"¿Cómo se escribe gato en español?"
Translation:How do you write cat in Spanish?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my impression that Spanish speakers use the verb "escribir" to express the idea of the English verb "spell." In other words, an alternative (and probably better) way to translate this sentence would be "How do you spell 'cat'?"
That's most likely true. In Polish, we commonly say literally "how do you write [word]?" when we really mean to ask for spelling. Wouldn't native English speaker understand it the same way?
Great comments! I always thought the verb was deletrear, but I just learned that it is only used when spelling a word out loud---not written. Learn something new every day!
Is this escribe instead of escribes because we are assuming usted rather than tú?
In the passive voice ("is written", in this example) the verb is always conjugated to match the subject---gato escribe. "How is cat written in Spanish?" is a much more accurate translation than "How do you write..."
So "How is dog said in Spanish?" would be ¿Cómo se dice dog en español?