"Ella solo trabaja dos semanas."

Translation:She is only working two weeks.

June 10, 2018

37 Comments

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daan617064

Isn't "she only works two weeks" a better translation ?

November 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rooker4

Can't you put "only" after the word "is"?

June 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rooker4

I meant to say before.

June 10, 2018

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

She is working only two weeks, She only is working two weeks, She is only working two weeks...what’s the difference? Why aren’t these all correct?

July 9, 2018

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

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?

August 25, 2018

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

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.

November 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rachel220528

I agree, i dont think this is a legit english sentence- she is only working FOR two weeks ?

July 26, 2019

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

It's okay to leave the "for" out when talking about durations. It's informal in many cases, though.

July 26, 2019

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

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.

September 12, 2018

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

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.

December 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/APCLH14

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.

October 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bob46196

How do we know that "solo" means "only" and not "alone, as in "She is working two weeks alone"? It marked the latter wrong.

July 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dugggg
  • 1393

Because "alone" would be sola in this case. Plus you would put it after the verb.

August 17, 2018

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

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."

September 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dugggg
  • 1393

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.

September 12, 2018

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

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?

September 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dugggg
  • 1393

The Real Academia Española is the official keeper of the Spanish language.

Here's that link: http://www.rae.es/consultas/el-adverbio-solo-y-los-pronombres-demostrativos-sin-tilde

September 12, 2018

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

Thank You. Have a lingot!

September 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Audrey67885

I used "working only" also. I believe it should be correct!

July 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dave797731

I don't understand why "She only is working two weeks" is incorrect.

November 23, 2018

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

The "only" looks a bit awkward there. Usually you'd put it after the conjugated verb in a sentence like that.

November 28, 2018

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

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.

December 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariaLourd308985

"She only is working two weeks" is acceptable too.

December 5, 2018

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

Is only vs only is?

January 5, 2019

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

"Is only working" sounds better than "only is working". Generally, adverbs sound better when placed in front of the main verb.

January 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AustinSkin5

Only two weeks out of the year? Must be a Kardashian.

January 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gregorio721167

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.

January 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gregorio721167

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.

January 30, 2019

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

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.

January 29, 2019

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

why not-- She is working only two weeks..

February 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dugggg
  • 1393

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?

February 9, 2019

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

why is solo used instead of sola since the sentence refers to ella?

March 3, 2019

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

Solo is an adverb in this sentence, modifying the verb trabajar. It's not the woman who is "only".

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/doug653423

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

April 22, 2019

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

It wanted "she is only" but i put "she only is" and it rejected it. I believe the wording in english could be either

April 27, 2019

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

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."

May 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jennifer335124

"She only is working two weeks" should be accepted

May 8, 2019
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