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  5. "Ellos se habían dirigido hac…

"Ellos se habían dirigido hacia el norte."

Translation:They had headed towards the north.

June 28, 2013



Shouldn't "They had headed to the north" be accepted?


I guess not because we have the 'hacia' that translates as 'towards', we would translate your sentence as: ellos se habían dirigido al norte.


"They were headed to the north." is accepted


Strange - that seems to me to be a different expression (though close to the same meaning).


But not "They had gone to the north."


It is accepted now.


i agree with you


I think so, I am wrong too, but why?


Again the SE. The use of SE seems so vary random to me. I only understand its use when describing phrases like "to wash oneself/i pay myself etc... In the above sample sentence I dont understand How/Why the action being performed by the subject is also being acted upon the subject. Please somebody explain. Gracias


It is a matter of the verb "dirigir" here, I think; "dirigir" means "to control", but its reflexive form "dirigirse" means "to head toward"...


Yeah, I think dirigir is related to direct. So I think of it as, "They directed themselves towards the north." But that wasn't accepted.


That's exactly what I wanted to write but knowing Duolingo, I guessed it wouldn't be considered as right...but that's the meaning of "Ellos se habían dirigido hacia el norte.", right? And how "They were headed to the north." can be right?? "Ils s'étaient dirigés vers le nord" and not "Ils étaient menés vers le nord"!!??


Hola Diane: Why do write in French on a Spanish discussion page?


The same reason people write in English on a Spanish discussion page! Not everyone here has English as their first language.


Sorry! But sometimes the conjugation is so close that it makes it easier to compare!


Sometimes it is not just describing the verb in the reflexive matter. Dirigirse does mean "to head' rather than "direct themselves" which is too literal.


Thank you Babella. Your response actually does help me. It lets me see that the use of SE is sometimes used just to convey a different meaning. Maybe Im looking to deeply into SE regarding this sample sentence structure.


I have the same problem as you despite reading several different grammar books/web pages on the uses of se. All examples seem to be like ducharse or levantarse which are easy to understand. But usually when I come across se when reading I struggle to understand what its function is in that sentence. If I figure it out I'll let you know!


A lot of these reflexive verbs are idiomatic .i.e. they have a meaning that you have to memorize. For example ir is "to go" but irse, the reflexive form, is commonly "to go away" or "to leave." Just adding "myself" "himself" doesn't work. The meaning of the verb can actually change when it becomes a reflexive form. There is probably a list in one of the better Spanish grammar websites which lists more common verbs which change meaning when they become reflexive. Irse is a big one since it such a well-used one in both its forms. I think the beginning grammar books don't want to totally bamboozle you, so they start with me lavo. That is still uncharted territory for anyone who has not studied a romance language before. A lot of English speakers find the reflexive verbs a huge challenge.


Hola learnTACO32: That is because the literal translation of this sentence is "They had directed themselves towards the north". Note "themselves" because the "se" makes it reflexive, the action referring back to the subject. "Dirigirse" is the verb.


what's the problem with "they had headed northward" ?


I did the same thing. I reported it.


No problem at all.

I hope you reported it.

However, don't hold your breath expecting its approval.


why isn't "they had been directed towards the north" correct?


I went the passive route as well and was denied.

According to Babella, whom I have learned to trust, 'dirigir' means "to control" when it's not reflexive. In case 'se' can't serve double-duty by making the sentence passive AND making the verb reflexive, you would have to translate 'dirigir' using it's non-reflexive meaning if you're using 'se' to make the sentence passive, i.e., "They had been controlled towards the north," which doesn't make any sense. Maybe you just have to know that dirigir has a reflexive form???


Eshewan, dirigir means to control or to direct and takes a direct object. Dirige el proyecto. He directs the project. If you are the person you are directing, i.e. going, I direct myself, then the verb to use is dirigirse.

Hucknoog, they are directing themselves, not being directed by some unknown person. Your sentence would literally be: Ellos habían sido dirigido hacia el norte. But that is not the way this idea would be said in Spanish. Better: Se habían dirigido hacia el norte, which is the passive form not the reflexive form, although the same little word "se" comes into play. This could be translated as "One had directed them toward the north." Or They had been etc.


I just had this sentence again (didn't have to translate it, which is why I didn't get it wrong this time haha). The sentence you give as "the passive form not the reflexive form" is the same sentence as the one at the top of this page, no? Does that mean a passive translation should be accepted?


Heh, looks like I was over-complicating things!


"They had directed themselves toward the north" - would this be acceptable?


I put the same thing. It should be acceptable.


Wouldn't "they had headed FOR the north" be a fair translation? It seems like in English "heading to" someplace and "heading for" someplace has essentially the same meaning.


No. That is incorrect in both English and Spanish.

The reason is, "to head for the north" means the north is their destination. To "head toward the north" means that they traveled in that direction but their destination is not stated. It may even be said of something that has no destination.

That difference in meaning is paralleled in Spanish: Se dirigieron al norte is to travel to/for the north.


Why is my translation " They had led themselves toward the north" wrong?


Often the reflexive pronoun is dropped in English. Duolingo programmed its computer to not--for the most part--accept reflexive pronouns in sentences wth reflexive verbs.


I kind of understand the reflexive idea, but how do you know in this case that se refers to themselves without context. Could it also mean "They had led (him or her or them) towards the north" ??


Without the "se", it wouldn't be reflexive, would it? Your suggested sentence would be Ellos lo/la/los/las habían dirigido... The direct object pronoun precedes the verb.


Then why not "They had led toward the north"


I wrote "they had been led to the north." Is that wrong?


My translation was rejected for using 'toward' instead of 'towardS'. Duolingo, they are interchangeable. https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/toward-towards-usage


Why "They had driven towards the north" wrong? Does someone knows?


I wrote the same and it was refused. I have reported it.


"They had been heading northwards"?


They headed north should be accepted


"had guided themselves to the north" seems like a valid translation


Why " They had directed towards the north" is wrong??


Rejected: "They had directed themselves towards the north." sadface

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