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  5. "¿Por qué no me dijiste eso?"

"¿Por qué no me dijiste eso?"

Translation:Why didn't you tell me that?

June 30, 2013



En una frase anterior " Mis padres dijeron eso" told" no era correcto y había que poner said y aquí no vale say y hay que poner tell. traducción de decir = tell and say. ¿Que criterio sigue duolingo?.Ah, se me olvidaba que aquí no hay moderador y me quedaré con la duda


In English, the only time I can think of where told is without an indirect object is the phrase "{someone} has/have been told."

Mis padres dijeron eso, I can't think of any way to translate it except "my parents said that." Nothing else is good English.

For said, if there's an indirect object, it needs to have "to" attached, and usually after the direct object.

So while "Mis padres dijeron eso" is pretty much only "my parents said that", "mis padres me dijeron eso" can be either "my parents told me that" or "my parents said that to me"

Duolinguo prefers "told me", I assume, due to omitting the optional "a mi"

[deactivated user]

    Why "Why did not you tell me that?" is not accepted and "Why did you not tell me that?" is? What is the different between these sentences?


    You can't say "Why did not you tell me that." Word order is very strict in English, so even though that sentence and the correct sentence have all the same words, the word order makes the first sentence sounds so strange it's wrong. To make things more complex, you can say, "Why didn't you tell me that." In fact, that would be the most common way of phrasing it. It's just the way English is.

    [deactivated user]

      Thanks for explanation, but one thing bothers me - you wrote, that one can say "Why didn't you tell me that", but you CAN'T say "Why did not you tell me that.". That is exactly the same sentence, with only difference "did not" and "didn't", which phrases are equivalents. "didn't" = "did not".


      Quoted from this source.

      There are two forms:

      "Why didn't you ...?" - informal
      "Why did you not ... ?" - formal

      The contracted form doesn't match the uncontracted one because of history. At the time contractions were first getting into English (late 1600s), "Why did not you ... ?" was a normal English form, and the contraction "Why didn't you ... ?" was formed from that.

      However, over time "Why did not you ... ?" dropped out of English in favour of "Why did you not ... ?", but for some reason we don't know, the 'orphaned' contraction "Why didn't you ... ?" stayed in the language.

      You can see the historical frequencies of these forms using Google Books Ngram Viewer:

      Great question. As a native speaker, I never realized the discrepancy!

      [deactivated user]

        Thanks a lot. I'm amazed by how it developed over time. Maybe I'll be able to remember the rule. :)


        Great answer, thank you!

        • 671

        Have you never read Jane Austen?? :) Yes, it's pretty typical for older literature.


        Couldn't it be 'say' instead of 'tell'?


        There is another similar sentence where it says something like "Le dijiste eso a mi amigo". Someone commented that because mi amigo is the indirect object we need to have the redundant indirect pronoun "le" as well as "a mi amigo". Why do we only need the "me" indirect object pronoun here and not the "a mi" at the end? Is the "a + defined indirect object" only necessary for the 3rd person (El/Ella/Usted or Ustedes/Ellos/Ellas) for clarity?


        Actually, the 'a + defined indirect object' isn't always necessary even for the 3rd person, but is sometimes used for clarity.


        Yes the a phrase is for emphasis or clarity. It isn't necessarily only for third person indirect objects, but it is more likely to be. The issue is that in English you have either an indirect object pronoun OR an indirect object as part of a prepositional phrase using to. In Spanish, you can have an indirect object pronoun without the a clause, but adding the a clause doesn't eliminate the need for the indirect object pronoun, although it is redundant. This same thing happens with direct object pronouns, but only when the direct object precedes the verb. You see this most often with Este/o/a or Ese/o/a. Eso lo quiero ver. That I want to see as opposed to Quiero ver eso. I want to see that. The English just changes the word order, but in Spanish you add the redundant direct object pronoun lo.


        This and that seem to be a mayor yet constantly changing factor ... it's irritating


        If there's a T, it's "this" (este, esta, esto), if not it's "that" (ese, esa, eso). Yes it's irritating but we have to get used to it. I still get it wrong sometimes when I try to rush through.


        "Why did you not tell that to me" should be no different than to say "Why did you not tell me that". Am I not correct?


        Can someone tell me why it is wrong to say.....why didnt you tell THAT to me. It seems the sentence order is there regardless if THAT is said after or, in this case, immediately after being expressed as what had to be said. I think both ways should be accepted.


        The advantage of Duo's sentence is that it uses a true indirect object, like the Spanish. Yours requires a prepositional phrase. That is the only reason the placement of that is at issue.


        i wrote " why didn't you say that" isn't this correct?


        You forgot the "to me" that comes from the "me". But I do agree with Duo that it generally sounds better to translate decir as to tell when there is an indirect object. Why didn't you tell me that sounds better than Why didn't you say that to me, at least if I don't know the context. But both are correct translations.

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