Hablas is the tú form of the present tense (You speak, You are speaking)
Habla is the tú command form (Speak)
It's not precisely incorrect, but you should keep roughly the same sentence structure when translating.
This should be ¡Hable despacio, por favor! since it is a polite command.
There's nothing in Duo's sentence that indicates we have to use a formal (polite) verb form.
You can use the word "please" with a tú (familiar, informal) command, an usted (polite, formal) command, or an ustedes (plural) command.
There is also nothing that says the polite form is incorrect. Hable and habla should both be accepted answers.
You confuse the prompt with the accepted answer. The answer is in English and isn't affected by the Spanish conjugation.
Miguel, if I understand your post above, you are misunderstanding the difference between "tú" (familiar) and "usted" (formal). It may be polite to use them correctly, but the choice of usage is not usually dictated by civility; i.e., "formal" in this instance does NOT mean "polite".
In very broad terms, "usted" is "formal" in the sense that it is used with strangers and, sometimes, when addressing one's elders. "Tú" is used with those one knows, those who are one's contemporaries in terms of age, and with children (known or unknown). I was taught that the relative age of the speakers is the greatest factor in determining tú v. usted.
And, of course, in Latin American, "ustedes" is the plural form of both "tú" and "usted".
None of this has anything to do with how civil one is trying to be. To give but one example, Spanish speakers address God and the Virgin Mary as "tú", and no disrespect is intended. (This was once true of English as well, which is why old Bibles are full of "thee, thou and thy", all archaic, "familiar" forms of "you", addressed to God.)
In the prompt above, "Habla" is just the imperative form of "hablas"; it is neither polite nor impolite per se.
You name some exceptions, but it's still about politeness. Because it is rude to call someone "tu" that you don't know very well, just like it's rude to use first names without permission.
No, it really isn't about "politeness" except tangentially. And thinking about it as "polite" is misleading because the opposite isn't "impolite", but familiar. Formal v. familiar is the issue, not polite v. rude.
Yes, it would be impolite for me to address someone much older as "tú" unless I knew him/her well. An English equivalent (in terms of etiquette, not grammar) might be addressing a stranger by his or her first name, without being invited to do so.
My post above does not list "exceptions". If you look again you'll find I discuss the primary factors that determine usted v. tú, at least as I was taught them.
Even if I were being deliberately rude to a stranger (he cut in line ahead of me, say), I would still use "usted". Because I don't know him.
None of the forms is more polite than the other. Familiarity is the key, not politeness. It would be just as impolite to address strangers with tú as it would be to address your friends with usted.
Thanks, Ryagon, for the help. I wasn't getting anywhere with ever longer replies. I wouldn't be fighting this "battle" (I'm using the word facetiously; I trust there are no hard feelings between Renata and me) only because it's obvious people are confused by the idea of "polite" form.
No issue. :)
Thank you for trying to teach the difference. It's very helpful to describe things with the correct terms - "formal" instead of "polite" - because getting hooked up on the wrong term is prone to misinterpreting the function. Like when people say that estar is used for temporary things and then get confused why "being [job description]" is used with ser.
Ryagon, I swear some Spanish lesson books use despaciadamente instead. This appears correct to me, but it is quite a mouthful. I am content with Habla despacio, por favor.
Again, the PROMPT is in Spanish and conjugates "hablar" so as to imply "tú". The ANSWER is in English, where we use "you" to translate either "usted" or "tú". We've all gotten turned around in this thread.
You are talking about the wrong question. Duolingo often gives many versions.
I'm talking about the question and answer at the head of this thread. Yes, I realize there will be other questions with similar content expressed with different syntax. But this isn't my first day here: I assume the thread is here to discuss the Q&A at the top.
Unfortunately, your assumption isn't always valid. It seems that the same discussion thread might be included when the prompt is "Write in English," "Write in Spanish," "Write what you hear," or even multiple choice, as long as the translations are equivalent. This little "Duo quirk" contributes to some baffling discussions, sometimes!
It doesn't have to be baffling, if we use the actual question and "correct" response as our guide. I swear I'm not a thread Nazi and I don't feel a need to control what everyone posts. But the other options you mention all have their own questions where correct responses could be discussed.
True, each "discuss" button goes to a discussion. But, sometimes all of the discussions about one example end up in one thread. (For example, comments on Habla despacio, por favor are mixed with those on Speak slowly, please.) Not sure how that happens, but it has more than once, and has led to misunderstandings among us learners/discussers. Sometimes it takes a LOT of confusion before people figure out some are talking about one "Q&A at the top" and others are talking about another one. If I had to guess, it would be that you are talking about Q in Spanish, A in English and (e.g.), Renata Q in English and A in Spanish. That's how we get "turned around" in a thread!
I wasn't aware that discussions cross over or combine themselves. (Sounds like a manual change by a moderator.) But we always have the prompt and "correct answer" at the top as our guide. I readily admit I sometimes write a post and then check back at the top and realize I've confused the given prompt with something similar. So I correct what I have written. It's not so hard.
NOTE from 2 weeks later: I have been thinking about your notes to me and I think I finally get it: each discussion is centered on the grammatical issue illuminated, NOT just the specific prompt/response at the top of the page.
I think this is an error on DL's part. If they want to keep each grammar issue on its own page (a wise choice), then the top of the page should show us more than just one prompt/ response related to that grammatical issue.
Good thought, Guillermo! Your suggestion would certainly cut down on some misunderstandings and controversy. Now, how to transmit your idea to DL course personnel???
You incorrectly marked my answer wrong. "Hable" is correct for the Ud. imperative. The question does not specify whether tú or Ud. The reason given for marking it wrong also makes no sense on many levels--it is not using the imperative, and hable is only the yo form in the pres subjunctive, for which it also applies to the 3rd person!
Report it. Ranting about it on here isn't going to help the problem, as the team doesn't typically check the discussions. They DO check the reports.
I wasn't aware there was a mechanism for that. I thought I did it this way once before when I got a response from them.
Did you find the report button? For me it's at the lower left of the red "wrong" strip, next to the button for this discussion page. There's a "my answer should be accepted" choice. That will bring your answer to their attention.
If you answered with "Hable", you were marked wrong because you were supposed to be responding in English, not Spanish. The prompt is in the imperative: "Habla" is the command "Speak" when addressing someone (a stranger, an elder) you would refer to as "usted".
ETA Renata is right that I erred here, but not for the reason she mentions. I have the imperative mood of "hablar" exactly wrong: "habla" is familiar second person (tú) imperative. As others have noted, the imperative of usted is "hable".
Maybe you should try reading the entire thread from the beginning. You seem to be discussing a question not at issue in this discussion. Again, the answer requested should be in English, where the second person is always "you".
Renata, I apologize for accusing you of erring in this thread. I'm finally understanding that discussions are arranged by grammatical topic, not necessarily by the prompt at the top of the page. I find this practice unwise, but it isn't your fault or mine.
Duolingo did NOT accept: "Speak slower please" Anyone have any reason for why it is NOT acceptable?
I'm not authorized to speak for DL, but my guess is that you were marked wrong because you used the comparative form of slow, i.e., slowER or MORE slowly. In Spanish that would be "más despacio". "Despacio" alone is just "slowly" and, although one would assume you had been speaking quickly, there is no actual comparison in the prompt.
The answer provided assumes the speaker is speaking informally, i.e., to someone the speaker would address as "tú". When used with "tú", the imperative form is the same as 3rd person singular.
If the speaker had been addressing someone formally, as "usted", then the verb form would be "hable", as you suggest.
There is nothing in the prompt to suggest formal v. familiar, so I hope you told DL it should accept your answer.
I'm not sure how that works, but in certain cases the choices of responses are limited. I too find it frustrating, because I don't know what causes the change. But "my answer should be accepted" is still a choice in other contexts; I used it a few minutes ago.