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"El hijo culpa a la madre y al padre."

Translation:The son blames the mother and the father.

5 years ago

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/jhowey

there are two meanings for "a". One is "at" or "to". that is not what is going on here. This is the "personal a" and it always precedes the object of an action when that object is a person or animal. In English the subject always comes first, but in Spanish, you can change the order, so you could say "El hijo culpa a la madre" or you could say, to emphasize who is being blamed, "A la madre culpa el hijo". It is still the mother being blamed. Given that you can swap the subject and object, you have to have a way of identifying the object or you wouldn't know who is blaming who, and the "a" serves that purpose. If the object is not a person or animal, it is clear who is acting, so you don't need it then.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carnaedy
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Not entirely correct. "A la madre culpa el hijo" is not correct Spanish. To swap the object and the subject of a sentence, you use "[object] lo/la/le [verb] [subject]" structure, where lo/la/le depends on the gender of the object and whether the object is direct or indirect. You have to use this construction even when there is "personal a" before the object: "A la madre la culpa el hijo".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jhowey

Carnaedy is correct. As an example we can cite the noted linguist Daddy Yankee: "A ella le gusta la gasolina"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sguthrie1

The verb "gustar" is a special case, very different from the verb "culpar". It is irregular.

With "culpar", the "a" is simply the "Personal a". Use the personal "a" when the direct object is a person, or something you have a close relationship with, or personal feelings about, such as pets, family, your country.

(However, don't use the personal "a" with an "indefinite" person, someone with whom you have not personal relationship, such as your plumber or lawn keeper.

In the case of "gustar", the subject follows the verb. In the sentence "A ella le gusta la gasolina", "gasoline" is the subject. It literally says "Gasoline is liked by her." However, we phrase translate it as "she likes gasoline."

There are several "gustar-like" verbs. These include: encantar (love), aburrir (to bore me), someone), faltar (to lack, be missing), interesar, doler (to hurt), llamar (call).

http://ny24000063.schoolwires.net/cms/lib/NY24000063/Centricity/Domain/223/gustar%20and%20verbs%20like%20gustar%20-%20notes%20and%20worksheet.doc.

http://www.realfastspanish.com/vocabulary/verbs-like-gustar

http://studyspanish.com/grammar/lessons/persa

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/abhinab2002

Thanks that's a very good explanation!! Really understand now the need for a.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sahilsingla112

For a very long time we kept hearing that 'a' is required whenever the object is someone you care about...but this kind of explanation and the ordering of subject and object doesnt really matter much is heard first time from you..it clarified everything!! Thanks a ton !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GodricGreen

Thank you both for the explanation. Jhowey helped me understand why do we even have to use a "personal a" and Carnaedy thought me how to swap the object and the subject of a sentence correctly ^_^

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/liang.li
liang.li
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Thank you for that!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CupcakeGurlxx

I can't say the sentence, though. It says I got it wrong.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jennyhok

Why can't you translate it as The son blames HIS mother and father? I know "la" literally translates as "the," but clearly by having "hijo" as the subject, they are his parents.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/helion_invictus

I think it's probably safe to infer that but (from my understanding) to say it explicitly would require “su“ instead of “la“ or “el“.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cocacola321

I agree but EL and LA were given as the answer here.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cocacola321

And HIS is not accepted so He must be blaming someone else's parents.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MonsieurLove

His sister's?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/qneill

His step-sister's.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
PERCE_NEIGE
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Can't it means the same thing than "a su madre y a su padre"? Because sometimes the possesive adjective are allusive. Example: In French, we say: "je me lave les mains" (I wash myself the hands, the possesive is allusive, it's my hands) In English you would have the translation for this sentence: I wash my hands.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EugeneTiffany

I wrote: "The son blames his mother and his father."

And I did NOT ding out.

Reading through the Comments I am seeing how a major confusion is occurring.

There are lot of students who don't seem to understand the difference between MEANING and TRANSLATION. And as a result, they are attempting to straight across DECODE each Spanish sentence's words into ENGLISH instead of TRANSLATING the meaning of a Spanish sentence into ENGLISH.

As a consequence of what is spelled out in this Spanish sentence, they do not see the English word "HIS" repeated twice in that Spanish sentence. And the do not, of course, because those words cannot be seen there when one works out the MEANING of the Spanish sentence, word by word.

A lot of students use the words, MEANING and TRANSLATION interchangably, as if the two words had the same meaning, while they do not.

Duolingo does not teach meaning. Instead, it leaves it up to us to work out what a Spanish sentence means. Duoling in the main teaches translation while edging into meaning on occasion. I do admit, that intermixture can cause confusion.

When a foreign language is translated into English, it is not the MEANING of the foreign language statement that needs to be said in English, but what an English speaker normally says when stating the same idea as what the foreign language statement means. And the best way to say, " El hijo culpa a la madre y al padre" in English is, "The son blames his mother and his father" while the exact MEANING of the Spanish sentence's words does NOT include the word, "his." A good TRANSLATION does, though.

What we ever need to do is work out what a Spanish sentence means in our mind, then we need to turn around and translation the determined idea into commonly spoken English. And that may involve using words not included in the worked out meaning.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PoppyZed

I just can't seem to get when to include "a" or contract to al.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
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"al" is the mandatory contraction of "a + el". It is not optional. I guess the "a" here is the personal "a". Not sure on all the rules on when to used it but it often is used with family and pets. Note "a" can have other meanings too.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PoppyZed

Thank you all, and I understand the the contraction. What I do not understand is when to use it and when just to use el. It seems that it is required for some verbs and not others.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

The issue is sometimes related to the verb, but often it is related to whether the direct object is a person/pet, or not. Google 'personal a Spanish' or check it out at www.StudySpanish.com

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PoppyZed

That is funny because I thought I had it and then the dog, I think he was presented, threw me off. I will try to relate it to either person or pet in the future and see how it goes.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rachelrypkema

Why isn't "el padre" right? Isn't it the same as "al padre?"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carnaedy
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No, "al" is the masculine counterpart of "a la", to + definite article.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rachelrypkema

oh. thanks

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/geneven
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I keep wanting to say "scold" for "culpa".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StephenHarwell

Would "El hijo los culpa a la madre y al padre.." Also be a way of saying this?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carnaedy
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Not that I know of. As far as I am aware Spanish does not duplicate direct object, it's either in a pronoun form or explicit, but not both. Indirect objects are a different story though -- since the IO pronoun is mandatory, duplication comes up if you want to make the indirect object specific.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Omanomi

Could culpa mean accuse because when I did DL spanish to french they translated it as "accuser" not "blamer".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/josue64

I have repeated this sentences the correct way every time. I reported the problem. has anyone else had the same problem? This is not a hard sentence to say in Spanish. I am tempted to go back to French.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CupcakeGurlxx

I don't know how to say the sentence!!!!!!!!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yahoo3579

A tip for remembering 'culpar-' to be 'culpable' in English is to be blame-able.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YousefEwis

i put the son blames the father and the mother and i got it wrong

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zola-Magician

Why is 'The son faults his mother and father' wrong?

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sguthrie1

"Blame" is a better word, and is the primary meaning of "culpar". http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/culpar

There is no reason to search for, or use, other possible translations when the primary one works very well, as in this case.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RonaldPrid

The son blames his mother and his father perhaps, but not the mother and the father.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Criddian

Classic teenager!

3 months ago