It's missing on this one for me. But it's not a general problem for me - usually the translation is there.
Edit: I checked a few more, and now I'm not seeing the translations at all. I found this in the Troubleshooting Discussions, http://www.duolingo.com/comment/805215. Looks like a recent DL update caused the translations not to show up. (But I'm almost positive I saw a translation on a discussion page just last night ...)
In that case, you would use a possessive pronoun! :)
If the body part referred to belongs to the person referred to, you use the article. (She placed her hand on her leg = la mano, la pierna)
If there is a change of person (i.e. "she placed his hand on her leg") you would use possessives. (su mano, la pierna)
De rodillas refers back to the subject, never to other people, if you want to say "He fell on his friend's knees" it would be "Él cayó en las rodillas del amigo", or to have a better example:
- He fell on your knees = Él te cayó en las rodillas (te + las = your).
@JuevesHueves We would not use possessives in those cases:
- She placed her hand on her leg = Ella se puso la mano en el hombro.
- She placed his hand on her leg = Ella le puso la mano en la pierna.
Context would tell you whose hand and whose shoulder it is, if not, we would restructure the whole sentence to be more specific without using possessive adjectives.
But that wouldn't be "se cayó de rodillas", it would be "se cayó en las rodillas" or "sobre las rodillas".
I was wondering whether Spanish used "rodilla" for cypress knees, and it looks like it does. A google image search for "rodillas de cípres" looks similar to the one for "cypress knees".
Ha! I tried removing the S from "rodillas", not sure why I did that. It completely changed to what looks like wooden Santa dolls. I also tried removing the S from "knees", and there are a few pictures of dolls there too, and in context of the tree pictures, it's clear that the dolls are indeed carved from cypress knees. (I've never heard of cypress knees before. Very cool.)
It is the reflexive form of the verb, which among other things can refer to a thing done accidently, such as falling or spilling. Therefore it is used almost always with caer unless it is something that is supposed to fall, like leaves or rain. Even then I think most Spanish speakers use se out of habit.
It's very interesting that in the slow version of the Android app, she pronounces the y in cayó differently than the ll in rodillas.
Is this an error---or a consistent practice in regions where the English j sound is used?
I have always pronounced both letters identically, but there are words like haya and halla where I was wondering if there might be a difference in pronunciation.
They both sound the same to me, but I think there are sometimes different recordings in Duolingo depending on where we hear them (in this discussion vs in a lesson, browser vs mobile).
This wikipedia page, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ll, says that most Spanish speakers outside of Spain pronounce LL like Y, but it also says that some Spanish-speaking parts of the Americas pronounce it differently. It has links to pages where we can hear the sounds.
Basically it's because of the "se".
In most cases in Spanish, when you have a body part in an object position, you'll add an object clitic to define whose it is.
Ella me tocó la mejilla. She touched my cheek. (She touched me on the cheek.)
Ella se tocó la mejilla. She touched her own cheek. (She touched herself on the cheek.)
Duolingo doesn't really put much effort into explaining pronominal verbs, but that's not how it works, at least not in this case. Caer has a lot of meanings, depending on those meanings it can be pronominal or not.
First, when it refers to an object moving down due to the action of its own weight, it can be pronominal or not with no difference in meaning, your choice. For example:
- Un globo aerostático cayó.
- Un globo aerostático se cayó.
Second, when it means to lose balance until hitting the ground or whatever that can stop the fall, it can be pronominal or not, and again, there is no difference in meaning. For example:
- Caíste por las escaleras.
- Te caíste por las escaleras.
Third, when it means something falls because it separated from another object it was attached to, it can also be pronominal or not, the meaning does not change, but the structure of the sentence can. For example:
- Las hojas caen de los árboles.
- Las hojas se caen de los árboles.
- A los árboles se les caen las hojas.
With that same meaning it can only be pronominal if it refers to humans or living creatures. For example:
- Se me cayó un diente.
- A él se le está cayendo el cabello.
Fourth, when it means to fall hitting the ground with a body part, it's only intransitive, never pronominal. For example:
- Él cayó de espaldas.
- Caí de cabeza.
The hint is that de + body part does not use object pronouns. I guess there might be some people who would use a pronoun there, but that would be considered a colloquialism.
I stand corrected... Or maybe I fall corrected.
For the previous sentence, it would have been better to translate it as "He hit me with his elbow". In Spanish, they don't use possessives for body parts.
As LydiaSande already said in this discussion, "de rodillas" is an idiomatic expression meaning "on one's knees". Since it's about "he", the English version uses "on his knees" or "to his knees".