"¿Dónde podemos lavarnos las manos?"

Translation:Where can we wash our hands?

3 months ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/El-Indiano
El-Indiano
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Why lavarnos en lugar de solo lavar?

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AmineHadji1
AmineHadji1
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Quirk of Spanish. If you say:

  • "... lavar las manos?" it means "Where can we wash the hands" since there is nothing to indicate that we speak about our hands.
  • "... lavar nuestro manos?" it means "Where can we wash our hands". However, it sounds like our hands are not part of our body anymore.

That's why we say "... lavarnos las manos?", which means "We wash ourselves, and specifically only our hands.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IreneErika1

"where can we wash the hands" was not accepted, why not?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidMoore622957

As AmineHadji1 explained, using the reflexive form of llevarse indicates that we are washing our own hands. When used this way, it can't be "the hands" unless you expand that to something like "the hands of ours," which would sound really odd in English.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sguthrie1

To put it more simply, Spanish uses the definite article when referring to one's body parts or articles of personal clothing.

See this: https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/using-the-definite-article-in-spanish

By the way, DL didn't use to follow this rule. It only started following it recently (Last 2-3 months?)

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidMoore622957

Yes, but you can wash someone else's hands and still use the definite article. With the reflexive form of the verb there is no ambiguity.

La madre lavó las manos = "the mother washed the hands (of someone)"

La madre se lavó las manos = "the mother washed her (own) hands"

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sguthrie1

Good point.

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sambandic

"where we can wash our hands" not accepted, why?

2 weeks ago
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