verb which ends in -a instead of -as. Duolingo seems to be making more of an effort to distinguish between formal and informal address.


Yeah but its the forst time i see using the usted form without the usted itself, is that also right?


Thank you for the valuable link.


Thank you that made it soooo much easier to understand!


The use of "sir, mr. mrs., miss" makes the sentence formal


That was very informative. Thanks a ton


Shouldn't it be "necesita usted"?


But it is NOT wrong to use the USTED there, isn´t it?


It's never wrong to include the subject pronoun, and usted is probably included more that tú because it shares the same form as the one used for él and ella. But to be clear, it would be probably omitted more often than included. There are only a few situations where you would ever think this question was asking about a he or she. Context mostly will fill in the blanks, although adding usted does sort of emphasize the use of the formal you.


Shouldn't the sir not be capitalized? I mean, its not a proper noun.


Need a taxi sir? Does anyone know why this is not accepted?


Try reporting it as a common expression in English. This would not work with just any verb. The standard way to ask a question in English would be to say “Do you need a taxi, sir?” and that is the translation that is accepted here. English does not normally drop the subject except for the imperative, but many taxi drivers come from other countries. I have seen it dropped with the verb “want” also. We love shortcuts so it seems to have caught on.


While a year late, it is definitely a common thing in spoken English to drop the words "Do you" from a question asked to somebody. Since it is implied when you are speaking to someone that you are referring to them in many contexts. This issue just occurred to me, but I will watch out for it if I am asked again.


Why is "mister" not acceptable here??


In English, at least in England, addressing someone simply as 'mister ' would be rude or impertinent The sort of thing a cheeky young boy might do.


In the US, the rudeness extends beyond youth, but I agree. And sir is used pretty universally, so it's easy to say that is the proper translation here. It's a little more difficult with señora. Lady and Mrs are both somewhat rude. Ma'am is relatively standard in the US, but for whatever reason I have been fighting being called that all my adult life. I always used to say I was too young to be a ma'am, but that ship is long gone.


If someone said “mister”, I would be waiting for that person’s last name. Try reporting it if it is used by itself in your area.


Well, dropping the "do you" is essentially just slang, and since it doesn't change the meaning, a native English speaker would know what you meant. But Duolingo isn't really in the business of teaching slang ;) Good Spanish to good English, you know?


Except when they DO want a word for word and when they DON'T. There's no indication what it wanted.


At the very beginning of the course when they were teaching pronouns, we had to put the Spanish pronouns, but in Spanish they usually don’t bother to put the pronouns and this is not slang. This is the normal way. So, now that we have had some practice with the endings for the verbs, they will be dropping the subject in Spanish when they can, but in English we keep the subject except for the imperative.


At least in the US southwest, it's pretty common usage to drop the subject when the context is clear, imperative or not. It's not even on the level of slang. It's just something that happens pretty frequently down here. In this particular sentence, "Need a taxi, sir?" makes perfect sense in English without the subject. English is my first language. I've spoken it for years and years. That's why the insistence that the subject is necessary here is extremely confusing to me.


Why, even “Taxi, sir?” will be quite commonly heard, but this is someone selling his service. This is an ad, not correct grammar for a complete sentence that you were taught in school. Even common usage for someone selling his service can be considered slang. In fact, it is a common approach to attracting attention. In Spanish, the difference is that when you add the subject, it actually emphasizes the subject. That is how uncommon it is to use the subject there.


Scroll down to the later use of “Why” as an interjection which does not take a question mark and it does not use the added words “that is” and it makes perfectly good sense:


Yes, I understand that you feel that it should also be allowed. You could try reporting it, but keep in mind that people also take this course, who do not have a background in English and are trying to solidify their English. This is a somewhat specific use and slang is often commonly used. Should we promote misspellings of words, because advertisers do it? Yes, people from other countries have had an impact on the way we speak our language. This program does teach grammar as well as the spoken word. They may accept it or not, but at least I have explained the reason that they might not.

Newspaper boys on street corners would call “Get your newspaper here.” This is actually the imperative form. Taxi drivers will call out “Need a taxi.” and it is also actually derived from the imperative form.


The way you worded this made it extremely difficult to discern a number of things about your statements. I think you may have needed a question mark after that "why," as without the question mark, it implies the presence of the words "that is" before it, but those words don't make sense in this statement. That aside, conversational grammar is very different from written grammar, and as such, dialogue in books very rarely follows the same rules as the rest of the writing. The statement given is clearly a piece of dialogue, as someone is being directly addressed by it. Thus, it follows common usage, as opposed to the prim, proper, and perfect rules of grammar school. The question here isn't about the level of formality of the statement, it's about whether multiple statements which are both in common usage in English should be accepted as adequate translations.


Since you are speaking directly to the person "Need a taxi" is an abbreviated form and not slang and should be acceptable IMHO of my 75 years of speaking Inglés


I'm not sure it is slang. Just common usage. But, in any case, this course is about teaching Spanish, not about teaching English.


Why is it ''Necesita'' when they are asking a male, not a female? Isn't ''a'' a feminine thing, and ''o'' a masculine thing?


Adjectives and nouns often end in ‘-a’ for feminine and ‘-o’ for masculine, but “Necesita” is a verb so the endings change for each person and number. Remember how we say “I need”, but “he or she needs” that is the same reason the verb changes, but it changes for more of the pronouns.

Yo necesito = I need

Tú necesitas = you need (familiar singular form used in Spain with family, friends and children)

Usted necesita = you need (formal singular form used in Spain with people that you need to show respect for older than you, strangers, people that you are not on a first name basis with. In Latin America though, many places don’t use the familiar form and usted can be used for both.)

él necesita or ella necesita = he needs or she needs (Keep in mind that everything is either masculine or feminine in Spanish.)

nosotros necesitamos = we need (nosotras is used if we are all females)

vosotros necesitáis = you need (familiar plural form used in Spain and vosotras is used if you are all females)

ustedes necesitan = you need (plural formal form in Spain, but used for all plural in Latin America)

ellos necesitan = They need (ellas if they are all females)


No, its from the verb necesitar (im pretty sure) Necesito-i need Necesitas-you need Necesita-he, she, it needs Necesitamos-we need Necesitan-they, you all need


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Press the word delete next to reply


I meant press the trash can


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Wouldn't be 'mister' instead of 'sir' ok as well? It was marked wrong


Why can't señor mean "mister" along with "sir"? It means mister next to names such as "Señor Alberto", how come "mister" isn't an accepted translation to this sentence?


I think it is because sir and ma'am can be used on their own like in this situation, but Mr. and Mrs. are followed by a name which is not included


Senor, why is "mister" not accepted?


"Need a taxi, sir?" - should be an acceptable answer.


That's quite casual, especially since this question uses usted and is specifically using a formal title and subject conjugation. A better answer is "Do you need a taxi, sir?"


I understand that duolingo is trying to get us to drop the "usted" and still understand the context, hence the verb tense. But, shouldn't it also accept, "Does he/she need a taxi, sir?"?


Possibly, but when you address someone directly the assumption will be "usted", so you would add the other pronoun if it were not usted.


Assumptions can go the other ways also. When we imagine context, that is personal, not universal.


Exactly, a context in which “he” is the subject and yet you address the conversation to “sir” would not be very universal. You could try reporting it, but I believe that “sir” was given as a clue to help us figure out that we should use “you”.


You technically could, but it's very obvious that the question is addressed to the man.


Why is sir capitalized? Very confusing.


Is " usted necesita" wrong or is "usted" just not necessary in that case?


"Necesita" has an implied "usted" because we know it's addressed to a man (usted=formal you), but it wouldn't be wrong to include "usted" (just not necessary).


The women's voice IS saying "necesito" not necesita


Yes, because it’s correct. The yo form is the same for both males and females (except for some words, like “estoy cansada/cansado”). You would say “yo necesito” no matter your gender.

Edit: I didn’t realize which question I was commenting on. Even if you think it’s “necesito,” it’s not. If you’re doing a “type what you hear” question, that’s one thing, and you might be able to report it for being incorrect. However, if you’re doing a regular question and you’re just translating Spanish to English, you type what you see on the page. That’s it.


For the type what you hear, you can listen to the slow recording which is word by word. In the faster recording the a of necesita becomes blended with the following u of un, which may make you think there is an o in the middle, but I hear uh first then oon follows quickly and you don’t hear a long ah sound at the end of a word. It does not sound like toe, so pay attention to the sound you hear before you hear a bit of o in the blend to get to oon.


Thank you for this link. Very helpful!


So why isnt usted being used as with previous question with señora?


How do you tell if it's a question? Besides the fact that there's a question mark.


I'm am thinking Necesitas is more correct than Necesita in this sentence. As Necesitas would be more to the meaning of " you need "


"Necesitas" is for tu (informal you). "Necesita" is for third person singular (which includes usted).

The assumption is that the subject in the question (in this case, "señor") is the one being addressed. Because there is "señor" and "necesita" is the third person singular form (which includes usted, the formal you), it's obvious that this is asking the man if he needs a taxi.


“Usted” uses “necessita” and together they are the formal form of “ you need” which is what you would use with “señor”. “Tú necessitas” is the familiar form of “you need” used for a family member, friend, child or God, the father.



Sounds alot like he is saying necesitO.


You do realize that the o in necesito is pronounced like a long o in “No” and not a short o in “on” ?


Wouldn't it be more appropriate to say, "Señor, ¿usted necesita un taxi?"


Not really, subject-verb inversion is also common and subjects can be omitted in Spanish.


I translated ,need a taxi sir. what do you?


wouldn't it be necesito?


"Necesito" means "I need." This is a question addressed formally to a man.


Verbs do not follow the rules for adjectives. Verbs change endings depending on pronoun and do not change for different gender. “Necesito” is the form for “yo” which means “I”, “necesitas” is the form for “tú” and “necesita” is the form for “usted” which is implied here as well as for ”él” and “ella”.


I thought it was nesitsitos (sorry if it's spelled wrong) because it's talking about a male?


"Nesitsitos" does not exist. If you mean to say "necesitos," that also does not exist. "Necesito" means "I need." "Necesita" can mean "she needs," "he needs," "or you (formal) need." Verbs don't necessarily go with gender, "necesita" would be used for all third person singular subjects.


Adjectives agree with the gender of the noun, but verbs do not. Verbs are conjugated by which pronoun would be used: just like we say “I need”, but “he needs” which is not plural, they say “yo necesito” whether I am male or female, “tú necesitas” for the familiar form of you and “él necesita” and “ella necesita” and even “usted necesita” for the formal form of you in Spain which may be used for familiar as well in Latin America. http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-spanish-verb-necesitar.html


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I'm getting confused. why are they using necesita instead of necesito?


"Necesita" is the third person singular conjugation, for el/ella/usted, and "senor" is a formal title, so we know it's usted. "Necesito" means "I need," and that doesn't make sense here (it's a question, it would be senseless to say "I need a taxi?").


Necesito is a verb conjugation used for the pronoun “yo” whether I am a female or a male.

Necesita is a verb conjugation used for “usted” here and can be used for “él” or “ella”.

Adjectives change endings to match the gender of nouns that they are describing, but not verbs.


Shouldn't it be necesito, because you are talking to a male?


Necesito is a verb. Verbs don’t change with gender, just like they don’t in English. This is the usted form, so it’s necesita, because the usted form of necesitar is necesita.


Lmao, I thought that it was, Do you need a taco, sir. And that must be one of the most important questions


"Necesita un taxi, senor?" translated word for word is "Need a taxi, sir?" We should be allowed to drop the "do you" part. Not only is it unnecessary to require me to write out the entire "do you need a taxi," but it's more often that you'll hear "need a taxi?" This is asinine and annoying. Are there no native English speakers working for duolingo or something?


Actually many taxi drivers are not native English speakers, which is how that came about. It is not actually correct English to drop the subject except for an imperative. Maybe street talk does use the imperative to push us to take a taxi?

In Spanish dropping the subject is usually done. They hardly ever use the subject, so most of the time we must put a subject in English. Try not to translate word for word. We must translate expression for expression quite often.

This is a special case where we can hear it without the subject, so you could try reporting it, but it is slang so I don’t know if they will decide to accept it.


The linguistic background of taxi drivers is irrelevant. Dropping "do you" from the start of a sentence is quite common in cases where the implied meaning is clear. If someone asks "need some help?", "like it?" or "want more?", it's usually clear that they are asking you a question, not pushing you to say yes.

Understand? Sorry, DO YOU understand? ;)


Actually, yes, grammar does matter and no, it is not correct to omit the subject in English, even if some people do it.


It sounds like necesito not necesita.


Listen at the top many times and try to separate the sounds of “necesita” from “un”. I hear it correctly.


Out of curiosity would "necesita usted un taxi, señor?" be correct?


“¿Necesita usted un taxi, señor?” should also be correct and it could be reported if it were not accepted.


Just out of curiosty would " necesita usted un taxi, señor?" be correct?


I don't understand, sometimes to add the word do is wrong sometimes it is right. Personally I would say "Do you ...? not just say You.....? To me it is not proper English. It's slang. But out on the street I don't think anyone would correct you.


shouldn't we use necesito since it is mentioned señor ?


No, adjectives and articles match a noun’s gender, but verb conjugations are totally different. “Necesito” is the 1st person singular form used for “yo” regardless of my gender. “Necesita” is the 3rd person singular form used for “él”, “ella” and even for “usted”. https://www.thoughtco.com/conjugation-regular-verbs-present-indicative-3079160


shouldn't we use necesito since it is mentioned señor?


why can't I use mister instead of sir...?


Need a Taxi, Sir? This is normal talk around here. Still a question is it not? Traveled all over, the "Do you" is not used in a lot of places.


To all those wonderful people who read and answer questions. thank you to you all for the time you have spent answering several questions. the discussion group on Duo is so valuable I am learning a lot from all of you people thank you.


I feel like this one was a trap: without an "usted" present, I naturally assumed it was "necesito," as in "I need a taxi, Sir." I.e. she was telling someone to get a taxi for her. Especially since I already have a problem understanding this female speaker's vowels, I didn't even hesitate to type "Necesito"


What I would like to know is why would it be necesita. And not necesito because this sentence includes the word senor


she says necesito not necesita


I used mister instead of sir as it is how we would say it in English, not American, unless we were being subservient. I have been able to use British English before so this exception is confusing.


My spell check changed the word from taxi to tax !!! Ugh!!!


In one of the previous exercises, I wrote "Quiere un leche, señor?" was marked wrong and the answer shown was "Quiere usted leche, señor?" Could someone please tell me if tge usted is necessary in cases like these? Thank you, in advance!


Nice one AndrewnotinJapan


Answer given conveys the intention correctly ...prefixing or suffixing 'sir'. ..can hardly alter the meaning


Is Usted no longer capitalized as I learned 50 + years ago?


I put the right answer and it said it was wrong but was exactly the same thing as what it said.


Could anyone explain to me why in some exercises after need is a/an and in some it isn't?


It's actually the same in English as in Spanish. The only time you need to add a/an is when what you need is a single, countable noun. You need a taxi, a shirt, and a dollar. But you need transportation, clothing and money. They don't have to be categories. You also need coffee, milk, and bread.


Im pretty sure that the sentence is supposed to start with Sir followed by a comma instead a comma followed by sir


Well both the Spanish sentence and the preferred translation shown above have that at the end of the sentence, preceded by a comma. It's possible that one of the accepted answers shown has a typo. That happens when they try to accept a lot of different syntaxes in their comma delimited database. But following the syntax in the original sentence, which there is no reason to change, you won't have an issue.


Why is mr not accepted and sir is? I wrote "do you need a taxi mr?" And it said it is wrong. Why?


Mister is abbreviated as Mr. yet it is only abbreviated when a last name comes afterward, but just write Sir here.


copy that im here


Colloquial use of sir and Mr is a bit neglected. Shame to get a wrong answer for using Mr instead of sir. Just saying.


The word "Mister" could be reported, but "Mr." is an abbreviation used with a last name.


UK English doesn't necessarily differentiate between sir and Mr as much as USA.


That's perhaps true. And I am not a man. But I have always equated calling a man Mr without a surname with being called Mrs or lady in the US. To the extent that any user associate that form of address with the formal and polite señora, they are not understanding the Spanish. This is one case where it appears that the American usage conflicts with British usage. When that happens, when a speaker of American English would misunderstand the British meaning or tone, that's exactly the time when knowing what Duo's "standard" is.


Couldnt this also mean.. "Need a taxi, Sir?" More casual..


I don't get why people downvoted this, here in the southwest we drop nouns all the time when the context is clear. Maybe it's the influence of Spanish speakers in the area, but I very rarely hear "you need a ?" or "Do you need a ?"


It is improper English or slang, the same as "ya need a taxi, sir?" or "d'ya need a taxi, sir?". It's very difficult to teach anything more than textbook.


I was asked to translate in Spanish I translating it me back to the next question just saying it is wrong


This can also be "does he need a taxi, sir?" Perhaps two men are standing together and one is blind but waving in front of a hotel? Or a taxi driver is asking the doorman at a hotel? etc


Yes, but the assumption is that you are asking the person that you are addressing the conversation to. That would be a good time to put a subject pronoun “él” or not add “señor”. Why would you be asking the gentleman if someone else needs a taxi? Why would it be so personally relevant to the gentleman that you would say “sir”? Personally, “ustedes” form “necesitan” might be used there if they seemed to be together. Also, I would have covered two birds with one stone. Now I could call a taxi for whichever of them needs it or for both of them. Absolutely, in another sentence “necesita” can mean “he needs, she needs, it needs, or you need”, but you do need to take into account what clues may be in the rest of the sentence.


You could technically say that, but it's very obvious that the question is addressed to the man. The assumption is that the question applies to the subject in the sentence, not some wild scenario that could possibly be about another person not in the example.


why is sir at the end of sentence wrong? it's common to ask for needs and then the address


It is not wrong. What exactly did you put? The error highlighting is not always placed correctly. The error can be anything previous to it.


First of all im not a sir second of all señor isn't feminine


How a question applies to you doesn't matter in the slighest. Duolingo does not know anything about you, nor does it care. The questions aren't tailored to every user, otherwise you wouldn't learn anything that doesn't apply to you. This question is asking "Do you need a taxi, sir?" It doesn't matter if you're not addressed as sir, that's what the question is asking. You're right, señor isn't feminine, it's used to formally address a man.


“Sir” = “Señor” though. So pretend you are watching one person talking to another in front of you instead of directly to you.


Does anyone else hear "Necesito un taxi, senor." in the fast version? With that translation it would me mean "I need a taxi sir" which makes sense as I have found a number of places they drop the "yo".

Is there a clear way to differentiate?


They don’t sound the same at all. You would know by context, but “necesito” ends in “oh!” sound, so if it is not clearly an o sound then it is likely that you just weren’t thinking of “a” sound which can sound like “uh”. Here listen at this site to native speakers saying both forms: https://forvo.com/search/Necesito%20necesita/


The Spanish speakers have no inflection to identify that a question is being asked so I translated the above as "She needs a taxi sir."


The assumption is that the subject in the question (in this case, "señor") is the one being addressed. Because there is "señor" and "necesita" is the third person singular form (which includes usted, the formal you), it's obvious that this is asking the man if he needs a taxi. Also, this is a question, so it wouldn't be "she needs a taxi, sir," it would be "does she need a taxi, sir?" if it were correct.


When using necesita(3rd person) and senor (formal) I would think "usted" should be in the sentence. Right now as I understand it, it reads "Does he/she need a taxi , Sir"..


“Él” or “ella” would need to be in the sentence for that interpretation, since we are addressing someone directly with “Señor” so that the gentleman addressed would expect that you are talking to him and not about someone else. Duolingo added “Señor” exactly for this purpose, but you seem to want to ignore the hint. Even without addressing directly to someone, a question will first be understood as being for “you” unless otherwise indicated.


The assumption is that the subject in the question (in this case, "señor") is the one being addressed. Because there is "señor" and "necesita" is the third person singular form (which includes usted, the formal you), it's obvious that this is asking the man if he needs a taxi.


I hear this as 'Necesito', am I the only one?


من المفروض ان تكون necesitas وليست necesita


necesita is he/she needs, not you need - that is necesitas


The assumption is that the subject in the question (in this case, "señor") is the one being addressed. Because there is "señor" and "necesita" is the third person singular form (which includes usted, the formal you), it's obvious that this is asking the man if he needs a taxi.


“Necesitas” is the verb form for “tú” the familiar singular form of you which is used in Spain, “usted” (the formal form in Spain) does use “necesita” and it is used for both familiar and formal in Latin American places that don’t use the tú form. https://www.thoughtco.com/formal-and-informal-you-spanish-3079379


The audio says necesito but the correct answer was given as necesita.


“Necesito” rhymes with “yo” and English “go” and that is not what I hear. Try listening here: https://forvo.com/search/necesito%20necesita/


"Need a taxi, sir?" was marked incorrect...


Cab drivers don’t necessarily have the best English. This is an imperative form turned into a question. It is a rather pushy way of asing a question. It is more like saying “You need a taxi, sir, don’t you?”, but it is shortened and, yes, it is commonly heard, but it is not a translation of the Spanish sentence as the imperative form is different in Spanish and the tag type of question also exists.


Need a taxi sir? isnt accepted


It should not be accepted.


I did it 100% correctly and was called wrong!


What instructions were you given and what did you put? Some people translate when they were supposed to write what you hear.


Necesita usted un taxi should be the question!


No, it shouldn’t.


I was asked to translate this spanish sentence to english. But duolingo left out the word "usted". Personally it doesnt bother me because i think saying "sir" is formal enough and it should just be: ¿Necesitas un taxi, señor? This formal/informal thing does not make sense.


In English they don’t have very many verb forms, scroll up for the Spanish forms. The very fact that sir or “señor” is used means that you must use the formal form “necesita” in Spain. In Latin America, the form to learn is the usted form as it is the most used form which is often used instead of the familiar form - kind of like how in English we don’t use “thou” anymore.


You don't always have the pronouns along with a verb. Here, "necesita" is for the usted form, but "señor" is the subject here. Adding usted wouldn't make it more formal, it would just be the same- "necesita" has an implied "usted," adding "usted" doesn't make it fancier or more formal. "Usted necesita un taxi, señor?" is the same as "necesita un taxi, señor?"

You would never say "necesitas un taxi, señor?" "Señor" is a formal title, so you always use the usted form (formal you), never tú (informal you).


"Do you want a taxi, mister" should be a fully acceptable answer too.


No, it should not be. “Necesitas” is “you need,,” while “quieras” is “you want.” To need and to want are not the same thing.


"Sir " is old fashioned.


"Sir" is formal, and it's still used. "Senor" is also still used.


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I.. I really don’t.


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Don't spam the discussions. The Duolingo comment threads are for learning and problem solving, not whatever utter nonsense you're typing.

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