1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Sir, are you using the telep…

"Sir, are you using the telephone?"

Translation:Señor, ¿usted usa el teléfono?

June 10, 2018

72 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/Cheryl890158

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve222337

I get where you're coming from Cheryl


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

yes, maybe cuz you dont get progerssive or present tense or whatever


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

It helps a lot. Thanks very much!


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

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


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

In Spanish is the same structure, Doulingo is wrong.


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/Sofie870036

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/BillCowall1

thats what throws me off... I get "you need? is tu necesitaS" and "he needS is el necesita."... for the most part, if the verb ends in S in english, it doesnt in spanish.... but usted goes with 'he/she' and not 'you', thats why the verb is different for the same person at the same time. right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alev285288

Why " usas el teléfono " is wrong?


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

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


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

This is to do with formal and imformal then yes?


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

Ahhhhhh!!! Thanks, Arturnova1!


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.


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/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/Ich_bin_ein_car

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanWitham1

Sometimes Duo accepts typos. If I wrote "cat" instead of "car", it would probably not accept it because "cat" and "car" are both words. "If I wrote "csr" instead of car, it probably would accept it because "csr" is not a word in any language I know. My finger hit the "s" unstead of the letter next to it.


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/ResiZaini

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


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

The correct sentence should be. Señor ¿Usa usted el teléfono?


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

Castellano doesn't use the "usted" form.


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

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


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/Cheryl890158

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/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/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/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/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/SHOUKATHAY

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


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

I am starting to really dislike the word use!


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/tessbuhck

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


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/David439024

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


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/Yakato_da_best

This is for questions, comments, or criticism. This is not a place to purposely make friends or to socialize, I mean if someone answers you and you have the same opinions you can have a conversation, but this is not a place to dully say hi! >:(

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.
Get started