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  5. "Los pobres hombres no comier…

"Los pobres hombres no comieron."

Translation:The poor men did not eat.

April 16, 2013



Odd to give this example when I am in the beginning lessons that only cover PRESENT tense.


I enjoyed this one. I think it's smart to make us think on our own once in a while. I started with "The poor men no ate." and then cleaned up the English grammar.


I tried "The poor men have not eaten" and it didn't accept it. Isn't that pretty much the same meaning?


No, "have not" is a whole nother tense involving "haber", I believe.


I personally quite like the new word "nother", along with its reanalyzed compound a+nother.


Yeah, "whole nother." A'curse that's raight. Git wit the program. This is 'murica! :)


Gotta love a bit of tmesis.


vitor_funai asked the same question below. Rocko2012 replied with this: "Thats a bit different tense and Spanish has verb conjugation for that tense(I'm on that section now: Present Perfect). 'Los pobres hombres no han comido' = 'The poor men have not eaten'"


I wonder if 'The poor men ate not' would be accepted. Like Shakespeare would write.


"to eat or not to eat?" that is the real question we should be tackling.


They're poor, they may not always have that choice.. :-(


That's what I said, too. It means exactly the same, and since we haven't even touched on past tense yet, I think they should be kinder, even if it's NOT quite perfect!! :)


Yes, I agree. It's good to give learners early exposure to new tenses.


Agreed. It almost tricked me.


It DID trick me! I even clicked on the conjugate button to see what was there ...


Yes, when you click on comieron, it doesn't give the past tense conjugation (as of 7/22/13). However, it does define comieron as ate instead of eat. Still, it totally tricked me too!!!!


It's probably to late to inform you, but every other reading this:
Duo will give the past tense conjugations once you finished the first past tense lessen. Before that.. well, shit happens, I guess.


If it defined comieron as "ate", then it indeed WAS conjugated and you WERE given the accurate definition, since "ate" is the only form of the past tense of "eat" for all subject forms: I ate, you ate, they ate, he/she/it ate, we ate.

Part of the trickery, if this is any, may have been to convert "ate" to "did eat", since this would be the more useful preterit form to use here.


Yes because it is in the negative past tense form (did eat).


Where is this conjugate button? I've never seen it!


GaiusAugustus if you hover over the word the conjugate button should be the last option on the drop-down list. A very helpful addition (thank you Duo).


Thank you, I hadn't seen it because it wasn't on mobile, and I do most of my work on the mobile app.


Thank YOU!!!! Muchas Gracias!!!


I don't know present tense yet....when did we start learning past tense.


It was highlighted as a new word. I made the same mistake. Our fault for not picking up on it. Always check the highlighted words, even if you think you read it correctly.


It wasn't highlighted as new for me. And I'm sure I haven't seen it before. But it seems like there have been several words in this lesson that are new to me that haven't been highlighted. In fact, I was told I peeked to see the translation. I knew it had something to do with eating, but I wasn't familiar with the tense.


Please teach lessons before you test me on them.


I made the same mistake, but it was our fault for not paying closer attention to the ending and realizing it was different and that we needed to check the meaning. We have learned a lot of words so they are slowly introducing new concepts and keeping us on our toes by making sure we are paying attention.


Sometimes sentences get mixed up and end up in the wrong skill level and it is usually during practice weak words. However, Duo is pretty good at keeping the skill levels separate.


Exactly... it's not asking us to conjugate these new forms for ourselves, so throwing in one or two is a good way to introduce the concept, IMO.


Ever widening our knowledge...


Yeah whats up with them throwing the past in again before teaching it. They did that before already.


I am in the past tense, third lesson. However DL has a way of throwing in sentences from skills we have not learned. I have been fooled a lot but now I usually catch it. I Always report it each and every time because when I started the program, many people said to report it. A lot of these odd ball sentences that are out of place seem to stem from the practice weakest words.


I find it good to have some 'randoms' thrown in to the mix - keeps me on my toes....


Why is it not "hombres pobres"?


Some adjectives change in meaning (or at least in English translation) depending on whether they're placed before or after the noun. Generally, the adjectives placed after nouns have an objective meaning or one that carries little or no emotional content, while one placed before the noun can indicate something about how the speaker feels toward the person or thing being described. Example: Mi viejo amigo, my longtime friend; mi amigo viejo, my elderly friend.

(from spanish.about.com)


so hombre pobre and pobre hombre would translate to the first one meaning bad lucky therefore unfortunate while the other means financial poor? just need to know


I can't remember which is which, but I think one is the literal "poor" (with little or no money) and the other is "poor" in the sense of "to be pitied" ...


What I heard was that when pobre comes before the noun, as in this sentence, it has the sense of pitied, while if it comes after the noun it means financially poor.


This agrees with what Shafica posted above.


Suddenly jumping to the preterite tense, well, I wasn't expecting it so didn't spot the spelling!


strange not to introduce past tense before using it to translate


I suspect this is a glitch in Duolingo, I doubt they would just randomly throw something in there that they hadn't taught us about yet (I see present tense verbs are the next lesson, and past tense several lessons beyond that). I realized it was past tense, but I typed "The poor men haven't eaten", and so I got it wrong.


you will see this glitch often. You will get randomly thrown in grammar. I has happened to me for six months. At first it bothered me, but now I just move on. Just to let you know.


Ah, thanks. It seems I've encountered it once or twice before. I'm not complaining, though, I love Duolingo, and I can easily live with a glitch this small.


As glitches go it could be worse.


Spanish has a verb tense for "have eaten". Something like "Los pobres hombres no han comido" I guess. It will be covered farther down in your skill tree.


Thanks, I'm looking forward to it. I've tried to learn Spanish once or twice before, but never got as far as verb tenses.


Just to let everyone know, "pobre" is one adjective in which the meaning changes depending on whether or not it comes before or after the noun it modifies. When it follows the noun, it means "poor" as in not having money. When it comes before, as in this case, it means "poor" as in unfortunate. I typed: "The unfortunate men didn't eat," and my answer was accepted.


Thanks for the insight - 'unfortunate' is a good alternative to 'pity' (see above)


How are we expected to know the past tense when all we've learned so far is the present? This needs to be changed to "comen" or moved to a later lesson.


We haven't studied the past tense yet. Why was there a past tense verb in this group?


Why not "The poor men have not eaten"?


Thats a bit different tense and Spanish has verb conjugation for that tense(I'm on that section now: Present Perfect). "Los pobres hombres no han comido" = "The poor men have not eaten"


I speak portuguese and I've learned that we use the Present Perfect for actions that have not finished (like your example) and for past actions in an indeterminated time (my example)

Los pobres hombres no comieron = The poor men have not eaten Los pobres hombres no comieron en la noche pasada = The poor men didn't eat last night



The sentence was not written in the present perfect tense. If it were, then it would have said: "Los pobres hombres no han comido" . The present perfect conveys a different message.


I LIKE how DL adds to our knowledge by introducing new things like this sentence using the past tense. By now we should be pretty familiar with the verb 'comer' in it's many present tense forms. Time to expand!


Could we please have an alternate sentence that indicates that rich, gender-ambiguous people also sometimes skip meals? I think this sentence perpetuates a stereotype. Duolingo needs to accurately represent a crosscut of the American "99%".

Sorry. I'm still a little traumatized by the tomfoolery in the comments for "My mother cooks for my father."


I wrote - The poor men didn't eat. but this was rejected. Did not and didn't to me is the same thing.Or should I say the same meaning.


Sometimes the DL database doesn't have all the correct responses. If you use the "report a problem" button and select "My answer should be accepted" they will eventually get around to adding it.


throw in a past tense verb as a curve ball :\


The past tense was not covered.


why is the poor men "Do" not eat wrong ?


comieron is the preterite (past) tense "they ate", then negated, so "did not" in English ... it hasn't been covered previously, so most folks were (understandably) caught off guard


i did it and got it right!!


what is the difference between "did not eat" and "have not eaten" same thing right?


"did not eat": simple past ... "have not eaten": present perfect



WHOO! A preterite! Finally getting into tense! Been doing Spanish since kindergarten and I have had to teach myself tense with dictionaries all this time.


If comieron means ate why is it still eat in the translation?


The model sentence says the men did not eat. 'Did' is the past tense of 'do' The 'did' makes the sentence past tense. When making a negative statement, only the first verb is in the simple past.


the poor men have not eaten... ? bah!


I gave the same wrong answer. since we were treading into new and unexplained territory, I just entered something that made sense to me. "Did not eat" and "have not eaten" are essentially the same meaning. I'm not complaining, just pointing out a fact. In either case, there is still hope that the men may eat in the near future.


If you are going to get into past/preterite tense, DL, please clearly post how it breaks down. When I was taught past/preterite, I was taught that -ar verbs use er/ir for preterite and vice versa.


I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean that -ar verbs use the endings of for the -er/-ir verbs? If so, that's not true for the preterite. It's more or less true for the subjunctive ...


@Pyxxie: er/ir verbs use the same endings in the preterite, but 'ar 'verbs have their own set of endings. note: the nosotros forms for -ar and -ir verbs are the same in both preterite and present tenses: hablamos, vivimos. See ref: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/pret1.htm


comieron is preterite, which is the past tense of comer, which has not been taught yet in,, not cool


"comieron".... didn't encounter this tense so far........tricky


i said the poor man and i got it wrong!!!! grrrrr smh!!


This Spanish sentence is incorrect. It does not translate to "the poor men did not eat". It properly translates to "The poor men DO not eat."




i'm loving it! Keep it coming!


Shouldn't they accept "the poor men have not ate"?


Your sentence is not standard English. 'Ate' is the simple past tense while ' 'eaten' is the past participle, However the model sentence says the men did not eat. The 'did' makes the sentence past tense. When making a negative statement, only the first verb is in the simple past and the other verb is an infinitive. (Eat)


I think this is a great way to introduce grammar and vocabulary as well . It's the way you'd learn "on the street" and the way children learn.


Yes, but I am not on the street and I am not a child.


yes what bucket of ice water in the face of spanish duolinguo students who have only been given the present tense


I'm confused by "comieron". We haven't had any past tense, and if you click "conjugate" on the translation pop-up, "comieron" does not appear on the list for "comer" - in fact no past tense does. AAACK!


Well hello there, past tense. In Spanish, is there a past perfect, and if so... what's the correct S->E translation? I tried "The poor men have not eaten", but the suggestion was "The poor men did not eat".


Yes, there is a perfect tense in Spanish, and this sentence here is just simple past.

  • The poor men have not eaten. = present perfect = Los pobres hombres no han comido.

  • The poor men had not eaten. = past perfect = Los pobres hombres no habĂ­an comido.


This lesson is so long


sometimes i use the wrong words just to sound photosynthesis


Why is "guys" not accepted? I submitted "the poor guys did not eat" and it was wrong.

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