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.
Shouldn't the sir not be capitalized? I mean, its not a proper noun.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
I was asked to translate in Spanish I translating it me back to the next question just saying it is wrong
“Sir” = “Señor” though. So pretend you are watching one person talking to another in front of you instead of directly to you.
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)
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/
It is not incorrect for the translation from Spanish to English, but if you had the multiple choice there can be more than one correct answer and all correct answers must be chosen and if you had the Listen to Spanish and write what you hear, then you would be writing in Spanish. So, if it wasn’t those two possibilities, take a screenshot and report it with that.
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."
I'm am thinking Necesitas is more correct than Necesita in this sentence. As Necesitas would be more to the meaning of " you need "
“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.
Not necessarily, subjects can be omitted in Spanish. https://www.thoughtco.com/use-of-subject-pronouns-in-spanish-3079375
Necesito would have a long o sound like in “no” and I do not hear it that way. It is a schwa sound.
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.
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.
“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.
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 ?"