"How many students are studying in the library?"
Translation:¿Cuántos estudiantes estudian en la biblioteca?
Esudian = (they) study
If you read it literally, it says "how many students study in the library", but because of the oddness of spanish tenses, it kind of also means "how many students are studying in the library". If you want to imply that they are studying at this very moment, i think there's a different tense for that.
estudian = "study" (3rd person plural form) or "are studying" or "do study"
This is because in English we use "are studying" a lot more than "están estudiendo". We even use "are studying" for the near future. The English simple present is usually used for habitual action, so we actually use our simple present a lot less than the Spanish simple present.
The verb form “son” which is a form of “ser” is not used to form the Spanish progressive tense. The form you are probably looking for is “están estudiendo”, but it is used less than the present continuous in English, only for something currently in progress at this moment. More often our English present continuous will translate to the Spanish simple present. https://www.thoughtco.com/ways-spanish-english-verb-tenses-differ-3079929
...which is only used if you are actually in the library at this moment studying. We use the English present continous for ongoing things that we are doing even if we are not doing them at this moment and even for the near future - both of which uses require the Spanish simple present. https://www.thoughtco.com/ways-spanish-english-verb-tenses-differ-3079929
Both “son” and “están” mean “are” for use by “ellos”, “ellas” or “ustedes”, but they are not interchangeable. There are rules for when to use each.
“Están estudiando” would be the Spanish progressive form of the verb if they were actually studying right at this very moment, otherwise the other uses of “are studying” would be translated by the Spanish simple present “estudian”.
Forms of “estar” are used to give locations of people and places, forms of ”ser” are used for the location of an event or to give identifying information about someone or something. Who you are uses “ser” and how you are uses “estar”.
That would be “están estudiando” and it is one possible translation to Spanish for something that is happening right at this moment. If you wanted to count everyone, including those who just walked into the library and are still getting their books out, then you would use the simple present in Spanish even though we would prefer the English continuous form. https://www.thoughtco.com/ways-spanish-english-verb-tenses-differ-3079929
They use the Spanish simple present much more often then we use our English simple present. So there is not a one-to-one correspondence. This translation is correct. https://www.thoughtco.com/ways-spanish-english-verb-tenses-differ-3079929
The English present continuous “They are studying “ can be translated most of the time as the Spanish simple present “Ellos estudian” or “Estudian” and only if the activity is actually at this moment in progress then it can be translated as “Ellos están estudiando” or “Están estudiando”.
Thank you for so much info. If i were to use the verb incorrectly to a native spanish speaker, would they understand what I'm trying to say enough that I could be corrected or is the verb missused in a way it would confuse them? I'm just wondering how much I should worry about improperly conjugating a verb. Thanks.
The hints are the same for the word for all sentences. There is probably a different sentence that it might work for, just like a dictionary will have more than one meaning for a word, but you have to pick the best fit for the sentence. Which word were you talking about?
bookstore = librería
in Latin America bookcase = librería, librero in Mexico, estanteria also means bookcase
library = biblioteca
The form "están estudiando" is also correct when translating from English, but it would only be used if you are in the middle of studying at this moment. The form "estudian" can mean "They study", "They do study" and "They are studying". https://www.thoughtco.com/ways-spanish-english-verb-tenses-differ-3079929
"estandiando" does not exist.
Only if all the students are feminine, but the word for students is actually the same for both genders, even masculine or mixed groups with at least one male. The word "Cuántos" tells us that it is not an all female group. https://dictionary.reverso.net/english-spanish/student
If you were translating from English and "Cuántas" was not accepted, try reporting it as also correct.
What was your entire sentence? "están estudiando" is also correct. https://www.thoughtco.com/ways-spanish-english-verb-tenses-differ-3079929
No, we cannot translate word by word. We translate the use of the English present continuous tense here with the use of the Spanish simple present. https://www.thoughtco.com/ways-spanish-english-verb-tenses-differ-3079929