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  5. "The pen is under the desk."

"The pen is under the desk."

Translation:El bolígrafo está debajo del escritorio.

June 18, 2018



Is there a rule about when to use del instead of just el or do I just need to memorize it?


Del is "de" and "el" made into one word.


debajo del means 'under the'.

And yes you just have to memorise the phrases really.


Only use del if the word after it is masculine if feminine it is de la


There are required combinations that simply must become automatic. "Debajo de"= under is just one example.
But there are other words that mean the exact same thing that do not need to be combined.
For example, "bajo" means under all by itself.
"Debajo de" = "bajo" = under or beneath.


So, why is 'el boligrafo está bajo del escritorio' refused ?


Louradour, I think it's because you used de in your sentence. As Bruce explained, debajo de = bajo, so the sentence would be El boligrafo está bajo el escritorio.

See also Ryagon's posts (particularly the one replying to Kelly), somewhere below here in this discussion.


Thanks a lot, I had appreciated Bruce's upper comment and stopped there without looking below comments ! All the explanations made it clear now, awesome !


There are rules, but it involves understanding how prepositions work which are the most complicated and occasionally strange rules of any language


'debajo de' inflects to 'debajo del', 'debajo de la', 'debajo de los' or 'debajo de las' according to gender and number of what is above.


Am i right in thinking esta and este are seperate from está. The accent changes the meaning. Like sí and si


Yes. Esta and este are demonstratives and means "this". They reflct the gender of the noun they refer to.

Está is a conjugation of estar and means "he/she/it is".


Whats wromg with "El boligrafo esta debajo el escritorio"


Debajo needs a de if you want to use it with a noun.


Earlier there was a sentence about "on the desk", I used "sobre del escritorio", but the correct answer as just "sobre el escritorio". Aren't the uses of sobre and debajo different in terms of with or without "de"?


Sobre is a preposition, so you can use it with a noun without the need to attach anything. Debajo is an adverb, so to function with a noun, you need to add a preposition, de in this case.


Does not La pluma mean pen?


Pluma means "pen" as well. It's usually used as the general word for "pen", but mainly refers to fountain pens or quills. Bolígrafo is a ball-point pen, specifically.


But this is not asking for a translation of "ballpoint pen." It is simply asking for "pen." Pluma and bolígrafo should both be correct. From the statement we do not know anything specific about the pen.


I said pluma also and was marked wrong.


so um I use "pluma" instead of "bolígrafo" and they are both synonymous. But then the system said I was wrong. Any one else having this "pluma" problem?


i understand the rule "de+el = del" but why does the sentence end with "DE el escritorio?" I understand the "de"


It is my understanding (always in question) that "debajo de" is a set phrase meaning "under" or "underneath." So, "under the desk" would be "debajo del escritorio."


I also would like to know why it is está instead of esté


Esté would be subjunctive. We don't want that here.
Verbs don't flex for gender.


What does abajo mean? I mistook that for debajo. Thought they were the same word


I purposely used "pluma" to see what would happen. Of course, I was deemed incorrect. ????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Why isn't "el pene debajo del escritorio" accepted?


Pene means "penis" (Will Duolingo censor this?), and you don't have a verb in your sentence.


"El bolígrafo es debajo del mesa." Shouldn't it be correct too? I don't understand.


Del can only be used in front of singular masculine nouns (it's a contraction of "de + el"), but mesa is feminine.


Shouldn't it be "of the" in the English sentence if it's "del"


Words like "Debajo" & "Cerca" Will always have De/Del after them....

Cerca de la... Cerca del...

Debajo de la... Debajo del...

Try to just memorize them as a pair. ;)


When they are used as prepositions.


The de here goes together with debajo. You can't use debajo on its own to say that something is "under something". You always need to say "debajo de algo".


This sentence says under the desk... debajo el escritorio. Why del this makes no sense to me


Kelly, debajo is an adverb, so you can't use it on its own together with a noun. Instead, you need to place a preposition between them to make them play nice with each other. That preposition is de in most cases.

English does something like that as well with one adverb, "close". You cannot case "The car is close the bridge" in English, because "close" doesn't work as a preposition. Instead, you'll add "to": "It's close to the bridge." The de in the Spanish sentence serves that same function.

You can also say "El bolígrafo está bajo el escritorio" if you want. Bajo is a preposition itself.


Thanks, Ryagon! Good explanation and English example.

I love this sentence. Each time it comes up in the email list I end up googling "debajo de vs. bajo". Finally, I'm beginning to understand the various discussions, and your explanation in the above post is a great short summary.

Now, on to abajo de . . . .


If i use del that is like saying... under of the desk. I cant make sense of why i need del here.


Why are we using del, instead of el escritorio?


Brooke, debajo is an adverb, meaning "below" or "underneath". As an adverb, you cannot combine it with nouns by itself, but you'd need a preposition instead. De gives it that prepositional meaning. You have that mechanic quite often in Spanish:

  • El libro está debajo de la manta. - The book is under the blanket.
  • Estoy cerca de la tienda. - I am near the store.
  • Hablamos acerca del tiempo. - We talked about the weather.
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