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  5. "Usted se cayó."

"Usted se cayó."

Translation:You fell down.

April 12, 2013



why se cayó as opposed to simply cayó ?


Caer is to let something drop. Caerse is to fall down. You will see this construction with many Spanish verbs, sometimes altering the meaning drastically, and sometimes altering it very, very slightly. Caer/caerse is one of the former.

"Miguel cayó la manzana" - Miguel dropped the apple.

"María se cayó del techo y murió" - María fell off the roof and died.


"Miguel cayó la manzana" is incorrect.

Nobody can "fall" something in English, neither in Spanish. Objects fall all by themselves (the reason is apparently not 100% clear to modern Physics, but that would be for another discussion). So, in English you "let things fall" or "make things fall". In Spanish is quite the same:

Miguel dejó caer la manzana (al no cogerla)

Miguel hizo caer la manzana (al empujarla)

Miguel tiró la manzana al suelo (this is somewhat different, because dropping is releasing and tirar, throwing, implies active action. however it is used in Spanish in some context where English uses to drop. For instance do not drop litter, in Spanish tirar would be used)

A common one for the accidental dropping is: A Miguel se le cayó la manzana.

This is standard for the accidental dropping of something, making the emphasis on the apple acting under yet-to-be-well-defined-forces and Miguel just doing nothing.


Thanks for the correction and the lesson ;) I tested "Miguel cayó la manzana" in Google Translate and it came out "making sense, but that's imperfect technology.

In Chile, I saw signs that said "No botes basura."

Imagine my confusion when the boat rental place at the local laguna also had a big sign that said "BOTES". :þ


hehe, yes I can imagine. I assume you already got around that, this is a good way of not forgetting stuff :P. There is also votar as a verb, which its 2nd form of pres. subj. is "votes". Votar is to vote, botar is to rebound and, in some places, to throw away.


Please explain why se is used here?


The "se" for accidental occurrences. As I understand it, se le cayó la manzana, for example, the se indicates it just happened by accident, the le indicates who it happens to (him) and the manzana fell, itself, so the verb is conjugated in the 3rd person. If that's the comment you were replying to. It's hard to tell here. Please let me know if I'm misinterpreting this.


Damn, I have already written his explanation down prior to reading yours. People should really care much more about whether they're actually correct or not. Thanks mate, although you could have added english translations to the spanish sentences, for I have a very disorderly way of learning.


It's called a reflexive verb. I'm on my phone so it's not easy, but look that up and you will understand the construction.


I've been confused about se for a while and you fixed that thank you :)


That is also my question. ' lago' explains it nicely below. Than he and RAMOSRAUL get into one of those discussions that I (is it just me?) think are beyond the scope of these simple lessons that you and I are trying to conquer. We haven't even been given the conjugation of any of the verbs in this section.Correct me if I'm wrong about that. Duo seems to be giving us only the verb for he, she, it.
I've gone to spanishdict.com to fill in my word list for yo, tu, (accent over the u) and nosotros, ellos/ellas/ud. Ramosraul even introduces physics into the discussion. Then they go on to "accidental dropping" and intentional dropping. It's all very interesting.
Especially since only ONE word has been introduced into this lesson.
Have you asked the 'se' question before. We've had 'se' in sentences in some of the last 7 lessons in this section.
One BIG question is: 'why aren't we getting the conjugations for these verbs as Duo has done in previous lessons concerning verbs?.


It is the problem when you have people at different levels of Spanish coming together. Just ignore it and move on. Most people make it much harder on themselves by getting to far ahead of the scope of the lesson. It is why now most of these sentences have ridiculous amounts of answers for them. While all the different answers may be correct, it is well beyond the scope of the lesson and making it much harder than just the sentence that the word was intended for.

And to answer your question. There is the odd verb that has fallen through the cracks in the course. Report it when you can, study it from external sources, and move onto the next one :)


I think the advanced discussions definitely do more good than harm. When we come across something we don´t understand, but have interest in, it pushes us to research further on our own and become self-directed learners. And if you guys try to tell me you are not interested in learning Spanish I would have to wonder who is holding a gun to your head and making you play duolingo.

We are all at varying levels of Spanish and many may be more advanced and get bored with the basic sentence given to us and want to delve further into the subject. If it confuses anyone too much, just move along. If you would like to challenge yourself, do further research when someone mentions clitic climbing or dangling participles or whatever:) I realize both of those sound sexual now.


I beg to differ, JR777300. No one is making it harder on themselves if they choose to go far(ther) ahead of the scope of the lesson. That is, unless you mean harder than just getting by. In fact, making it harder on myself is what makes it easier in the long run because I learn so much more so much more quickly and make learning so much more fun! As Hhowell4694 says, when you are interested in something, you learn it faster and better. It is a well-known technique referred to as a "teachable moment" - when a student and a teacher come together at a time when a student has a particular desire to learn something and the teacher can help them. By utilizing the Duolingo discussions and other Spanish language resources, a student who is having a teachable moment can find a "teacher" or information to teach them when they are primed to learn. We all learn better if we want or need to know something.

I have long been annoyed by teachers who are annoyed with students who want to move faster than the teacher's lesson plan. That is craziness and only meant to make less work for the teacher, allow them to keep their job, or make them feel in control. Those are not good teachers. Their requirements to go no farther than the lesson are horribly demoralizing to a student who is ready to learn and ready for more. Expecting a student to stay within the "scope" of a lesson is rarely meant to help the student and only serves to lose their interest in the subject. Occasionally, very rarely, there might be a reason to keep someone from moving forward. It could be an effective tool if a particular lesson is meant to teach something and the teacher wants the next thing to be a surprise, for example. But, in the case of a foreign language, that is absurd. We learn and grow from every single thing we see, hear, speak, and interact with.

Only good can come from understanding a subject more broadly no matter what level you are at, IF the student is the one doing the asking and wanting to know more. Of course, you would never lecture a 4 year old on all the various conjugations or make them discuss which verb is most appropriate in a particular situation. But, if that 4 year old was ready for more, and you shut their questions down because you thought they were too young? that would be a huge mistake. Same here. If someone has the drive to go to the discussions and read the questions and answers and ask their own questions, they may or may not learn what they need for this particular lesson. But, I'd venture that only rarely are they discouraged, and mostly they come away presently surprised that they've learned something useful to them. I know I have!!!! And, by reading discussions that were way beyond the scope of what the lesson was, or even what I wanted to know, my Spanish has gone from barely able to say hello and goodnight to understanding half of what is being said on the radio in only 7 weeks! If I had only stuck with Duolingo's prescribed lessons, I would not even be close to that.

Duolingo is fantastic. Don't get me wrong. I love it that I can just pop in and feel like I accomplished something by staying connected with learning Spanish in one short burst of one quick lesson - or for a multi-hour session marathon. But, the discussions and other resources (internet, radio, movies, books, and real people) have been critical to my ability to comprehend the lessons and learn and absorb even more than what Duolingo offers.

Some people, myself included, need to understand the whole picture in order to understand the little sentence. If I don't understand every part of the sentence and why it is the way it is, I will simply forget it and learn nothing. We all learn differently. I need a lot more than what Duolingo provides or I can't learn the scope of the lesson. Others, like my son, are sticking with the lesson and don't have the motivation to go farther or feel the need. Still others, people like my husband, can learn everything they need very quickly and simply do the lesson and comprehend or eventually learn what Duolingo wants them to learn by using only the lesson. They don't go to the discussions because they don't feel a need. So, it fits several types of learners. But, I know that I have learned far, far, far more than my son in the same amount of time because I WANT to learn and to learn fast. And I couldn't have done it without going way beyond the scope of the lesson. So, let's encourage those who want to know more to keep asking those questions and to help them find the answers - regardless of the scope of the lesson.

Yes, it is nice if we keep the questions and discussions close to the topic of the sentence so we don't waste people's time with side conversations that have nothing to do with learning Spanish. But, as long as the discussion is pertinent to any part of the lesson or sentence or understanding how Spanish works or is translated, I encourage it!


We all have different ways of learning - what confuses one clarifies for another. I learn more from these discussions than from any other source, though I do use other sources to get answers for questions. I also enrolled in Spanish to German, and in that way I get samples of how real people express themselves in Spanish - even though I don't understand it all, my understanding improves the more I read! And I don't mind if some things said here are not 100% accurate. We are all students learning and we can learn from each other, including learning from our mistakes!


¿Cuál es la diferencia de pronunciación entre "cayó" y calló? (El ejercicio fue escribir lo que he oído.) La traducción de Duolingo es "You fell down." ¿Pero podría no ser tambien "Usted se calló"—"You were" silent" o "You kept quiet"?

Miré a este sitio: http://educacion.uncomo.com/articulo/cual-es-la-diferencia-entre-cayo-cayo-callo-y-callo-20912.html


You may say, there is no difference... but it is a regional thing. Have a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtsLhOevHH0


Great link thanks a lot! It was really helpful.

Still, assuming some consistency in Duolingo's pronunciation, I still wonder whether there is a difference in pronunciation between "cayó" and "calló? If there generally isn't, then doing the exercise I was doing, which was transcribing what I heard, Duolingo should accept both.

In other words, is it like the English "quay' and "key"— same pronunciation, different spelling and meanings?


I see your point. Unfortunately consistency is not a strongpoint of DL.

I personally differentiate both sounds but as you saw, there is a bit of everything.

As far as I know, DL has not issued any guidelines or even references to what do they consider the basis of their course... aside of mentioning Latin American Spanish, which just discards Spain, but does not precisely reduce the amount of dialects ...

Regarding real Spanish, yes, a bunch of words sound the same and there will be less discussion with b and v (because they sound the same everywhere) and you have things like vota and bota, vaca and baca and many more.


Thanks again!


On the listening exercise it said "Usted se callo", and it told me it didn't appear to be in Spanish... considering that ll typically is used in Spanish to make a y sound, this should have been marked wrong, right? Not that I'm complaining...


Same thing happened to me. It corrected me once I spelled it as "calló".


This may (or may not) be of interest to you, but she's extremely clear and helpful and has a lot of videos. https://youtu.be/kFpimuSe_1c


I was typing "Usted se callo" and it kept telling that I was typing in English and not Spanish.


I had the same experience.


I The program would not take my answer, saying I typed the wrong language noatter what I wrote, till I just did jrcidjdjrj, then it corrected me.


Confused about the rejection of my translation-- I said that it could also be "you fell down". Can't Ud. be used as a formal you?


That is the meaning of Ud., so I don´t know why your translation would be rejected. That´s also the exact ¨another correct solution¨ Duolingo gave me. Is it possible that you mis-typed and did not realize?


Isn't "se" also the equivalent for the English "know"? Yo lo se! I know it! How does it tie in to cayó to make "fell" or "fell down"?


'Se' without the accent is an object of the preposition (I think, the technical word may be off) and acts as explained above. 'Sé' with the accent, is the verb conjugation of saber, which is the 'know' you are thinking of.


Why not "Ustedes se cayó" ?


"Ustedes" needs the third person plural (past tense) of the verb. So, the sentence would be: "Ustedes se cayeron."


I type in english it is wrong. I type in spanish it tells me I am Typing english. Problem.


Just remember you are talking to a robot - not a person. The Duolingo robot will get more intelligent as people continue to improve the program.


Is "You fell down" the only correct translation? What about "you fell off" or "you fell from" or just "you fell"?


In order to say "you fell off" or "you fell from" you would need to indicate what it is that you fell off/from. For example, "you fell off/from the bicycle" would be something like : "Usted se cayó de la bicicleta."


Much gracias por tu respuesta! Es muy útil.


why not you have fallen?


"You have fallen" is the present perfect tense (Usted se ha caído), covered in a coming lesson. This lesson is on the past tense. That's why your answer was not accepted.


Is there a place on this site where I can see how the verbs are conjugated, especially the irregular ones?


Duo used to have a "Conjugate" option if you tapped on any verb in an exercise. While it did not show the complete conjugation, it looked like they were working on it and it was VERY useful! Alas, it has mysteriously disappeared, along with several other useful features. I'm hoping they're working on these things and someday they will reappear. In the meantime, here are two sites that I usually keep open when I am working on verbs:


Very disappointed that "You get down" wasn't correct. Would love to be able to that in Spanish.


You need a bandaid for that?


Se cayó del acantilado y murió una muerte horrible. Go on Google Translator to figure that one out. Just copy and paste it


Now I'm falling. Jesus

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