"How do you write cat in Spanish?"

Translation:¿Cómo se escribe gato en español?

4 months ago

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/surrection75

What is the purpose of se?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lesaken
Lesaken
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This question is in the passive voice, and is apparently a frequent way of asking questions in Spanish. This particular Spanish wording using the reflexive se is an impersonal construction because the agent or "doer" who performs the action of the verb is NOT named. The equivalent way of asking this in English would be "How is cat written in Spanish?" The person/s asked to perform the action (of writing) is then not named.

The English translation given here, "How do you write cat in Spanish?" is more colloquial. The question is not directed to "you" as a specific individual but is meant generally, so to "anyone". It is not the literal translation from the Spanish wording because, again, the Spanish does NOT name an agent, but this an interpretation into a common way of asking things in English.

The Spanish construction uses the pronoun se followed by the THIRD person of the verb, singular or plural. The verb agrees with the subject that receives the action and no agent is named.

Examples:

Se habla inglés. "English is spoken (here)."

Se hablan inglés y francés. "English and French are spoken (here)."

Note that there are also other ways of constructing impersonal questions in Spanish.

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VAw5QNUl

Best explanation of this construction I have come across.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/catherineschipul
catherineschipul
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Thank you very much! I would not even know where to look for this explanation!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/893tQMne

I wrote "escribe" and was told I used the wrong word and it should be "escribes." Isn't it our choice when it's not indicated that we should use the familiar or not?

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
Mod
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Did you say "Como te escribe"? If you used "te" you have to use escribes, and with se you use escribe.

If that's not the problem, then please use the "Report" button to notify the course creators of the oversight. Thanks!

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MJMGruver
MJMGruver
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I reported it 7/31/18

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/poche112
poche112
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I tried the answer "como escribes cat en espanol' and was marked wrong.. but why would anyone ask how do you write gato in espanol????

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/emilyclai

One of the many Duolingo mysteries.... ;)

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ScubaDi

what is the purpose of "se"?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisLMast

I think that this could also be "Como escribes gato en espanol".

I understand how the reflexive works, but I'm struggling with why and when; why is it necessary and when is it required?

3 weeks ago
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