1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Do you feel happy?"

"Do you feel happy?"

Translation:¿Te sientes feliz?

June 17, 2018

126 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sherie348622

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.


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

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.


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhillipMcN2

@Nick_Pr and interested readers

Excellent post.

quote:
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.
unquote

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.

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark-learns

sentir not reflexive sentirse reflexive


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mikecor26

Absolutely helpful thank you so much!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aya253771

Thank you so much! Now it make sense to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TMKitty102

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidDavid79280

Exact same words in Portuguese. Feliz is mostly used for happy. Contento is used for satisfied, pleased, ok with it, or kind of chill.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/evelyn264159

Why does tu not work?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael307373

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).


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

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhillipMcN2

@Michael307373

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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AVAX3M
  • 1364

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dawn600322

I never noticed that before (tu with accent and tu without accent)!


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

Do you have to include the 'te'?


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kama410

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael307373

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kama410

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael307373

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'.


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EcmFGX3M

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neetaa1

Usted siente Feliz... Why is this wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christophe2972

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."


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/evelyn264159

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


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

Here, they are objects of "sienter".


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

You mean sentir(se).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christina80OH

Does the paid version explain any of this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christina80OH

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanFlanag16

"Feliz" or "contento/contenta"?


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

What is the difference between Tú, Te, and Ti?


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

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daziegrl411

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhillipMcN2

@Rae.F

quote:
... Even if it did, you said "Does you feel."
unquote

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

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

https://www.spanishdict.com/conjugate/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".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhillipMcN2

@Cheryl890158

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HP.1976

I wrote "Sientes feliz" and got wrong why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

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".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chiquita520248

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhillipMcN2

@Chiquita520248

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sue397895

Usted tu siente feliz...why not right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

As explained elsewhere on this page, "sentirse" is reflexive.

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27679999?comment_id=40598205


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmyBanks6

Why not consada?


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

consada = tired


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimBruggem2

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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JDY4mk

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

No.

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bill917195

How do we define the familiar from the question??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

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."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhillipMcN2

quote:
That's why either way ought to be accepted.
unquote

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rooseveltnut2

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

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

https://www.123teachme.com/spanish_verb_conjugation/sentir


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhillipMcN2

@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.

https://www.123teachme.com/spanish_verb_conjugation/sentirse

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mrsc14

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

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.

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/33564195/Feliz-vs-Contento

https://www.spanishdict.com/answers/243180/feliz-vs.-contento

https://www.spanishdict.com/answers/245602/whats-the-difference-between-feliz-and-contento-if-they-both-are-translated-as-happy

https://www.spanishdict.com/answers/253181/alegre-contento-feliz


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

Siente or sientes. Whu


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

Tú te sientes
Usted se siente


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AVAX3M
  • 1364

Yes, you can!


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AVAX3M
  • 1364

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhillipMcN2

@AVAX3M

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

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)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AVAX3M
  • 1364

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.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhillipMcN2

@AVAX3M

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AVAX3M
  • 1364

True. It's okay though, I understand.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Niti717

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AVAX3M
  • 1364

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

"Happy" is the subject complement. The direct object here is "te" because "sentirse" is reflexive. "Do you feel yourself [to be] happy?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArnieRoss777

Why not "Estas sientes feliz?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/C.N.McKinn

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

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."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/C.N.McKinn

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaysAndMints81

Why not 'tu te sientes contento?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

Because "feliz" and "contento" are not interchangeable.

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27679999?comment_id=35643153


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zizi1758

My answer was' estas te siente feliz' but it was wrong can someone explain why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

That's "are you feels happy".

Only the first verb in a clause can be conjugated. The next needs to be either the infinitive or gerundive. A literal translation of "Are you feeling happy?" is "¿Te estás sintiéndo feliz?" But just as in English, that form is not really used.

"Siente" is the 3rd person (él/ella/usted). You can't mix-and-match. It's "Tú te sientes" or "Usted se siente". The infinitive is "sentir"

Spanish does not use the present progressive the same way we do in English. 95% of the time, both the simple present and the present progressive in English can be translated as the simple present in Spanish, and 95% of the time, the simple present in Spanish can be translated as either the simple present or the present progressive in English, depending on which is more appropriate to the context.

Generally in Spanish, the progressive aspect is reserved for when something is actively happening right now and you need to emphasize the fact that it's happening right now. And this is not something that generally takes the progressive aspect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AVAX3M
  • 1364

"Te sientes" already means "(do) you feel", so adding "estás" makes it grammatically incorrect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heena751055

Why te instead of tú?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AVAX3M
  • 1364

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

It's not "instead of". sentirse is reflexive. You can say "Tú te sientes feliz" (although that adds a bit of emphasis--the subject pronoun is usually dropped) or you can say "Te sientes feliz".

https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/reflexive-verbs-and-reflexive-pronouns


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bob336415

Can 'te sientes' also be phrased as 'sientete?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

No. The infinitive is "sentirse", but the conjugated form must put the object pronoun before the verb.

https://www.123teachme.com/spanish_verb_conjugation/sentirse


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnabethCh637237

can someone tell me if saying "tu sientes feliz" is fine. And if not what id the difference between te and tu.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

Sentirse is reflexive (sentir + se). Internal feelings and emotions need to be reflexive, or else it sounds like you're literally touching it with your hands.

Tu is the possessive adjective. We're not using it here. Tú is the subject pronoun and is always optional. Te is the object pronoun and is required here.

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27679999?comment_id=27680000

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27679999?comment_id=27947902

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27679999?comment_id=34692583

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27679999?comment_id=34388762

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27679999?comment_id=40110556


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CathyGrace2

Can we say “¿sientes feliz?”


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

Not unless you're physically touching the 3D-printed word "feliz". Emotions and internal sensations are reflexive. It needs to be "¿Te sientes feliz?"


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

Okay, where'd I go wrong? I typed "A ti te sientes feliz? Isn't 'sentir' a reflective verb?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

Yes "sentirse" is reflexive. But it is intransitive. You feel yourself, but you're not feeling to yourself.


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

Okay, I kind of get what you said. Sorry, just having a brain lapse at the moment. I found this which I'll have to add to my "Tips" document to help me clarify - perhaps it might help someone else too: A transitive verb is one that is used with an object: a noun, phrase, or pronoun that refers to the person or thing that is affected by the action of the verb. An intransitive verb does not have an object.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

I had my own brain lapse when I wrote that comment and some of what I said is not quite right.

It is transitive, hence the reflexive pronoun: feel oneself. But for some reason, verbs of feeling don't use "a ti" etc. At least, I've never seen it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

Okay, brain lapse has passed.

In constructions like "A ti te gusta los perros", "gustar" is actually intransitive. It means "to be pleasing to". "Le" is an indirect object pronoun.

"Sentir" is transitive, which is exactly why it does not take "a ti".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IamMe84

Ive never seen or heard Te before and its not underlined so there is no definition. Can anyone help?


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

Why is "Tu se sientes contento" incorrect? Whats the difference between "feliz" and "contento"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

"Se" is the 3rd person reflexive pronoun. You need tú te sientes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jean30164

I don't understand when you use feliz and when you use contento


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

why not Tu se sientes feliz?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2802

"Se" is the reflexive pronoun for él/ella/usted/ellos/ellas/ustedes. You need "te".


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

contenta/contento marked as wrong MÖÖÖP


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElissaMT1616

Why does "A tú te sientes feliz" not work?


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

ElissaMt, "A tú te sientes feliz" means you are happy. The question is Do you feel happy? You aren't telling someone they are happy, you're asking if they're happy. (I think I'm right. I'm not positive though.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Umiko27894

Why not tu (with the accent) sientes contents?


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

Why not "estas te siente feliz"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnthonyWal459582

Por qué no ¿te sientas contento?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VickyV1107

Feliz vs contento! So frustrating

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.