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  5. "Is the café next to the rest…

"Is the café next to the restaurant?"

Translation:¿El café está al lado del restaurante?

June 12, 2018



Again, when do you use del and al?

November 2, 2018


I still don't understand when i should use "al" versus when I should use "del"! Anyone have a simple explanation for this?

January 26, 2019


Hey stediagirl, I just grabbed this off a search: https://www.fluentu.com/blog/spanish/spanish-contractions/ And this one: https://www.spanish.cl/grammar-rules/contractions-al-del.htm I read through them and I really think the first one has a super easy explanation, but some may prefer the second.

January 26, 2019


I get how the contractions themselves work, but I must be really dense, because I'm still not getting why de+el (del) is correct here, rather than a+el (al). Your first link confirms that6 De = of, al = to. The cafe is next to the restaurant, not next of the restaurant. So why not "al lado al restaurante"?

July 30, 2019


Dimanche & Bontano, I think it's because lado actually means side, not next. So, it would be to the side of the or al lado del. I could be wrong, but that's my interpretation of it. I hope it helps.

August 23, 2019


Can someone please answer his question? Because i have the same? Why is "al restaurante" marked wrong?

August 23, 2019


The difference is by the literal translation.

Al is combining to(a) + the(el) to make 'al'. Del is combining of (de) + the (el) to make 'del'.

El café está al lado del restaurante? =

The cafe is to the (al) side of the (del) restaurant.

I wish Duolingo would have taught that al lado meant 'to the side' rather than 'next to'. It probably would have cleared up some confusion with usage of certain prepositions.

September 20, 2019


Why can't it be "Esta el cafe" rather than "El cafe esta"?

September 11, 2018


Can a native speaker tell us whether you'd never begin with "Esta"?

September 23, 2018


in spanish the word placement dosen't change as far as asking a question and making a statement. you just turn a statement into a question simply by adding a question mark. no need to switch the word order. so Está cerrado. = It's closed. ¿Está cerrado? = Is it closed? for this exercise in particular the same thing applies. start with the statement sentence first. that's how I do it and it makes it easier to form the question sentence. hope that helps.

September 8, 2019


I used: El cafe esta al lado el restaurante, and got it wrong why?

August 10, 2018


Al lado doesn't literally translate to "next to" it means "to the side", so you need to make your "el" in front of restaurant into a "del". That way you're saying "to the side of the restaurant" instead of "to the side the restaurant"

August 25, 2018


Thank you Sarah! Great explanation!

November 8, 2018


Nice explanation, Sarah. Gracias.

January 16, 2019


So, it seems the most accurate translation of 'next to' is 'cerca de' instead of 'al lado'. Correct?

July 12, 2019


I would not agree. For 'al lado' you are saying that something is literally next to the object. Using 'cerca de' you are saying it is close to or nearby the object which can leave the actual location up to interpretation

Vivo cerca de la escuela de mi hijo. I live near my son's school. (I could still be a few blocks away)

Los mensajes estan al lado de mi computadora. The messages are to the side of my computer.

September 20, 2019



October 13, 2019, 7:02 PM


The gave the same answer an got it wrong, as well. This, even though it was the same as the sentence they showed as the correct answer.

August 20, 2018


¿Está la cafetería al lado del restaurante? is also correct.

November 25, 2018


why del?

June 15, 2018


Del is a contraction of 'de' and 'el'. The literal translation of the sentence in English is "The cafe is to the side of the restaurant?"

July 12, 2018


Esta el cafe al lado del restaurante? Why is this marked wrong?

October 4, 2018


Durasplice, in a previous example, a speaker of Castilian Spanish for 70 years said they commonly use the verb first, & to report it as correct word order also.

However, Duo is teaching it with the subject first in questions, as if a person is asking if they heard you (or remember) correctly, like: "The cafe is next to the restaurant(, right)?" The voice inflection should go up at the end of an inquiry, but Duo speakers don't always do that correctly, making us only aware it is a question by the punctuation.

As for the use of cerca, "near" can mean "close" like, 1) snuggled up like a cat, 2) within reach, hearing, or feeling, like sitting close to a fireplace, or close to the radio, or close to the biscuits, so you make sure you get some! Or 3) across the street, like a place to park your car when shopping, or within walking distance, like the hotel is near the park. So, lado is more specific than cerca.

I believe del is used with cerca in Duo's examples because in English they translate as "within a certain unspecified distance OF, whereas al is being used with lado as being "next TO the subject. Ex: Ella está lado al hombre alto.

Native speakers or those more experienced than I am, feel free to correct me so I will learn, also, if I have made any wrong assumptions.

That said, I think your translation had a few other errors (but it is not visible to me on my phone app when I start my reply). I think you 1) forgot the accent on está, (so Duo sees your word esta, which is the feminine of "this,") 2) put an extra del or al in your sentence near the subject, and 3) used del when you needed to use al, and visa-versa.

Duo is trying to teach us these differences, that "near" is not as exact of a description as "next to/to the side of," so when you see lado, think "side." (I haven't tried to use "beside," which I think of when describing a store or building directly abutting, or "next door to," a place.)

Sorry this turned out to be so long; I know beginners will probably skip my answer, but I tried to address each mistake.

October 21, 2018


I think this is a great explanation. Thanks. I have copied it to my Spanish file of things to know!!

July 17, 2019


Durasplice, after my long answer, I see yours again and it looks as if you are simply trying to say, "Is the cafe to the side of the restaurant?" But there are some fine points, making yours say more like "Is the cafe- to the - the side of - of the restaurant?" I tried to parse it out in my longer answer, so I hope you will see this one first!.

October 21, 2018


I learn a little each day. I now know more than the 1st day I started. There are people on this program that are such linguist. I have an appreciation for their talent. Thanks for the information.

October 22, 2018


This is driving me to the point of giving up. AL means TO THE. So why not al lado al restaurante. I just can't get a handle on this. I read the comments, made notes and still get it wrong. Doesn't make any sense to me. Very discouraging.

August 4, 2019


Please read Sarah's really easy explanation. I used to get so angry with myself, but heck...nobody is forcing me to learn this new-to-me language. I'm here voluntarily, and I hope you don't get entirely discouraged. The best we can hope for is to get the best translation that is quite often only the expression of an idea across and not a word for word translation. Hang in there, Barometrix! We're all in this together!

August 5, 2019


Answer: You used the wrong word. ¿Está el café después del restaurante?

Why "despues" and not "al lado"

June 12, 2018


I chose proximo and got it wrong. It suggested 'junto' or 'lado' which I agree are probably more clear/literal... but is proximo totally wrong? Is proximo only used in reference to non-tangible things like "next day" or "next in line"?

August 6, 2018


Proximo (accent over the first o) means "next" when used for things in an order or "near" when used for location. I don't think that it can be used as a substitute for 'next to'.

August 7, 2018


I recall the sentence "El gato duerme cerca…" which was given as "The cat sleeps next to..." So why is "cerca" wrong in this sentence?

August 22, 2018


No clue! I tried "proximo" and that doesn't work either

August 23, 2018


Why do questions read like statements

November 2, 2018


Excellent! Thanks Sarah39219

June 8, 2019


Why did I get this wrong? ¿El café está al lado del restaurante?

June 24, 2019


I used: esta a lado and got it wrong - - then used: esta al lado, and got that wrong too - im confused!

June 29, 2019


The prompt has junto along with al lado....but junto is wrong.....why?

July 8, 2019


What makes this so hard to get hold of?

July 24, 2019


Still don't get it.

July 24, 2019


I don't think I will ever use that phrase.

July 24, 2019


Hi David! A few posts down from the top of this page, Sarah gave a nice simple way to understand this sentence. I hope it helps you, too!

July 25, 2019


Ooops! I see the mistake on my part!!

September 18, 2019
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