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  5. "The girls are a little sad."

"The girls are a little sad."

Translation:Las chicas están un poco tristes.

June 12, 2018

55 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tony486857

Las niñas should be acceptable too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Johngt44

July 18. Niñas accepted. We should all date time relevant posts I guess.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

The posts are marked "1 month ago", which seems to be Duolingo's relevant form of timekeeping.


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

Guillermo8330, the phone app lacks those time markers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Ah, I see now. Thanks for being so helpful. I haven't used the app because I do everything (except answer calls and keep my calendar) on my laptop. I know you kids are watching movies on your phones now, but I don't think my ancient eyes could handle that! LOL.


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

LOL! I'm no "kid," but Ahora soy una anciana! I use the app because I can squeeze in a lesson wherever I am, to do more per day. I was taking the "casual level" so slowly, I realized I would never be able to converse before I died if I didn't do 5-6 lessons a day, at least, so am attempting that pace. It is helping to do more at a time; my brain needs a lot of repetition. Hats off to seniors who want to keep learning!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

There are a surprising number of seniors taking this course of study. I seem to remember that this is one of the changes futurists predicted 20 or 30 years ago: that because seniors are living longer, we won't be content to just sit in front of the TV, but will be looking for new challenges to fill the extra decades.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kathy859738

You are sooo right!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bridget-river

Android tablet also doesn't show date.


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

Mine wasn't


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Your WHAT wasn't? We need a little more info if you want a helpful response.


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

I'm pretty sure he was saying that his answer wasn't accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

No, I got that. I was asking "what" response he gave that wasn't accepted. If we knew, one of us might see why.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GiGi458461

I agree with your answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marcy65brown

And las muchachas! Did you use the Report button?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sumatran54

Why can't i put un poco in the end of the sentece instead?

"Las chicas están tristes un poco"


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

I have the same question. I thought un poco is describing tristes so normally that means it goes after, why is it before here?


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

Not seeing an answer to the question why "un poco" cant be at the end of the sentence. Can someone please clarify?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Full disclaimer: I am not a native speaker and I can only speculate here: In Yo estoy un poco triste, un poco triste is a phrase using the indefinite article un and such a phrase (at least with poco) puts the adverb un poco before the adjective it modifies. It's really the same as in English: we would normally say, "I am a little sad." We might say, "I am sad a little", but most of us would recognize that as a peculiar and individual form of expression, not the norm.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pankaj595492

Why can't we use son instead estan here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George_Gibson_77

To distinguish when "estar" is used, you can use this rhyme:

For how you feel and where you are always use the verb estar.

This is about feeling, so you would use están (the verb estar)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

That's really helpful, George, and I am not new to ser and estar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Because that isn't the convention.

If I understand it correctly and when both verbs are the equivalent of the English "to be", "ser" usually indicates permanence while "estar" indicates "at the moment".

To wit: "Yo estoy en California" (because although I've lived here for 35 years, I could be in Arizona in a couple of hours). But "Yo soy de Florida" (because no matter where I roam, I will always be from Florida).

A lot of these usages become matters of convention; so even if I somehow know I will remain in California forever (let's say I'm locked up for life without parole), the verb for current location remains "estar".

IIRC, it's the same with adjectives. Some have come to use estar or ser according to custom and we just have to memorize them (which is why it is GREAT that DL now gives us so many more drills).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

I don't like the way I worded some of the above. In sentences regarding location, forget about permanent v. temporary.

"Estar" is always used to indicate current location, even in a question where that location is unknown. "Yo estoy en California. Tú estás en tu habitación. Él está en la clase. Nosotros estamos en el sótano. El ratón está sobre la mesa. ¿Dónde están ustedes?" Etc.

"Ser" is used for place of origin. "Yo soy de la Florida." (The "la" seems to be optional now.) "Ella es de España." And so forth.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharlesQui671695

Using son instead of estan would convey the feeling that the girls are chronically sad or depressed, which is very different from saying they are sad right now.


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

I said 'las niñas' but it wasn't accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

"Las niñas" should have been accepted. If that was the only error, you should report it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sherry954169

I am having trouble trying to make everthing plural that comes after the subject and verb. I put unas pocas tristes. Help please.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Not everything that comes after subject + verb is SUPPOSED to be plural. In this case, "a little" is an adverb that modifies the adjective. Nothing plural about it. The girls are a little sad. = "Las chicas son un poco tristes."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/driver67

Las chicas están un poco tristes


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Of course. Thanks for the correction. I should have used "estar".


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

Put niñas on 8/12 and it got marked wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charlie6361

Dec. 19, 2018 ninas not accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidWoods4

Las ninas estan un poco tristes


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Not sure what you are saying, David. Do you mean DL finally accepted niñas instead of just chicas? Because users have been reporting the error.


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

why tristes - not tristas??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Tristes is one of those verbs--like interesantes and emocionantes--where there is only one form each of singular and plural and no distinction by gender. (Interestingly, the examples that occur to me have to do with feelings. That may just be a coincidence.)

  • words not verbs. See skepticalways' correction below. Thank you, skeptical!

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

Guillermo8330, Oops - I know you didn't mean "verbs" but meant to type "words," right? Mistakes like that happen to me when my brain gets ahead of my typing thumbs. Ha! ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Absolutely. And, yes, I do it all the times, often substituting something meaningless just because it starts with the same letter. Thanks for the correction.


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

why not' una pocas tristes'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Well, for one thing, since una is modifying pocas, it must also be plural, i.e., unas. (Emphasis added.)

NOTE: I really led you astray here, Michelle. Un poco is an adverb and doesn't change in number or gender to agree with the subject, Las niñas. And tristes is one of those adjectives that doesn't change its gender, just its number.

I am really sorry. Early onset dementia is my only excuse. What you wanted was Las niñas están un poco tristes.


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

Why is it "un poco tristes" and not just "Las niñas están poco tristes"? Is the adjective considered a noun in declaring how someone feels?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

No, it's not a noun. It's an adverb modifying the adjective tristes. Un poco is standard form in both Spanish and English ("a little" in the latter). Adverbs don't change in number or gender. The adjective tristes only changes in number.

Yours is a good question. We don't say "a very sad" or un mucho tristes. I don't know why, but it's curious that it's true in both languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Chicos/as and Niños/as overlap, but they are not precisely the same. Niños/as can be any group of juveniles before the age of adulthood, but is particularly used for preteens. Chicos/as is used for teens (and by teens) and young adults (early to mid-20s).

Muchachos/as is a third choice; my gut response is that it is more analogous to chicos/as, but I don't have any proof of the matter.

The above may not be true in every Spanish-speaking country; but it is true for DL, Cuba, Puerto Rico and México, the cultures with which I am most familiar.


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

Why is tristes plural and poco is male vs female even though the sentence is about girls?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Because poco and tristes--in the prompt sentence--are different parts of speech (or "kinds" of words).

tristes is an adjective, which in Spanish must agree in number and gender. So tristes becomes plural to agree with chicas. (tristes happens to be an adjective that doesn't change gender; if it were like most adjectives, you are right that it would have to be feminine in the prompt.)

un poco is an adverb here. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives (including tristes) and other adverbs. Adverbs do NOT change to agree in number or gender; they generally remain in the masculine/singular form.

(To make matters more confusing--feel free to stop reading now--poco, like mucho, is the rare word that can be an adjective or adverb, depending on context. In the prompt, we know it is an adverb because it modifies the adjective tristes.

A lot of adverbs end with the suffix mente. E.g., Las chicas cantan tristemente. "The girls sang sadly." Poco and mucho obviously do not.)


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

How do we know whether to write ninas or chicas here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Either should be accepted, IMHO. If one choice was marked wrong, report it under "My answer should have been accepted" in the Response Menu.

A third and equally valid choice would be muchachas.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stanny17

April 2020 they did not accept niñas :(


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

At first I thought it was because I used ninas instead of chicas but it underlined ninas to say it's plural because I put triste instead of tristes. Hope this helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeahBecker6

Why not... Las niñas están una pequeña tristes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Pequeña means small in physical size, not limited in intensity.

Or to put it another way, pequeño/a is an adjective; poco/a is an adverb. Adverbs modify adjectives, as a rule. So it's un poca tristes.


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

no guidance provided on when to use niñas vs chicas.... how can one guess what age they are if they are just sad? poorly done


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

If you are just sharing, fine. But if you want to fix the error (and I agree "girls" can be translated as niñas o chicas, depending on context), you have to do so at the response menu available at the prompt itself. DL writers don't read these discussions.

ETA obviously some of we mods DO read these discussions. The point is that the program writers don't necessarily do so, and they rely on all user to report additional correct responses.

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