I wrote "She is going to learn to swim" and they told me I was missing "how" between learn and to. I reported it, because you can definitely say that you "learn to do something" in English. Thoughts?
Duo doesn't always seem to show the correct place where the error is. But with what you wrote, the words know(saber) and learn(aprender) is quite different, so Duo might be reacting to that.
I'm afraid this time DL actually thinks "learn" is correct because one of the suggested translation is "she will learn how to swim".
The problem is that in English "learned" would normally be used to reflect what DL is suggesting. In the absence of an additional or contextual clause such as "... after taking lessons" we would be unlikely to say "She will know how to swim." Instead we would normally use the future perfect "She will have learned how to swim" to express that the knowledge will have been obtained. DL probably rejects this answer because it switches tense, but it is a much better match in sentiment than the alternative answer they do allow "She will learn how to swim," which suggests a process of gaining knowledge will occur, not that a process of gaining knowledge will have ocurred.
You have used the wrong homonym for "to" above (it's to swim not too swim). Otherwise the sentences mean the same thing. However, Duo has a pretty consistent translation standard. It want to see the ir+a+infinitive construction translated into the parallel going to construction in English. The will construction is the official future in English and Duo likes that as the translation for the congugated future. Thus they use She is going to know how to swim for Ella va a saber nadar and She will know how to swim for Ella sabrá nadar. These conventions Duo uses to signal what translation it wants, and to attempt to limit correct responses.
But I think there can be a difference in the meaning.
-She is going to know how to swim = Maybe she'll jump in the water (or you'll push her), and she will be able to swim alone, without training or learning, by instinct.
-She is going to lean to swim" = She will take swimming lessons, but none can be sure she'll be able to swim after the lessons, it's a learning process, that can be long.
I realized I put learn instead of know without thinking. But supe is more like learn (found out) while sabía is knew. I am assuming that in the imperative it has a sort of implied learn as well (sabe las reglas! Know the rules! (If you don't know them then learn them)
Learning how to swim means actually knowing how to do it, otherwise you take the classes but you don't learn anything. We're translating a Spanish sentence into English, and in English, the difference between the two doesn't matter.
I agree. I gave "She is going to learn to swim." Just as Spanish doesn't require "como", English doesn't require "how" in this sentence.
If "she is going to know to swim" is wrong, is "Ella va a saber como nadar" a correct Spanish phrase?
Don't know but "saber" has "how" built into it. http://www.cliffsnotes.com/foreign-languages/spanish/spanish-i/prepositions/preposition-use-with-verbs
Maybe just for the infinitive? When DL is looking for the simple future in the same question I'm pretty sure I recall the "correct" answer is: 'Ella sabra como nadar.'
It certainly looks strange to have the two infinitives next to one another. But my teacher says it works.
this clause makes sense in the context of, say, "After she comes back from summer camp, she is going to know how to swim."
I put "She is going to be able to swim", which was marked wrong. Do any of you think "to be able to" would be an acceptable translation of "saber" in this case?
No expert here, but the Google translation gives for your sentence, "Ella va a ser capaz de nadar." I think "to be able to" calls for different words and ones that are more consistent with the Google translation here.
Although your sentence (which I also put) is not very elegant, you are quite right; in French the equivalent elle sait nager would best be translated 'she can swim' rather than the more literal she knows how to
Ditto the above the how can be omitted and both translations have the same meaning.
the audio sounds like "ella vas haber nadar" which doesn't make sense I know but....do spanish speakers "blur" through the "a" in these kinds of things?
Yes they do. It's called a syneresis in linguistics. In Spanish poetry and songs, blending together the last syllable of a word ending in a vowel and the first syllable in the subsequent adjacent word starting with a vowel enables the writer to maintain rhythm or meter within each line. But it also happens quite naturally in normal speech.
I find that you eventually learn to distinguish a very subtle change in sound volume between the verbs because Spanish speakers don't just ram the words together. There's a sort of legato in it, kind of like how they pronounce leer or creer, where the individual Es aren't so much enunciated, but are distinguished by the change in tone.
Ella sabrá nadar <-- possible? Is there any scenario in which you can say this with "sabrá"?
Having both "Ella no va a saber nada" and "Ella va a saber nadar" in the same lesson sure encourages careful reading. :P
If you're referring to the "She is going to learn how to swim" version of the answer then yes, "aprender" would be better for that, although I'm pretty sure you'd have to include "como." So ""Ella va a aprender como nadar." It's also worth noting that the two main answers DL offers "She is going to learn how to swim" and "She is going to know how to swim" are not synonymous.
Maybe someone can help me here. Why shouldn't this be "Ella va a saber como a nadar." ? Or "Ella va a saber a nadar."? Isn't it a + infinitive ?
It often is conjugated verb+a+infinitive. Occasionally you will see de+infinitive.
But the use of Saber to mean to know how to is essentially parallel to modal verb usage in Spanish. Modal verbs do not use a preposition between the conjugated verb and the infinitive. Whether or not you are familiar with the term modal verb, you are undoubtedly familiar with these constructions
Quiero comer. Necesitas dormir etc
You may be able to intuit which verbs may require which construction in many cases, but to some extent you will probably just have to learn some of them.
As a general rule, the use of prepositions between languages can be relatively consistent, but you are going to encounter some surprises. This is especially true because English has verb preposition combinations which are similar to German separatable verbs. The meaning of the combination often bears little resemblance to the meaning of the components. Just think about all the combinations you have with the verb to stand. Stand up, stand down, stand in, stand out, stand for, stand around, stand with, etc. Many of these will have one verb replacing the verb preposition phrase (like sobresalir or destacarse for to stand out) but others may use different prepositions like the expression to think about which is pensar en in Spanish.
I wrote " she will know swimming" and it was marked wrong and they offered "she will know to swim" I thought you all might get a kick out of that one!
"She is going to know to swim" is bad English. It should be "She is going to learn how to swim"
When is it correct to put two infinitives next to each other and when is it not?
You can only put two infinitives next to each other when you have a single verb phrase with a total of three verbs in it. For that to happen you need to have a verb expression like ir a or tener que and one modal verb or two modal verbs together. In Spanish saber is considered a modal verb.
So you always have one conjugated verb in the phrase. Possible sentences might be
Necesito saber hablar español. I need to know how to speak Spanish.
Suelo querer dormir demasiado. I usually want to sleep too much.
Ellos van a necesitar comer pronto They are going to need to eat soon.
In most cases you are going to hear a string of "to" s signaling the English infinitives.
I said "she is going to know to swim", as in "she will realize that the correct action is swimming", because there is nothing in the Spanish to indicate that she will know to method with which to swim. It was accepted.
Actually I don't think that Duo should have accepted your answer, but it tends to accept answers which are literal even when the implication is not the same. Just so you understand, saber is considered by many to be a modal verb in Spanish, although to know is not a modal verb in English. You have to be careful about saying that 'there is nothing in the Spanish to indicate that she will know to method with which to swim", because if you aren't a native speaker, you may not understand all the implications of what a construction means. Saber+infinitive always means to know how to do something. Yo sé conducir. I know how to drive. Él sabe escribir. He knows how to write. It is a set expression that expresses a modality just like wanting to do something or needing to do something.
The English expression to know to do something, meaning to know that it is required or appropriate to do something, is somewhat idiomatic. I am not aware of any such shortened expression in Spanish. To say she is going to know to swim using your meaning you would probably use two clauses and deber in the second clause. Something like Ella va a saber que debe nadar.
Ah, so "she will know swimming" (as in, swimming as a subject of study) is a closer idiom.
Yes. I don't think it is as common to say in English as she will know how to swim, but it is a closer parallel construction. Of course for most language learners the goal is not actually translating but understanding. So whatever translation works to help you interpret Spanish as the speaker intended and create the correct Spanish sentence for what you intend to say is the ultimate goal. But since in many cases English has more options for constructing these sentences than Spanish, so linking a Spanish sentence with whatever you personally are likely to think or say in English is the trick. That's why Duo has its common for common convention, but of course there are many people whose personal preference is to phrase things differently, so there are always some issues. Of course there are times when Spanish is the one that is more flexible in terms of how to phrase an idea. But that case does at least make it easier to construct the sebtrnce you want. If course the ultimate goal for many is to actually begin to think in Spanish. At that point all this is essentially moot.
If only duolingo could use English language professors for their translations....
But the problem is that the most eloquent translation into English may demonstrate your knowledge of English, but a somewhat less eloquent translation often helps one see what is happening in the Spanish which is what we are here to learn. While the goal is to produce a grammatical sentence, assuming you are translating a sentence, but we are not learning how to translate. It is more important to reflect patterns in the Spanish in your translation. I learned German when I was younger as an Au Pair in country. I lived on a farm in Bavaria where virtually no one I encountered besides my host family spoke any English. During that experience I used to write home and my mother noticed that my English began to take on the markings of German syntax. I would write things like I will pick up that book when I to Rosenheim go. Duo isn't looking for that, certainly, but sometimes making a less fluid translation does help you better absorb the unusual aspects of a Spanish sentence.