"Ese pastel, lo quiero para mi cumpleaños."
Translation:That cake, I want it for my birthday.
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You can say "Lo quiero ese pastel para mi cumpleaños", too. So there are two ways to say basically the same thing. Since there's a comma after "Lo quiero", It puts some emphasis there. I like the suggested translation which keeps the same emphasis.
Both work, and normally I I'd use your phrasing in English. But i can also see scenarios where I'd use the Duo phrasing.
Actually you wouldn't use the lo in your syntax. Although the indirect object pronoun is always used, the direct object pronoun is only used when the direct object is either absent or put before the verb. This particular syntax that Duo is using here is not standard written English, but you will hear it conversationally. But the REASON Duo is phrasing sentences this way is so you know the gender of the it, because you just mentioned the item. Therefore in THESE sentences, Duo doesn't have to accept either lo or la for it, because it is specified.
I don't know whether you are trying to point out someone else's error or whether you made a typo in your own comment, but there is no difference between yo quiero and yo quiero. If you were asking about the difference between yo quiero and lo quiero, I can help you there. Yo is essentially I, but it is most commonly omitted, like all subject pronouns, in Spanish. Lo is the masculine direct object pronoun, meaning he or it, when it refers to a masculine object. So lo quiero is the common way to say I want it, if "it" is el pastel. But the "full" way to say it is Yo lo quiero. So lo quieres is the common way to say you want it, but the full way to say it is tú lo quieres. If it's not one of the subject pronouns you know, then it's not a subject pronoun, but you need to get very used to sentences with no subject pronoun because, in context, very few are used.
Lexxy, yes, I see these (awkward-in-English) sentences as exactly that: a way to see if we can come up with the correct direct object pronouns. There are some much more natural-sounding (in English) ones I've seen along the way, along the lines of 'This car is expensive, and I'm not buying it.'
Think of it as the literal "It (is that) cake that I want for my birthday" -> "I want that cake for my birthday." Spanish syntax requires an object pronoun even when the direct object is a noun. Otherwise, it just doesn't sound right (is not colloquial) to a native Spanish speaker.
I swear I must live in a different world from many people on Duo. People are always saying that no one would ever say in English things that I at least hear all the time, if not say. I certainly didn't think twice about the syntax when I did the exercise, but when I saw your comment and re-read the sentence, I heard my father's voice. Let me paint a picture. If I had been tasting wedding cakes with my father and he really liked one, he might say THAT cake, I want for my BIRTHDAY. But any scenario when you are choosing among like things for different purposes, you are likely to start the sentence with this or that. Changes in syntax like this simply change the focus a little.
You can report bad audio using the report function, but the audio above sounds fine to me. I do often mishear lo for no, but just as a heads up, even if this sentence had a no, it would still require a lo. The negative of this sentence would be Ese pastel, no lo quiero para mi cumpleaños. When the direct object precedes the noun, Spanish uses clitic doubling with the direct object pronoun.
I have no specific claim to knowledge, but it looks like cumpleaños is a portmanteau word from the verb cumplir = "to achieve" and the plural noun años and has come to be used as the way to describe the anniversary of the birth of a person in the same way that "birthday(s)" has come to be used in English.
Exactly. This actually is the most common type of "palabra compuesta" (compound word) in Spanish. You certainly have seen a couple more, but this seems to be an area where new words are being coined a lot.
The formula is that you take the third person singular form of a verb and a noun, generally in the plural. The resultant nouns are all masculine, even if the noun portion is a feminine noun, and the majority of them which do contain plural noun forms, don't change between singular and plural.
Among the ones most commonly used are a couple that use the verb parar in the beginning. Most English speakers initially assume that this is the preposition para (for) , but it's actually stop.
Para+aguas, Stops waters paraaguas - umbrella
Para+brisas, stops breezes Parabrisas - windshield
Para+caídas, stops falls Paracaides - parachute
Abre+latas, opens cans Abrelatas can opener
Lava+platos, washes dishes Lavaplatos dishwasher (or some places kitchen sink)
Quita+manchas, removes stains Quitamancha stain remover
And lots more
Well actually this is an example of the clitic doubling that happens in Spanish when the direct object precedes the verb, so Karole's translation is actually in some ways more accurate. But although Duo does teach clitic doubling for indirect object pronouns, they teach this in a way that makes it look more like an English sentence, although a more awkward one.