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  5. "Do you feel happy?"

"Do you feel happy?"

Translation:¿Te sientes feliz?

June 17, 2018



I love this thread and its helpful but could someone please explain to me what reflexive means or how to tell the word or sentence is reflexive? Please.


Reflexive means that object of the verb (what the verb is done to) is the same as a subject of the verb (the person doing the verb). Think about how a mirror "reflects."

Now, certain verbs in Spanish must have an object. Many of these are 'grooming' words (shower, etc.) but "sentir" is also one of these words. That is, it must have an object. Now, since you feel your own emotions, the object of feel will also be "you", te. (The reflexive pronouns are special. me, te, se, nos, se.) Without the pronoun (in this sentence, "te") the sentence doesn't make sense in Spanish.

Similar things happen in English. If I just say, "Let me introduce..." the sentence sounds incomplete. Introduce WHO!? I need to have an object, so I might say, "Let me introduce myself." the -self words are reflexive pronouns in English.

Now, you also asked how to know if a word/sentence is reflexive in Spanish. You can tell if a pronoun is reflexive by its form (the ones I listed above). If a verb has the same subject and object (in the above sentence, "TE sientES feliz," the "te" is the object and "ES" shows the subject, and they are the same person, so it is reflexive. If you are creating a sentence and want to use a verb, you just have to memorize what Spanish verbs are reflexive--that's the only way.


That was one of the best and complete answers I've ever seen, thanx.


@Nick_Pr and interested readers

Excellent post.

If you are creating a sentence and want to use a verb, you just have to memorize what Spanish verbs are reflexive--that's the only way.

I want to clarify something that Nick could have elaborated on and clarified this aspect himself if he had more time to write about every aspect of the topic. This verb that we are discussing, sentir, is not necessarily always used reflexively.

the conjugated verb is transitive:
Sentimos mucha alegría al enterarnos.
― We were very happy to hear about it.

Sentimos mucha pena al enterarnos.
― We were very sorry to hear about it.

― to find out; (other meanings can be found in the dictionary)


sentir not reflexive sentirse reflexive


Thanks Nick, this helps to understand a bit difficult grammar of Spanish.


That is a huge help. Thanks


Absolutely helpful thank you so much!


Why does tu not work?


Evelyn, 'tu' (without the accent) is a possessive adjective meaning your. Don't confuse this with 'tú' (with an accent) which is the subject pronoun meaning you. In this sentence the verb used is actually reflexive (sentirse) meaning that the subject and object of the verb is the same. Reflexive verbs always use the indirect object pronoun (me, te, le, nos, os, les).


Whoa! That is the best explanation I have ever seen.


How are 'le, les, and os' used?



Reflexive verbs always use the indirect object pronoun (me, te, le, nos, os, les).

No, reflexive verbs do not use indirect object pronouns. Reflexive verbs use reflexive pronouns. These two pronoun classifications are different to each other in the third person.

Pronoun Charts


Why do you put "quote:" and "unquote"? Isn't the ">" character enough?


What is the difference between "feliz" and "contento". Duo says they both mean happy, but when should I use one and not the other?


So it accepts, "¿Se siente contento?" I assume it will accept, "¿Se siente contenta?"
Which leaves me wondering what the difference between, "feliz," and, "contento/a," is.
Is it really like English and, "contento/a," means, "contented," or is this just another false cognate?


I think it is similar to English where 'contento/a' is not as strong as 'feliz' (like you stated: contented and happy respectively). Not a false cognate this time.


Probably. It seems strange that Duo is saying that, "contento/a," means, "happy." Contented is a bit like happy, but not really the same.
Oddly, the definition here: https://dictionary.reverso.net/spanish-english/contento doesn't mention the English word, "contented," but SpanishDict does: http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/contento


Granted the two English words have slightly different contextual meanings however they are sometimes considered synonyms (even in English). I always think of that 'content' feeling one gets after a really good meal (definitely a happy feeling).

What is really important here is how Spanish treats its two words. Most sources I've seen treat 'contento' as a lesser form of 'feliz'. Either of which could mean 'happy'.


Do you have to include the 'te'?


Yes. sentirse = to feel an emotion, internal feeling

me siento bien = I feel well, fine
te sientes mal = you feel ill
se siente feliz = he feels happy
nos sentimos cansados = we feel tired
se sienten tristes = they feel sad


Does the paid version explain any of this?


Thank you. I read the tips multiple times, and some things just aren't sticking, or they don't make sense to me. Thanks again.


I used contento instead of feliz and it was wrong. Both mean happy.


what is the difference between the words contento and feliz in spanish. I keep getting them wrong.


Thank you Nick_Pr, for explaining Reflexive verb.


Is it me, or all if a sudden the class is using many words we are not familiar with


Usted siente Feliz... Why is this wrong?


I believe that would translate as though you physically feel "happy" with your fingers. To reflect an emotion, the sentence would need to be "Usted se siente feliz."


Because the verb is a reflexive one, so it has to have me, te, se etc before it - like levantarse or vestirse


"Feliz" or "contento/contenta"?


Does that mean se and te are always used to express emotion?


Here, they are objects of "sienter".


You mean sentir(se).


Was shown this alternate translation:

¿Se siente alegre?

This is a great Comments thread here. Some really informative material about Spanish being shared, and not a single useless word about how to say stuff in English!


Thank you Nick. A lingot for you.


I try so hard and all of a sudden some new article of some kind shows up....like Tu te? Te? What the hell is that? GROAN.

  • 2293

They're not articles, they're pronouns.

Tú is the subject pronoun: "Tú caminas." As a subject pronoun, it is generally optional.

Te is the direct object pronoun: "Yo te amo." It must come right before the verb.

In Spanish, emotions are expressed as reflexive verbs. "Te sientes feliz" is literally "You feel yourself happy", to distinguish it from feeling other things, like cats.


Por que feliz and not contento??????????????????????????


Why not consada?


consada = tired


Why is "tú se siente contento?" not work?

It says Ud. which I assume is short for Usted???


Because you have "tú" at the beginning of the sentence. You cannot mix tú and usted.

  • 2293

It's either "(tú) te sientes contento/a" or "(usted) se siente contento/a". You can't mix and match.


I have nothing to comment. I just want this thread to come up in my email bc of all the great info in it.

  • 2293

Just subscribe to the conversation by licking "Follow Discussion" at the top of the page.


In my App there is no blue button and no follow discussion option.

  • 2293

Have you tried using the actual website?


Would ¿estás te sientes feliz? be correct? I understand that the estás is not necessary but thought it would still be ok.

  • 2293


First of all, "are you feeling" would be "estás te sintiendo". It shows up better in the 3rd person, so I'll illustrate that way. What you said was "Does he feels?"

Second, Spanish does not use the continuous aspect nearly as much as English does, and when it's used, it's not in the same contexts as in English. 97% of the time, English simple and continuous is best translated in to Spanish as simple.


I wrote haga te sientes feliz. Why is this wrong?

  • 2293

Spanish does not use do-support to conjugate its verbs the way English does. Even if it did, you said "Does you feel."



... Even if it did, you said "Does you feel."

Huh? Maybe I don't get it. Are you telling Cheryl that her Spanish sentence structure and composition are incorrect in the same way that the Duolingo English sentence becomes incorrect if we replace the English word, "Do" with the English word, "Does"? Is this your point?

Duolingo English sentence:
Do you feel happy?

Compare with the English analogy that was discussed by Rae.F:
Does you feel happy?

  • 2293

Yes. "Haga" is the 3rd person singular present subjunctive conjugation of "hacer".


So even if Spanish did use do-support to conjugate its verbs (which it does not, that's fairly unique to English), it would have had to be the 2nd person singular present indicative "haces".



As already noted by Rae.F, it appears that you were attempting to insert an auxiliary verb into your Spanish sentence.

Here is a link. Perhaps you are interested in reading a few paragraphs regarding the topic of Auxiliary Verb Omission when asking questions in Spanish.


How do we define the familiar from the question??

  • 2293

You can't because there is no clarifying context. That's why either way ought to be accepted. If it's not, flag it and report "My answer should be accepted."


That's why either way ought to be accepted.

Do you feel happy?
¿Te sientes feliz? (informal)
¿Se siente feliz? (formal)


I wrote "Sientes feliz" and got wrong why?

  • 2293

Because "sentirse" is reflexive. You need "te sientes feliz" to mean you are experiencing the internal emotion of happiness. Otherwise "sientes feliz" means you are using your hands to feel a physical object called "feliz".


I did not have an issue with translating this sentence but am curious if feliz was used insted of contento/a because the subject is not identified as male or female.

  • 2293

No, that has nothing to do with it. The course contributors would include both "¿Te sientes contento?" and "¿Te sientes contenta?" as entries in the prompt's answer database.

"Feliz" and "contento/a" are not perfect synonyms.






Do "you feel happy" can not be trabslated as "sientes feliz"? The "te" needs to be added always?

  • 2293

Internal feelings/emotions require the reflexive "sentirse" and therefore "you feel happy" must always be "te sientes feliz".



The Spanish word, "feliz," is an adjective. It is not a noun. If you are determined to create a Spanish sentence without using reflexive Spanish, then you are going to need to use a noun (direct object) instead of an adjective (feliz) in your Spanish sentence.

Instead of functioning as a reflexive verb, the verb, sentir, functions as a transitive verb in the next example. On the other hand, it is much more common for this verb to be used reflexively for the purpose of describing internal feelings.

El atleta dijo que sentía alegría y satisfacción por el logro del campeonato.
― The athlete said he felt joy and satisfaction about the attainment of the championship.

another online example of sentir in the role of a transitive verb:
Ella sentía alegría en su corazón.
― She felt joy in her heart.


Siente or sientes. Whu

  • 2293

Tu te sientes
Usted se siente


Can I not say Tu te sientes feliz? What makes that incorrect?


Yes, you can!


why it isn't "tu te sientes feliz"?


Your answer is correct too. It's just that only one version of the answer can be displayed at a time.



It's just that only one version of the answer can be displayed at a time.

The fact that only one version of the answer can be displayed at a time is besides the point. The real point is that Duo made a mistake. And whenever Duo makes a mistake, it needs to be reported.

You are misinforming people when you tell them that it is just ... (nothing to worry about)


What's the mistake then? I thought the other person was just wondering why the displayed answer wasn't what they expected. They didn't say their answer was marked wrong. (Or I am misreading it.)



I must admit that you and I have no way of being sure about how to interpret the post by Abdo_Missoumi. So maybe I am the one who has misinterpreted the post by Abdo_Missoumi instead of you.

If I find out that Duo did not mark the answer wrong, then I will wish I would have kept my mouth shut.


True. It's okay though, I understand.


A lot of people have explained that this sentence's subject and object are the same. I don't understand how. Because subject is you and object is happy


The subject is "tú", it's optional to write it. And the object is "te". They both refer to the familiar first person singular "you".

(Tú) te sientes feliz

  • 2293

This sentence has no object. "Happy" is the subject complement.


Why not "Estas sientes feliz?"

  • 2293

A few reasons.

You don't conjugate verbs like that. It's the equivalent of "he is feels". That would need to be "estás sintiendo".

Spanish does not use the progressive aspect the same way English does. You mostly use it to emphasize that something is actively in the process of happening right now. And that's not really appropriate for this verb.

Sentirse is reflexive. You need the direct object pronoun "te".

¿Te sientes feliz?


Why did it accept contento in the previous lesson, but mark it wrong here?

  • 2293

Each prompt has its own database of answers, which the volunteer course contributors manually curate. There are bound to be oversights and inconsistencies between prompts. If you are 100% positive that your answer is valid and typo-free, go ahead and flag it before moving on and report "My answer should be accepted."


Thank you so much for your prompt and helpful answer. C.


I thought quieres was "do you" this is what you taught me in the last lesson. Oh no, I get it, we have to guess someone's life story from one sentence.


No, "quieres" is "(you) want". And since "quieres" implies that the subject is "tú" it can be omitted. In a form of a question, "quieres" means "do you want".


I was wrong and it told me this was right. ( I copied and pasted this here) ¿Te sentís feliz? TE SENTIS????? wHAT THE HEY!?

  • 2293

That is a strange error. "Sentís" is the vosotros form. What exactly was your answer?



@Rae.F @rooseveltnut2

It is more pertinent to the issue that rooseveltnut2 is describing if we post a link to the conjugation of the reflexive verb.


Using my link, everyone can see the evidence that Duo made a mistake. This needs to be reported. But in order to report this problem to Duolingo, it is necessary to enter an incorrect answer when doing this exercise.

Therefore I have the same question as Rae.F

Which incorrect answer did rooseveltnut2 enter in order to prompt Duo to present the strange error?


I have ao much to learn, but thank you, and wow, that helped so much!


Are you replying to someone's comment?


Also want this in my email.

  • 2293

So click the big blue button at the top of the page that says "FOLLOW DISCUSSION".


Here we go again. Im typing the CORRECT answer and duo wont accept it. FIX THIS POR FAVOR

  • 2293

This user forum is for learners to help each other understand the lesson. This is not the place to leave feedback for the course contributors.

However, if you want insights into possible reasons you were marked wrong, please copy and paste what you wrote into your comment so that we can see it for ourselves.



We (students) only have a small window of opportunity to do a report. Reports must be done at the same time that we do the exercise.


how is it tat you can use duo own translation and get it wrong


G. A 99 v. C. A.


X3 zz,,f,, c ,okz ,x , zdx


O. 9x c9xllf r3

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