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  5. "La casa ya está pagada."

"La casa ya está pagada."

Translation:The house is already paid for.

June 13, 2013



I got it wrong for putting "already" before the "is" instead of after. Should it really matter?


The rule is to put 'already' before the conjugated verb, e.g. 'I already pay too much to my mortgage lender', or before the participle in compound tenses like 'I have already paid for it', 'we are already paying too much' and this passive tense 'it is already paid for'). The exception is that 'already' comes after the verb 'to be' (e.g. 'I am already late for work', not 'I already am late for work'), unless it's for emphasis (A: 'You're going to be late for work.' - B: 'It's 9:05! I already AM late for work!').


Not true, there is no rule in English grammar on the placement of already. Usage allows for either use.


Please clarify, were you talking about a Spanish grammar rule or one for English? As a native English speaker, I agree with everything you said, but I was taught to think of it slightly differently: an adverb/adverbial should go as close as possible to the verb it is modifying, even if that sometimes means after the verb. Also, if for some reason a central placement will muddy the meaning, an adverb/adverbial is usually placed at either end of the sentence, depending on where it makes more sense. Example 1) Are you done already? Example 2) Q: Do you always take a nap in the morning? A: Usually I nap in the afternoon. Note that "usually" was placed at the beginning for emphasis. It would be equally correct to say "I usually nap in the afternoon. For a really thorough explanation, see: http://esl.about.com/od/grammarstructures/a/adverb_placement.htm


Very clear explanation. Thank you


Great explanation! It is something I had internalized but if I had ever learned it as a rule I had forgotten it, although I was an English/Linguistics major.

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I think either order is fine, but "is already paid for" sounds a bit more natural to me than "already is paid for." I would report it.


Is this a lesson in intricacies of english, or are we trying to learn spanish? Silly me, i thought it was the latter.


No, you have to say "is already".


it literally does not matter


I believe "already" is an adverb of extent which needs to go before the word that it modifies (paid).


It's interesting that this discussion thread hasn't contained the old argument about ending an English sentence with a preposition. Although the current translation, "The house is already paid for" is commonly accepted by many people, that doesn't make it correct. Proper English means one doesn't end a sentence with a preposition. So, the correct English translations should be, "The house is paid for already."

I know many, many people will argue with this. And it happens, in English (and language in general), that the more something is used, the more it is accepted, whether it is right or wrong. That is what has happened with ending a sentence with a preposition. MY OPINION (and you are certainly welcome to your own) is that English has been dumbed down too much already by the acceptance incorrect usages.

Just because something is a phrase, or way of talking, that you and everyone in your circle of friends (or, me and my circle of friends) has always used, does NOT make it right.

Now, that said, I know I'll be criticized for standing up for "the King's English," but please, all of you who think differently, you are very welcome to continue doing so. Many of you are close friends of mine!


You were lucky the sentence had an "already". What if there was no "already"? How would you paraphrase "The house is paid for"?

I also don't understand how come German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish all allow a preposition at the end, but English doesn't. I'm not a linguist nor a native speaker, but I just think "don't end a sentence with a preposition" is a made-up rule.


Here you go: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/11/grammar-myths-prepositions/

(Summary: it is both made-up and inconvenient.)



Lingot to you! Although I myself recast sentences to avoid prepositions at the ends of sentences in my formal writing, IMO it is ludicrous to worry about it in casual writing and speech because of language drift. Besides, especially when the preposition in question is also an adverb, as in "I want you to get off the car," it is grammatically correct to end the sentence after the preposition "off," because prepositions like "on" "in," and "off" function as both parts of speech, i.e., as both a preposition and an adverb. When a preposition not only follows the verb but also changes the verb's meaning–for example, "get in," "get on," and "get off"–the formal term for that construction (verb + preposition) is "particle." I myself think of all English particles as syntactically adverbial if they refine the meaning of the verb they follow.


I like Churchill's reply, "Dangling prepositions are one of those things up with which I will not put." (I'm sure tongue firmly in cheek!)


Yeah, there is no such rule. That there is, is a myth


I agree very much with what you say about correctness vs. popular usage, I sympathize with that across languages. However more specifically in this case,my opinion is that ending a sentence with a preposition is perfectly adequate. This mainly because trying to avoid doing so will sometimes make a phrase awkward or weird-sounding. For instance "Give them what they asked for." Is it really all that better to go into the trouble of making it "Give them the thing for which they asked." Personally I think it doesn't work and sound as well and natural; it can sacrifice natural flow for rigidity sometimes.

But at any case, that's just my humble opinion!


That was a very good response. Even though I knew my above posting would probably make me sound too rigid to many when I wrote it, I actually agree with you. We do need to allow for flexibility. And, there is a difference between an informal conversation and public speaking. We just don't need to completely forget that we have structure to our language, as some people seem want to do. Everyone should simply, actually try and do their best. I think that applies to everything we do. If we all put forth our BEST EFFORT, we'll produce good things!


Usage is the final arbiter here, I'd say!


Well, as my Dad used to say (about so many things), "100 years from now it just won't make a difference!" (or, "....nobody will care," or, "....nobody will remember". He had a lot of "100 years from now" statements.)


If we all contracted Humptydumptyism we could then all say whatever we like.


I translated "The house is already paid." I don't see the need for the dangling preposition at all.


You don't pay objects. You pay people or abstract concepts like bills and accounts. But you pay for you groceries, house, and daycare. You pay your mortgage or car note but you pay for your house and car.

As for dangling prepositions, phrasal verbs with a preposition are a feature of Germanic languages like English. But at some point people tried to import the rule into English from Latin. No Spanish, Italian, French or other Romance language speaker will ever end a sentence in a preposition. But that false import has long been discredited for English, although most grammar sources will agree that, since there are so many people who learned it wrong but will judge you as wrong and ignorant, that you should probably avoid doing so in formal writing.



In general, I agree with you. However, in this case my ear accepts it as your examples of a bill or account.


It is possible that it is changing, but I am pretty sure that I haven't heard it much if ever, because it would grate a little to my ear. However for the purposes of Duo, only pervasive use overrides grammatical principle. And part of what is being taught here is that pagar can be translated as pay for without an added preposition in Spanish.


Go "the King's English"! Not only do people end sentences in a preposition, and for "the love of the King's English" it's the same with adverbs! It ISN'T "go slow" or "drive safe" people! IT IS "go slowly" and "drive safely"!


Glazewg, your penultimate paragraph, sir: 'Just because something is a phrase, or way of talking, that you and everyone in your circle of friends (or, me and my circle of friends) has always used, does NOT make it right.

Behold, the corrected version: 'Just because something is a phrase, or A way of talking, that you and everyone in your circle of friends (or I and my circle of friends) HAVE always used, does NOT make it right.

I have capitalised the amendments, though keeping your original NOT. Please do not prattle on about silly 'rules' especially when your own English is not without reproach ( nor, incidentally, is mine though I make do as an ad-hoc proofreader for my own circle of friends).

Sir Winston Churchill, Nobel Prize laureate in Literature, lampooned that prepositional 'rule', saying, "This is a sentence up with which I will not put". Would you argue with him?


I had never heard your particular version of this famous quote of Winston Churchill. This is one of the most quoted things that actually has zero factual backup. In fact, according to this article and another one I read, Winston Churchill might not have been the originator of that quote.


However linguists will tell you that the rule about ending a sentence in a preposition was incorrectly imported from Latin. English, as a Germanic language, uses verb phrases with prepositions quite similar to German separatable verbs. In these constructions you often have no other option but to end with the preposition in short sentences. I feel like giving up. I didn't know what to say when he walked in. He told me to spit it out. This are typical constructions using English's Germanic bones.



I thought 'esta' was meant for temporary states, emotional states etc? If the house is already paid for, isn't that permanent, and therefore 'es'?


that is a very nice reference but, unfortunately, it does not address this situation. the state of "being paid for" is not a position, location, action condition or emotion - it is a characteristic. Something doesn't get "un-paid for". Therefore, it is hard to see why ser is not the more appropriate verb


Prior to being paid for a house stands not paid for,. That means it had before it was paid for a different status. And a status is a state, not a characteristic. When a house is not yet paid for it is in a STATE of being wherein it is not paid for. When it gets paid for it is no longer in the state of being paid for so it then is in a different STATE – the state of having been paid for.

All states use ESTAR.

SER is for characteristics.

And it is as simple as that.

A characteristic is an inherent, that is, integral, condition and is not a state which could be, under altertnate circumstances, a different state of being.

Duolingo user tessbee and I created an online trainer tool which can enable one to becone an expert on SER V. ESTAR.

Want to become an expert? Hit me up about it on my page.


Or... Just say, "that which is paid for can be for sale in the future." How does your system manage "seguro"? Safe. Sure. States?


I'm sure that, since you're at level 22, you're already aware of the existence of certain Spanish adjectives that change meanings when being used with either estar or ser, and that they're usually treated as special ones and are listed separately from the normal ser/estar + Adjectives category, right? Like the:

ser aburrido = to be boring / estar aburrido = to be bored
ser cansado = to be a tiring person / estar cansado = to be tired
ser listo = to be clever / estar listo = to be ready
ser malo = to be bad / estar malo = to be ill
ser rico = to be rich(wealthy) / estar rico = to be rich(tasty -- food)
ser verde = to be green / estar verde = to be unripe (fruit)
ser seguro = to be safe / estar seguro = to be certain.

Although these adjectives convey different meanings when used with ser and when used with estar (and are listed separately from other, more ordinary sets of ser/estar-adjective combinations in Spanish sites and Spanish books), it's still apparent that there's characteristic vs state differences here, don't you think?


I don't have a system. What I said above concerns Spanish as it is, and I made nothing up. And what I said only concernes the two "to be" verbs, SER and ESTAR..


Lo que está pagado puede ser a la venta en el futuro. And if you are asking about using ser vs estar for seguro it depends on the meaning. Está seguro means safe as a status. Es seguro means something is safe by nature. Estoy seguro pero el barrio no es seguro.


Well you were wrong.


is putting o/a on the end of the participle depending on the gender of the noun only show up in passive?


Because this sentence uses "está", "pagada/o" is a participial adjective describing "casa", and so the ending changes. If you wanted to say "I have paid for the house", that would be "He pagado por la casa." In that case, "pagado" is being used as the past participle and does not change ending.


The listed correct solution "The house's already paid" is not a correct solution. "House's" is used when the house has something.


That is right. Using the word, "house's," means the house possesses something. Like, maybe it's a leaky roof. Or whatever.


Duo lingo said that 'The house's now paid for' is correct which is utter nonsense and should be reported as such. I translated it as 'The house is now paid for' and was marked wrong.


What's wrong with 'the house has already been paid for'?


The addition of the word "has" makes it a different tense (present perfect vs present tense)

"La casa ya se ha pagado" (ha = helping verb haber = "has")


Any native speakers here? Is this how you would say the house is paid off and owned out right? Or how you would say that the monthly mortgage or rent has been paid? I have seen similar sentence structure for paying phone bills or making car payments and want to make sure I understand exactly what is being said here.


Yes indeed, you are correct. «Ya pagué el teléfono» the phone bill has been paid; «El carro está pagado» the car is already paid for. Same with the house, from the sentence alone, I can tell you it does sound like the monthly mortgage has been liquidated completely.

Hope it helped.


I would do what you did: use "off" instead of "for."


The translation is entirely incorrect 'The house's should read as 'the house is' the house's = something belonging to the house e.g 'the house's door is red'


"la cuenta ya está paga" or "la casa ya fue pagada"


To ajacuna: 'paga': past participle, feminine, singular (in Portuguese); 'pagada': past participle, feminine, singular (in SPANISH). I hope I have helped. Greetings. December 04.2014.


Your first sentence is wrong because you completely left out the subject (la casa), in the second one you mis-conjugated the verb, "está" is present (correct because original phrasing says "...IS already paid for"), you used "fue" which is in past so you got it wrong.

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I think ajacuna meant that one would use the present tense for having paid a bill, but past tense for a mortgage


Porque estar. Why not fue pagada. .as in fue seguida. fue conocida

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Difference between "is already paid for" and "was already paid for" (at some particular time in the past).


why "the house has been paid for" hasn't been accepted? What's the difference?


You are forgetting to include the word "ya/already" - if you leave a word out Duo will mark it wrong.

"Has been" is also a different tense.

The house has been paid for = "La casa ha sido pagada"


My english interpretation of the spanish was "the house already is paid for". It was rejected and given the answer "the house is already paid for". These mean the same in english and sonit should have been acceptex


This is a somewhat difficult issue for Duo to handle because of the way it is structured. The problem lies in the fact that, although we have strong conventions in English as to where to place words like already, always, and none, we do have more potential leeway than they do in Spanish. I believe that Duo is correct in it's assessment that a native English speaker, if saying this sentence spontaneously, would say The house is already paid for. So while it is not incorrect to mirror the syntax of the Spanish sentence in the English, it is probably not the syntax you would use except for the fact you are presentrd with the Spanish sentence. It WOULD be incorrect if you didn't take note of the differences between Spanish syntax and English conventional syntax and tried to mirror the English syntax in Spanish. La casa está ya pagado would NOT be correct. So although I know our own native speaker sense gets somewhat outraged when told that something that is essentially the same thing is wrong, it is important to see whether it is just an issue of updating the database of answers or if there is some other point.


Actually the version they list as correct has "already" splitting an infinitive which is a grammatical error.


You need to learn grammar before you try to teach it. "Is paid for" is a verb phrase, but not an infinitive. It is simply a passive construction. The infinitive form in English starts with "to". The infinitive of "is paid for" would be "to be paid for". Splitting the "to" from the verb is considered incorrect. Ending a sentence in a preposition was also a rule that many people learned as wrong. This rule was artificially imported from Latin and actually defies some of the natural English syntax. It is no longer considered to be incorrect, especially when the preposition is part of a verb phrase. In Spanish you cannot split the elements of a verb phrase but that is common in English. Only infinitive forms should not be split. To slowly sit or to carefully read are traditionally considered grammatically incorrect. That rule seems to be becoming somewhat obsolete, perhaps because it is so common to split up verb phrases in English and people are unaware of what an infinitive is.


Lynette, you are right, when used in a verb phrase, the word "for" is not functioning as a preposition, but is part of the action. A person can be simply paid, because they can be the recipients of checks or dollars, but a house would not be paid, but paid for, when no more money is owed on its loan.

One of the things people may be overlooking is when prepositions are unnecessarily added to the end of sentences. It is not considered good grammar to say "Where are you going TO?" The sentence is sufficient without the extraneous word. If (in casual use) one says "Who were you speaking to?" the word "to" is needed. (The formal way is correct, but sounds stuffy & stilted, "To whom were you speaking?") But in literature, the famous quote would not sound nearly as fine if it were changed from, "Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."


I am definitely one of those stilted speakers who say whom and it is I and other signs of nomination as opposed to accusative case. But after I learned German I became hyper aware of both case structures and these verb pronoun combinations which in German are separatable verbs. In German the proposition is attached to the beginning of the infinitive but separated when used in a sentence with the preposition coming at the end of the sentence. That was similar to Old English. Most Grammarians would tell you that the rule is not valid, but since most of the people judging your language are not linguisticly trained it may be best to make some attempt to limit ending sentences with prepositions



Yes. I "go with the flow;" when speaking with my athlete friends, I don't speak formally. When I wrote papers for school, I adhered to the grammar rules! You will get funny looks when you say, "It is I," or, "It was she who was to blame!" I usually just reword the phrase for casual use. I'd shorten the sentence & say "She was to blame!" Simplifying by removing the pronoun entirely makes it easy for all, when one has a choice.


Have a lingot lynettemcw.


paid up is wrong? what grammar book are you using!?


"The house is paid for already!" Ever hear that one?


That should be accepted. Report it if it is not


why have it "ya" in if not meant to be used

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"Ya" is the English "already"


I don't think I understand why some use "ser" and why others use "estar". Can someone please clarify?


This goes to the acronyms for using Ser and Estar. The acronym that estar uses is PLACE. Position, Location, Action, Condition, Emotion. Being paid for is a condition. The other way to think about this for this particular type of condition is to remember that the Spanish word estar comes from the same Latin root as our word status. The acronym for Ser is DOCTOR: Description, Occupation, Characteristic, Origin, Relationship. The only things that come into question are really those things which might be considered either conditions or characteristics. For example Estoy enojado means I am angry. Soy enojado means I am an angry person (e.g. it is one of my characteristics -- I am always angry). But sometimes changing from ser to estar with an adjective can have unusual meanings. Here is a link reviewing this:



Anybody have an answer as to why "The house is already paid for" was counted as wrong when the answer is "The house is already paid for"?


Anybody know why "o.s" is included in the wordbank? I'd seen it in an earlier question, but wrote it off as a typo or something, but now it's bugging me.


I believe that although Vosotros forms are not taught, they are often accepted. One of the consequences for accepting them is they will show up in the selections sometimes. Os is the object form for Vosotros.


I'm from England and feel the translation "already paid for" sounds much more natural to my ear. Putting already at the end sounds more like: "The house is paid for ALREADY!" or spoken by a someone whose first language is not English. I've never seen this expressed as a "rule", but hope this is helpful.


I was right! It's the same thing!


What's the same thing?


No sure what's going on here, I got this correct you said it was wrong????


What is "o.s" (I'm still learning english)


I am not sure what o.s you see or are asking about. Perhaps your comment didn't nest properly under someone's comment and you were directing your comment to theirs, but I see no o.s


"already is..." does not change the meaning


I am assuming that you are saying that already is is the same as is already. I agree, but I think you would have to put that third in terms of frequency of use behind is already paid and is paid already. I think that Duo would prefer the other two forms because they are more common and DON'T match the Spanish syntax. But if you feel strongly you should report it using the flag.


I got it exactly correct word for word & it said i was wring


Unfortunately, it doesn't help to mention things non-language related in this chat forum, as there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. You have to report it.


La casa ya está pagada = La casa está ya pagada = It's the same. It does not matter in Spanish, both are correct. The duolingo software is programmed to accept "La casa ya está pagada. " as correct answer. But both ways are OK 100%.


I am certain it does not matter and is correct in whatever form


I'm learning Spanish, not English. Why do I need to write "paid for" when they don't use an extra "for" in Spanish?


In English you pay the bill, the mortgage, the car note, the account, the doctor etc. But you pay for the food, the car, the house, the product or service, whatever it is. It works differently in Spanish. Sometimes things are the same and sometimes they are different between languages. If you don't know the rules in English, you won't know whether they are the same or different.


Does "the house is already paid" not make sense


No. People or bills/accounts get paid, things get paid for. So you would say you paid the rent/mortgage or you paid the landlord, but you pay for the house.


DL insists on using "for" after "paid". but to my surprise "ya está pagada" was translated as "it's already paid". so with the next sentence i translated happily "the house is already paid". i think i'll eat a piece of my wooden desk and continue with my lesson.


The rule of thumb here is that you pay a bill, whatever it may be (a mortgage, a car note, a restaurant tab, a utility bill, etc). Once you pay the bill, whatever you were billed for becomes paid for. Time payment items like houses don't get paid for until all payments are made, whether it is buying it for cash or paying off the mortgage. The thing that is paid is where the money goes, so a person or company can be paid but inanimate object get paid for.


thank you for clarifying. it's very helpful.


it should be 'paid off' , not 'paid for'


this lesson is making me dumber, I swear...


Funny. Here at Duolingo, the woman says "yasta" in sentences with "ya está", where the man, like in this sentence here, clearly pronounce it in two words: "ya está". Do I understand it this way, that in daily speech it often sounds like her "yasta" and "ya está" is only used by some people when speaking to us trying to learn Spanish? :)


Well different people do speak as different speeds with different accents and levels of enunciation within that accent. But yes, when a word ending in a vowel precedes a word beginning in a vowel you are probably going to get either a blended sound or a dropped vowel, depending on the combination. Spanish is one of the fastest spoken languages in terms of syllables per second, so this is inevitable. But actually, to some extent, ya can be an exception. I think Spanish speakers may be aware about the likelihood of losing the word in the flow, or it could be just because this word tends to be emphasized naturally to some degree. But I actually seldom miss this word. When I was first learning Spanish I would always miss hearing the "he" or "ha" from the present perfect, especially in something like he estado. With that one I still miss the he, but I recognize the past participle and fill it in from its position in the sentence.


How would the meaning change if you used "es" instead of "esta"?


What's wrong with this one


In English, it is considered bad grammar to split the two verbs. The house already is paid for should not only be accepted, but should be preferred. -- We won't say anything about ending in a preposition. . . . but the meaning is clear so, np


That is actually not true. There were some people who were INCORRECTLY taught not to split infinitives, but even that rule is not a valid English rule. Just like the rule about not ending a sentence in a preposition, these rules were improperly importrd from Latin. English, despite à lot of vocabulary imported from French, maintains a Germanic sentence structure, and separatable verb phrases and ending sentences with prepositions which are part of these phrasal verbs is actually an essential characteristic. There are some phrasal verbs which cannot be split, but to be paid for is not one. Splitting infinitives itself is still something to be done cautiously, but this is not an infinitive here, and splitting is both grammatically permissible and probably the most common practice. This practice goes from the Presidental Oath of Office down to the beginning of Star Trek.



Very succinctly explained Lynette. Have a lingot!


"The house is already paid for" sounds weird. I think it should be "The house has already been paid for" , that is what I would say.


We are studying Spanish, here, the way Spanish works. Not English.


Doesn't seem like we are, when 90% of this clutter is about trivial grammar rules in English.


Amannababanana, you've changed the tense to the past, whereas it is in the present.


"the house has already been payed" has the same meaning, according to me!!! Why it's a mistake???


In English, an object (almost always) cannot be paid. Only people or institutions get paid. A house gets paid for or paid off, which means that the bank or other lender is the one that has been paid.

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"Pay" as in "a transaction" has past tense of "paid" (paid him money, was paid back). "Pay" as in the nautical terms for sealing a deck or letting out a rope has past tense of "payed" (he payed out the anchor).


What fun, learning a new word. Not being a sailor, I had never heard "pay out" used as a nautical term. I was so intrigued by this new meaning that I went searching for the definition on the Web. The Oxford English Dictionary site, the free dictionary site, and reference.com all the added the particle "off" as an adverb of degree to make "pay off" a nautical term for letting out a rope or anchor. Nowhere did I see anything that connected "pay off" to "sealing a deck." I thought "sealing a deck" had to do with maintaining the wood of the deck. Is "seal" the right word? Did you mean "securing," as in tying a boat to a dock?

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That's from a year ago and I don't remember the sense of sealing a deck. I am familiar with paying out a rope (but I know it as paying out, not paying off). I may have checked a dictionary before posting to make sure the past tense of that sense of "pay" was "payed" and discovered the sealing a deck sense. I just checked my OED (1971 ed, 1984 printing) and it lists pay in the rope or anchor sense as always with out or away (def 13 of the first "pay"). It also has a second "pay" listed as a verb with a single definition of the seal with pitch or tar and being chiefly nautical.


Yea I got it wrong too, checked google translate after

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