They sound correct to me but the whole sentence doesn't really explain what she is doing - Has she only started work two weeks ago? Is she only going to work for two weeks and then stop for a bit? Does she only work for two weeks and then quit and find another job?
It wouldn't be the first interpretation. That requires the present prefect tense - "She has been working for two weeks." "Ella he trabajado durante dos semanas."
The others are possible.
I agree, i dont think this is a legit english sentence- she is only working FOR two weeks ?
It's okay to leave the "for" out when talking about durations. It's informal in many cases, though.
Tony, I think that the three sentences you gave could all imply the same meaning in English and could be acceptable translations - especially since we don't have a context in which to interpret the original Spanish sentence. Just remember that some human being has to input all possible translations into the program. When you think your answer is correct, you should report it and eventually the Duo staff will review the report and add more acceptable answers. This is the only way they will build a complete database of all possible translations. They don't read these posts, so you must use the button to report an error. It is a good feeling when you get an email saying that the translation you reported has been added to the database!
If you are concerned about getting a wrong answer, the safest translation will be the one that most closely matches the original sentence, unless it would sound unnatural or incorrect in English. Literal, precise translations are almost always accepted. The most direct, word-for-word translation for "Ella solo trabaja dos semanas" would be "She only works two weeks." I don't know if that is accepted or not. I entered "She is working only two weeks" which was accepted.
While I was taking an English writing class in college, the instructor advised to put adverbs and adjectives as close as possible to the words they modify. This is not an English grammar rule, but rather a suggestion for more effective writing. I put "only" before the "two weeks" because I thought the sentence was referring to the period worked - two weeks as opposed to two years or something. If we put "only" before the verb, it could imply that for two weeks she only worked - e.g., she did not play or sleep or eat. This has nothing to do with this exercise, but I hope that someone might find it helpful when writing in English.
territech: I agree with your last paragraph. It is good practice to place the only immediately before the word or phrase it is meant to modify. There is not often ambiguity despite the location of the modifier, but for clarity it is a good practice to follow.
I think they could all be considered grammatically correct, but as a native English speaker the first two sound a bit odd, especially the second one.
How do we know that "solo" means "only" and not "alone, as in "She is working two weeks alone"? It marked the latter wrong.
Because "alone" would be sola in this case. Plus you would put it after the verb.
According to the following article, this Duolingo sentence contains an error. They meant "sólo" with an accent mark. https://spanish.yabla.com/lesson-Sólo-solo-Only-alone-90
If the meaning of the sentence is that she works alone, I think it would have been Ella trabaja solo por dos semanas. But I am not native Spanish speaker. Maybe it would need to be "sola" in this case to agree with Ella, but to my thinking this would be an adverb qualifying how she works, not an adjective for "ella." In any case, I think the reference is clear that to mean only, it must be "sólo."
It is true that solo here is functioning as an adverb, and in the old days, you were right.
But these days, the RAE says to spell it sólo only when there might be confusion with the adjective. However there is no such confusion here---because of ella.
Now with él there would be, because then it could also mean "He alone is working two weeks."
Personally I try to use solamente instead of sólo wherever possible.
I guess that just proves one can't believe what is read on the Internet - no matter how solid the reference seems to be. I'm not familiar with RAE - can you provide a link?
The Real Academia Española is the official keeper of the Spanish language.
The "only" looks a bit awkward there. Usually you'd put it after the conjugated verb in a sentence like that.
I agree RyagonIV. Duolingo often places words like only and sólo in the incorrect position where it modifies a word other than the one intended.
"Is only working" sounds better than "only is working". Generally, adverbs sound better when placed in front of the main verb.
In the above example, shouldn't solo be sólo (or solamente)? My understanding is that solo/a/os/as is an adjective and sólo/solamente are adverbs. Thanks, Greg H.
Great to see so much discussion on this issue and the variety of ways people are interpreting this sentence. Thanks too, to RyagonIV. Best Wishes, Greg H.
Since a few years ago, the RAE recommends to not use the accent for sólo anymore, unless you need to resolve ambiguity. Now "solo" is the official spelling for both the adjective and the adverb.
I think there are subtle differences between
- is only working
- only is working
- is working only
When I see solo before a verb, I translate it as just or merely. Indeed, She is just working two weeks is accepted. It's all about her work ethic---put up with her for the two weeks, then she'll be gone!
The second example is the polar opposite: working is all she is doing, day in and day out, with no time for sightseeing, partying, etc.
Your third example is subtly different than the first in that it implies her time here is too short. Perhaps she is a visiting expert, and we need to take advantage of her presence during those two weeks. In Spanish I would not rely on solo to get this point across---maybe únicamente?
Solo is an adverb in this sentence, modifying the verb trabajar. It's not the woman who is "only".
The simple solution is "she is only working for two weeks" and then it dies t matter of she is taking a rest , quitting or contracted for two weeks- and more importantly much better English grammar
It wanted "she is only" but i put "she only is" and it rejected it. I believe the wording in english could be either
Normally if you use an adverb together with a verb construction that uses an auxiliary (like "is buying", "has helped", "can do", etc.), you place the adverb after that auxiliary (so "is really buying", "has occasionally helped", "can only do").
If you say "She only is working", it makes it sound like you're putting focus on the "is", usually to contrast it to another verb. That doesn't work too well with "to be", though. "She only is working, never was."