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"Ellos van a llamar al hospital."

Translation:They are going to call the hospital.

June 29, 2013



Can it be "ellos van a llamar El hospital"? I think that is a better direct translation. Currently, the direct translation is something like they are going to call TO the hospital.


Yes, 'Call to' is the way the verb is used in Spanish. This is similar to some other Indo-European languages. In this case, the 'a' is a preposition, and not a 'personal a' as used when the direct object is a person.


I believe you are right. We kind of have this rule in my language (Norwegian) as well. To call the hospital = Llamar AL hospital = Å ringe TIL sykehuset. We can however omit the preposition when speaking norwegian, but i´m not sure the same rule applies in spanish though...


There is a huge amount of discussion on this page regarding whether the A is necessary here in AL hospital. This is not personal A, it is the normal preposition a. Note in the RAE dictionary link below, definition states the llamar can be use transitively (i.e. no preposition is used before the direct object) or intransitively (with the preposition A)

So everybody is right, unless they implied that the way they suggested using A or not is mandatory, because it isn't ... is is optional. In all likelihood various regions have "their way"or doing it so even some natives can believe they know the answer when in reality they only know what they do and what they have heard in their region. :)



Lots of confusion about 'a' as a preposition and what verbs it goes with. What we English speakers think is of little weight. ;)


Rspreng i'm you biggest fan! How come your not a moderator yet?


Duo appointed me moderator a few months ago before asking me if I wanted to be one. I declined. ;)


What!? Why would decline? Does it take a lot more time and devotion to duolingo?


You get pestered with messages along the lines of "XYZ41lco is harassing me, please do something about it" I am happy to help out with Spanish, but I don't want to be a middle school principal. ;)


Oh I see. Well it's still pretty cool to be offered moderator


Well, I am always in appreciation of your thoughts and know that I can have a great deal of trust in what you have to say. So thank you for being there, all over the duo chats. :-)


that's too bad :(


What is a moderator for duo? How do you become one?


Thinking "al" is "to the," I tried "They are going to call to the hospital." but I got dinged.


It is but it is not. "a" is needed in spanish but it is not in English. The direct translation is what you answered, but in English no one would say that. With that being said, duolingo can be tricky when it comes to direct translations.


I did also and it seems like it should be correct. I am going to report it. They are going to call to the hospital should be OK


You are correct. The example is wrong. You only use the "personal a" when the receiver is a specific person that you know. In this case, the hospital is not a specific person, so you would say "el" and not "al."


This isn't a personal 'a'. After the verb 'llamar' you need to add the preposition 'a', regardless of whom you are calling.


Why not "They are going to call to the hospital." ?


Why not "They are calling to the hospital"?


that's what i did


how would one translate, 'they will call at the hospital'?


Looking at examples in the free online dictionaries, I think to translate 'call at', 'call in' call by' etc you could use the verb visitar. The 'llamar a' construction is just how they do it in Spanish, like we have 'look at' when they just use mirar.


Exactly. In this case, the rule is simple: "llamar" always needs the preposition "a" when referring to the receiver of the call.

There are another couple of frequent prepositions: "por" and "en", a couple of examples: - llamar por teléfono, por radio, por megafonía: call on the phone, by radio, by PA - llamar en vano: call in vain

@seamus64: 'they will call at the hospital' meaning "they will visit the hospital": visitarán el hospital. [Edited]


In English, 'to call at' means to visit, rather than to make a phone call from. Can you confirm whether 'llamar' is ever used with that meaning?


Right! I took the literal meaning. I've corrected my original post to avoid confusion.

I can confirm that "llamar" is never used meaning "to visit" as stated in the RAE.


That's a figurative sense of 'call' (from when you'd show up at someone's house and call out to see whether anyone was home), that's specific to English, as far as I can tell. At any rate, I'm pretty sure 'llamar' can't be used in that sense, so you'd have to say something like "ellos van a pasar por el hospital". Could a native speaker confirm please?


Hi DUO-ers,"Ellos van a llamar al hospital." is literally translated in :"They are going to call TO the hospital." I'm not a native English speaker, is this TO wrong in the English grammar, or not ?


Yes, it is indeed wrong (very wrong in fact) to say "They are going to call to the hospital" in English. However, in Spanish it is completely necessary.


Thanks PorquePuedo ,I guess I heard verbs used like this on my travel in Mexico, native Mexicans tryed to talk English with my,( to improve their English ) while it is not my native language, not a good idea and of course not good for my Spanish aswell. ( lol ).


I can't imagine how difficult it would be to learn Spanish from English when English isn't my native language! Good job to you for staying committed, really, it must be hard. :)


Can't you say, "they're going to ring the hospital"? Or is it not a phonecall?


It's most likely a phone call, so that should be accepted.


Could we just use 'will' instead of 'to be going to'? I'm developing carpal tunnel from all this unnecessary typing...


It obviously means much the same and is perfectly good English, but it's generally best to stick to the same tense as the original.


If they were making a phone call to the hospital, wouldn't this sentence be correct? If not, how would you say it?


First "they will not feel antyhing". Now "they will call the hospital". Things are becoming more interesting.


I think that "contact" could also be used as a correct translation.


what for peanut allergies!


it says that al is to the on the dictionary comments


Does this mean the same thing as "they are going to phone the hospital"?


While I have no problem accepting that the meaning is that " They are going to telephone the hospital" as the the words " llamar AL hospital" are used - it could be translated as "They are going to call TO THE hospital" physically ie. visit. al = to the


Except that, as we established in the discussion above, 'llamar' is never used to mean 'to visit'. The figurative use of 'call' to mean 'visit' seems to be specific to English.


why "al" is written before hospital? "al" means "to the"


See pedrobl's comment above: : "llamar" always needs the preposition "a" when referring to the receiver of the call.


Only when the receiver is a specific person. It's called the "personal a." In this case, the hospital is not a specific person that you know, so the "a" (or "al") is incorrect.


This is not the personal 'a'. It is required after using the verb 'llamar'.


amigos, si pongo esto: they are going to call at the hospital ? esta bien ?


why "al" ? why not just "el"


Because in this case "a" works as a preposition and you need to used it in order to create a connection between the words, otherwise this would be understood as two different sentences with no practical sense as "Ellos van a llamar - El hospital". So you use "a" and using "a" preposition + "el" goes "al" as a contraction that only works with "a"+"el", like:

A + el + supermercado = al supermercado = to the supermarket

A + el + banco = al banco = to the bank

A + el + hotel = al hotel = to the hotel

A + la + casa = a la casa = to the house (note that it only works with a+el).

Hope i was helpful :)


... should be "...el hospital." The "personal "a" " is used when referring to a person or persons, and not to things in my understanding


The 'a' here isn't the 'personal a' on this occasion, but is the preposition used with 'llamar': 'llamar a la policia/ al hospital' etc.


Do we have to add the "a" here because hospital is an indirect object?


the hospital? hope they are aight


me: sneezes the hospital: get him here

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