1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Why don't you start on May t…

"Why don't you start on May third?"

Translation:¿Por qué no empiezas el tres de mayo?

June 20, 2018



The third is "el tercero" no entiendo!!


Dates are expressed with cardinal numbers in Spanish:

  • the 5th of May - el cinco de mayo
  • the 2nd of January - el dos de enero

For the first of a month, you can use either uno or primero. The latter is used more frequently in LatAm:

  • the 1st of August - el uno de agosto; el primero de agosto


Gracias por tu explicacion


I wrote tercero and it was marked wrong .


Iris, Spanish doesn't use ordinal numbers (like first, second, third) to talk about dates. Instead, cardinal numbers (like one, two, three) are used. Have you heard of "el cinco de mayo"?


tishgab, you are correct. In this lesson, DL is not accepting the ordinal numbers that are in their sentences. Their correct answers so far are dumbed down versions. Not sure which sentence you translated, but my hunch is "the 3rd of some month." "El tercero del algún mes." I've reported several times already, so for my "re-test", I'll be forced to forget ordinal numbers and substitute some thing "el tres de algún mes" to pass the lesson. Let's see how quickly they recognize this error and allow correct ordinal numbers to be accepted, or change the questions so that "regular" numbers are the appropriate answer. Geez, I'm weary of so many errors in this new version.


The reason DL does not accept the ordinal numbers is because that is not an acceptable way to write the date in Spanish. You use the cardinal number for all dates except for the first of a month, in which case you use primero. (Though apparently in some countries, they still use uno for the first of a month.) Keep in mind that literal translations are not always accurate!

Sources: https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/dates-in-spanish https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/25236791


mx, thanks for the links. This was a new topic for me, one I'd never seen previously. I'm well aware that literal translations are not always accurate. I appreciate you shedding light on writing dates in Spanish. Probably should have read their guide about this first, but I plowed ahead without doing so. My bad :=)


mx, I just went to the idea icon for this section. I found no reference to how to write dates. I did find a few ideas that I didn't understand during the completion of the section. Their bad? :-/


It's true that Duo doesn't always provide the necessary information in the ideas section, so I understand why you weren't aware of this. Here is a link that's very helpful for information in general (where I found the information about dates): https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/24635443


Why is ¿Usted por qué no empieza el tres de mayo? wrong, since this appears to be a business conversation rather than a personal one?


It is a correct translation.


My exercise insisted that the following is the correct answer:¿Por qué no empiezas tú el tres de mayo? I did not include the "tú" I love DL but it does exasperate more than is fair.


Did you possibly have something else wrong? Sometimes the answer they give to correct you can be kind of out there, but it doesn't necessarily mean you have to translate it exactly like that.


Is there a difference between por que and porque (please excuse the lack of accents)? I don't think Duo has every penalized me for using one or the other, but I'm starting to wonder about this.


Tim, those are different words with different meanings:

  • ¿por qué? - why? - a question word
  • porque - because - a conjunction
  • porqué - reason, "the why" - a noun


If you hover over the word "start," the suggestions are empiezas or comienzas, but the correction I was given was abris. Which I thought meant "open." So is this an idiom? Google translates "¿Por qué no abris el tres de mayo?" as "Why not open on the third of May?"


I have found, as have many others, that the "hover" words don't always apply to the particular use or context of the word to be translated. I blame this on the algorithmic gods. One does learn to take nothing for granted.


The suggested corrections are sometimes very interesting.


Abrir can occasionally be used to mean "to begin something", like "abrir un curso" - "to start (giving) a course".

Abrís (needs an accent over the 'i'; that's why Google might not have recognised it properly) is the present vosotros form of abrir, i.e. "you (plural) are opening".


I put "tu" first and was marked wrong. "Tu por que no empiezas el tres de mayo?" Is that really wrong? If so, can anyone explain why?


When a question word (such as por qué) is used, the subject is displaced.

It can go after the question word/before the verb phrase:

  • por qué no empiezas

or after the verb phrase:

  • por qué no empiezas


In English we would say May the third or the third of May


"May third" is the most common in the US.


Did they accept it? If not, report it to them, please. All the 3 are correct.


I tried to use comienzas but spelled it wrong. But I’m assuming it’s ok to use


Yes, comienzas would be good here.


I have trouble with "mah - jo" instead of "mah-yoh" for mayo. Even after hearing the female voice 1000 times, the accent still occasionally confuses me. I know, a common complaint.


How do i know when to say "may third or on the 3rd of may? Pretty confused here as the formate seems the same but i often get counted wrong...


Snuggles, both the formats "the third of May" and "May third" should work everywhere. (Duolingo prefers the numbers spelt out.) If something isn't, please report it.


What is wrong with el tercero de mayo????


ah yes, only ordinal is allowed on the first


Why not the subjunctive mood (empieces) here?


The sentence given doesn't fit the pattern. For example, your sentence says "Why not use the subjunctive mood ?" It does not say "Use the subjunctive mood." Technically, your sentence is a question, not a command. (Although one could certainly argue that, depending on the context, it could be meant as a command.)


Although the use of por qué suggests doubt, which could indicate the subjunctive mood, the sentence does not meet the criteria that Span¡shD!ct suggests:

most sentences that use the subjunctive have two subjects, two verbs, and a relative pronoun.

As such I think that indicative mood is right, but I'm happy to be corrected if I have got something wrong.


March 9, 2021 "Tú por qué no empiezas el tres de mayo" What is wrong with putting Tú at the beginning, as we learned in previous lessons?


Empiezas vs comenzas?


It is difficult to know whether the answer should be 'tu' or 'used' Both are correct


And both are accepted. Duo always gives a tip-off if they want a particular form of "you."

If the speaker refers to the other person by first name, you can use , if the other person is called Mrs., or Doctor, sir, or any other title, use usted. For "you all" or something similar, use ustedes. If there is no such indication, you can typically use whatever version of "you" makes sense in the context of the sentence.


i put tu empiezas and it was marked wrong


Next time you're not sure why your answer was marked wrong, please provide a cut/paste or screenshot of your whole sentence. Someone will probably be able to find the problem.


Why doesn't it accept comienzas?


Aren't all numbers plural?


If you are talking about things, numbers (other than 1) represent plural-ness. However, numbers referring to dates, June 17 or August 12, for example, specify a single day.

Numbers themselves can be plural if you make them plural. "I got two 90's on my spelling tests." "Steve's phone number has five 3's in it."


why por que and not porque? i thought they were interchangeable


Por que = "why". Porque = "because."

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