"Nunca hemos sido amigos."

Translation:We have never been friends.

March 27, 2013

67 Comments


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

why can't i say "never have we been friends"? semantic order is dramatic but still means the same thing

March 27, 2013

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

Remember, your answers are evaluated by a computer, not a literature professor ;)

March 27, 2013

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

I agree it should be reported but I think that Duo wants us to recognize that the standard placement of this words differs in Spanish and English. If we translate the standard Spanish into the most standard English then it becomes more automatic to translate the English we speak most often into the most common Spanish.

January 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lochinvar27

That is true, but I've seen some native Spanish speakers talk the same way and someone like them could have seeded DL

February 23, 2018

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

I agree with rspreng, but it's still worth reporting this. That way DL will slowly become more like a literature professor than a computer.

May 21, 2013

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

Duo is a computer. Not all possible answers are pre-programmed into the system, so it is important to report possible alternate answers to Duo.

That said, in English, never is an adverb which does not normally occur in initial position in the sentence. It is usually placed:

  • between the subject and the simple verb, as in He never asks me
  • after the verb to be, as in He is never on time
  • in the present perfect, after the helping verb (e.g. have) and before the past participle (e.g. been), as in We have never been friends

When never is fronted, it is formal and emphatic, and the subject and verb must be inverted. Converting the English sentence into a "fronted" never produces an awkward sounding sentence that would not be used in conversational English:

  • Never have we been friends.
  • Never does he ask me.
  • Never is he on time.

In contrast, Spanish is much more flexible than English when it comes to placement of nunca (never) in a sentence. See Modern Spanish Grammar: A Practical Guide page 195 (by Christopher J. Pountain):

  • Nunca and jamás, ‘never’, are the exact opposites of siempre, ‘always’, all of which indicate frequency with regard to the action expressed by the verb. They are equally frequent in initial position, before the verb, or after the verb in a double negative construction. Jamás is less frequent and stronger than nunca.
November 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ann82701

Thank you for such a great explanation

January 2, 2019

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

Hola, yo soy español. Son normas de la gramática inglesa. En español tenemos la posibilidad de omitir el sujeto, de cambiar el orden de la oración dentro de lo posible.

November 11, 2015

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

Yep, got dinged for this over dramatization too. Reported :-).

November 21, 2014

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

Same issue, submitted 12/19/14.

December 20, 2014

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

I had the same answer and reported it.

September 28, 2014

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

It's now accepted (4/19/16)

April 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Johngt44

Do you know I thought there was little room for didcussion with a five word answer but as my exasperated primary school teacher said "there's always one, isn't there?" Never underestimate the ability of Duo users to take time out from learning Spanish to use English perversely. Congratulations though Brendals for just throwing it in there and not whingeing that you lost a heart or that bad Duo didn't accept it...

January 10, 2015

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

"Also, when people learn a second language, the way they speak their first language changes in subtle ways. These changes can be with any aspect of language, from pronunciation and syntax to gestures the learner makes and the things they tend to notice.[13] For example, French speakers who spoke English as a second language pronounced the /t/ sound in French differently from monolingual French speakers.[14] This kind of change in pronunciation has been found even at the onset of second-language acquisition; for example, English speakers pronounced the English /p t k/ sounds, as well as English vowels, differently after they began to learn Korean.[15] These effects of the second language on the first led Vivian Cook to propose the idea of multi-competence, which sees the different languages a person speaks not as separate systems, but as related systems in their mind." -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-language_acquisition

The problem is while this is supposed to revolutionize the language learning to masses, it is instead ignoring a lot of fundamental aspects of the person actually learning a language. Not bad for free still. Just a suggestion to the top-up if they care.

January 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Audrey5775

...and never will be.

January 15, 2015

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

Hey, I thought the same :) Have 10 lingots.

June 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vrn84309

a little harsh

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klingo101

That's cold Duo, real cold.

August 3, 2016

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

That is probably not something you should say

April 1, 2015

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

Yikes! Shots fired, Duo, shots fired. T_T

December 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/P1GG1EP0W3R

ARGH! HE SHOT ME! CALL LA POLICIA, LA AMBULANCIA! VOY A SER MUERTO!

January 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sdtrask1

(Actually, you would use ESTAR there.)

May 25, 2017

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

Yes. Alive and dead are just medical conditions in the end. La muerta, no seas orgullosa (Apologies to John Donne)

May 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scla5h

"voy a ser muerto" it's an incorrect use of the verb "ser" in this case, if you have been shot, the sentence would be "voy a morir" the verb "ser" it contracts with the phrase

November 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kajsdb
  • 1772

i know: that is a popular question - but please, can someone tell me, why it is sido and not estado here? - i know that ser is used for more permanent things while estar is used for things that can change - but i don't know why in this special case it is ser - theoretically we can be friends in the future - it is something that can change, not something that is permanent

February 26, 2015

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

If someone used estar for friendship, "estamos amigos", wouldn't they sound a little capricious or untrustworthy? I can't imagine many languages using a temporary form of "to be" to describe inter-personal relationships.

It'd be interesting to know whether things like this are ever used for comic effect in Spanish literature though. We often exaggerate common faults to ridiculous levels in fiction, it'd be a funny way to show a character is fickle, or a bit of a Casanova - "ella está mí novia" ;)

Do any native Spanish-speakers have input on this one?

July 6, 2015

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

Pimsleur taught me "estar casada", to be married, which I remember because I find it funny, but it conflicts with your theory...

August 22, 2015

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

Apparently you could use either "estar" or "ser" with "casada". I wonder if the choice between ser/estar is a regional thing.

http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/i%20am%20married

http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/to%20be%20married

April 22, 2018

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

My understanding is that it is more of a modern thing than a regional thing. I think you actually tend to hear estar with divorciado/a than casado/a, but the theory is the same. But I would feel a lot better hearing someone saying estoy divórciado than estoy casado, especially if the married person was married to me.

April 23, 2018

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

Interesting. Just to be clear with respect to cansad@, which is more common in modern usage, estar or ser?

I've never been married/divorced but I'm guessing most divorcée (if giving the choice) would prefer to use ser with divorciad@.


There's no option to hit reply to your response below. I agree with you but I was thinking about divorce in terms of the essence of a relationship or bond (or lack thereof) between two people e.g. We are friends, or We are divorced. I'll rather use somos than estamos. But, I completely get your point.

April 23, 2018

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

I disagree with that. Ser defines what you are at your essence. At least for women, I don't think that any woman would want to be divorced as their essence. I think it was that which sparked the whole change. Few women who are divorced have ruled out remarriage anyway, so they do tend to consider divorced a temporary condition. But even if they don't think they will every marry again, I think it would tend to celebrate their failure too much. I certainly can't speak with the same feeling of authority for men, and I am sure that there are women who might not agree with me, but I also know many men who would. Having been married and divorced after more than 20 years, I would advise anyone who was about to get married but considered that marriage temporary to think twice before doing so. But most people who divorce don't have a till death it will be mentality about it.

April 23, 2018

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

Not an expert, but as a native speaker, estar is more like location, and ser is more like personal or life. In English we can say, "We are friends, we are here" "Somos amigos, estamos aquí". But idk, cuz "we are crazy" can use either "estamos locos" or "somos locos"

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kas334864

By the way, "amigo" is a noun, not an adjective. The "rules" about "ser/estar" are only about adjectives. When the predicate is a noun, you can safely bet for "ser".

October 21, 2017

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

You are correct that when the predicate is a noun, you can always assume it is ser. But that's not because the rules of ser and estar don't apply. The rules just say so. It is only adjectives that might have (but don't necessarily have) an option of being used with either.

October 22, 2017

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

*(Spanish is my first language. I grew up in the San Diego/Tijuana border and always went to school in the US)

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shirlgirl007

I would guess that we could just be acting crazy in that particular moment (estar) whereas if someone is certifiable, crazy all the time, with no lucid intervals, then (ser).

October 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

They started with Never and you still think it is possible? I think there is a tone of finality to this. How presumptious! "We have never been friends."

April 22, 2015

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

damn duo, i thought we were pals

May 20, 2016

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

I wrote, "We never were friends" - but that's wrong?

September 24, 2014

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

Because you omitted the translation for haber. In the past perfect lesson you need haber every time.

September 28, 2014

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

Because it is past perfect tense

October 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AScam0

present perfect? Past perfect would be: we never had been friends... ;-)

December 1, 2016

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

I have basically the same question about the use of sido vs estado. I noticed sido was used in sentences concerning " friends" but other than that, can someone expound on this? Thank you! :)

April 20, 2015

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

If you study the difference between ser and estar, it will be clearer to you. I'm still trying to learn it myself but I know there are certain circumstance that make sense as to whether you choose one over the other ser (sido)/estar (estado). For example, one is for describing a location, one is for temporary circumstances and like allintolearning was trying to explain, the other is for more seemingly permanent circumstances, like "never" being friend vs. "not" being friends.

May 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLD72zzoZN

I think you might be able to use estado in a positive sense "We have been friends." but we aren't any more. Here there is a finality to "never". There is no change in circumstance here. "sido" makes more sense.

April 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Light--Yagami

Your response:

"Las estudiantes no han comido."

Correct response:

"Las estudiantes no han comido."

idk

November 24, 2015

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

Look, we've both done a lot of things you're going to regret. But I think we can put that behind us. For science? You monster.

August 15, 2016

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

Buen intento... Todos sabemos que the cake is a lie.

June 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andreim1828

so much for our relationship, duo

August 18, 2016

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

This after all of the lessons we've been through together? Necesitas parar beber tan mucho de ese jugo de manzana, Duo ;)

August 22, 2016

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

:(

October 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobInco1

"we never were friends" should be accepted in English

October 14, 2016

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

porque el no gusta comida espanol

October 20, 2016

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

Oh Duo why,

October 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yves-Marie13

Since sido means been and made, both of them are correct in the sentence

November 25, 2016

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

To say sido means made is overstretching. The use of ser to mean made of is similar to the English use of to be for the same thing. The table IS wood means is made of wood, but few people would say to be means to be made of. For this sentence sido definitely means been. If you wanted to say made, it would be hacer or its past participle hecho

November 26, 2016

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

Dime que no es cierto Duo :(

December 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BriannaHey3

Duo is being a bit too savage today

April 23, 2017

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

</3

July 14, 2017

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

i hate the robot lady's voice. This phrase in particular was very hard to decipher. it sounded like "noon quemos sido amigos" - which I know is nonsense, but "nunca" blended in to "hemos" so quickly that I had a tough time telling when one word began and the other ended.

Is there an option somewhere to select which robot voice to use? The male one seems to be a lot better.

January 9, 2018

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

No. There used to be just the woman, then they added the man. Most people I have heard complain more about him. But the reason they added the second voice was to get people more accustomed to different accents. Believe me one is not enough. I am fairly advanced here and do listen to programs in Spanish. I do pretty well with many regions, but I still can't really follow speakers from Cuba,Chile and even Spain. You learn to take your clues from what you do hear. I didn't have much problem with hemos, but the singular forms he, has, and ha I would ALWAYS miss in conversation. But I learned to recognize the past participle and figure it out backwards. But Spanish is one of the fastest spoken languages in the world. You are always going to miss some times when you have an unstressed Vowell sound at the end of a word followed by a stressed syllable vowel sound in the beginning of the next word. If the sounds are the same probably they won't be pronounced at all. Thus mi hijo/a has colloquially become mijo, and mija. And most people will write it correctly, but no one will actually pronounce the a in the phrase Un día a la vez.

January 9, 2018

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

Anyone else having trouble with the sound on this particular question? Even knowing the answer from a prior try, and pressing re-play way too many times, I keep hearing "No mooka hemos ido amigos."

January 19, 2018

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

Listening to it above, I do hear a somewhat funky pronunciation of nunca. I don't hear it as beginning with a no sound, it was definitely a nu sound. . I don't know if it is just my greater experience, but I would not have taken it for anything but a slightly funky nunca. Every day in every language people make very small funky mispronunciations of words. And of course there are quite a few few regional pronunciation differences as well, but that is not this. But obviously these small errors create a much more significant issue for new learners.

As for hemos sido vs hemos ido, in the flow of conversation those two will always sound essentially the same, since the final s sound will always end with an initial vowel, especially in a stressed syllable. I was in my twenties before I found out that the wide silver tape was called duct tape and not duck tape. But now I hear it as duct tape. Anticipation of what is coming next is actually quite an important part of real language comprehension. Part of that comes from context, which is always lacking here, and part comes from familiarity with the sounds, words, and how it all fits together. When you come upon exercises with both a regular and slow play, I would spend some time going back and forth between the two to hear how words flow together. I also always recommend watching a movie you have seen in English (the more times the better) in Spanish. If you know essentially what is going on you will be able to pick up more and more. Understanding television and movies in a foreign language is always difficult, and Spanish comes at you faster than most languages.

January 19, 2018

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

I reported the pronunciation as well. The nunca hemos sounds very strange.

February 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AhronV1

Ooof. That hurts. Me duele mucho escuchar esto.

February 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BalzsMihly2

Oh bien...

January 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elbee101

never have we been friends is my correct answer

February 12, 2015
Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.