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  5. "Ellos se lo han ganado."

"Ellos se lo han ganado."

Translation:They have earned it.

May 20, 2013



It is using the reflexive form of the verb ganar. Literally "They have earned it themselves"


I put exactly what you have there and it said it was wrong!


That's what the verb implies since it is reflexive, you don't need to add "themselves".


If it's implied in the Spanish, but not in the English, it shouldn't be wrong to say it explicitly.


I think it's implied in the English too, by the verb "to earn".

ganarse = to earn ganar = to win

I wonder if it would accept "They have won it for themselves".


Elissa you had gone down to deep to be able to respond to you, so I am responding here. It is more than a little dangerous to use English as any sort of reference for Spanish reflexive verbs. Most Spanish reflexive verbs are not comfortably reflexive in English (I have never said I wash myself the hands in English) And this is especially true with verbs that have a reflexive and non-reflexive form like ir and irse, caer and caerse or quedar and quedarse. I won't even go into using morir with a reflexive pronoun. That threw me for years. The bottom line is that ganar can mean earn, win, or gain without the reflexive pronoun but can only mean earn with it. Here are the various meanings with examples from Spanishdict http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/ganar


Just to clear up a misunderstanding, reflexive does NOT mean that "I did it myself". Pretty much (almost) all subjects in (almost) all sentences do the action (the verb) themselves. That is kind of the definition of the Subject. The person/thing doing the action.

"I read a book." - I read it myself. Does this mean it is reflexive? Of course not.

What reflexive actually means is that the target of my action is myself. I do it TO myself. For example, I dress up. What does that mean? I am doing the dressing, and the person I am dressing is myself. That is the important thing. The Object of my action is myself.

That is the basic idea.

So, earning something is not reflexive. Why would it be?
But washing MY OWN hands, well, that can be reflexive.

And I understand some reflexive verbs in Spanish are used in a non-reflexive way, simply taking on a different/specific meaning compared to the original non-reflexive form. "Ganarse" seems to be one of these verbs.
I guess it really does not make sense to use it reflexively, so it was "repurposed".


Well, if you earn something, did you not do it yourself inherently? If I won a million dollars, it would be completely different than earning a million dollars. When you earn, you are usually putting for the effort, yourself, to achieve it.


Yes, it should. It doesn't mean that they "earned it themselves". Ganar is closer to gain than to win/earn When you ganar without attributing it to something you did, it translates to win. You won (the thing you gained). When you ganar due to your own efforts, it's earn. You earned (the thing you gained).

You wouldn't go around saying "I earn my salary myself", even though you had, because it's inherent in the meaning of earn. It would sound, frankly, stupid.


That was my answer too...e


Gracias BarbaraMorris y muddgirl, un lingot para ustedes.


ganar = to win ganarse = to earn


'They have won it' was also accepted


That is pretty much Duo bowing to pressure from users instead of teaching the distinction, although there is one possibility. Ganar alone can actually mean either win or earn. But Ganarse really only means earn, but it is talking more about things you earn other than money like respect, fame, reputation etc. Duo was hoping that the familiarity of this sentence They have earned it which we hear so often about people who are enjoying success would carry the day. But it's difficult to do with beginning students. The tricky part here is that if you translate this sentence as They have won it you actually ARE NOT using the verb Ganarse. You are using the verb ganar with both a direct and indirect object pronoun, not a reflexive one. A more appropriate translation would be They have won it for themselves. This is a grammatic construction you won't find on Duo, but I think it is important to explain it so people really understand what's going on. This sentence is effectively using le and la both. But Ellos le la han ganado does not work in Spanish. When you have the indirect object pronoun le before either lo or la, the le becomes se. It is a rule I learned early but not on Duo. So to accept the translation but not to teach why it is valid is a real cop-out on Duo's part I think.


Are you sure? Wordreference lists several more definitions for ganarse.

  • ganarse (castigo: merecer) = deserve or earn

  • ganarse (premio: obtener)= (competition, prize) win, (deserve through effort) earn, (barely succeed, informal) pull off


How can you tell that it is not passive voice talking aboutva prize that has been won?


"They themselves it have earned" ? would this be the direct translation?


No quite. It would be a little misleading to translate the se as themselves. The verb ganarse varies from ganar slightly in a similar way to ir and irse. Ganarse is used to mean earned for more abstract things than wages or salary.


So translating it simply as reflexive is somewhat misleading as to the actual function of the se in the sentence. There are quite a few verbs where the function of the sentence is to slightly alter the meaning like this which makes it hard to find an actual translation for the pronoun difficult. My favorite strange one is the difference between morir and morirse. After many inquiries I finally was told that morirse was used about a recent death or a death of someone very close. But translating Él se murió as He died himself or He himself died is not really direct.

But otherwise that is the correct word for word.


Is the reflexive form necessary here, or is it optional?


It is to used to put emphasis on the person rather than the action. Like THEY have earned it.

Comparatively, Yo voy and me voy mean essentially the same thing. But, with Yo voy it is necessary to add the action, where using Me voy can simply mean I AM leaving.

You can also view this sentence from the perspective of a punishment. Like, They earned (deserve) this!


Is this something that only works with specific verbs? Where can one study it, do you know?


Absolutely necessarily. Ganar and ganarse have different meanings. Win vs earn. It has a shared etymology with "gain", so it's to gain (something) without having provided effort (win) vs gaining (something) as a result of your effort (earn).


And after reading even more, I have reverted to thinking that "they won it" SHOULD be accepted (as it was). This is a confusing sentence/discussion. Perhaps when it is actually used in a conversation, it is easier to see why one form is chosen over the other.


This seems quite logical. Duolingo accepted my answer of "they won it". After reading all these comments, I don't think it should.


According to SpanishDict, Elissaf1 is over simplifying it. Ganar can be either win or earn, but it does show ganarse as only earn.


I do think that Duo's sometimes bows to pressure too much and accepts what it should not. Of course pressure from native or fluent speakers talking about what is said in their region is one thing and pressure from learners who just want to have been correct is another.


Reflexive verbs are very commonly used in Spanish, but absolutely necessary? I'm not certain.


i thought se lo means it for him.


The "lo" is the it and the "se" is reflexive (themselves), but of course we don't need this in English. They themselves won/earned it. Necessary in Spanish, not in English.


I had thought that the "se" made ganar reflexive and mean "earn" rather than "won" ...do both ganar and ganarse both mean "won" AND "earn"...? Thanks.


I take it that whether it is transitive or reflexive, 'ganar' can mean 'earn', 'win,' or 'spend'. I'm confused as to when to make it reflexive or transitive.


Check out "ganar"' vs. "ganarse"


care to share?


Well, He110, i guess that my little snippet wasn't very useful. I thought that I had seen a helpful distinction somewhere, but now that I look again I can't find it. I looked in Word Reference, Spanish.Dict, and on Google's main search page, but didn't find anything good. I'll keep my eye out, however.


There's also a Duolingo discussion about ganar vs ganarse. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1292636

But like all the other things I have found about ganar vs ganarse, it doesn't really provide a clear answer.


Lynn L., Just for a moment of levity, I snickered when I read the end of that post -- "I'll keep my eye out" for something surely must seem a strange idiom to non-English speakers! (Visualize an old movie about Martians with a big green head and a single eye out on a stem, waving about! -- tee-hee!)


i tried 'They have beaten him' and was marked wrong. How would you say that?


The verb in the Spanish sentence is ganarse (to earn), not ganar (to win), se lo han ganado.

I think "They have beaten him" is "Lo han derrotado" or "Lo han vencido".


According to "HarperCollins Spanish-English College Dictionary," 2013, "ganar" can also mean "to beat." "¡Les ganamos! we beat them!;" Now I am totally confused!


Yep, spanishdict.com says so too. Lots of meanings: http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/ganar

So now I'm confused too.


So you know. "They have beaten it." does not work


They know they have won it. -marked wrongly. :(


"se" doesn't mean "know". "sé" (with an accent) is "I know", but "they know" is "ellos saben". Here, the "se" makes the verb "ganar" (win) into the verb "ganarse" (earn).


gracias barbara. :)


osikdosaikdowad has asked "Why "se" here?" In this same lesson we had "Te lo has ganado". You have earned it. Muddgirl suggests the sentence means "they have earned it themselves'. Now we have "Ellos SE lo han ganado". Thay have earned it (themselves). In one sentence we have the reflexive form of the verb ganar (according to muddgirl) and in the other sentence we do not have the reflexive. Is muddgirl correct?????????????


A lot of people (myself included) mistakenly blanket label "se" verbs as reflexive, but reflexive verbs are just pronominal verbs in which the action reflects back on the subject. Pronominal verbs can have additional usages, including intensification, which is closer to what is occurring with "ganar" and "ganarse." You may have heard people saying "ganar"="win" and "ganarse"="earn." This is not strictly correct, but it does hold the correct sentiment. "Ganar" is close to "obtain." "Ganarse" is closer to "attain." So, you normally win a prize, but earn a promotion. However, you could earn a wage (by just having a job), or win an award (through personal effort). The difference is one is received and the other is achieved. So, in this sentence the pronominal form of the verb is used to stress that "it" has been "achieved/attained" not just "received/obtained."


Thank you. That clears up a lot of things! Here's a lingot for you.


Why is "They have won it for him." not accurate as a translation?


I can see your logic. You are suggesting the verb is "ganar" rather than "ganarse" and the "se" is an indirect object pronoun (as "le" when preceding "lo" changes to "se") standing in for "him." Theoretically it appears possible, but I doubt your sentence would be expressed that way in Spanish. I'd imagine instead "Ellos lo han ganado para él."


Thank you, the explanation helps!


While it.is true that the indirect.object.pronoun le.will change to se in front of a direct.object pronoun, this changes a little with reflexive (or pronominal) verbs. The existence of the verb ganarse means that that must be ganarse and not ganar. Ganar has a rather wide range of definitions, although quite.related. Ganarse has really only.one. http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/ganar

To say for.him you.would have to add.para él, and that.would only work for ganar


Thank you for helping me understand this.

  • 1354

How would you say ¨They have beaten themselves.¨ ??


Ellos se lo han ganado.


They have earnt it should be accepted


"Earnt" is a funny one Charley. People think it is a word because it follows the pattern of sleep/slept, dream/dreamt etc. In reality it is not an accepted English word by any of the major dictionaries (yet). This doesn't stop many people using it, and where I live people are more likely to use "earnt" than "earned". Guess we'll just have to wait for the dictionaries to catch up. At present DL is correct to not accept it, if only technically so.


Jellonz just out of curiousity where do you live? I don't think I have ever seen earnt written before except perhaps as dialog. Even dreamt I have barely seen written, although I both say and hear that alot. I am curious because most of the language morphing that I see is to make things more regular and the majority of English past particples use the ed endings. Only the ones steming from Germanic roots have the different structure(s)


NZ Lynette, so we normally follow British English. "Earnt" is predominantly used (incorrectly) here in dialogue but not written form. Your point about language morphing to make things more regular is interesting. The consensus seems to be that the -ed ending predates the -t ending and the latter came about through simplification: the final -t being slightly easier to verbalise than -ed, and the same with the shortening of the vowel sound in words such as "dreamt." America favours the older regular form, whereas others accept the irregular. Of course, this particular language evolution happened a long time ago, and where we are heading now, towards standardisation or simplification (or both), is another debate :)


Yes I think I actually had asked you where you were from before. I had exactly the same reaction to NZ as I did before as postal addresses use two capital letters to indicate States here and NV is Nevado and AZ is Arizona, so it was sort of a triple take to get me to New Zealand. I will have to fix that in my mind.

I googled dreamed and dreamt and you are right about dreamed being older. This pair, though also has a pronunciation variation between present and past, more like keep and kept (at least in American English - but I believe it is the same). I guess I may have made some faulty assumptions based on the ending looking more Germanic. Of course the ed ending is not one of the things we adopted from French or Latin, so that more faulty logic. I guess with spelling and writing conventions, it is ease and pronunciation that tend to win out over regularity. Certainly there is little that is truely regular about English spelling. Americans tend to just simplify using forms like nite and lite. Of course if you try that too far you end up with problems like rite and mite.


I stand corrected! I am a stickler for such things, so will have to stop using it! Earned just doesn't look or feel right though!


Completely agree. "Earnt" sounds right to my ears too, even if it isn't. English is a living language though, so give it a few decades and the dictionaries may come around to our way of thinking :)


Excuse me, I'm just curious: where do you English speakers who favor "earnt" live? I grew up on the west coast of the US and that usage is new to me..


England!! (Favour!!):-)


NZ - New Zealand, and yeah, as Charley said, favour, colour etc. :)


I'll jump in here with this since it explains where this usage comes from, and why it has gone away: http://www.quora.com/Is-is-acceptable-to-use-the-word-earnt-in-English-grammar


i think that in spanish it could sound better:"they have deserved it"


Put in they have won it for themselves and not accepted. Not too sure why.


I used 'won it' so yes #BarbaraMorris, you can use it


No, Barbara, they wouldn't accept 'they have won it for themselves'. If they want us to translate with 'earned' they should have given us 'ganarse'. For the benefit of other students, the reflexive forms of verbs often seem to have a rather different meaning from the basic form. This is my experience with the language so far.


But they did give us "ganarse", right here.


OK, BarbaraMorris. "I was stoned and I missed it."


BarbaraM and Marye, my lesson did NOT have ganarse, but se lo han ganado instead. I read this entire thread and learned the "earned vs. won" concept, but may get it wrong if I try ganarse next time - there seem to be so many variables! And on fast speed, the Duo-lady seemed to be saying "sail-o-wan." It's a good thing we have the turtle for mas despacio, por favor!


"se lo han ganado" is an example of "ganarse". "ganarse" is the infinite form of the verb. When it's used as an ordinary verb, the "se" gets detached from the "ganar" part, and even sometimes becomes "me" or "te" or "nos" depending on who it's about.



I think I've mostly seen it used as an "ordinary" verb so far, conjugated like Gano with a direct object' or in samples like this: Los niños son más fuertes, y siempre ganan si jugamos chicos contra chicas. I'll have to copy that site to look at when it's not after midnight, so I might actually absorb what I read! Thanks, B.


why is 'They have won it themselves' not accepted?


That is not a correct translation, even though it seems as if it should be. You have to be careful about pronomial or reflexive forms of a verb as they occasionally have unexpected alterations of meaning. The most common of these is perhaps Ir and irse where ir is to go but irse is to leave. In this case the difference is subtle. Ganar is used for both win and earn in terms tangible things like money. But when speaking of earning less tangible things like respect, ganarse is used. So the change in meaning alone causes the addition of the pronoun, it is not correct to add it into the translation. It also means that earn is the most common translation, although we do occasionally speak of winning someone's respect.


ganar translates to to win or to earn. Ganarse is the reflexive form implying themselves...either way should be correct.


Reflexive verbs in Spanish often have unexpected alterations in meaning from their non reflexive root verb. It is always dangerous to assume you can just add to/for themselves.


Ganarse is one of the subtler differences. It is almost always translated as earn and is used mostly for intangible things like respect or condemnation. While we do occasionally sat someone won respect or won, we still understand that it was the result of intentional effort. This subtle element is impossible to convey in Duo's simple exercises, so only accepting earn which we understand implies work where win can be without effort at all makes sense. http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/ganar


ganar could also mean to gain or not? I know gain and earn is not the same thing, but English is not my first language


"they themselves it have earned"? would this be the direct translation?


ellas & ellos sound identical - DUO needs to listen to spanishdict.com for the difference


I have no problem hearing the difference, although it is more difficult before se. But Duo starts clearly with early sentences and then increases to a normal speaking speed. The people you speak to are probably not going to sound much like Spanishdict.com, although I love the site. There is always the slow speed if you are unsure.


Isn't "They have earnt it" equally acceptable English


Charley asked this above. "Earnt" is not a dictionary accepted word yet, even though you will hear many Brit. English speakers say it.


So confused still about most of it.


People are here to help you, but if you want help, you have to be a bit more analytical about what exactly you are having problems with. Reflexive verbs? Object pronouns? Verb conjugation l? The present perfect?


They they. Ellos se


Yes. This sentence uses the verb ganarse, not ganar. Like many Spanish reflexive verbs, it has a rather subtle, not easily translated, difference. Ganar can be translated as either to earn or to win, but it is more generally about money or material things. Ganarse is always translated as earn, but it is the type of earn which is used somewhat metaphorically about abstract things like respect. That would be what was represented by the lo. We don't use reflexive verbs nearly as often, but to translate it as a reflexive would be They earned it for themselves, where the for themselves is represented by se. Spanishdict defines ganarse as to earn under the general category of to secure.


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