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  5. "I have met two doctors."

"I have met two doctors."

Translation:Yo he conocido a dos doctores.

April 11, 2013



I wrote "Yo he conocido dos doctores" and it was counted as correct. But the correct translation has "a dos doctores"... so which is it? And can I stop using "a" yet? :)


I believe that when an action is done to a person or a beloved pet, the "personal a" needs to be present. :-)


Would like to know the answer to this, as well!


The personal a is not used when you are talking about non specific things or people. I suppose you can say that this is not specific, as you only have met two doctors out of the entire world's supply of doctors.


I might be slightly off the mark but this could be a reason why.


The "personal a" is not needed and seems wrong to me.

EDIT: OK, I can see the logic in KenHigh's comment and that justifies the use of "a " here. If the speaker is not referring to specific doctors, however, the "a " is not used. So, it depends on the speaker's intent.


You met the doctors. That is all it take to "know them" and for them to be "specific doctors" worthy of your respect by using the personal a.


Yes Meeting and knowing are the same in Spanish, as are knowing and finding out for saber. The issue is only the breadth of the slice in time. Meeting is the starting point.


According to "A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish":

Nouns preceded by a number may be unspecified or unidentified and personal a is sometimes omitted before them. Reclutaron (a) doscientos jóvenes - They recruited 200 young people.

A clearly particularized or identified personal noun will, however, take personal a: yo conocía personalmente a sus tres hijas ‘I knew his three daughters personally

I think I can imagine a situation when I talk about two unspecified doctors (as opposed to three, for example).


In other sentences with 'met,' the indirect pronoun 'lo' or 'le' had to be used. Why not here as well?


'Lo' is a pronoun like him, her, it. But in this sentence you are clearly mentioning who you met i.e. 'two doctors' rather than saying that you met 'them'

So, therefore you won't be needing a pronoun. Hence no need of 'lo'


But as well as "Nunca lo he conocido a él", we also had "Algo le ha pasado a mi coche", where surely "mi coche", being explicit, should obviate the need for the IO pronoun "le".

Admitedly, coche is inanimate and "haber pasado a" may work differently from "haber reconocido a", but I am still confused.


In your second example coche is an indirect object. Indirect object pronouns are always used with or without a named direct object. Direct object pronouns are generally not used with a named direct object. You will find they are used by some native speakers sometimes, which is what you saw demonstrated. Personally I do not feel comfortable enough in my understanding of this usage to do it myself, but I am aware enough to understand it when I see it.


lo is a direct object pronoun, not an indirect. You don't need the direct object pronoun here because it is present explicitly: a dos doctores


That doesn't explain why DL uses "Yo lo he conocido a él" but doesn't accept "Los he conocido a dos doctores". Explicit object in both cases.


I also thought it's more common to use los than not.


When the object of the preposition "a" is simply a pronoun, then the direct object pronoun (or indirect object pronoun) must be shown before the verb. The "a + object" part if optional, but the pronoun before the verb is mandatory.


I wrote "Me he encontrado con dos doctores" - meaning "I met (bumped into) two doctors" and although I understand that conocer is used to express 'to meet' as in "to become acquainted" I want to ask if my translation is also possible


The common verb used by spanish speakers to mean bumped into is "topar".


As far as I know it's "encontrar a" and not "encontrar con" so that part I believe is not correct. Personally I would not translate "have met" with "bumping into" in this sentence but don't know if they are interchangeable in some situations...


Duo accepted 'He encontrado dos doctores.' June 2017.


Yes they have been accepting this for a while, but no one has come up with the reason why the personal a is optional. It should be either required or wrong.


why isn't it Los he conocido a dos doctores?


could it be 'two doctors' are not specific therefore not DO or IO


I think it's specific by grammar logic because it's not being replaced with a pronoun.


In other words, "Los VERB a PRONOUN" is correct but "Los VERB a NOUN" is incorrect?


I don't know the easy answer to this, so I'll give you the long answer.

Since the indirect object pronoun (IOP) is used more than the direct object pronoun (DOP) in regards to people, I will add "Les VERB a Pronoun" to your list. Also, you can often drop the "a PRONOUN" when the context has already made the object pronoun clear (lo, la, los, las, le, les.) And my answer is a tentative YES. I would argue that "Les VERB a NOUN" isn't incorrect; it's simply redundant.

This logic has worked for me with duolingo, however there are a lot of examples which break the rule.

Examples that work for the rule:
le lee un diario
Yo les leo un libro
puedo observar a mi amigo
Oí a tu padre hablando en la radío.
Lo vamos a seguir a usted.
Ellos le leen una revista a ella.
Yo le leo un periódico a él.
Yo leo las palabras.
veo a un hombre.
ella lo ve a él.
El jugador dio el balón al árbitro. (wordreferenc.com - Dar)

pregúntale a cualquiera.
puedo hablarle a mi doctor
le puedo hablar a mi doctor
les tiraban piedras a los soldados. (wordreference.com - Tirar, collins tab)

Also, sometimes an object pronoun is added to make clear that the first word is an object instead of a subject:
Este tema lo veremos en la próxima clase. (wordreference.com - ver, collins tab)
we'll be looking at this subject in the next lesson.
Esto lo tiro yo.
I throw this.

Some words always take an IOP:
A los gatos les gusta el pescado. (wordreference.com - gustar)
la novela ideal para quienes no gusten de obras largas (wordrefernce.com -gustar, collins tab)

Examples are taken straight from duolingo unless cited, so you can find them by searching in the discussion section.

If you find a definitive grammar rule which explains all this, please share it with me.


I wrote yo he encontrado a dos doctores and I feel this should be accepted.


I don't understand why "he encontrado dos doctores" is incorrect.


"Encontrado a dos doctores "that is a good translation and will be used when you are meeting people you already know. Conocido is also meet, but more like becoming acquainted. Both translations should be OK . But do not forget the "a"


Thanks - this is the only real question here - why conocer and not encontrar - thanks for the answer


Why is it incorrect to use an object pronoun here?


It's redundant. Kind of like "I have met them, the two doctors." In Spanish, indirect pronouns are required even if it's redundant. But direct pronouns shouldn't be used if the object is stated.


But "Nunca lo conocido a el" was correct. How is this different?


Because the direct object "doctores" is a noun, and your example uses a pronoun, "lo", as the direct object.

To be more specific, for masculine pronouns, "él" is used as a subject pronoun and a prepositional object pronoun, while "lo" is used as a direct object pronoun. So, in your example, the direct object pronoun "lo" is used for "Nunca lo conocido." (And yes, the placement of the direct object changes for pronouns versus nouns.) However, since "lo" can be either masculine or neuter, we can optionally qualify it with a prepositional phrase, using the prepositional object "él" to give us "Nunca lo conocido a él."



What is the difference in Spanish between un doctor and un médico?


I'd like to know why "me he encontrado con dos doctores" was rejected.


why can I not use encontrar


I thought conocer = to know/be familiar with, and conocerse = to meet. Please could someone explain to me how you would know this was meet and not know. Conocerse= to meet for the first time. Verse = to meet someone you already know.


why is the verb encontrar not suggested here?


I wrote: He encontrado con dos doctores. In my opinion this is also a solution


This section is dealing with Present Perfect which means we need to use 'conocido' with the auxillary verb 'he' . Encontrado I believe is the Past Perfect. As far as being reflexive verbs (me, te, se) doesn't get used with Present Perfect tense but I need to do more research.


Present perfect is just the present tense of HABER (conjugated) + the past participle of the desired verb, e.g. He corrido, has sentado, hemos conocido (I have run, you have sat, they have known/met). You can use the present perfect with reflexive verbs (e.g. irse--to leave): Me he ido. With reflexive verbs, place the reflexive pronoun before the conjugated form of haber has the haber+participle combo must be kept together.


What I find confusing is that 'two doctors' is obviously the direct object in English, but in Spanish it appears to be the object of the preposition 'a'. Anyone else confused by this?


The personal a is not a normal preposition. It known as a morphological marker, in other words, a little thing that is added because of grammar rules, that also helps one to understand the various parts of a sentence. In Spanish, the personal a is required before a human direct object, or other affectionate beings such as pets. What follows the personal a, is still a direct object, not an object of a prepostion.

Having the personal a before a direct object, among other things, helps a reader or a listener to know who is the subject of a sentence and who is the object. This is necessary in Spanish which unlike English, normally requires a SVO Subject Verb Object order, the sentence order in Spanish can be much more flexible.

In other words....

Maria vio Juan.
Maria saw Juan is the only meaning of this in Englsih.

In Spanish, it could mean Juan saw Maria.
Except in reality, this sentence is illegal because either Juan or Maria has to have a personal a in front.


A Maria la vio Juan.
Can only mean Juan saw Maria.

Maria vio a Juan.
Can only mean Maria saw Juan.


Why is "He quedado con dos doctores" not accepted? I'm living in Madrid, and from what I've been told, the most common way to say "meet" (in the sense of meeting up with and spending time with) is "quedar con"...


Why not "reunido" en lugar de "conocido"

Por que no "reunido"? "Yo he reunido dos doctores para hablar mi cancer"


Can you please explain why "He" and not "Tengo". I thought tengo was "I have". Thank-you.


You are correct that tengo is "I have", but this "I have" is actually past tense "I have met" and in that case it is the verb haber you need before the past participle of conocer.


No, I completely disagree. Past tense of "tener" in first person is tuve.

The reason why this is haber is because in English "have" is an auxiliary verb, which means it can be used as a doing (or lexical form such as run or eat) and a grammatical verb (or modal such as must or should).

For example. "I have a dog". In this case you are doing the action of owning a dog. If you replace "have" with another verb such as "love" and it makes sense, you use tener.

With haber, it is used modally, which means it's only there for grammatical reasons, and are used for obligation (must), possibility (may) and ability (can).

To find out if you use haber vs tener, try replacing the English equivalent with another verb. "I have had a dog" goes to "I love had a dog". In this case you use haber.

If you are still confused, look up auxiliary verbs on Google.



Yes, past tense of tener would be tuve. This is the past of "to meet" as in "I have met him several times before". I think the English grammatical terminology is 'present perfect'.


I apologise Jamaud, I initially misread your comment. You are completely correct. Yes, it is present perfect.

Sorry for causing confusion!


I know Duo loves her cognates, but most Spanish-speakers I know use "medicina /o" when they mention a physician. "Doctor" is more commonly used with professor-sorts. As Duo expands HER vocabulary, I hope she will begin to allow for that kind of variation.


I think you mean médico/a, and in that case Duo does accept it (at least now, 5/2018).


Why does it need Yo.


It does not need yo. If yo was required, report it. But yo, of course, is never wrong with the first person verb conjugation.


Is anyone else always mixing up "to know" and "to cook"? If the FBI is monitoring me, I swear I have not cooked any doctors!


Tengo conocido dos doctores?


Tener means have as in to possess, but it is not the have which is the auxiliary verb for the perfect tenses. That is Haber. Haber is a strange verb as the only time it is fully conjugated is as an auxiliary verb. The only other use of Haber is that the third person singular is used to mean there is or there are. Of course hay is also mutated in the present tense. But I have met, I have seen, I have done all use Haber He conocido, he visto, he hecho.


And a big one too, MeredithNa.

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