"Do you close the window?"
Translation:¿Cierras la ventana?
Do you close the window? Is a resonable question but would probably be part of a conversation about and or include, when it rains or at night or........
This looks like more of an order than a question to me "Close the window." Where is traslation of "Do you"?
For “do”, the answer is a bit complicated and says more about English than it does about Spanish. English has an auxiliary (“helping verb”) form of “to do” that is used to form questions and negatives when no other auxiliary is present. This generally means that you need a form of “to do” unless you have a form of “to be” (am, is, are, was, were, ...), “to have” (have, has had), or a modal (can, could, shall, should, will, would, may, must, might, ...).
- TO BE: You are happy. => Are you happy?
- TO HAVE: You have seen it. => Have you seen it?
- MODAL: You can do it. => Can you do it?
- DO-ASSISTANCE: You play soccer. => Do you play soccer? (Not “Play you soccer?”)
- DO-ASSISTANCE: You have the ball. => Do you have the ball? (Not “Have you the ball?”) (“To have” is a main verb, not an auxiliary to some other verb. This is the same difference that tells you whether to use “haber” or “tener”.)
This is English being weird. Most other languages, including Spanish, don’t have a “do” auxiliary that works like this, so there is no direct translation for it. They use other techniques for forming questions and negatives instead.
The main approach that Spanish uses is simply expressing the statement as a fact, but with a rising pitch to question it. Although it isn’t the standard way to form questions in English, ¿you already know how it works, right?
- Statement: You play soccer.
- Intonation: You play soccer?
- Interrogative: Do you play soccer?
Spanish doesn’t have that last one. The word order is sometimes changed for emphasis, but intonation alone is what turned it into a question. In English, it is more common to use the do-assisted form instead.
As for “you”, now we get into what’s strange about Spanish and other Romance languages, which is called “pronoun dropping”, or “pro-drop” for short. In most contexts, the verb form tells you which pronoun would be used, so it is usually omitted.
- Tú tocas la guitarra. (“You play the guitar.”)
- Tocas la guitarra. (“(You) play the guitar.”)
In the second variation, “tú” is implied by the verb form, but this still a simple statement rather than a command. (Imperatives are a whole other topic where English does something weird... the implicit “you” when forming commands. But let’s not get into that.)
So putting these together, “do” isn’t there because it sometimes comes out of nowhere when forming English questions (and negatives). “You” isn’t there because in Spanish it is often just implied by the verb form. And the way that you know that this is a question would purely be the intonation, which you know from the enclosing question marks.
To be fair, this question feels very awkward in simple present tense, because it requires a context of a recurring event to make any sense. If it were a one-off event, we would instead use a continuous verb form: Are you closing the window?
I get the impression that native Spanish speakers would be happy to use simple present in either situation.
I think it would. I have tried on other questions using the tu form and usted form and been marked correct. That said, i think their translation is unnatural, as a stand alone question. more sense to say "are you closing the window". Trouble is, they don't allow one to report it as such once it's been marked correct.