Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

"The book is about a horse."

Translation:El libro es acerca de un caballo.

5 years ago

197 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CJFloyd

El libro (The book) es (is) acerca (about) un caballo (a horse). Where does this de come from and why?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulAnjoe

I think it is a misconception that "acerca de" is exaclty translates as "about". (As some people have opined here) The question here is this alien word ''de". I believe this ''de" is used here to show the possession. ''de'' means "of'' right? So in Latin based languages possession is a prime issue. Even if you know that The book is about "a horse" it is necessary in these languages to use the possession ''de" which means of. So digging deeply you get: The book is dealing with the ideas of horse. It is because of the rigid grammatical rules that these age old conventions still find a way in Latin based languages. This is where we appreciate the grammatical sense of English Men. So when you stop thinking in the grammatical sense of English this problem will be easily overcome. And please understand that only a few of the translations appear on duolingo are sufficient to convey the correct meaning of a Spanish text.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeanG6
DeanG6
  • 21
  • 12
  • 9
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 227

Well said.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amyhengst

In German I think you could say, something like, "es haendelt um," meaning it is about or sort of like, "it is handled around." I think in english it might be something like, the subject "concerns itself with." There is just sometimes no direct translation, but it is very interesting that some of the German structures and Romance language structures have analogues where the Latin and Germanic based English language does not. Each language seems to have its idiosyncratic structures and only hearing them over time, do you really get a sense of the connotations and internal logic of how it works.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hhhehehe
hhhehehe
  • 22
  • 4
  • 531

This exists in Swedish as well. I think the word "handla" is a verb form of the word "handling", meaning "plot" (as in, the plot of the book). This is distinct from the existing verb "plot", this is specific to stories, films, books etc.

"The book is about a horse" would be "Boken handlar om en häst". A rough word-for-word translation would be "the book plots about a horse" and the meaning is approximately "The book (has a plot which) is about a horse".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ricaloca

You could also convey the same idea in a different way in English: "the book has to do with a horse". In this case "has to do with" means "is about". It's an idiosyncratic expression, for sure! And one that I use often, for example: "I don't know what his job is, but it is something to do with airplanes". Sometimes you just have to memorize this kind of expression when you're learning a different language.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sadeghtoulabifar

Thanks. You are great

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SoheilRahs

Very good

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/50colt30

Wow. Thank you for this.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Geoff783303

In nerd speak, you are basically saying English is to JSON as Spanish is to XML. Both work very well, one is more verbose.

The nice thing about different laguages is some of the concepts unique to each language.

Paul, your explanation is quote helpful.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

"one is more verbose" Really? Which one?

I think it really depends on what is being said.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Geoff783303

Agreed.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dafoxe

"About" translates to "acerca de."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/akezar

"de" is often used with prepositions, for example you always use "de" with "después" and "antes"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jacqueline1145

I still get confused about the use of de.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nycbarb

Me too! I'm relieved I'm not the only one!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tessbee

The de is the partner of acerca here; one can't go without the other in order to convey the meaning intended for in this sentence (dealing with/concerning a horse). Look at all the other replies to this question. Acerca and acerca de both mean "about" but even in English dictionaries there are different meanings of "about".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Phil46

Who knows, de un why not un caballo de or un? This is difficult!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Emily327773

I think it's just a transition word.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

"De" is acting like a clitic. A clitic is defined as a word that is necessary and idiosyncratic in a language and is used in such a way that it really carries very little meaning with it.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

Note that we do the same thing in English (kinda).

I said TO him.

I told him.

Only example I can think of, off hand. Deal with it. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulAnjoe

I think it is a misconception that "acerca de" is exaclty translates as "about". (As some people have opined here) The question here is this alien word ''de". I believe this ''de" is used here to show the possession. ''de'' means "of'' right? So in Latin based languages possession is a prime issue. Even if you know that The book is about "a horse" it is necessary in these languages to use the possession ''de" which means of. So digging deeply you get: The book is dealing with the ideas of horse. It is because of the rigid grammatical rules that these age old conventions still find a way in Latin based languages. This is where we appreciate the grammatical sense of English Men. So when you stop thinking in the grammatical sense of English this problem will be easily overcome. And please understand that only a few of the translations appear on duolingo are sufficient to convey the correct meaning of a Spanish text.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KerryWalla

Well explained. . Thank you

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jacquebabe

why is it not El libro es acerca un caballo

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Babella

With this use, "about" translates as "acerca de".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mddutson

so why do they drop "acerca" completely then? if the translation is "acerca de" shouldn't the sentence be "El libro es acerca de un caballo"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bat_Fish

That is the correct sentence.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Soulfire86
Soulfire86
  • 17
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

I believe that "acerca" or "acerca de" means 'about' in the sense that something is around you...like, "The trees were about us." More of a location about instead of subject about.

Unless I'm wrong...anyone?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mannzac1

I believe so too. Normally I thought you should use "sobre" when speaking about something in this context

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bat_Fish

No, it's both - it can mean concerning something or near.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elizadeux
elizadeux
  • 18
  • 16
  • 15
  • 8
  • 6
  • 2

Perhaps you are thinking about cerca de (near) rather than acerca de (on the topic subject of in this context)?

http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=acerca%20de

http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=cerca%20de

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DoctorArbol

Could you back this up? Please

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elizadeux
elizadeux
  • 18
  • 16
  • 15
  • 8
  • 6
  • 2

Do you mean the trees were around us? If so, that would be alrededor de. In this case, the topic or subject of the book is about horses. There are many ways to say that including sobre as you mentioned.

about (on the subject of):

  • de prep

  • sobre prep

I went to the library to look for a book about insects. = Fui a la biblioteca a buscar un libro de insectos.

acerca de (con respecto a, sobre) = about

Dime algo acerca de ti ¿cuál es tu color favorito? = Tell me something about yourself. What is your favorite color?

trata de =

*be about

*deal with

Este libro trata de la guerra civil. Sus artículos tratan sobre calentamiento climático. = The book is about (or: deals with) the civil war.

be about [sth/sb] (be on the subject of)

*ser sobre vi + prep

  • tratar sobre vi + prep

My presentation is about the effects of alcohol. This book is about a king who loses his crown. = Mi presentación es (or:trata) sobre los efectos del alcohol.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/noodle2

I think this should say "El libro trata de un caballo" right? I have been in Mexico and I've never heard anyone say acerca de in this way?! Doesn't sound right to me

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

With all respect, I think you're off base, Soulfire86. Although it is true that the trees could be "around you" or "all about you," the rubber band only stretches so far. The horse is around you (El caballo está acerca de usted) but the horse is never about you, in the sense that you are the topic that the horse is illustrating.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaq3n_Hghar

why didnt they teach us to use " acerca " with " de " ?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dbryant036

I know... I know.. However people keep in mind, I paid 350.00 dollars for Rosetta stone which does nothing to describe anything, so you are left all alone to try and "I Say TRY" and figure everything out on your own. Duolingo is hands down the best and surpasses Rosetta Stone by leaps and bounds. Also, it is free! I think this is the best product ever, even though it's not 100 percent, we have each other. You will never get that from Rosetta Stone. Once I got Duolingo, I quit using "RS". It's a piece of crap!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DSushi

Same here. Have a Lingot

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dbryant036

You are awesome! Thank you!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonKarne

This is true. I have bought spanish texts and rosetta stone. Duolingo is by far better than both. It is free and these comments, if you read them, you can figure out these languages. There is no software, Nor text that will teach you 100% everything you need to know. Keep in mind, practice is what makes you understand a language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/choward9

I found rs incredibly helpful. Much more complex sentences than duo, especially on later discs. That said, you're right; Ultimately you need to just talk with native speakers to improve beyond a certain point.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/japgirl1965

Same here. I have other Spanish learning apps on my phone but i learn the most from this one.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FranksTom

Yes, you put all this in perspective. I got next to nothing, except some vocab from Rosetta Stone which relies on a linguistically and philosophically dubious "picture" theory of meaning. I just get frustrated sometimes with this otherwise excellent and free program.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dbryant036

I am with you on that. At least we have each other and I am now up to 515 words. It's getting better. Just somethings like you said are just hard to understand because we just don't speak that way in english.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shreshthv

350 Dollars is a lot!

Here you go.. have a lingot. Its the least i can do to make you feel better

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_Guy

I concur 100% having paid for an been driven crazy by RS. It's great for word association, but how do you convey complex grammatical concepts with pictures? Answer, you can't. Hell, I don't get it a lot of the time when it is explained using my native language. Except for object vocabulary, Rosetta Stone is snake oil.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ludwig3655

I love Rosetta stone. It is better than you realize, because you were learning without explanation. It is the way children learn, because they learn through example, not through explanation.

If you couldn't learn language by association, then you wouldn't have learned English. Five year olds don't discuss grammar on free apps. They listen and learn by association--it works:-)

Duolingo is free and fun, but it can't touch the Rosetta Stone method of learning, which is the closest thing there is to the human method of language aquisition that taught you to speak English.

Duolingo is awesome, and it helps explain what Rosetta is getting at in grown up words, but the struggle to make those associations and rules is what true learning is all about, and total immersion is superior in every way. Translation arguments and humerous comments in English take up so much time on Duolingo that might otherwise have been spent learning by directed example.

However, Duolingo keeps track of what you have trouble with, which is something Rosetta Stone isn't as good at (you do have to repeat a lesson if you do badly on it, but once you've passed a test, it moves on and forgets which parts you struggled with). The Owl remembers:-)

Both is better than either one by itself. Rosetta is better at teaching proper pronounciation, because it has a number of real male and female voices, not a robot voice, to listen to. And it doesn't spend 80% of your time focused on exact translation, which isn't as efficient as immersion. But Duolingo is free and fun and well worth the time.

Cost is the true factor. If you have the money (or can borrow a copy as I did) then both is better.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/choward9

100 percent agree. Duo is great for vocab, but if it is all you do you will never be able to comprehend the language competently.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/khalil3x6

Muchias gracias!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Krisincr

I agree

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/solenoid.android

yes, the discussion totally "makes" duolingo, because let's be honest, it's seriously lacking in actual lessons!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanPrix

So True

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GazMembrane

I agree! Duo beats Rosetta. The method of Rosetta works better for children.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jacambra

Thanks for the heads up!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lipnos1

Well said David I feel your pain

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FranksTom

Agree

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Leo7miguel

Im suprised

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nemesis6

its not el libro se trata de un caballo?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fvance

I was wondering the same thing! I use "se trata" when I talk to people and have not been corrected yet......

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moh8558

Doesnt "sobre" mean about

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/llibllens

I used "sobre" and it was said to be correct. 3/18/2015

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RemingtonSDP

I used "acerca" de and it marked it wrong and said it should be "trata de"?! ¿Por que?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garjay

Ditto, another new word introduced after a wrong entry!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FranksTom

We should be told such things as the use of "de" when words like "acerca" are introduced.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oakss

Why can't it be una caballa I thought you could change the gender of animals with an a at end? :/

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlanTelloM
AlanTelloM
  • 20
  • 16
  • 14
  • 10
  • 8
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 24

No siempre.

  • Male: Horse - Caballo

  • Female: Mare - Yegua

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wiliamty

what's the difference between “cerca de” and “acerca de”?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AurosHarman

"cerca de" is "near", "close to".

"acerca de" is "around", "about". (Though usually not "around" in the sense of "encircling". That would be "alrededor de".) There's also a related verb, "acercar", which means something like "to draw in" or "to bring closer".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wiliamty

thanks a lot!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/solenoid.android

good to know. i would have guessed encircling too

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ScottyCarlisle

Acerda de is more akin to a spacial relationship. I think "Sobre" is a little more appropriate.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cielunltd
cielunltd
  • 25
  • 12
  • 8
  • 8
  • 5
  • 1135

I used sobre and it was marked OK.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elizadeux
elizadeux
  • 18
  • 16
  • 15
  • 8
  • 6
  • 2

cerca de = near

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leahtard

El libro se trata de un caballo is also right

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mollyt

babella......and what is "this use"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Babella

(From Wordreference):

about, be about [prep] (have as subject)

<pre> de [prep] sobre [prep] This book is about a king who loses his crown. El libro trata de un rey que perdió su corona. El libro habla sobre un rey que perdió su corona. </pre>

That use, sorry for not being clear, mollyt!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AurosHarman

Yeah, I would translate this type of "about" with "tratar de". For statements about the topic of a document / book / movie / whatever, that's the one I was taught was appropriate, way back in high school. It also shows up in the Rosetta Stone Spanish.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/christine.benagh

Still not clear. "We talk about books." Books is the object of the preposition about. "The book is about a king." Same in English, object of preposition.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sahilsingla112

one question here over the use of "que" as "who" in the example given by you.. If i am not wrong "que" means "what". But here it is used as if it means "who". Why this difference with the standard meaning ? any explanation ?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Babella

It is simply the structure we have for those sentences. "The boy who was there" = "el chico que estaba allí". I guess it is like saying "the boy that was there"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sahilsingla112

you are right ! actually here "que" is used as "that". And the word translation of que gives "that" along with the "what".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/solenoid.android

it means "that"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sakasiru
sakasiru
  • 22
  • 11
  • 9
  • 9

sobre is about? It's like in German! Hooray!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chookitarocky

sobre is 'on top of' lol!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sahilsingla112

sobre is clearly "over". what confusion do you have sobre "sobre" :) :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatDotts

I used El libro trata de un caballo. And I think that should also be marked correct.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ronzo-uno

And it is now. (April 2015)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mcbridecorina

I wrote "el libro acerca del caballo" why doesn't del work?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JarraGreen

Yes, I wrote the same. I don't understand why "del" doesn't work either.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JarraGreen

I think it is because it is "a horse...un caballo" instead of " the horse...or el caballo."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chookitarocky

si correcto ;) a horse not the horse!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/morybel

They corrected me with: El libro es de un caballo. And I wrote: EL libro acerca un caballo. Is this an error from the program or should I completely dump the acerca?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/solenoid.android

if using acerca, you need to add de

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Phil46

Hi JC, de is of or from, go with it enjoy part of the fun, makes us think!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrswaka

El libro es acerca de un caballo

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HamzaAli5

I translated el libro de acerca es un caballo! and it's wrong :@ where does de come from??

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AurosHarman

So, not directly related to your question, but it's important to know that even leaving aside the preposition, you have a word-order error that is completely parallel to English. Even if you'd said, "El libro acerca de es un caballo," that would be something like, "The book about is a horse." It's possible to have a prepositional phrase come before a verb, but only if it's actually describing a noun that comes before the verb. So: "Las flores alrededor de la casa son rojas." "The flowers around the house are red." "Around the house" is a description of the flowers. If you read the structure of the sentence as, "The book IS [something]", the "something" is modifying "IS"; and that's the prepositional phrase.

Moving on... The "de" is simply part of the preposition. Several Spanish prepositions are kind of like compound words. Consider:

encima de == on top of. (You can read the "en" there as a separate morpheme. "La cima" can mean something like "the top" or "the summit".)

alrededor de == around or surrounding. You could also read it as "to all sides of". ("Surrounded", the adjective, is "rodeado"; there's a common Latin root for these, which is also lurking behind "un rodeo", an encirclement or round-up.)

The thing is, a bunch of the Spanish prepositions work like this, even though there is not any comfortable or idiomatic parallel structure in English. For instance:

debajo de == under. in the below area of. ("Bajo" is "low". It can also mean "short" in relation to the vertical height of something.)

cerca de == near, close to. in the nearby area of.

Does that help?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jaaberg90

What is the difference between "acerca de" and "sobre"? It accepted my answer using sobre, but I'm wondering if acerca de is more appropriate?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chotichoti

Just to be certain, you can use «es» with «acerca de» (like in this sense)?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulAnjoe

I think it is a misconception that "acerca de" is exaclty translates as "about". (As some people have opined here) The question here is this alien word ''de". I believe this ''de" is used here to show the possession. ''de'' means "of'' right? So in Latin based languages possession is a prime issue. Even if you know that The book is about "a horse" it is necessary in these languages to use the possession ''de" which means of. So digging deeply you get: The book is dealing with the ideas of horse. It is because of the rigid grammatical rules that these age old conventions still find a way in Latin based languages. This is where we appreciate the grammatical sense of English Men. So when you stop thinking in the grammatical sense of English this problem will be easily overcome. And please understand that only a few of the translations appear on duolingo are sufficient to convey the correct meaning of a Spanish text.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeeSzasz

How am I supposed to know when its "acerca de" or "cerca de" its confusing me and I keep loosing hearts because of it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kjenkins80

"Acerca de" = about (concerns/deals with) "Cerca de" = near/close to (position/location)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flobaby

"Cerca de" is more about how close something is to you in relation to position. For example: El libro es cerca de los niños. (The book is close to the boys)

"Acerca de" can mean around something in relation to position or about something. For example: El libro es acerca de los niños. (The book is about the boys) -It could mean about in the sense that it is around or the book is a story about them. Either is correct and you'll have to decide which it is based on the situation. Like in English. To sum it up "cerca de" - close to "acerca de" - about

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kuntz20m

why is it sometimes acerca de un and sometimes acerca del?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sakasiru
sakasiru
  • 22
  • 11
  • 9
  • 9

un is an indefinite article: "it is about a horse."
del is a combination of de + el; el being a definite article: "it is about the horse."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/khalil3x6

I answered: "El libro es acerca del caballo." Why is it wrong?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kaylejoy

I did the same thing. The sentence says "a horse" not "the horse" so you're supposed to use "un caballo" instead of "el caballo".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/teachelain1444

My correct sentence left out the word cerca

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maosa

I do not see why de is apart of this sentence. it translates directly without de. it seems like it does not need de. what is its purpose. Google translate also does not use DE.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moonrabbit92

Why is "acerca de caballo es libro" not correct?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

Good question, moonrabbit92. If it were a matter of word order alone, and you weren't translating from anything, I think the word order would be okay, even if it probably isn't all that common. For more on word order in Spanish, visit:

Word Order

The reason why I think your suggested translation was considered incorrect is because:

1) it doesn't preserve the word order of the English. The English doesn't begin with the word "about," so why should the Spanish? Sometimes we have to diverge from word order when translating because of differences in word patterns. For example, the Spanish might say "camisa azul," but we wouldn't say "shirt blue" in English. We'd say "blue shirt." When we can, however, we should try to preserve the word order in a way that helps retain the original meaning of the sentence as much as possible.

2) if we were to translate the sentence you suggested,

"acerca de caballo es libro"

... into English, it would be ...

"Around horse is book."

As you can see, it is missing the indefinite article before "caballo" and the definite article before "libro." The sentence to be translated for this prompt was

"The book is about a horse."

HTH

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scissorslover

ES???!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anise.sald

Shouldn't we use sobre instead of "acerca de"? Because that means near or close. Does it not?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

Both "sobre" and "acerca de" mean "about." They are what we call synonyms of one another. You use them all the time in English, but don't even notice it. For example, sometimes you might say "during" and at others you might say "while." For any given word you can think of, a language usually has at least one other word that is similar in meaning and many are so close in meaning that they are interchangeable. Keep in mind, however, that each word always has its own basic, primary meaning and no other word is ever exactly the same as another. Therefore, it is important to be precise in the words you choose, especially with languages that have a lot of words in them.

Now, to get back to "sobre" and "acerca de," I've pasted an image of definitions from WordReference:

As you can see, "about" is not the first thing listed for "sobre," which means it is not as associated with that word as the words listed above it -- over, above, on, on top of. Another thing to notice is that "sobre" can be used as both an adverb and a preposition; "acerca de" cannot. It is only used as a preposition, which means it will need to be followed by a noun. So for example, you can say, in Spanish

Sobre las cinco de la tarde ...
At approximately five in the afternoon ...

... but you could not say ...

Acerca de las cinco de la tarde ...

So, it is important to learn parts of speech as you continue your study of Spanish because you can then better determine what roles they can play in a sentence. In this particular sentence, you could have also used "sobre" instead of "acerca de."

As for "acerca de" meaning "close," I'm guessing you are confusing it with just "cerca," which does mean "close" or "nearby," but while "acerca de" and "cerca" look similar, their meanings are different.

HTH

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

Excellent explanation. Thanks!

Excelente explicación. Gracias.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anise.sald

Or, you can say "de". Now THAT sounds much better! You can say, "El libro es DE un caballo".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

I suppose you could use "de" in place of "sobre" or "acerca de," but I don't think it is as frequently used as the other words for "about." Your post made me curious, though, anise.said, so I decided to run some searches through Tatoeba, a sentence dictionary. Here is what I found:

  1. The phrase "es de" is sometimes translated as "is about," but it is not common. Of the 366 sentences I found with "es de," only 16 of them (4%) translated "de" as "about." I took a closer look at the 16 sentences that did, and more than half involved some type of number -- either a date or length of time, population figures, temperatures, distances -- for the most part, measurements of some sort.

  2. I also did a search for "about a." (I could have just chosen "about," but I wanted to narrow my search results.) 56 sentences surfaced with that phrase, but none of them translated "about" as "es de."

I'm not saying that the suggested translation "es de" is incorrect. I just don't think it is all that common and more likely to be used when approximating measurements. Not a native speaker though, just an observer of how native speakers appear to be using their language. If any native speaker agrees/disagrees, please post a comment!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

Seems like it's kinda like English....you wouldn't normally, but could say, "It's a book of the horse." Odd, but not wrong.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hum-Dulele

Excellent analysis. And, don't you think, the very very common use of "de" for ownership (la casa de mi amigo, etc....) clouds all uses so that "de" could imply ownership. And what horse owns a book? :-)

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TabbyHans
TabbyHans
  • 22
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

Sobre all day

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/emilyski94

What is the difference between "sobre" and "acerca de?" I know that both mean about, I was just wondering if they were used for different things.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

I can't really say that they are used for different things and I'm not even a native speaker, but I ran some searches through Tatoeba and did some thinking about these two words. In the image below, you'll see my findings from this brief and pseudoscientific study of "sobre" and "acerca de":

Please keep in mind that anything you see in the image above with the word "may" is subject to a difference in observation/opinion. Like I said, I am not a native speaker, so if one wants to agree/disagree with any of my observations, please post a comment.

Also, so as not to confuse anyone, Spanish has another prepositional phrase -- cerca de -- which can be used as a preposition or as an adverb. (Note that this is "cerca de" and not "acerca de.") As a preposition, it means "around"; as an adverb it means "near." Both preposition and adverb can be used to mean "close to."

BTW, I notice that you haven't studied Spanish in a while, at least not through the emilyski94 account here at duolingo. I hope it is just a temporary break and that you'll be back here studying Spanish with us one day again soon. After all, you're at a Level 7. A lot of people don't get that far, but there's 18 levels to go! Whether you continue your study of Spanish here at duolingo or not, we hope this finds you well.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zip666

Wth! I put "el libro cerca de un caballo" and got back " el libro trata de un caballo." can someone please explain this?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sakasiru
sakasiru
  • 22
  • 11
  • 9
  • 9

"cerca" is no verb. Your sentence is like saying "the book about a horse".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

Sakasiru is correct, "cerca" is not acting as a verb in this sentence. The verb "cercar" is a verb meaning "to fence" or "enclose," but it doesn't make sense in this sentence. Without the "de" I suppose you could make a case that it might be one of those odd, charming, memorable duolingo sentences that is really testing you on how well you know the language, but I think the inclusion of "de" rules that out.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kasshiiee

What's wrong with saying "El libro sobre un caballo"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flobaby

You left out 'es'. Your sentence translates to "The book about a horse" and what you are trying to say is "The book is about a horse" which is "El libro es sobre un caballo".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/learner555

What's the difference if you don't put 'de' in the sentence?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ktwalkstheplank
ktwalkstheplank
  • 11
  • 7
  • 7
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

I have taken several years of formal Spanish and have had 3 different professors say that "acerca de" is never to be used in this context and only in the context of things in physical proximity. Why has this not been corrected yet?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

That's interesting that your professors would say such a thing because Wiktionary, Diccionarios.com, WordReference, Tureng, and Collins Unabridged list the following for "acerca de":

Are you sure you aren't confusing this with "cerca de?" Although WordReference and Tureng had a listing for "cerca de," the others did not. Definitions listed are below:

I think there may be some merit to what your professors have said in terms of "cerca de" not being used as a preposition that can be used to translate "about" no matter how it is being used in a sentence. I base this off of searches I did over at Tatoeba. I found 272 sentences with "cerca de" in them. Here's what I found:

Only 20 of them (7%) were translated as "about" and all but one were adverbial phrases.

In all but that one, they were used in relation to either:

some point in time (30%)

some measurement of time (15%)

some form of measurement (e.g., number of pounds, books, calls, people, lifeboats, diseases) (45%).

Getting back to the sentence for this prompt,

"The book is about a horse,"

it does appear that either "sobre" and "acerca de" are the better choices since "about a horse" is a prepositional phrase describing "the book" -- a noun -- and is therefore an adjectival phrase having nothing to do with either "space" or "time" as the WordReference entry for "cerca de" indicates it must be.

Hope you found that interesting and/or helpful.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/McGhee34

why cant I use-el libro es sobre un caballo

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

As far as I know, you should be able to use "sobre" instead of "acerca de." Is it possible your answer was incorrect in some other way? If not, and you feel strongly that it should be an accepted answer, report it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Trudi.pepper

When do I use del instead of de, I've seen that sometimes I have to switch between the two. Thanks all

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

You use "del" instead of "de" whenever the definite article "el" follows it. Some exceptions exist. See this post for details.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/trock888

Could i instead of using acerca use sobre

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

You could use "acerca de" instead of "sobre." The word "acerca" by itself is an old word meaning "adjacent" and is no longer used in modern-day Spanish. If you want to use the word "acerca" you must add "de" after it. (Source: Wiktionary's entry for "acerca.")

Edit: I seen now that you were asking if you could use "sobre" instead of "acerca." You can use "sobre" instead of "acerca de." The word "acerca" by itself is no longer a word in Spanish. See the top half of this comment for details.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrezyB

Okay, I put "El libro es acerca de un caballo." but it said it was wrong. It used "trata" instead. Why???

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

I am not sure what the full sentence with "trata" looked like, so it is difficult to answer your question, but I've seen this posted a couple of times and my guess is that it may be some sort of misplaced suggestion/hint. It is true that the verb "tratar" can be used in a transitive way to mean "deal with" or "address," so, in effect the sentence

"El libro trata de un caballo,"

could mean

"The book deals with a horse."

From what I can observe by consulting with WordReference and Tatoeba, typically the reflexive verb "tratarse" is used to convey "be about" something. A search of "trata de" at Tatoeba yielded 117 sentences. Only 16 of those translated "trata de" as "about" (14%) and of those 16, 12 used the reflexive form of "tratar" (10% of the 117). Interestingly enough, of those four that were not used reflexively, three involved the same Spanish translator (whose profile lists Spain as his country of origin) and the three English translations come from profiles listing the United States, Austria, and Ukraine as countries of origin. Based off of this, my guess is that most native Spanish speakers would not use the nonreflexive form of "tratar de" to convey "be about" and from what I can discern, the phrase "trata de" clearly means "deal with" not "about." Now, can you make a case that, in English, "deal with" is synonymous with "be about?" Sure, but I think most native speakers will acknowledge that "deal with" and "be about" are not exactly the same thing.

Either way, this section should be about prepositions and not verbs, especially those used reflexively. I don't know if this duolingo Spanish course even covers reflexive verbs, but I do know some posts have been written about it. If I were just beginning my study of Spanish, I would just chalk up what you experienced to possibly an inadvertent glitch, report it if you continue seeing it, and move on.

HTH

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flobaby

So when using 'sobre' it doesn't have to be followed by 'de' but when using 'acerca' you have to put 'de'. Can anyone explain why?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

Some prepositions are prepositions of just one word and "sobre" is one of them. Others are prepositions of two words. Sometimes a word that is an adverb by itself can become a preposition with the addition of "de" (e.g., "debajo" and "debajo de"). You'll find this to be true of English as well. For example, "about," "toward," and "under" are prepositions in English, but so are "inside of," "outside of," and "near to."

Some prepositions cannot be followed by "de." "Sobre" is one of those words. It is similar to English. We wouldn't say "about of"; we would just say "about." Adding the "of" to "about" would be incorrect just as it is in Spanish. Not everything will correspond so exactly from English to Spanish and vice versa. You'll have to learn which ones do and which ones don't.

Also, keep in mind that some prepositions must be followed by "de." "Acerca" is one of those words. Without the "de" it does not mean anything; it is not a stand-alone word in modern-day Spanish. I don't think English has anything that quite compares to this. We do have some prepositions that are now obsolete/archaic, but I know of no two-word prepositions that use a word that would be considered obsolete if used alone.

HTH

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DaisyGarcia212

it doesn't make any sense... I thought it would be "el libro se trata de un caballo" where does acerca come from?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

It is true that "se trata" can be used to mean "is about" but this section focuses on prepositions. If your suggested translation using "se trata" was marked as incorrect, perhaps that is the reason for it. It's a bit unfair, I suppose, if you're doing a strengthening exercise because you don't know for certain (until the end) what section of the course was covered. For that reason, perhaps "se trata" should be included as an alternative. If it happens again, and you feel that it should be considered correct, please report it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Uomo_Siciliano

My girlfriend and father, who both spoke spanish as their first language, said that they wouldnt use "acerca de" for about but rather use "trata". If anyone can explain why and which one they believe to be more suitable, Gracias!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

My guess is that "se trata" is just a more common way of saying "is about" than "es acerca de." After all, the word "acerca" is now an obsolete word in modern-day Spanish and perhaps "acerca de," as a prepositional phrase, is falling out of use as well. I can't think of anything that corresponds with this exactly in English. The one example I'm thinking of might just cause more confusion, so I'll leave it at this, but I will add an image of an Ngram search I did with "acerca de un" and "se trata de un." The image is below:


As you can see, my hunches were correct and Google hits support the Ngram findings:

The thing to remember is that words in living languages fluctuate in their frequency of use. What is popularly used today may fall by the wayside in decades to come.

Nota bene: I used the phrase "acerca de un" and "se trata de un" to narrow search results and try to make them mirror the usage for this prompt, especially considering "tratar" has many more forms and meanings than "acerca de." Having said that, did you notice a flaw in my selection of phrases? They are not exactly equal. The equivalent of "se trata de un" would be "es acerca de un." When I reran the search with "es acerca de un," the numbers were virtually nonexistent for the phrase "es acerca de un" when compared to "se trata de un" -- .9% for Twitter and just .3% for Google pages overall. So now, more than ever, I can see why your girlfriend and father told you they wouldn't use "acerca de." I think the course designers included it mainly to show users that some prepositions need to be followed by a "de" and that "cerca de" is not the same as "acerca de." Regardless of the reasons, I'm really glad you posted what you had learned from others. I definitely learned something in the process and hope others do, too.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ramarr1

Why is it acerca de un caballo?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cholanegra

Why won't it accept una caballa?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Julian_L.

Because that means "An atlantic mackerel".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woody4087

I used es instead of esta in a previous question and was marked wrong, said to use es, and then on this question i used esta instead of es and was marked wrong again, said to use es. ???

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Colenerd123

a way to remember book the word book in Spanish is like library

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aaronsduolingo

Posted "sobre de un caballo" and was marked incorrect. Says "de" is fine with "acerca" but not with "sobre." Does this sound correct to everybody? Thanks

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

You are now at a Level 25, aaronsduolingo. ¡Enhorabuena! Therefore, you may be well past this by now, but the short answer is, "Yes, it sounds correct." Though there may be some specific instances where it may be acceptable to place "de" after "sobre," typically, when "sobre" is used to mean "about" it is not followed by "de."

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jksaddington

This is exactly what I put and it was wrong, the correct answer I was given did not include acerca, maybe a glitch with duolingo as I've read other comments from people that this has happened to.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Maddiecat9

What is the difference between del and de

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisa4duolingo
lisa4duolingo
  • 23
  • 17
  • 12
  • 11
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

This post here should answer your question.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joeyfino

Why the "es" and not esta?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

I've read many explanations about the two verbs. They tend to be FAR too detailed to be considered when actually trying to speak/write in Spanish.

The "rule" that works for me (most of the time) is "está" for a condition that may change (or already changed). Está infermo. (He's sick....but won't be forever.) Está casado. (He's married, but wasn't always.) ¿Donde está mi cartera? (My wallet could move.) Donde es España? (But Spain won't!)

Consider:

Él es tranquilo. [He is quiet.] As in, he's a quiet kind of person. That's his nature.

Él está tranquilo. [He is calm.] As in, right now he's not freaking out.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amrind

I think it is a misconception that "acerca de" is exaclty translates as "about". (As some people have opined here) The question here is this alien word ''de". I believe this ''de" is used here to show the possession. ''de'' means "of'' right? So in Latin based languages possession is a prime issue. Even if you know that The book is about "a horse" it is necessary in these languages to use the possession ''de" which means of. So digging deeply you get: The book is dealing with the ideas of horse. It is because of the rigid grammatical rules that these age old conventions still find a way in Latin based languages. This is where we appreciate the grammatical sense of English Men. So when you stop thinking in the grammatical sense of English this problem will be easily overcome. And please understand that only a few of the translations appear on duolingo are sufficient to convey the correct meaning of a Spanish text.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amrind

I think it is a misconception that "acerca de" is exaclty translates as "about". (As some people have opined here) The question here is this alien word ''de". I believe this ''de" is used here to show the possession. ''de'' means "of'' right? So in Latin based languages possession is a prime issue. Even if you know that The book is about "a horse" it is necessary in these languages to use the possession ''de" which means of. So digging deeply you get: The book is dealing with the ideas of horse. It is because of the rigid grammatical rules that these age old conventions still find a way in Latin based languages. This is where we appreciate the grammatical sense of English Men. So when you stop thinking in the grammatical sense of English this problem will be easily overcome. And please understand that only a few of the translations appear on duolingo are sufficient to convey the correct meaning of a Spanish text.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Apanthony

In German I think you could say, something like, "es haendelt um," meaning it is about or sort of like, "it is handled around." I think in english it might be something like, the subject "concerns itself with." There is just sometimes no direct translation, but it is very interesting that some of the German structures and Romance language structures have analogues where the Latin and Germanic based English language does not. Each language seems to have its idiosyncratic structures and only hearing them over time, do you really get a sense of the connotations and internal logic of how it works.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AsadNaeem1

When to use "un" "uno" and"una"?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

Una is female "one" (Veo una mujer...I saw one woman)

Un is male "one" (Veo un hombre...I saw one man)

Uno is stand-alone "one" (Veo uno.....I saw one.)

Note Spanish also has "plural" version (which doesn't really make sense, but helped me learn...)

Unas mujers "some women"

Unos hombres "some men"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kaitlynhines13

Agreed

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChadSteel

Screw the de I will not say it that way. I dont care what the Owl wants.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurenPerr8

You cant use sobre instead of acerca?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

Yes, you can. At least, instead of "acerca de"

"El libro es sobre un caballo." is correct, too. Note, however, this sentence could also answer the question "Where is the book?" (It's on top of the horse.)

Sí, puede. Por lo menus, en lugar de "acerca de".

"El libro es sobre un caballo." es correcto, también.

[[ Disclaimer: Still learning Spanish. ]]

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ca.sh

I got that wrong and it said trata instead, otherwise I had it right.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/norma488180

Why does mine say trata?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

The verb "tratar" is another way of saying "to deal with", "to be about".

Kinda/sorta like in english when we say "It talks about", the verb "to talk" takes on a special and slightly different meaning. (Although the book isn't actually talking, you can imagine someone is was saying whatever is written.)

"tratar" (to treat) does the same sorta thing when you say "tratar de".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/norma488180

Thanks for that lesson Peabianjay!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

De nada, no es un problema. Me gusta ayudar. También me ayuda a aprender.

[You're welcome, it's not a problem. I like to help. It also helps me learn.]

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/L.Watford

The correct answer is different from the earlier one given in this section which did not include "habla".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

Yes. True. Sure. You're right. Indubitably.

There's more than one way to say the same thing. Just like I just did. :-)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeoffSumner

I used acerca and was marked wrong. Duo wants me to use trata. Trata? Where'd that come from????

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

"acerca de" is ALSO correct. More than one way of saying the basically the same thing:

The book is about a horse. [El libro es acerca de un caballo.]

The book deals with a horse. [El libro trata de un caballo.]

The book is about a horse. [El libro es sobre un caballo.] Note that this one could be confused with "The book is physically OVER the horse.", so not the best choice, but also not wrong.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Julian_L.

I don't think so. To say: "the book is physically over the horse", the phrase in Spanish should be: «el libro está sobre el caballo», and in your example you are using «es».

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

Good point. Tiene razon. The correct use of "está" does clarify the meaning of "sobre".

Apparently, when I said "could be confusing", I meant me. :-)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Neya01
Neya01
  • 17
  • 9
  • 7
  • 2

They corrected me to el libro is trata de un caballo, even though I wrote acerca de. Does trata and acerca de have the same meaning or am I missing something?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alan254419

Interesting, I spelled "acerca" wrong and did not include the "de", and it told me "El libro va de un caballo."

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kassielle1974

Im so confused... when it told me to write "acerca" it told me i was wrong and told me to write "trata" then when i put that it said i was ro put "acerca"!? Eventually it accpeted acerca...

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Estudiante-Paul

se trata de accepted.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BradBowlin1

"el libro es sobre de un caballo" should work. Please add duo

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

No, I don't think it should.

"El libro es sobre un cabello."

"El libro es acerca de un cabello."

"El libro trata un cabello."

But not, "....sobre de...."

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Janet334410

So why does the lesson correct this to 'va de'?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

Just another way of saying the same thing.

"The book goes to a horse." El libro va de un caballo.

You could also say, "Es un libro que tenga que ver con un caballo." (It is a book that has to see with a horse.)

Like any language (except maybe Klingon) there's lots of ways of saying the same thing.

In English, you might say, "The book talks about a horse.", "The book is about a horse.", "The book covers horses.", "It's a horse book.", "It's a book on horses." and even "The book looks at horses." :-)

Edit to add: I just stumbled on (yet another) variation in the news:

"Advierte ejecutivo del Bundesbank de especulación EN TORNO AL BITCOIN" which literally means, "....speculation in wheel/lathe/turnstyle of the Bitcoin." i.e. "about bitcoin"

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/natasha177632

I don't get how it's un, not una for the a.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/natasha177632

Horse being masscluin doesn't make sense, as we don't know what the gender of the horse is.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

How very English of you. lol. Many languages (German, French, Spanish, etc.) have gendered nouns. Even Old English does. (A VERY few remnants remain: dog vs. bitch, cow vs. bull, he vs she, "She's a great boat." etc.).

Just remember that grammatical gender is NOT the same as biological gender.

Human gender DOES carry over into the grammar. Object gender does NOT. (A female table? Ha!) In between stuff MIGHT. (Pets are humanized....so their gender can influence grammar (gato/gata, perro/perra). Farm animals, not so much, so their gender generally doesn't. Wild animals, almost never.)

So, it just comes down to memorization. A dress (un vestido) is male. But a skirt (una falda) is female. A suit is male (un traje) but a tie is female (una corbata) Logic? None that I know!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HannahPear94

My first answer was 'el libro es acerca de un caballo'., This got marked wrong and they used trata(?) or a word like that. So, the next time I used the aforementioned word and they said it was wrong and told me a different word to use. I forgot that word so just type libro and clicked next and they said the correct sentence is with acerca de? Im super confused now. Why wasnt it accepted at first, then say it was correct? :(

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

Seems that the correction suggested doesn't always have a clear link with the mistake made.

If you have a typo on word #1, it might suggest a correct solution....by changing some other word (or words).

"Él libro" (incorrect accent on "the/el") might be corrected to "Él libera" (he frees) instead of "El libro" (the book). THIS example isn't very good, of course, just making a point. Since there ARE more than one way of saying things, DuoLingo just tries to guess which way you meant.

There are MANY ways of conveying the idea ".....is about....", so many possible suggestions (and mistakes) are possible, too.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielCamp358125

So apparently my answer was wrong because I used "caballo" instead of "yegua".

I found out "yegua" translates to "mare" in English. In the answer and comments page here I see the answer as "El libro es acerca de un caballo."

I'm confused.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

See above for my comments about DuoLingo attempting to guess what you did wrong.

Can't say for sure, but I'm guessing you incorrectly used "una caballo" (female article with male noun). Rather than correcting "una" to "un", DuoLingo corrected "caballo" to "yegua". That is, both "una yegua" and "un caballo" are correct, but "una caballo" and "un yegua" are both incorrect.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IHeartJesu1

This is all great, but I have questions dealing with where "acerca de" belongs- I once did it like this (I don't remember where) and it marked it wrong, putting "acerca de" at the start of the sentence! HELP ME PLEASE!

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rgonnering

In https://translate.google.com, both "El libro es hacia de un caballo" and "El libro es acerca de un caballo" translate to "The book is about a horse."

When I turn it around "The book is about a horse" translates to "El libro es sobre un caballo".

I don't understand 'hacia de' and 'acerca de', and when to use them or 'sobre'.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IHeartJesu1

'Sobre' is an uncommon term to use as a prep like this. The most common would probably be 'acerca de', but there are times when grammatically speaking, 'hacia de' is better, though since I am relatively new to Spanish, I'm uncertain. The one thing I know for sure is this: Google Translate is not a reliable translation. Just watch the "Google Translate Sings" videos. Sure, they weren't quite using it right, but point is, retranslating the same thing through Google Translate will never get the same sentence back to you.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/toddkessler

It keeps asking for yegua

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/timerax1
timerax1
  • 10
  • 6
  • 2
  • 180

What does "va" mean? When I got this wrong, Duo corrected with: "El libro va de un caballo."

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peabianjay

"va" is "go" (3rd person singular of "ir")

So, the literal translation, "The book goes about a horse." Seems odd, to us, but we say odd things in English, too. ("The book talks about a horse." Really? The book talks?)

Note, we do use "go" in a similar sense in English in some situations: "Charles Dickens was paid by the word, so his books go on forever."

3 months ago