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"Sir, are you using the telephone?"

Translation:Señor, ¿usted usa el teléfono?

June 10, 2018

144 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BeccaEdnie

This kind of sentence always throws me off. I struggle to structure the sentence in spanish "you use the computer" when in english we say "you are using rhe computer" To me, these mean different things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max_Anaximenes

You're right! They do mean different things in English. They also mean different things in Spanish, but the difference is...well, different.

In Spanish, it's pretty common to use what we'd call the "simple present," or just the "present" tense, moreso than it is in English. That's the "you use" tense, and the "tú usas" one. In English, we'd be more likely to use the present progressive tense, the "you are using" or "tú estás usando" one. While you can use the present progressive in Spanish, it's a lot more likely to sound out of place, or like you're not quite comfortable with the nuances of the language. It's generally used in situations when you really want to emphasize that this is what you're doing right now, maybe in contrast to what you were doing five minutes ago or what you plan to do tomorrow.

Because of this difference in connotation and usage, it's become quite common and acceptable to translate the Spanish simple present into the English present progressive, and vice versa. Just another little thing that reminds us that different languages are structured differently, and the translations don't always line up perfectly!

Anyway, I hope this helps!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yackey1

This helps! Have a lingot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LorentzBlo

This is an excellent explanation. Thanks so much! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daziegrl411

Ok.. but could you say all that in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Devashree50714

Thanks for making it clear!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeppelZhu

It helps a lot. Thanks very much!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GadaphiArc1

One of the best explanations ever given on Duolingo mate


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zhr.salehi

It helps a lot. thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cinderandkaiotp

thanks, I didn't know that! this really helped me :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yakato_da_best

You are so right, that always thows me off too! :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/del.yamina

Yes it s really hard to get used to it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/moghdad

why "Señor, tu usas el teléfono?" is wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/demenwalker

By addressing the man as Señor you are being polite and must use usted not tú


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarianneFo961266

thank you. that was my question too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SofieJones798

Then why "usas" not usa? Tu usa, useted usas?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetDye

When using 'tu' you use the form of the verb that ends with 's'. When using usted/el/ella, use 'usa'. So 'tu usas' or 'usted usa'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael823228

That helps, thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kyle385587

Thank you. This is why I was here


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Austin160411

That helps thanks a lot~


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chershep123

Thank you i needed that clarification


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fenneeuk

Ah! Thank you so much!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jess441616

So usted is formal and tú usas is informal?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arturnovo1

Señor is equal respet. Never it is used with TÚ.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kristen492872

How do i know where to put usted? Ive got tú down but usted confuses me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gille20

why not "esta usted usando"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spiceyokooko

Because it's wrong!

It's either:

usted usa - you use, or

está usando - you are using


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlejandroQ708823

Your two examples are certainly correct, but I don't believe "está usted usando" is technically wrong, let's call it "taking poetic licence" with your word order. You can say both "Usted está usando el teléfono?" or "Está usted usando el teléfono?" or omit the usted entirely and it still makes sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carol899957

I have just been marked correct for saying, "señor, ¿está usando el teléfono?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max_Anaximenes

Usually in Spanish, unless you've got a specific reason for doing so, you don't break up verb phrases. "Está usando" is the verb phrase, here. If you take either word on its own, it doesn't convey the whole meaning of the action, so it acts as a unit. "Usted" is something else, so it doesn't belong in the verb phrase. In English, we break these up all the time, but in Spanish, I'm pretty sure it's usually avoided, except for, like, specific poetic effect or some such.


[deactivated user]

    I always have the doubt of where to place "usted" in a statement: at the beginning, in the middle or at the end. For example, "usted usa el teléfono" is correct. But why not "usa usted el teléfono" or "usa el teléfono usted"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lunes-martes

    I accidentally typed "uster" instead of "usted" and was shown to be correct. Can anybody explain why?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Big_Boi4

    Duo must have recognized it as a typo. If uster was an actual spanish word it would have been marked as wrong, but since it isn't and uster is fairly close to usted, it was marked as correct anyways.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nathan836856

    I'm not understanding the difference between usa, usas, and usar


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adrram

    Usar = infinitive;

    Usas = (informal) you use; the kind of conjugation that happens with friends, younger family, etc.;

    Usa = he/she use, and (formal) you use, the conjugation you would use with older people, in professional relationships, with teachers and professors, etc.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arturnovo1

    En castellano, la oración correcta sería: Señor ¿está usando el teléfono?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArianaHubb

    I used that phrase and was marked incorrect...I am so confused. I guess because this isn't Castellano Spanish course. Idk


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adrram

    if the English is in present continuous, why would the Spanish solution not be present continuous?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chris960521

    Don't understand this - need better tips or explained better. Keep getting this wrong and not knowing why is frustrating


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raifhaus

    I can't figure out the difference between usa and usar.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vriabkov

    Why isnt it "el señor" here?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelly260081

    Here, you are using "señor" as a formal "you" or as his name, which you don't know--you are talking TO him (Sir, do you need help?). "El señor" would be used if you were talking ABOUT him (El señor necesita ayuda--the 'man' needs help.).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David989563

    Is "ud." a correct word for you? Like tu or usted? I have not been introduced to the meaning of "ud."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SantiagoHy4

    Ud. is the abbreviated form of usted


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arturnovo1

    Ud. = Respet. Tú= familiar


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sandeld

    Castellano doesn't use the "usted" form.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Preston660291

    I am starting to really dislike the word use!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daziegrl411

    Is it wrong to say tu usa el telefono? I mean if you say it as a question doesn't it mean the same thing?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChloeCoate11

    tu always goes with usas - "tu usas" and since you're asking formally (senor/sir) you have say usa - "usted usa". both forms are asking "you" but you use "usted usa" because you are asking someone formally.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martin867839

    I think my question may answer yours actually.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Queen_Ree

    Por que no: "Senor usted eres usar el telephono?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChloeCoate11

    eres es el verbo ser en la forma tu (hay dos problemas alla!). y cuando no tienes "eres" (porque no debes tener "eres"), necesitas conjugar el verbo "usar"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EllaMcC

    So - is this really bad? It wasn't marked wrong, but would anyone actually say it? "Señor, ¿Usa usted el teléfono?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YolandaHed

    Señor , estás usando el telephono


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoeCast030

    A better translation would be... Señor ¿esta usted utilizando el teléfono?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johnvinken1

    I should have used está usando. But you would have made this also wrong


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diet636720

    The choices are wrong. It has boligrafo instead of teléfino.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vibhanshu11

    senor,tu usas el telephono? is it wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MeltheFirst

    Yes, sir - it is wrong because by addressing him as "Señor", you mus conjugate the verb usar formally. Señor, ¿usted usa el teléfono?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GCity2008

    I'll come for you duo


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GCity2008

    AND also because the persistence of the word is wrong in this. One time it show that USE YO, and the other time it says USE USTED

    If U agree with ME! Please Like, if U don't then Dislike


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RamiChalho

    I dont get it y isnt that an "usas" since i m addressing the 2nd person "Tú"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HaleJay

    Why is " usted usa el telefono senor? " wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbdelilahC802732

    Why we can't say ( Senor Usas telefono?)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel354683

    Im having trouble with "usted" what is it's meaning and proper usage?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arosmear

    Can one leave out "usted" and just say "usas el telefono?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kartik725

    Why we don't use usas instead of usa in this sentence.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RainbowRose710

    Why usa? It is not feminine


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seant213

    Can someone explain when to use "usted" at the beginning of a question or the end? Which is more proper / common?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KirstenDeS13

    Why do you use 'usa' and not 'uso'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JakeTheSnakeMan

    Usa = usted/él/ella. Uso = yo. The sentence refers to a señor, which is usted. If you say uso it means I use.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ResiZaini

    My answer is, "señor, usted usa el telefono?" And "señor, usa el telefono usted?" Both are correct. How?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SHOUKATHAY

    can anybody tell me [uso usar usa] means because i got everytime mistake fromm these three words


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RollandSte

    Why bother putting the suggestions there if they gonna be wrong? At least half a dozen times it has suggested the wrong word to me. Why bother if you cant get it right? Kinda hard to learn the language when you teach it incorrectly


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Syd295157

    I am really confused and am either stupid in my interpretation of the hints provided (not my first post) but please clear this problem up for me and I presume many others. I have just deleted a load of cross references but I believe it to be prudent to leave the clarification up to Duolingo and others to complain as well.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David439024

    I don't know that I'll ever understand how this makes sense.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sheila433415

    Senor usted usa el telefono , Senor tu usas el telefono, Senor usas el telefono why are they teaching so many ways to say the same phrase


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martin867839

    Quick question i know you brain bods can help me with. I did tú to begin with, but the answer was actually usted. Is this because starting the sentence with señor makes it formal, rather than personal.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cirago

    This is correct, from what I have seen. When you see "señor" or "señora" it indicates a more formal interaction, so you know you'll want to use usted with your verbs


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/London304423

    HELP i get so mixed up with use. Seriously duolingo


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alex132449

    Why is it usa not uso since its masculine!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tessbuhck

    Because in Spanish the verbs are conjugated according to the subject pronouns and not the gender of the pronoun (just like in English there is no difference between he and she)

    I use You use He/ she/ it useS

    Yo uso Tu usas El/ ella/ usted usa

    However, nouns and their articles are gendered in Spanish.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andi890719

    Why "Señor usted usa el telephono" is not ok?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaterinaMa730853

    The real answer should be "esta usando"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenjaminHa158064

    How do you know if usted is supposed to be in the sentence, sometimes i get a phrase almost exactly like this and inserting usted is wrong


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yakato_da_best

    I think it is always easy to remember the word for phone, since teléfono sounds like telephone! :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oscar241478

    I lost a mark cos usa looks the same as usas


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kashish709029

    Isn't " si, tu usas el teléfono" right?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GCity2008

    BECUZ IT's NOT!! It defys grammar of spanish.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tessbuhck

    How about: "¿Señor estas usando el teléfono?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joanne500195

    Read the comments - if usted (you) is used, why wasn't the verb usas correct?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HW7CS

    Are you penalising for not using a accents now?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johnvinken1

    I wrote this exactly as requested and you corrected me. This is not the first time you made a wrong corrección.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johnvinken1

    That is what I wrote.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RYE810932

    Why usted and not ustedes?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HagerHesham19

    Why we use "usa" with "usted"? Isn't usted a formal way to say " you" so we Use (s) with the verb following? Plz help T_T


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kae486202

    Why is it usa and uso...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/philip400666

    Can someone tell me how this is a question i dont understand that part like i dont see where anything is being asked?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dQP56

    I can't understand [El senor]or[Senor]. Why is mistke [El senor]?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LukaHowell

    What the frick is this?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yordanos235504

    i dont understand this


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ahmad2Azzam

    Can you say this as ¿Señor usas el telefono?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FurkanYiit33143

    why not usted usar ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cheryl384145

    I was marked correct for "usted usa." Is switching the order to "usa usted" also correct? Why or why not?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robertpowe16

    I'm told I 'Leveled up the Weekend Warrior Achievement'. Can anyone advise me what that means and what all the other unusual words like Combo bonus, Wildfire Achievement, Crowns, Lingots and dozens of others mean and what I am supposed to do with them? robertpwr@aol.com


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LukaHowell

    Weekend Warrior means that you did your lessons on the weekend and the Crowns mean that you got more crowns and things like that. If you go into your achievements after it could give you a discription!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Traci116

    Why not, El Senor, tu usa el telefono? She is speaking with him directly.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Traci116

    Why not, "El Senor, tu usa el telefono?" If there is no "El" then it is familiar, yes? So, why usted? She is speaking directly to him, not about him as if he wasnt there.

    This is where i always quit! I cant now, as i am moving to Spain! Please, guidance anyone?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Traci116

    Why isn't it, El Senor, tu usa el telefono? Isn't usted familiar?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Traci116

    I wrote, "El Senor, usted usa el telefono." Why is the El Senor wrong? We do not know there relationship or age. You don’t use the more respectful way if you are unsure?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adrram

    "El señor" is only used in third person.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/b.paul.d

    Where do I use "usted" and where "tu". That's my problem.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Callista_w

    Why is it saying for señor its "usas" when the hint says (ella) is usas, this is not a "she"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ambrose510573

    Someone help me understand the usage of 'usa' and 'usas'. ¿Que is el differente?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ItsLima

    Ugh. Got this wrong again..


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sultana777

    Señor usted esta usando el telefono?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fy5PH2AJ

    Why is Señor, ¿usa usted el teléfono?" also accepted for "Señor, ¿usted usa el teléfono?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/archie3rd

    It assumes advanced Spanish users. We are beginners.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Big_Boi4

    Why would it be usa and not uso?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MeltheFirst

    Hi - correct conjugation is why Uso = yo uso (I use/am using) Usa = él/ella/usted usa He/she/ you (formal) use (is/are using)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beth5391

    Duolingo has not explained when to use "usted" in place of "Tu". Clarification would be appreciated.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tyler345948

    Ok, why is "¿es usted usa.....?" wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ashlin776514

    Whats wrong with "tu usas el telefono" ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurenMatt239577

    why a feminine word usa when the sentence is mostly masculine?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Endalyn

    Instead of senor, usted usa el telefono? Is it right to say senor, usas el telefono?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guilherme411325

    Sir, are you using the telephone?

    why is it wrong "Señor, usted usa el telefono?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/poshykay

    Es ayuda mucho gracias


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sk.sk

    Confusing very confusing


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MyDogNameZues

    This is so hard I never know when and where to use ¨usted¨ in a sentence ;-; ...can someone please help me?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sophieL835

    In Spanish, it's pretty common to use what we'd call the "simple present," or just the "present" tense, moreso than it is in English. That's the "you use" tense, and the "tú usas" one. In English, we'd be more likely to use the present progressive tense, the "you are using" or "tú estás usando" one. While you can use the present progressive in Spanish, it's a lot more likely to sound out of place, or like you're not quite comfortable with the nuances of the language. It's generally used in situations when you really want to emphasize that this is what you're doing right now, maybe in contrast to what you were doing five minutes ago or what you plan to do tomorrow.

    Because of this difference in connotation and usage, it's become quite common and acceptable to translate the Spanish simple present into the English present progressive, and vice versa. Just another little thing that reminds us that different languages are structured differently, and the translations don't always line up perfectly!

    Anyway, I hope this helps!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bzwicks

    Why is "usa usted" rejected? Switching subject and verb order to ask a question is correct isn't it?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GadaphiArc1

    Someone please let me know ehy this is wrong senor usando el telefono


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GadaphiArc1

    Someone please let me know Why this is wrong senor usando el telefono


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marsha731146

    How do you know if you is usted or tu? It is so confusing.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fenneeuk

    Please may somebody explain why the Spanish for this sentence is "Usted usa el teléfono? As opposed to "tú usas el teléfono".

    Under what circumstances do we use the word "usted" as opposed to "tu"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gary186552

    When I studied Spanish in high school 60 years ago, the interrogative form always reversed the subject and the verb? When did it become a mistake? Or is it just a matter of informal colloquial usage?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hellstorm003

    Why it is not tú usas el telefóno?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pixiesgal

    There seems to be an error in this lesson item. It has told me to use "el senor" on several attempts, dont think this is right, el should be prior to telefono. Just tried to use el as first word and now it's back to telling me to use el belore telefono, which is correct. Frustrating, it has marked a correct answer wrong many times now.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria772946

    Senior sometimes is at the beginning an sometimes at the end of the sentense. It doesn't matter what was the structure in english.

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