https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

contestar y responder

Today I was practicing Spanish and I had the following exercise:

Translate to Spanish "They have to answer a lot of questions."

I wrote "Ellos tienen que contestar muchas preguntas" and it was marked wrong. The correct response is "Ellos tienen que responder muchas preguntas." When I clicked on discussion I see that many users had the same question I did, but they have so far been unanswered. (situational irony? dramatic irony?)

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/28176455

Is contestar incorrect in this situation?

Thank you.

January 25, 2019

28 Comments


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

I misread your question! I'm very sorry!

Q. Is contestar [incorrect] in this situation?

A. [Totally].

Edit

Q. Is contestar correct in this situation?

A. Totally.

January 25, 2019

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

I'm not sure. I tutor ESL, my students are hispanohablantes. When I get stuck talking about questions in Spanish (I use it to explain grammar), the word the students offer to me is contestar, not responder. Usually. I think that at least for some dialects, the two are interchangeable.

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

Gracias ProfesorAntonnio.

January 25, 2019

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

Oh, I'm very sorry! I misread your question!

This is correct:

Ellos tienen que contestar/responder/dar respuesta a muchas preguntas

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

jaja. I understood that you answered the question as if it read "correct". If you had meant otherwise, it seems likely that there would have been some explanation, therefore I assumed that your brain was working faster than your eyes were reading. :)

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-SlowLearner-

There's nothing wrong with the way you wrote it. The only difference between them is that 'contestar' sounds more formal than 'responder' to my Spanish ears.

January 25, 2019

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

So is contestar used when you're obligated to answer a question, for example to a policeman, whereas responder is used to answer a friend?

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-SlowLearner-

I'd say that the context, the age, and the way the person talks are things that matter here, but in general an old or a young cop could use the word 'responder' if they're talking to a minor or someone in their 20s, 30s, and maybe 40s. If the person they're talking to is in their 50s, the probability of them using 'contestar' is going to be higher. When you're talking to a friend, you can use either of those words depending on the context. For example, if you're texting a friend and they don't get back to you quickly, you can be like, 'Respóndeme/Contéstame rápido que me tengo que ir', and it isn't going to sound formal at all. However, for 'They have to answer a lot of questions', it does sound more formal to me if I use 'contestar' rather than 'responder'.

January 26, 2019

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

Thanks!

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-SlowLearner-

I just noticed a mistake that I made in my writing, so sorry about it and for the rest of them in case I did make more. You're welcome!

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gregorio709933

I believe so.

January 26, 2019

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

It is totally correct. Contributors take a long time to accept those alternative correct answers, but they eventually do it. I reported around 50 sentences some months ago and they were accepted some months later, all of them in less than 1 week. I think it could be better, but it is what we have now.

January 25, 2019

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

Contestar and responder are synonymous words, either one is correct. I personally use contestar more often.

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JPino102

Cuando tù dices " Ellos tienen que responder a muchas preguntas" estàs usando la forma imperativa. Muy formal, es obligaciòn de ellos hacerlo, es decir "responder por sus actos o respuestas, mientras que "contestar es dar una respuesta en forma general. Se usa en lenguaje informal o casual. Tell me what is the difference between "They have to answer many questions" and "They have to answer many questions"

January 27, 2019

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

So, the difference appears to be the same as the difference in English between answer and respond - you answer the telephone, questions, surveys., you respond to questions, surveys, experiences. (They responded to the explosion by running away) They overlap, but there is something on each end that isn't covered by the other.

January 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JPino102

Excelent!

January 28, 2019

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

Tratar.

Ellos han a repuestar muchas preguntas...

// Haber - aux. verbo para 'to have"

TR / Catskills

January 25, 2019

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

The verb "have" in Spanish means "tener" o "haber"

Yo tengo que responder muchas preguntas. (I have to answer a lot of questions) In this case means "tener".

Yo he respondido/contestado muchas preguntas. (I have answered a lot of questions) In this case means "haber".

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gregorio709933

haber is considered a "helping" verb, although it is used in the form of hay--there is/are

January 26, 2019

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

Yes :D

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S0Y_BATMAN

Yes it should be fine! I did the same thing and was marked wrong a few days ago.

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

That was in School4. Many interesting sentences in that group. In most exercises, it accepts some form of contestar, with responder given as an alternate answer. What is more striking is that at least 4 of the sentences I got involved some form of the verb cojer: Cogiste, Cogieron, Cogimos, Cogió. Apparently there are many things that one can coger, including pens, pencils, books, and homework. As you can imagine there are long discussions for each of those.

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gregorio709933

Coger means to catch, right? Although i have heard that there is a vulgar expression that I can't repeat in this forum attached to the word coger, which is an entirely different meaning of the word.

January 25, 2019

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

In Spain, and in parts of Latin America, it's primary meaning is to catch, or grab. In most other parts of Latin American, the vulgar meaning is primary. And there are other words that can be used in it's place - alcanzar, agarrar, tomar, which would be understood in Spain and those areas of Latin America where it is generally acceptable.

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gregorio709933

Yes, so it's true. My spanish teacher at school said never to use the word coger for this very reason unless it is necessary or when you can use another better word.

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JPino102

Es falso que el verbo" coger" en algunos países de L.A. el significado primario sea vulgar. La Real Academia Española de la Lengua (RAE) define el termino como /Agarrar/Tomar/. Es más fácil que oigas decir a cualquier persona "coge esas llaves y me la traes aquí" que "toma esas llaves y ................., por favor. entre los muchos ejemplo que da esta "Tomar a una persona". Es ofensivo para una mujer si dices esto: "Yo me la cojí" o " a ella se la cogieron". Ningún hombre que se considere un caballero dice eso a una mujer. ¿comprendes?

January 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gregorio709933

This is the link I found on Spanish Dict, which I sometimes use when I am confused about something. http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/answer

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eitileda300915

they are often interchangeable, flag it

January 26, 2019
Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.