"Why didn't they wash the car?"

Translation:¿Por qué ellos no lavaron el carro?

June 20, 2018

39 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnBazile1

I thought that the subject pronoun can also be placed after the verb when you are asking a question. Why is it incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Musketeer80

The "ellos" isn't even necessary. If you leave it out, you don't have to worry about where to place it. "Por qué no lavaron el carro"


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

It should be considered correct. The next time, use the Report button to suggest that your answer be added.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rob1961April12

Both marcy65brown and Musketeer80 are correct.

"¿Por qué no lavaron ellas/ellos el carro?" is now accepted.


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

Why is this not accepted? "Por que no ellos lavaron el carro"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

The negation is part of the verb. So, don't separate "no lavaron" with anything, including pronouns.


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

Unless they are object pronouns: no lo lavaron.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

Quite right. Thanks for qualifying my oversimplified statement.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TinyBubble5

"¿Por qué no lavaron ellos el carro?" was marked incorrect.


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

coche is the accepted word in Spain for car. It should be accepted.


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

Accepted: 31/8/20


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sara256031

Accepted "limparon" also Dec. 2018


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

Just to clarify, "limpiar" means "to clean", and "lavar" means to wash. If someone asked me, "¿por qué ellos no limpiaron el carro?", my first thought would be that they were asking me why the inside of the car hadn't been cleared of litter and vacuumed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Louradour5

It would be 'limpiaron', y 'por qué no limpiaron el coche' is refused, 4 April 21.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim8161

As @MetroWestJP said, "limpiar" means "to clean". But the verb to be translated here is "to wash" which is "lavar"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Louradour5

Yes it was just to confim that "limpiaron" is not accepted.


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

Why is the "ellos" needed at all? What's wrong with "por que no lavaron el coche"? Isn't the "they" inferred?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yuji958784

Por qué no ellos lavaron el carro? Is this wrong?


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

I believe the "no" has to go with the verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susan636105

OK, in the sentence, 'when did they clean the bathroom?' DL gave the correct answer as ' cuando limpiaron ellos los dormitorios'(with appropriate accents). In the discussion regarding the need for and placement of 'ellos', it was said that you never put the pronoun between the question word and the verb. So why is ellos between the question word and the verb? Is this a rule or not?


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

Here's the discussion for the lesson you cited. It's "bedrooms"not "bathroom," but I figured this would do. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27671459/Cu%C3%A1ndo-limpiaron-ellos-los-dormitorios


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

I agree. There does seem to be an inconsistency here.

Can anyone clear up this problem.

Also, why is "ellos" needed at all?

In other lessons it was considered wrong to put the pronoun between the question word and the conjugated verb but here Duo seems to be doing just that!


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

Yes, por qué is an exception to that rule. You can still invert subject and verb, but it doesn't sound weird if you don't.

As for ellos, it shouldn't be required.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rob1961April12

To add more confusion, Duo often accepts subject pronouns between verbs and question words other than 'por qué'. In Duo's defence, it is never (in my experience) the suggested answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Walker98552

I thought - Por qué no - was an idiom and couldn't be broken up. And the verb should follow the pronoun.


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

Would this be the same: por qué ellos no lo lavaron el carro


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

Sort of. If you meant for "lo " to be the object pronoun corresponding to "el carro," it is redundant and would sound a little like "why didn't they wash the car it?"

Quite often, Spanish requires the seemingly redundant object pronoun. This is true when the object is a personal pronoun, when the object is placed before the verb, and when it's an indirect object used with certain verbs (e.g., "gustar"). Moreover, Spanish speakers often include an indirect object pronoun even when it isn't strictly required by the grammar. The same is not true for direct objects, however. It's generally considered wrong to include the object pronoun when it isn't required.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beverly880888

I placed a ellos at the end. I thought that was permissible according to the rule.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rob1961April12

"¿Por qué no lavaron el carro ellas/ellos?" is now accepted.

If you placed 'a ellos' at the end, then it should be rejected.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlanJohn100

Why can't we leave the pronoun (ellos) out altogether? Is it to avoid confusion with ustedes being the guilty party?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim8161

Answers omitting the pronoun are accepted.

If your answer was marked as incorrect, the reason was elsewhere. It's not uncommon that people complain about Duo not accepting a different translation for a certain word when the real error is elsewhere in the sentence.

It is always best to share your full answer in the forum so it can be completely checked.


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

I forgot the Ellos and was still marked correct, so what's up with that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim8161

Subject pronouns are almost always optional.


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

Por qué no se lavaron... cant be used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jim8161

No - the verb here is 'lavar' not 'lavarse'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardDaz1968

El coche also accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AEWoods2

What's the difference between 'carro' and 'coche'? Does it depend on where you are?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rob1961April12

They are synonyms, so there is no difference. 'Carro' is more likely to be used in the Western Hemisphere (in its geopolitical sense, since most of Spain is technically in the Western Hemisphere).

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