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https://www.duolingo.com/Pickletoepi

Subject-Verb​ Agreement -- HELP!

One of the most natural things in just about any language is having verb conjugations that AGREE WITH THE SUBJECT. It makes no sense to say "I is happy."

It is obviously "I am happy."

Now, I know google translate isn't to trust, but EVERY SITE that I went to gave me the same Spanish translation of the following sentence:

This dog is me. Este perro SOY yo.

What? I'm confused in two ways here. First, the subject "dog" is in the third person singular, so shouldn't it be "este perro ES?"

Secondly, I thought that "me" in Spanish (in this scenario), would be "mí."

So, I would think that the sentence would be:

Este perro es mí.

These same two problems occur with other subjects (you, we, etc.).

I ALSO run into similar confusion when translating "It is me."

I am told that the correct translation of "it is me," would be "este soy yo," which can be shortened to "soy yo." I would have thought that it would be "este es mí."

Now, I know that if we get all grammatical, at least in English, technically after a form of "to be," using a subject pronoun is correct. "It is I," is correct, while "it is me," is not. In reality though, no one follows this rule. Do they follow this rule in Spanish? Even if they do, that would only solve the second half of my question.

I've been running this through my head​ ALL DAY and have no idea what I've gotten wrong. PLEASE SEND HELP!

Thank you SO MUCH in advance!! :) -Pickletoepi

1 month ago

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ignatznkrazy
ignatznkrazy
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Think of the copula (or linking verb, as it is sometimes called) as an equal sign. Both sides of it are in the subject case, nominative. In English, we call the second half of the equation the predicative nominative. That is why "It is I" is correct.

In Spanish is used after a preposition. (El regalo es para mí.) Me is used as an object. (Bob me dijo la historia.) Spanish is not lax, as English is, about what is nominative and what is an object. "Bob and me went to the movies" does not fly.

Word order is also looser in Spanish, so phrases ending in "soy yo" are pretty common.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pickletoepi

Thank you very much, that clears a lot of it up! Since word order is looser in Spanish, it it also grammatically correct to end phrase such as "esta chica soy yo" with "esta chica ES yo" instead?

Is ending such a phrase with "soy yo," very common but grammatically incorrect, such as "it is me" in English?

I'll use "soy yo" when speaking if it is more common and sounds more natural, but I have to know the "official grammar" for school tests. I feel like such a grammar snob when asking all this XD.

Thank you again!!! Have a lingot :)

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ignatznkrazy
ignatznkrazy
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Soy yo is grammatically correct.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chilotin
Chilotin
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Spanish has a different rule for this. The verb "ser" agrees with the person who is: "soy yo", "eres tú", etc.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ginasem

I am confused by your sentence in the first place. Why would anyone ever say “this dog is me.” At least in English it would be “I am this dog.” Which is still a weird sentence. But if the better 2nd sentence is used then is would be “yo estoy este perro.” I think which is basically what the translators are giving you given that you gave them a non-translatable sentence to start with. I’m not trying to be funny when I ask this. I’m being sincere because I’m really trying to figure out why the first sentence. Were you pointing to a person dressed up like a dog for halloween and saying it was you? Also I would think that “it is me” should have translated to “es mi”. But then I think about whenever we are talking about what we are estoy is used. But i am as confused as you. So i have the same opinion as you. If the sentence is “this dog is me” then I would have bet that the translate would be “este perro es mi”. Just like you thought. I don’t know. I am just as confused and sorry that I couldn’t help you. I hope somebody can. I would like to know the answer myself.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pickletoepi

Probably should've explained where I got the sentence. It was some random short story, where it was narrated from the point of view of a dog. That's how we were introduced. I know that it's a strange sentence, but is by no means ungrammatical (right?) so I thought it would be translated differently. Let's use a more normal sentence: This girl is me. (Assume that you're looking at a photograph or something). I still get: Esta chica soy yo. I would've expected: Esta chica es yo or esta chica es mí.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elizadeux
elizadeux
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I'm wondering if "I am this girl" might be more common that "This girl is me." In Spanish that would be "soy esta niña." The subject of the sentence is "I."

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pickletoepi

Thank you for both responses, you've been very helpful! Take a lingot :)

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ignatznkrazy
ignatznkrazy
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You wouldn't use estar for this.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/angelyaca
angelyaca
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It's very simple. "Ese perro soy yo" and "Yo soy ese perro" are exactly the same in Spanish, so the subject in that sentence is "yo" and not "Ese perro".

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alezzzix
alezzzix
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Conjugating ser can be tricky because the rules are different from English linking verbs. If there is a personal pronoun (yo, tú, etc.) it will always conjugate the verb, regardless of it being the subject or the attribute. For example:

  • El que manda soy yo (I'm the one in charge)
  • Los culpables somos nosotros (We are the culprits)

If the subject and the attribute are both personal pronouns, then the one in the position of the subject will conjugate the verb. For example:

  • Yo soy tú (I am you)
  • Tú eres yo (You are me)

The most curious thing about ser is that when it links a singular noun with a plural noun, the conjugation tends to be plural, for example:

  • Esta gente son asesinos. (These people are murderers)
  • Eso son estupideces. (That is nonsense)

I hope this helps.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ignatznkrazy
ignatznkrazy
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Nunca sabía ese último hecho. Ahora recuerdo haber cometido este error en ensayos. Me has ayudado mucho con eso.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pickletoepi

alezzzix, This was exactly the kind of answer I was looking for! It helped tremendously, thank you!

1 month ago