Translation:The government has made an appointment with us at the Department of Justice.
"To cite" in English most often means to quote. When you write a research paper, you "cite" your sources and you list your "citations" at the end. I looked up "cite" in the dictionary and it also means to summon someone for them to appear in court. So it does mean to make an appointment, but in a very specific sense: only if you are ordering the person to appear in court.
Probably because the people who developed this question didn't happen to think of "summoned" as a potential answer. I personally think that summonsed is more accurate, as it specifically means to order to appear in a court of law (i.e. before the department of justice), whereas summoned means to order to appear, more generally (to summon a physician). Report it so that it gets added as a correct response.
Yeah, I would not generally use "the court cited us" in everyday speech, but along those lines, a parking ticket or traffic violation is frequently called a "parking citation" or "traffic summons." I had never thought of the words citation and summons as being related terms until just now though!
Possibly the reason your frustration is growing is that the phrases and usages are becoming more complicated and context driven. My frustration at the start of the tree was largely that we didn't have the context to correctly decipher the meanings and so multiple answers were always possible. Now we do have context, but to get the correct answer you have to read the entire phrase correctly.
For example: your answer transposes the phrase from the passive <<nos ha citado>> (has made an appointment with us) to an active <<nos hizo una cita>> (made us an appointment), which changes the meaning.
Also, and I mean this as a help, translating a word to its English cognate and then wondering why that one definition in its English meaning does not fit the sentence is always going to be frustrating and not help you understand the Spanish. In my experience it is much better to learn Spanish words as (at best) synonyms to English words, but never as exact matches.
Thanks for your reply, but I still don't see where "with us" comes from in this sentence, nor why the sentence is necessarily passive. "Has made an appointment with us" and "has made us an appointment" are both in active voice in English. Passive would be "An appointment has been made (for or with) us by the government." Is that a fair translation of the Spanish sentence?
"With us" is not in the original but is denoted by the reflexive nos ha because appointments are with someone in English, so it parses like this:
El gobierno The government
(nos) ha citado has made an appointment (with whom? us)
en el Ministerio de Justicia. in/at the Department of Justice
The passivity in the original is with the speaker; the government arranged for the meeting, and the construction implies it was without the speaker being directly involved. Your construction implies that the meeting was a desired outcome, after a request by the speaker, or as a favor. To a degree they are interchangeable, all determined by context, but they aren't the same.
I may be too dense to learn Spanish. I don't think I'll ever see how I'm supposed to know that "nos" isn't an indirect object pronoun, but instead a reflexive, in any given sentence. Thanks for trying, but you may be beating your head against the wall of my lack of perspicacity.
Not sure if it's been answered yet, but jindr's mistake was simply calling it passive voice. What you wrote in the post I'm replying to is considered passive voice; the difference between your original sentence and duo's is that one of them would be in the preterite in Spanish, while the other is in the present perfect tense. Duo wants you to translate more directly, and yes—the difference between the two can sometimes be important.
This translation reminds me of a sign I saw in an airport on my way back to the US from the Dominican Republic. There was a warning in several languages against bringing forbidden items on the plane, and apparently whoever had translated it from Spanish into English had made a mistake, as the sign said:
"Whoever violates the law will control the Justice Department."
That makes much more sense to me than "The government has made an appointment WITH us at the Department of Justice. I understand that una cita can be an appointment, "Tengo una cita con el medico" but I have no idea why the government would be making an appointment with me in the department of justice, unless I was receiving a citation for something and even then...with me implies that I was involved in the appointment making process or that the government made an appointment to see me at the dept etc.. (Maybe I was working at the department?) Too confusing!!
Anything wrong with this translation or is it just not in the database yet? "The government has summoned us to the Ministry of Justice." It seems to me that if the government wants you to be at the Ministry of Justice, they're not simply going to make an appointment for you at a convenient time, they're going to summon you.
I noticed that the DL dictionary also lists "has incited" as an option, but then fails to accept it as a correct answer.
"Incited" puts a whole different spin on the sentence, as it means basically "to stir up negative emotion", as in, "The activist incited racial hatred in the crowd."
I don't necessarily think it should have been accepted as a correct answer in this context, but I thought it was worth pointing out.
"Incited" was at the top of the list of suggested translations in the hover clues, which in most cases indicates that it's the translation that Duo expects. It seems to be one of the translations for incite; however, in the context of the other translations it seems to be of lesser usage. I believe incitar is the more common usage, so perhaps Duo should remove "incite" from the clues if it's going to mark it wrong.
Confusing 'citar'. 'Citar a + infinitive': to make appointment/arrange a meeting to (inf). 'Citar con': to meet with someone. 'Citarse': to arrange to meet. Of course, when citing someone or something, one would 'Citar + a (if personal a)' or 'DO citar'. This seems to leave us with a contextually unclear sentence which allows for somewhat disparate translations and a ton of confusion as to how to appropriately use 'citar'.
It's a complicated sentence, but the translation given is correct.
The verb "citar" carries an implied "with", and in this case the preceding "nos" tells us that it is "with us".
And as Babella already noted, "en" refers to a place, and in this context would normally be translated as "at" in English.
If we're saying that "the government has made an appointment" then "The government has arranged a meeting " or "the government has arranged an appointment" should also be accepted. Neither response is. "has made" and "has arranged" can be used interchangeably here in US English.
I translated this as "The government has made us an appointment with the..." (of course, wrong), and this is the second time I did this! I don't feel like I'm ever going to get this sentence right - guess it's too complicated a sentence for me to translate correctly at this stage of my learning. (frustrated) :'-(