"A watched pot never boils."

Translation:El que espera desespera.

4 years ago

134 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Namizcoho

hahah i love how duolingo teaches us that its "El que espera desespera" and then gives us another translation una olla vigilada jamas hierve that it never taught. how am i suppose to choose both if for the first 5 times i've been through this you have only give me one translation. now i lost a heart haha

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/beetle78

I never before heard that translation, and I learned this idiom at least four months ago! I learned "Quien espera desespera." The other one you mentioned is completely new to me too... Ah well, free language instruction, why complain?;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fettes

I just had four sentences in a row that were all "A watched pot never boils" the first three were "Quien espera, desespera" then I get this question where there's 3 to pick from and none of them were that. Apparently there were two other options I've never seen before :S

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/peteypika

sometimes reloading the page causes a new sentence to appear without losing hearts

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/qwertyminecraft

indeed

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jozo_Berk
Jozo_Berk
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Lol cheats

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CoolStuffYT
CoolStuffYT
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What if the translation was "The who meets exasperates" haha

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leonard.cr

I find it quite ironic that so many people are frustrated at having to wait for this translation of a watched pot never boils.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/barbaraegg

funny.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CassadyBourbon

Well said.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GleesonChris

v funny! ha!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/REL_Consultants

Touché!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dee811953

Good one. Until you mentioned it, I missed the irony.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bearlock
bearlock
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All four translations to a watched pot never boils were given in this exercise. 1. Quien espera des espera 2.El que gusta desespera 3. Una olla vigilada jamas hierve 4. El que espera desespera

Does anyone know the literal translation of these pharases? Just a little confusing.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeanG6
DeanG6
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'Una olla vigilada jamás hierve' = 'A pan watched never boils'.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ppd03
ppd03
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I too think this is the right answer. Literally, "Quien esperas, desespera" should read "S/he who hopes shall despair."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dee811953

Espera can also mean wait as well as hope

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pingpong2012

For El que espera desespera could be translated to, colorfully: "one who waits, exasperates", with "waiting" in the sense of impatient waiting

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RonBurns3

quien espera, desespera was the only example I saw and it translated as "who waits, exasperates." I agree with other comments above that it is not right to expect someone to know this unusally defined idiom and other forms if not provided in the first place.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/barbaraegg

where was this given? I didn't see it but I am new to the site and perhaps missed some points of information. I always feel tricked when they do this.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jonnyp81

thank you

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kstb

Verdad

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dee811953

All of them mean the same thing. Quien aspera desespera means literally, "He or she who waits despairs". Una olla vigilada jams hieve literally translates as "A watched pot never boils".

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arissston
arissston
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shiiiiit. WTF duo?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Treyon

I think its a good teaching method. They want to show us that even though this expression literally translate it has a form that matches word for word which is a more direct translation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/abadsmell

You are right! It is a great teaching method and it reaches folks like me that otherwise would have no access to learn this. This has been my only source of instruction along with watching some subtitled stuff on TV.

I have found that reading all of the comments associated with a phrase that the gaps of misunderstanding slowly get filled in with understanding.

Thanks to all who have commented. It helps

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/barbaraegg

And "una olla vigilada jamas hierve" seems to make more sense than "Quien espera desespera." Are they just being sneaky?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
MexicoMadness
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The second one is easier to say.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ahogan86

I know, right? So annoying! It tells me "Quien espera, desespera." Then it says I'm wrong for typing that in. What??

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/serenittee

They should not have counted it wrong. All of the translations they give for this should be allowed.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JudiPollock

They keep us challenged, curious, aware.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
MexicoMadness
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A good way to learn and remember longer.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joker938

Yeah forget these idioms, most of which we never even use in english to begin with!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/j27tango
j27tango
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You never know. I was in a hardware store last month and heard the clerks talking. When I said "In Spanish, they say 'Cada loco con su tema'," he told me that he was Puerto Rican and we got into an interesting discussion about his parents and his upbringing.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/twitmytwat

Agree wth

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
MexicoMadness
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Yo tambien.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tessbee
tessbee
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Namizcoho: Hah! You can say that again!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sopel1000

True. That is strange

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kstb

Verdad

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/debelaw

I soooo agree!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/panjialang

But now you'll remember it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PerroNegro

Duolingo is an evolving program. This second translation has been probably recently added. Who cares about the hearts? Embrace your new knowledge!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roll-Tide

i care about the hearts!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fettes

As do I!

And it's not so much the hearts as it is the frustration of having the rug pulled out from under you.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ArunavaC

C'mon. This idiom is a pot we never watched, and now it's boiled over. Which is better, to come back and answer it correctly and simply feel good about it, ot to find a new translation that tells you Duo is constantly updating its archive?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
MexicoMadness
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I love the new idiom u just created in English, "a pot we never watched and now it's boiled over"! Haha

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PickeringJoshua

Losing a heart isn't so bad until I have none left, and they give me a question with no possible chance of passing it because I've never heard of the answers. Otherwise, sure! Learn on!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/barbaraegg

You people have me giggling. Are we being graded by some teacher in the sky? I don't care about hearts, just want to learn some Spanish. But these sudden new translations are confusing when they happen. Oh well. This is still a great site IMHO.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leonard.cr

Also, i think it's a deliberate teaching method. On particularly tricky concepts, they introduce them out of nowhere, inducing you to miss it, be confused, read these comments, and then understand more fully. If you were upset enough to complain about losing hearts in the comments, you'll probably remember it next time.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dspeiser

Exactly. Plus, when you miss it, Duolingo brings it up again more often so you can learn it. That's the point of missing questions: so you get the same one more frequently and LEARN the right answer! Ja ja ja!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Toria54

I use this app on a small tablet and I really don't notice the hearts. Sometimes I just guess at an answer to see how close I can come. Although I did the idioms lesson awhile ago and also missed the literal translation, when this just came up in a Strengthen section.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roger_Burke

This not about translation. It is about learning equivalent ideas expressed in both different ways and in different languages. So the problem is, people want instant results and are frustrated when they don't get them. So a long time ago some English speaker was preparing his tea. He watched and watched and watched and came to the conclusion that the act of watching might actually prevent the water from boiling. He then went and did something else and on his return the water was boiling. So great idea, "A watched pot never boils." And some time ago in Spain another person was being frustrated while waiting a slow process, but because the Spanish were not that big on tea, he or she said something like, "He who waits is frustrated" and to top it off used the rhyming of espera and desespera to make it more memorable. One general idea, but seperated by two cultures, two frustrating experiences, and two ways of expressing themselves. So it is the idea that is being translated and not simply the words. The Spanish do not watch tea pots. The English are not comforrtable talking about one who waits. So if you are speaking in Spanish to a Spanish speaker and use the tea pot thing, you might get a blank stare. What you want is the neat little rhyming phrase "espera" and "desespera." My recommendation is to not use an idiom unless you know the equivalent idiom that you are sure your audience is comfortable with in their own language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/drjlgphd
drjlgphd
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I understand this as you are speaking for yourself when you say "people." Speaking only for myself I understand what an idiom is. But I expect most Duo learners do as well. The difficulty with this section is that Duo takes hearts and throws down some correct answers that were never shown before that exact moment. Pretty hard to come up with a foreign phrase that you have never ever seen before.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roger_Burke

Hearts, these hearts are nothing but pixels. They are like stars that small children have pasted to their head by teachers. They are like your car's gas gauge working as a reminder of when you will run out. Drop the key board and grab a pencil and write down the phrases as you encounter them. Leave the list next to your computer. Then pass idioms. After that refresh your idiom skills about four or five times. Soon you will be Dr. Idiom PhD.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/drjlgphd
drjlgphd
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Lol! I'm attracted to the Dr. Idiom idea… writing could be a key.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ScottBrownRN

The more of your 5 senses(sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch) that you involve, you will have a richer experience, and deeper understanding.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shrikrishna1
shrikrishna1
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Refresh your idiom skills about four or five times. Soon you will be Dr. Idiom PhD. vow! s then " espera es no desespera"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Drakessis

But... it was my last one on the last question....

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
MexicoMadness
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Ir do know how that feels. I was on 13-day streak (longest one for me ) and I missed by two minutes and instead of 14, my streak went back to zero.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wairererose

You can "buy" a streak save for about 5 lingots which will prevent you losing your streak. I tend to miss a day due to night shifts and it works great, just equip again if you have to use it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/barbaraegg

I don't expect instant results, not even close. I do get confused when Duolingo gives a translation over and over then suddenly pops in a completely different one. I will leave the idiom section out of my studies until I have mastered some basic, straightforward translations. I recall saying to a native Russian speaker, regarding the initial testing of an instrument he developed for medical monitoring, "let's see if it'll fly." The poor guy's face just fell. I had not intended it to confuse or upset him, but it did.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ScottBrownRN

Do not despair, rather keep working for what you want.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roger_Burke

Did he put his back to the window, spread his arms and scream "nyet"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
MexicoMadness
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Thanks for reminding us of what is important in learning a language.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
MexicoMadness
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My comment was for barbaraegg.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MargoBoylan

5 hearts...I mean stars to Roger Burke. You are right on!!! This is a terrific comment......Agree 100%.....

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kharysafari

Duo you let me down. Didn't know this game was for psychics lol

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/drjlgphd
drjlgphd
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I'm confused about being tested on things I have never heard before. Is this topic covered later? Maybe I'm too early in my studies (level 8) to be doing this part?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adder3
adder3
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I agree, they could at least throw it in as an alternative translation earlier

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adder3
adder3
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I quit and started again, and guess what before I got to this one again I had 6 variations on quien espera, desespera, at least I was forewarned about the other translation this time. but I wont be able to translate it the other way. It doesn't even give the alternative translation at the top of these comments. Come on Duolingo, play fair.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/paceflag
paceflag
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"El que espera, desespera": why isn't it "él" instead of "el"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MrsKCronin

Is it because it isn't "He that waits", but rather "The one that waits"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobClack

Yes, I'd like to know this, too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nathanklages

Same as above

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mark0978

How are these two even remotely connected? I have never despaired over a boiling pot!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roger_Burke

People in a hurry despair over the pot that is slow to boil.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Treyon

Totally agree...its obviously a direct.word for word way of saying it...little common sense would make one ask ...what if I translate the English word for word

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamDomans

I like this exercise, but it's completely trial and error until you've done it a few times. The thing with idioms is that they can be very colloquial, so it would be nice if Duolingo told me where these phrases are commonly used. A Spanish person might no know or use some of these phrases, whereas a Mexican would, for example.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ScottBrownRN

Google is a friend, or in other words, Google is a valuable resource.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/barbaraegg

Dear Duolingo Friends,

So, el que espera desespera. Hmmph. Que sera, sera. Here's the skinny. Put on your big kid pants, stop beating around the bush, get your ducks in a row, don't look a gift horse in the mouth and watch your p's and q's. Everything will come out in the wash!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/drwhitefield

A watched heart always breaks. Mine did too :-(

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hwesta
hwesta
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I've started writing these down so I don't forget them! Some of them have more sophisticated grammatical structures than I'm accustomed to!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DharmaLogos

Are there two correct answers to this? I ran out of hearts with this question and was unable to see my answer, making me wonder if I had checked the wrong answer. I'm pretty sure I checked "el que espera desespera."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/barbaraegg

I suggest using the "review answers" feature after each, or any confusing, segment.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lllindsey.nelson

Fix this exercise, duolingo :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KrysM1
KrysM1
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Who waits, exasperates. He that waits, exasperates. But I get the pot definition to throw me a mango skin. Lol

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/npbone

What is the literal translation of "quien espera, desespera"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pandajurad

This is the hardest lesson ever.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DBPatrick95

I am not sure, but should El be Él in «El que espera desespera»? Maybe I'm wrong, but it doesn't make sense.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/abriellebright

it is so cool that they teach us this.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu.papioso

While it is nice to learn these, I think I have attempted them way too soon. I am struggling with most of them.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SEModiste

WHAT?! is. this?

And why am I not supposed to report mistakes here exactly? Is there another forum for that?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AuntieE
AuntieE
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I agree I never saw una ollo vigilada jamas hierve. Just quien espera desespera

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hypnotiqu3

Its frustrating to learn one way and then have to guess another way that wasn't taught. Meantime, I'm losing linguots! :,(

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mogsy123

I have the same comment as Namizcoho.....not good!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/astridgebec

quien espera desespera, el que espera desespera both expressions are not easy to translate,but una olla vigilada jamas hierve makes sense to me

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobinJacob4

Who waits, exasperates! (or He that waits...) Now can you please tell me what "una olla vigilada jamas hierve" literal translation is?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PerroNegro

A pot (olla) watched (vigilada from vigilar = to watch) never boils (hierve from hervir = to boil). This translation seems to me to be such a close translation to the English idiom that it makes me doubt it is an idiom used in the Spanish speaking world and rather a translation added after complaints from users who lost hearts after translating the sentence exactly. As for me, I will keep the above key words in mind (olla, vigilar, and hervir) for when I see this again on DL, but if I want to express the sentiment of waiting in frustration I will use "El que espera desespera".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/martaals
martaals
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Or perhaps it is to cause awareness of the fact that there is a literal meaning as well as an "idiom" meaning?

At least that's what I thought when I got surprised by having checked only one of the two correct translations. -Which I have to say I thought was sweet and funny.

Let's all apply the meaning of the idiom, continue with our lives and avoid "exasperation" (English is not my native tongue, and now I learned a new word in English as well -woohoo) :P

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobinJacob4

Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/barbaraegg

No only is the translation completely idiomatic, so is the original English. In truth a watched pot does boil eventually. It just seems like never!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jamgee82

I agree Namizcoho

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Neville

Comparing similes is a test of English comprehension; at this novice stage of acquiring basic Spanish vocabulary, I was hoping an idiom test would gently stretch us beyond the literal word for word translation that necessarily takes up the first part of the journey. Thanks.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Treyon

I thought this statement would work ....Lo que espera desespera ???

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
MexicoMadness
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For Treyon: I think that the use of lo here would not work because "he" is the subject, not the object of the 2 verbs.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DharmaLogos

Are there two correct answers to this? I ran out of hearts with this question and was unable to see my answer, making me wonder if I had checked the wrong answer. I'm pretty sure I checked "el que espera desespera."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WilliamGun1

"he who hesitates is lost" might be pretty close in meaning, too?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/porkrind94
porkrind94
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When a site shows that it is not doing the due diligence in its verification and correction of known mistakes then should we expect they have done the same for the initial search and study of the language. Should we expect that the language tests they are going to charge for will be done correctly and with due diligence? The coding and the corrections are not that hard and there are thousands of volunteers to help make the corrections. I for one would be happy to help do the typing of the additional correct answers that need to be added. I am sure there are many others as well. ^^)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Patsyish
Patsyish
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El que espera desespera.

Why not:

Él que espera desespera.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bartlomiej354768

I dont like the thing that it gives me el que espera desespera and sometimes it gives me el espera desespera damn!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrankHelm

Duelingo have taught us many words and they throw a wrench in there every so often to test our ability to conjure up translations from what we know. Otherwise you now remember this sentence because it stumped you.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GuidoJenniges

makes no sense

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GuidoJenniges

makes no sense

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lpet4927

any ideas on how to remember this? I really don't want to forget it (after all, im taking the time to learn it. Why forget it all later?).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tim4Portuguese
Tim4Portuguese
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I think 'una olla vigilada jamas hierve' seems a better translation. For el que espera desespera seems more like, 'He who hesitates is lost' or 'He who dares wins".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ah56
ah56
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Tricky DL changed it from "quien espera ..." to "el que espera ..." Only question is "he that waits" ... should be él not el.?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RubenMende14
RubenMende14
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Entiendo que los dichos o proverbios populares no se interpretan textualmente, más pueden trasmitir otra idea con cierta ironía, o enseñanza, de la sabiduría popular. Ahora bien si la idea es la misma en un idioma o en otro, aunque la traducción literal sea totalmente diferente, podemos considerarlo correcto, si no es así, está incorrecto.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ZuMako8_Momo
ZuMako8_Momo
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Should it not be «Él que espera desespera.»?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dennis265538

Does anyone else think that a closer English synonym for this idiom is; 'he who hesitates is lost'?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/billj6
billj6
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"He who hesitates is lost" seems like the proper meaning of this idiom.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ssophd
ssophd
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This is a lot harder than the last topics in the Spanish tree, I can tell you

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/parvinkhavarian

Haste makes waste

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/morganggallagher

I know! First I learn "quien espera, desespera", then I go to the multiple choice and "l que espera desespera" is the correct translation, and all of a sudden, they throw a new one at you after like 2 years of the first one.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DailyGrace

The problem is this: we have multiple idioms with the same/similar meaning (for example - "It is raining buckets" and "It is raining cats and dogs" are both idioms meaning "It is raining alot!") It would help tremendously if Duo would give us both the literal AND the idiomatic meanings. What confuses us is that while both idioms have the same meaning, they are clearly not presenting the same visual images.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KyJayn21

I think this every time I try to boil something. If I watch it, it seems as if it never boils. If I leave the room for a split second, the pot is overflowing with bubbles.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bre7741
bre7741
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That's a pretty liberal translation...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jacqueline697446

There is nothing I have learned so far in Spanish that would prepare me to translate this sentence. Why is it in this lesson?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DailyGrace

This lesson is unique. In it you learn the incredible value of this comment section!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carlos38213

I wrote this twice correctly! But, it was not accepted.

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LauraEickholt

The saying is "A watched pot never boils over."

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tontolita

This is crazy. I type what the program says and then it is still wrong. El que espera desespera., Una olla vigilada jamas hierve. Are these two different answers the question....WTF!

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jae_woods

Well, it Does, it just takes a while.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/allenm1000

so what do you do when all three translations are "wrong"?

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/allenm1000

so what do you do when all three translations are "wrong"?

8 months ago
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