"It began ten minutes ago."
Translation:Empezó hace diez minutos.
Comenzó = it started. Lo = direct object pronoun (he/she/it) but redundant here. Lo would require an object.
Comenzo' also means "he started". How do you distinguish "it" from "he" or "she"?
Context enables you to perceive whether the subject pronoun is "he, she, or it." Remember, this was a translation of an English sentence to Spanish. If, however, it had been the other way around, then "Lo empezó hace diaz minutos" could have been translated as "He/she began it ten minutes ago."
Lo is it? lo empezo diez minutos hace why is that wrong? it it began it is the object?
I should have added preterite verb. Preterite verb with hace + time is how you express ago.
No, 'lo' is a direct object pronoun (it) but not a subject pronoun. Also, 'diez minutos hace' doesn't make sense here. The standard construction is hace + time.
Is there a difference between "comenzar" and "empezar"? Would "Comenzó hace diez minutos" have worked?
Hace goes before the time frame. Hace+(time frame) combined with preterite tense verb is (time frame) ago. If it's at the beginning of the sentence it's “Hace (time frame) que (preterite verb)." Otherwise it's “(Preterite verb) hace (time frame)."
Hace tres años que llegó en Barcelona.
Llegó en Barcelona hace tres años.
thanks for your explanations, they are very helpful. It's great to be able to see one's mistakes properly corrected.
Why does "Comenzó hace diez minutos." work but "Lo/La/Le comenzó hace diez minutos." does not?
Comenzó is how you say He/she/it started. Lo comenzó would be he/she/it started it. Lo/la are direct object pronouns and le is an indirect object pronoun. In the intended sentence, 'it' is the subject.
You'll have to rephrase your question. As phrased right now, it makes no sense.
How would you say "he started it ten minutes ago"? Would "se lo comenzó hace diez minutos" be right?
'Hace' is a conjugated form of 'hacer'-'to make/to do'. It means "it makes", so the whole phrase means " it makes ten minutes". It's a bit of an idiom, but that phrase along with a verb in the preterite tense means "_ ten minutes ago."
When I write, "Yo tengo," it means the same as "tengo" = I (I) have, so wouldn't this be correlative with "Lo empezo" and "Empezo?"
No. 'Lo' cannot be the subject of a sentence. If the subject is 'it', it must be implied in the verb. There is not a word that translates to 'it' as a subject. 'Lo' can only be used as a direct object pronoun and in some stock phrases like "Lo que".
"Lo empezó" means "He/She/It began it".
Sure. I actually wrote an explanation of this in a different thread. (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9165142) It discusses relative clauses, which are clauses that provide information about something. Bound relative clauses elaborate on a noun that is explicitly stated, while free relative clauses describe something that is not mentioned outside the clause.
I'll copy it over here.
To explain, Spanish doesn't allow free relative clauses (they start with 'what', 'who', or 'whom' and act as the subject, direct object, or indirect object of a sentence) quite the way English does. Instead, Spanish relative clauses have to be refer to something outside of them.
Compare "That is the building that I saw yesterday" with "That is what I saw yesterday." The italicized words are relative clauses, but the first one is bound to 'the building' and the second one is free because it doesn't refer to anything other than itself.
The 'lo' in 'lo que' means something like "the thing", although it directly translates as "it", and it provides the word for the relative clause to refer to (this is called the antecedent). So in Spanish (to steal your first sentence), you have to say "I liked the thing that she said", where 'lo que' means 'the thing that'.
Usually that's true, but this is a bit of an exception. The construction "hace [tiempo]" is the direct equivalent of "[time] ago", and it takes the general, impersonal "it" as its subject, which is different than whatever the subject of the sentence is. It can go before or after the subject and verb in a sentence. So you can say "Hace diez minutos que empezó" or "Empezó hace diez minutos", which literally mean "It makes ten minutes that it began" or "It began it makes ten minutes".
When this sentance, or any sentence containing a number, comes up as a multiple choice question the incorrect answer(s) display as the number (10 in this case) and the correct answer(s) display the number spelled out (diez in this case).
Not sure why ir who to report to but it has happened several times to me.
Yep. Other incorrect giveaways are options with non-capitalised first words and every (except one that I have seen) option that includes Vosotros pronouns or conjugations. This isn't even mentioning the options that due to blatantly incorrect verbs or nouns can be dismissed at a glance. The multi-choice answers need a major overhaul to make them useful, but due to the demands this would place on DL's staff, coupled with their apparent preference to introduce more language courses rather than improve/extend existing ones, I don't think this overhaul will happen any time soon.
It's wrong because you've included the direct object pronoun "lo" as a subject pronoun. Spanish rarely uses subject pronouns, but while you may see "él" or "ella" etc. included to clarify/emphasise who the subject is, with "it" no subject pronoun will normally be used. The context and the conjugation of the verb is enough. I guess if there was some absolute need to include one "ello" could be used, but in my understanding that would be very rare.
This one has me stumped. I thought empezó and comenzó both meant began. I still don't understand the difference.
GUESS WHAT GANG! I found it. The correct answer is 10 minutes ago not 2 minutes ago. It has nothing to do with the verb Empezó or Comenzó