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  5. "¿Cómo se escribe esta palabr…

"¿Cómo se escribe esta palabra?"

Translation:How do you write this word?

June 15, 2018



Why is it "se escribe"? Shouldn't it only be "escribe" or "escribes"?


A more formal translation is "How does one write this word" or "How is this word written". The Duo translation is how English speakers often say the same thing but is not a word for word translation.


The best answer here.


i think "se" is an indirect object. actually "se" is the form of "le/les". when "le/les" is used with a direct object in same sentence, le/les transformed into "se"

but i dont se any reason of using this "se" in this sentence. can anyone literally explain the exact meaning of 'se" in this sentence?


This is passive se construction, which is closely related to "indefinite or impersonal se." These constructions use se + the third-person singular or plural of the verb to deemphasize the subject. The agent phrase is not used in this construction. It can be translated in more than one way. For instance, in this case, "How is this word written?" Se dieron los premios, "the prizes were awarded." Se sabe el motivo, "The reason is known," "you know the reason." My immediate source is Ultimate Spanish Review and Practice, 108-109. Notice that the book covers the constructions at p. 108, which indicates how common these se constructions with passive meaning are in Spanish. Here's a link: https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/impersonal-se-vs-passive-se


thanks. here's a lingot


without the se it would translate to "how does he write this word".


without the se it could also translate to "how do you(usted) write this word.

the difference is the original question is asking how does one write the word( as in how do people generally do it) but the sentence without the se is more like "how do you(specifically you) write it.


i think "se" is an indirect object. actually "se" is the form of "le/les". when "le/les" is used with a direct object in same sentence, le/les transformed into "se"

but i dont se any reason of using this "se" in this sentence. can anyone literally explain the exact meaning of 'se" in this sentence?


"Se" is the generic Reflexive Pronoun.

THIS is not one of its reflexive uses.
It is also not an indirect object.
It is not a direct object either.

THIS is the Impersonal "SE".

It is a way to say things without assigning the statement to any specific person.



It is being used in passive voice or impersonal (the word doesn't really do the writing). You can also translate this as 'spell', but I'm not sure if Duolingo accepts that.


Spell works for me. The meaning remains essentially the same, but I doubt Duo would accept it.


Because escribirse means "to spell"


This answer makes sense to me, escribir is a reflexive verb ie escribir se, so se escribe or he/she writes himself/herself is better grammar.


DL is introducing us here to the way Spanish commonly uses the passive voice construction, as has been noted here in the discussion. Literally, the sentence is "How is this word written?" // ¿Cómo se deletrea esta palabra? "How is this word spelled?" When translated into English, we often remake the sentence in the active voice, hence "How do you write this word?" but in Spanish it is a passive voice construction. Incredibly common.


Would "how is this word written" be an accurate translation?


Yes, that would be a good and literal translation.


"How is this word written?" should be Duo's preferred translation. Or perhaps "How does one write this word?".


In Spanish, the translation of "How do you write this word?", is: "¿Cómo escribes esta palabra?" Where is "tú" in the first Spanish sentence. Who the question is for? The subject is indefinite. Besides, "Se escribe" = "It is written" and "¿Se escribe?" = "Is it written?"; then, "How is it written this word?" or "How this word is written? The meaning of the sentence of Dúo's answer is not the same.


The literal translation of the Spanish sentence is "How is this word written?" Remember that you need the word order "question word - conjugated verb - subject - full verb" in English.

Duo's English sentence is using the "impersonal you". It is not asking about how you, personally, write that word, but how "you", the general population, writes that word.

"If there is a crime happening, you have to call the police." Not only you, but everyone needs to do this.


What word? Given the context I can only assume the person is showing the listener a word already written down.


Thank you!! My sentiments, exactly. Who would ask such a thing.


Just out of interest, coloquially, would one say this for "How do you spell this word"? Or would you use 'deletreas'? Anyone know?


Es lo mismo: ¿Cómo se deletrea esta palabra? // ¿Cómo se escribe esta palabra? Here's a video of a guy using deletrear to talk about spelling abecedario: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7g30kg0sts


Personally I would use escribir here. Deletrear sounds a bit formal, and it specifically means that you want to know the spelling letter by letter.


That makes sense that it's more collequial to use escribir for the reason you give. Gracias


why isn't this "como te escribes esta palabra"?


The meaning of the question is slightly different. In English, we say "how do you write this word" but we are using the word "you" as the general you. It is more correct to say how does one write this word. If you use "te escribes" you are asking how one specific person writes a word, not how the word in general should be written. I hope that makes sense.


The "you" of the English sentence is an impersonal "you". That means it's not about how you, specifically, write the word, but how the general public writes it; how the word is written. Spanish uses a passive form here, which includes the pronoun se.

  • Esta palabra se escribe así. - This word is written like this.
  • (Esta palabra te escribe así. - This word is writing you like this.)


Is this like "spell," as in how do you spell this word?


Yes, it is, and if you look up 'to spell' in a dictionary you will find 'escribir/deletrear'.


"how to write this word" im not english but i heard this many time. why is not acceptable? please correct me if im wrong ( i learnt english by hearing, by myself )


"how to write this word" is a little stilted or awkward but the person saying it would be understood. The way DL gives it, "how do you write this word?" works, as would "how does one write this word?" I mention above that it's a passive voice construction, literally, 'how is this word written?' Buena suerte

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