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"¿Cuándo les vas a preguntar sobre las vacaciones?"

Translation:When are you going to ask them about their vacation?

June 19, 2018

38 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel996280

Wouldn't 'their vacation' be 'sus vacaciones'? I put 'when are you going to ask them about vacation'. Should this be an acceptable translation?


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

I think you're right. "sus" = "thier"; so "las vacaciones" I translated as "the vacation." After all, you could be asking your bosses about your own vacation time.


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

I wonder if the usage of las here is similar to the usage described in the lightbulb in the Routines 3 section. https://www.duolingo.com/skill/es/Routines-3/tips. DL say's it's specific to body parts, but my wife, a native spanish speaker, says that 'las' sounds correct to her. She can't explain why though.


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

I know that vacation is always referred to in the plural in Spanish (las vacaciones). Perhaps that's the reason?


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

Vacaciones is always plural in Spanish regardless of whether it's one vacation or more than one. I could be mistaken, but I believe that "las " vacaciones implies "their" vacation in this case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

You are not wrong, Eliza. This is simply a plural noun (always). Alec, you might compare las vacaciones to the way we use "pants" in English. Yes, we refer to "a pair of pants", but we also just say "I need to put on pants" or "some pants", etc. It just isn't as obvious to us because the direct article "the" doesn't change with plural nouns in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/billg335376

I am not questioning the correctness of this answer but how then do you know whether this sentence is asking about the person's personal vacation or "their" (other people's) vacation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

I think (but am not sure) that if you were asking about "their" vacations, you would use sus.


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

Well, i think thats exactly why we're confused. Because the sentence says "las", not "sus". I read it very similar to others here, i read it to mean as if we were asking when we would ask a boss about our own vacation...like asking about getting the time off.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

I think this is just a case of DL trying to use colloquial English. In Spanish they say "the vacation", yes, but in English we would say "their vacation".


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

Guillermo, I don't agree that Americans would say "their vacation". Americans would say " When are you going to ask THEM about vacation? " There is nothing in that sentence that eludes to THEIR VACATION, only VACATION. The "les" refers to asking THEM in this sentence. There is no indication of THEIR in this sentence that I can see, but I am not a Native Spanish speaker either, so I would have to have an explanation as to why THEIR was included in the answer. I haven't seen it explained where I can understand it yet, as well as many others here.

How about it MODS? Can you folks give us a reference or tell us why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

You're already conversing with a MOD. How many do you need?

I think you're wrong here, but I admit I have no empirical data. Just like you, I'm expressing my general sense of what is typical usage in English. Without "their" in English, one has no way of knowing whose vacation would have been the subject of the question. And I should add that there are many instances where Spanish doesn't bother with possessive pronouns. (Look at how Spanish refers to maladies or parts of the body. I'm not saying those rules apply here, just that Spanish is comfortable referring to "the hand" where in English we almost always say "his" or "her" hand.)

If you want to communicate with a course writer (not the same thing as a MOD, usually), you can use the Response Menu at the prompt itself.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dixie670459

Could this also translated as "When are you going to ask them about YOUR vacation?" As in, can you get the time off work or whatever?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chrisl4

That is how I also took the question. So can a native speaker or helpful knowledgable person explain how that would be phrased? When are you going to ask them about vacation? would seem appropriate if meaning to ask about getting vacation approved.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesLefor1

Stricktly speaking, this is "when are you going to ask them about the vacation". You need context to replace the with their; as it is you could be asking your bosses for a vacation. - Confusing!


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

How would you say it if you only mean to say "the vacation" and not "their vacation"?


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

Four on-line translators all translated the English 'their vacation' to 'sus vacaciones' and translated the Spanish 'las vacaciones' to either "the holidays" (x3) or just "vacation" (x1) without the article. Las ≠ their and their ≠ las.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

You're being overly literal and expecting on-line translators to replicate DL answers out of context.

Compare to the English sentence: "When are you going to tell us about vacation?" Any fluent English speaker would know the question concerned either (a) a recent vacation, or (b) an upcoming vacation. Yes, of course, one could ask about "your vacation", but "your" isn't necessary to understand the question.

You will find lots of examples in Spanish where a simple direct article is used in place of a possessive pronoun. Ex. Tengo dolor en la cabeza. "I have a headache." Spanish doesn't usually say "in my head"; "in the head" suffices.

(martha349768 points out that my original sentence had the wrong verb form. I appreciate the correction, which I have made to my example. martha also points out that the more common way to say the same thing is Me duele la cabeza. In this construction, the direct article is still used instead of a possessive pronoun, but la cabeza becomes the subject, not the direct object.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/martha349768

Technically, I don't think your "cabeza" example is quite correct.

I could be wrong (NOT a native Spanish speaker) ... but I think the example sentence should be either "Tengo dolor en la cabeza." or "Me duele la cabeza."

My comment does not, however, speak at all to the question of using a definite article vs. a possessive pronoun (sorry!!).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Thank you for the correction, Martha. I am sure you are right. I'm going to fix my post and include a note that you pointed out the error.

Please correct me any time I err. I'm a student here, too, and appreciate the "teaching". Please accept a lingot as my "thank you."


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

I would soooo much like a middle-speed on the reading


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

So would I! But I have no idea how much work would be involved; it may be more than just slowing down a tape.


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

in English the "them *, is redundant, unnecessary.


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

Why is vacation written in the plural form here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

"Vacation" is always plural (las vacaciones) in Spanish.

What I don't understand is what Dixie asked above: how can we know from the prompt whether the question is about their vacation or the vacation of the speaker?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/steveross574320

how could I be dinged wrong for using the plural of vacations when the sentence has las vacaciones???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sylvia12664

Did the same to me. It is as common in UK English to ask someone about their holidays as their holiday. Reported.


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

How do we know it's about THEIR holidays and not 'when are you going to ask them about THE holidays' (such as planning for future holidays/ or our holidays, etc)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

I think we'd only know for sure from the context of the conversation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gerald807

Again this nice lady leaves the 's' off "les" in slow mode.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LynneWebb1

In my version of DL, this question provided a list of words from which to select the correct answer. However, the word "them" was not one of the provided words. So, I said "when are you going to ask about their vacation." For this I was marked wrong. How can I select a word which is not listed as an option? Obviously, I have reported this but that won't give be back the health star DL has stolen. I have lost many health points because of keyboard errors and obvious typos but this takes the cake.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

I"m sorry that happened, Lynne. I don't have any power to change it; in fact, I don't even know what "health points" are. But I believe you that it is frustrating.


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

this sentence is difficult


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

Would it be wrong to put "¿Cuándo vas a le preguntar sobre las vacaciones?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Yes, that would be wrong in Spanish (though it's closer to French usage).

If you don't want to put the indirect object (les) in front of the verbs, put it at the end of the infinitive:

¿Cuándo vas a preguntarles sobre las vacaciones?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shirin732936

My answer is right why Duo marked me wrong ???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

How can we know when you don't tell us what you wrote?

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