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"Some years ago."

Translation:Hace unos cuantos años.

3 years ago

116 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/pieweaver

Why not "Hace unos años"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarsBard1
MarsBard1
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it was accepted for me

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patsystone2

Mine was not accepted but I did write algunos años hace!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Algunos años is some years and hace must precede the time.period. Words like hace have different syntax in Spanish than theor counterparts in English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MagdyEdward

hace algunos años has been accepted

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cylam1

This one is difficult

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Furbolg

¡Es muy dificíl! I'd be surprised if any non-speakers got this right

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ngarrang
ngarrang
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I don't remember a single lesson where "atras" was ever introduced, or how this sentence would be constructed to mean what they want it to mean in Spanish.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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I don't think atras was introduced but the answer shown as correct is sometimes based on your answer. I think they were looking for hace unos (cuantos) años. It is one of the negative effects of everyone wanting to have their answer accepted. Some answers contain things not explored.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chapisbored

They have now added "Algunos años atrás." I'm not sure what atrás means.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Atrás means back or behind, but is another way to say ago.

http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/Atrás

Duo translates hace as ago, which although I understand why, is not easy for English speakers to understand due to the syntax used. But hace is the most common way to express the idea in Spanish. The English speaking brain is always looking for something that matches the English syntax more closely. Pasado does not work here, but Atrás does.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tjablo1976
tjablo1976
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Ne neither.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carldean21

How is Hace the verb He/She/It does/makes different from hace meaning ago? Really confused here.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xomakaxo

If you think of hace as "it makes" then you could read it as "it makes (some number) years" as in, some number of years has passed. Kind of like when someone says "that makes it 10 years since blah blah happened..." I don't know if that helps, but that's how I think of it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eeveephy

It depends on the context. In the context of this exercise, it means "ago." Random example in English: deal with it and deal the cards use the word deal in very different ways.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IreneMcDer

yup mi confused too..

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/steviec55

Why not algunos años

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

"Hace algunos años" is correct, too.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeanG6
DeanG6
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'hace algunos años' was marked wrong on Dec 15, 2014. I will report and see what happens.

[I reported it but did not receive a 'received' note, so I don't know if they received it or not. I tried a 2nd time with the same result.]

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MeredithNa
MeredithNa
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Came back as accepted 1/1/15

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ahmeda111

Why not hace cuantos años?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tyeNewton

I also find it curious that this simpler grammar does not work. Anyone?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dchekhov
Dchekhov
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What about 'algunos años pasados?'

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/serenittee

I did that too. Pasado is an adj. & = past, not "ago" (an adv.) Need to use hace for the translation.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cindy854077

That's what I put as well. Thanks for the clarification!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cherieX14

That's what i put as well -

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shaye115

Why hace?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cuylerotsuka
cuylerotsuka
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In Spanish, "ago" is most often expressed with "hace", but there is a distinction between "hace + tiempo + que + present tense" and "hace + tiempo + que + past tense".

Hace diez años que estudio español. – I have been studying Spanish for ten years. (I started studying Spanish ten years ago and am studying to this day.) Hace diez años que estudié español. – It's been ten years since I've studied Spanish. (I studied Spanish ten years ago, but haven't studied since then.)

Here's an example from English to Spanish: The author passed away seventy years ago. – "Hace setenta años que el autor falleció." or "El autor falleció hace setenta años."

I hope that helps! ¡Buena suerte!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Estaciabrewer

I put the clue given for ago which was hace and got it wrong. I was corrected with atras. Not fair.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KirstyJayne

I wrote "hace algunos anos" but this was not accepted. why?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pfc33

Careful about the accent. Año means year, but Ano means anus.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Crisb11

Good to know! =)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeanG6
DeanG6
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Several of us believe it is correct. Report it and hopefully it will be added to the database.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyLamarc
CodyLamarc
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What is the literal translation of"hace algunos años "?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wodensson

It's comprehensible why it's so dificult for native English speakers to get it ; Duolingo isn't helping at all in this particular exercise!

Having the word "ago" in the hints list as a possible equivalent to "hace" is SO WRONG!!!

"Hace" is a form of "Hacer" (To Do) but in latin languages it appears often with a closer meaning to "To Be":

"It's hot today" means litterally "Esta caliente hoy". But "Hace calor hoy" (literally "It does heat\warm today") wouldn't be that unusual, meaning exactly the same.

So "Hace algunos años" would be better translated as "It's been some years".

While "Hace unos cuantos años" is similar to "It's been a few years".

But to be sincere, the exact meaning of all these "cuantos-few\some\many" can be both a lil' bit interchangeable or tricky (and annoying) in these English- Spanish translations exercises.

Concerning "atrás", as mentioned above, it means literaly "back" or "behind" but in this case can be used as "ago". It would be positioned in the end of the phrase, just as in an English sentence.

"Algunos años atrás" meaning "Some years ago"

So we can also speak and write "...since some years ago" as "...desde uns años atrás" but usually, for a native Spaniard, "since two years ago" turns into "desde hace dos años".

As a final note "It's been a few years ago" may sound excessive and confusing cause the begining says "It's been" (happening and still does) while the end "ago" determines that it happened in the past (and is finished).

The same way "Hace algunos cuantos años atrás" would be also unnatural because "Hace" already stated that it was in the past, so you don't need "atrás".

And translating everything literally to "Ha sido hace unos cuantos años atrás" would also sound redundant, unnatural and really, REALLY WEIRD.

I hope it helps to sane many people's doubts!

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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I have always said that I hated Duo's translating hace as ago, both because it's a verb and due to the syntax. I generally equate hace in time statements with it makes. I occasionally hear people say It makes three years since... That may be regional or an older expression though. But I do encourage people to translate Spanish hace time expressions into ago. You have to learn the constructions, but if the common Spanish expression is structured differently from the common English expression, you have to learn the Spanish construction, but the common English translation is still best.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_dos
Dan_dos
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Why is "algunos" sometimes acceptable as a translation for "some" and other times "unos" is required? How would a non-Spanish know when and where to use either? Obviously such a person would never learn, if he/she is depending on the duolingo translator. This just a rhetorical question

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/K1955

According to Spanish.about.com When used to mean "some," meaning an indefinite number, algunos and unos are usually interchangeable — it doesn't matter which one you use. However, there can be some subtle differences between them. Here is a guide to know where the choice of word might make a difference: Approximations: Unos, but not algunos, can be used when making approximations (approximations can be expressed in other ways as well): Tenemos unos mil quinientos discos de música clásica. We have some 1,500 classical music discs.

With de: The phrase "algunos de" is far more common than "unos de" to mean "some of": Estos son algunos de los monumentos más extravagantes del país. These are some of the most outlandish monuments in the country. Algunos de mis mejores amigos son españoles. Some of my best friends are Spaniards.

In contrast with otros: If a sentence is contrasting some with others (otros), either algunos or unos can be used to mean "some": ¿Por qué unas personas pueden bailar y otras no? ¿Por qué algunas personas pueden bailar y otras no? Why can some people dance and others can't?

In contrast with "none": If the emphasis is on some as opposed to none, algunos is more commonly used. The emphasis in such a case isn't so much on number as on existence: Algunos soldados pueden dormir con cualquier ruido de fondo. Some soldiers can sleep through any kind of background noise. Sé que algunos me comprenden. I know that some people understand me.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JackPerryP

I think as a learning tool atras should be included with the help words.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RuthCHarro

Ago has as option only 'hace'. If another word is correct I would expect it in the option of translation

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HarpoChico

What is the reason for the 'cuantos' after the 'unos' besides it being an idiomatic turn of phrase?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheBestOfA1

Would love to know this as well. Is there a different meaning?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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I originally learned them as the as the same, and I wondered why bother with the cuantos. But from what I learned since then is that there is some disagreement about it, but the concensus seems to be that unos is some, unos cuantos is a few and unos pocos is less maybe like saying just a few. But I suspect you might also have some disagreement in English about how many is a few and how many is some. Here is one source that has some discussion about this.

http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/174068/why-does-cuantos-reduce-the-amount-with-unos

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/33katenik

It wanted me to say atrás instead of hace. Condused because I've seen hace in lessons but not atrás.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/donte93

Me gusta "algunos años atrás"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/irene121212

I put "hace anos"and was right .

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AtlanticCityNick

Why not "unos cuantos años hace"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GregIhnen

Why not "unos años antes"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kerinmim

Why not unos años hace, marked wrong in favor of atras

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Neko_the_cat

I wrote "alguno anos hace" and they did not accept it because of the word "hace". preposterous!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tyeNewton

That's probably for the same reason as Techinnah's problem above: It seems "hace" may need to be at the beginning.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BenjaminBaxter

Por que ni cuantos años antes?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/countrylife4me

I put hace and got it wrong. ??

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NatorieAiko

Why not "a veces años"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MienxzyAttack

That's translated to sometimes years

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkSami

This one was very difficuly

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MienxzyAttack

Why doesn't 'unos años hace' work?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tyeNewton

My guess is that it's just not the right grammatical syntax for Spanish. It might be like saying "Ago some years" in English; you'd be understood, but you'd sound a little silly. Maybe a stronger Spanish speaker can answer better.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JanRexAlex

Why is algunos años pasados not right?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tyeNewton

You might want to see our responses to a similar inquiry that just came up elsewhere in this thread. (Could be below or above, since they're display order changes with activity.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Toni950464

I tapped "ago" and "hace" appeared.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El_Servidor

was I suposed to know the word for "ago"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Hace with time expressions was introduced though maybe not as ago. So perhaps getting it wrong is how you learn that. To be honest I think it is difficult to use Duo without either a background in a little Spanish or using auxilliary free online resources that delve more into grammar and structure. There are many of them out there. You migjt want to try www.spanishdict.com to start as a grammar resource.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gordonjackson1

Unos anos pasado? What's wrong with it?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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That means some years past. You might get your meaning across but that is not the way a Spanish speaker would express it. It also might be confusing because el año pasado means last year, and since you would obviously not be a native speaker they might first think you meant that, although as I say they probably would figure it out. But hace is used for this pretty much always.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tyeNewton

lynettemcw said basically what I was thinking. I might just add that I have a hunch that "pasado" could imply something happening during past years, whereas "hace" should specifically mean something happening before those years. Really subtle difference, and it's only a hunch.

Regardless, as in this case, I think it's important to understand the subtle differences between phrasings, and not treat them as the same.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/greetasdf

False friend alert: cualquier sounds similar to quelque in french. But it's any, not some (il y a quelques ans..)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/estudiantenoe
estudiantenoe
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Why not "Algunos años pasado?"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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First of all, it would have to be Algunos años pasados. But ultimately it is that some years passed is not the same as some years ago. Using hacer for time expressions is the norm. It is important to be able.to get your point across, and this would do that, but at some point the unusual turn of phrase stops being elegant variation and comes off as just not knowing how things are expressed. It's the same with the unos cuantos años. I tend to avoid that turn of phrase because my English brain doesn't like it, but it is very common in Spanish. Duo uses its unusual sentences to help you put together sentences that you have never heard based on your understanding of Spanish grammar and syntax. But these common expressions are used for to teach the actual standard ways of talking about things like time and weather, etc.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/estudiantenoe
estudiantenoe
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Hi lynettemcw. Useful information. My english brain also doesn't like unos cuantos años, haha! I think that the use of "hace" is what is not intuitive for me because I tend to think of it as "hacer" meaning "to make" or "to do." Thanks for your explanation. Hace unos cuantos años it is then. Thanks for the help!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Hacer, as one of those basic powerhouse verbs, is highly irregular and has many ideomatic uses. Some you can get to, if a little circuitously. Hacerse which is to become is reasonable as make yourself into. But it makes or it does cold sounds a bit too out there, and most time expressions with hace can't even approximate a meaning with make or do. Here is a link on the uses of hacer.

http://spanish.about.com/cs/vocabulary/a/using_hacer.htm

Of course it has desde hace which I don't like either with my English Brain. Of course I know I am not alone. I have noticed on the choose all the correct choices exercises, they often stick a random desde or similar word in to see whether the student understands when they are used just tends to think you can randomly use those words and not be wrong.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dev_Bev

Unos años en pasado?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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No. These time expressions use hacer. And how you form these expressions can distinguish among various different relationships with time. For example, you can say both I worked there six years ago and I have worked there for six years by slightly varying the construction of the expression, but they use hacer.

Here is a link discussing time expressions with hacer

http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/96

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wesleyronda

I used "Hace algunos años" It still feels very unnatural to put the sentence this way, my brain keeps trying to put the words in a logical order (Like "Algunos anos hace"). I know it doesn't make sense though, I need more theory!!! :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Time expressions with hacer are things that you basically have to just memorize. I don't know if theory will help much. But there are several free sites that will give you more theory than Duo. If you have no background at all in Spanish grammar and syntax, you can start in on the topics covered on one of the free sites. Here is a list of topics covered by Spanishdict.com.

http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/100001/spanish-grammar#.V4u2QcllDqA

Most of the other free sites I am mostly familiar with by using my current strategy for reinforcing the grammar I have learned. That's just using the power of Google. As long as you can identify the area you are having a problem with, you can find many resources just with a simple search (and you don't even have to use Google ☺) . Just search with things like time expressions using hacer,or ser vs estar, etc. You will find many resources to answer those questions. There are also various videos on YouTube. Mostly they are good for honing your listening skills in real life mini situations. You can find some by searching for Spanishpod 101 on YouTube. There are some there that were part of a course on the website Spanishpod which I think is now a paid only program.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HannahCP1

Why is it not hace muchos años? Is that many years ago?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tyeNewton

The answer to your second question is yes, which I suppose also answers your first question; they're different sentences.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sharaane1

Oh these make me want to quit so much! Google translate has completely different words for the same sentences!?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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While Duo definitely has its faults and errors, Google translate has many more. For single words, Google translate gives you one or more words but with no sense of when each might be used. For phrases, Google tries to figure something out, but the result is often clumsy at best and plain wrong at worst. I have even seen them mix Tú and Usted forms in the same sentence.

There are better Spanish English dictionaries out there for single words, but Spanishdict.com can do both functions that Google does much better. For single words Spanishdict.com shows you more complete definitions with examples. There is also a conjugation page for all verbs showing all the conjugations and a separate tab showing more examples. I have seen where the examples on the examples tab have been off mark, and tech support told me that they were taken from the Internet. So there can be some errors there due to errors in the algorithm. The case I reported was where it mostly found sentences about a person whose last name was the word in question, but those errors will be obvious.

When translating phrases, Spanishdict.com uses three separate translation engines to translate. None of them are any better than Google really, but when you see all three together you will have a better way to figure out what is correct. This is the major reason I get annoyed when users want to add every possible correct meaning to each sentence when Duo is actually only drilling one or two issues. I am sure there might be some better translators out there used by Governments, but teaching a computer all we know about our native language is an almost impossible task and the more we try to do it, the worse the result.

SpanishDict's phone/tablet apps are mostly the translation, but the website also has excellent grammar sections to cover any holes in your learning. I don't know your background in Spanish, but Duo is best at drilling rather than explaining grammar rules, so if you want to figure out how to know which form to use when, a backup like SpanishDict, About or a few other free grammar sites will help a lot.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tyeNewton

Yeah, I was going to come here just to point out that Google Translate is absolutely not a source for grammar, but lynettemcw, in so many words, beat me to it. : )

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/revindar

Why not algunos años pasada?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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First of all, grammatically your sentence should be algunos años pasaDOS. But as for why it is not acceptable, the answer is simply because that is not how it is expressed in Spanish. Basically, although I initially objected to Duo translating hace as ago due to the differences in syntax, part of speech, etc, when you see ago you should think hace because that is what Spanish uses to express time passed. You do have to notice some of the subtleties, though, as hace is also used to express how long something has been going on etc. This link should help with the intricacies.

http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/96

I suspect someone who has spoken with foreigners may correctly interpret your sentence, but it should be noted that when a form of pasado is used in time expressions it generally means last, so it might confuse some

Él años pasado = last year La semana pasada = Last week Él

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Axelels
Axelels
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is 'hace pocos anos' ok?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tyeNewton

To my best understanding, that's an approximation but not the same meaning, so if I were Duolingo, I wouldn't accept it. ("Few years ago" vs. "Some years ago.")

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Axelels
Axelels
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thank you

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/panaMark

I put "algunos años pasado" and it was marked wrong. Isn't this correct. "Some years ago" and "some years past" mean the exact same thing. ???

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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They do in English, but not in Spanish. Spanish really only has one way to express ago, and that is with the Impersonal verb hacer. Hacer in effect describes an action of movement through time. It cannot be replaced by any adjective modifying the time period. El año pasado is LAST year, so algunos años pasados would be several last years. I might be able to come up with a situation where you might say this, but mostly it is nonsense. You have to remember that your concept of what is the same in language is initially based on the rules of your native language and there are few times that it would be universal. Of course there are some basics among Indo European languages.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/washingd1
washingd1
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atras was not given as a choice but that was in the answer duo gave me. What's up with that? I get the word order for hace.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Duo has a sort of bug in the way it sometimes presents a correct answer based on what answer you have provided. But it is based on trying to provide additional correct answers according to students demands that their answer should have been accepted. Dúo is trying to teach the Hace time expressions, but in these expressions where you sort of have a word matching issue, it becomes difficult. To say that hace means ago is a difficult thing to program. Probably algunos años atrás is an understandable expression in Spanish, but hace unos años is certainly the way most Spanish speakers would express this. These strange answers which seem to be out of the blue are added in to appease user's complaints that their answers should have been accepted, but where the original answer was actually the one they were trying to teach. Most of them only are triggered when their algorithm suggests that the answer is close to the one you have given, but occasionally an error is made in making the correction that essential breaks the exercise like the one where the only accepted answer contains the words woman and lady together. It is the reason I tend to discourage people from suggesting alternative correct answers when one answer can be correctly determined. You cannot know which form of you to translate, but you can always use the cognate if it works at all and use the standard way of expressing an idea as you have here.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/washingd1
washingd1
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Gracias

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/maggie284774

Trying to learn

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cullenanderson

I don't understand the need for "unos"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Actually it is the cuantos which is potentially unnecessary. Hace unos años and hace uñas cuantos años mean pretty much the same. But Unos cuantos and unos pocos are set expressions which are frequently used. There is some discussion as to what cuanto adds here.

http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/174068/why-does-cuantos-reduce-the-amount-with-unos

But despite the link name it didn't seem to come to any definitive conclusions.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GRichardK

Cuantos años pasados?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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No, that doesn't work. First you can't use cuantos alone here. You can say unos alone to mean some, but for whatever reason native speakers tend to say Unos cuantos (or algunos) Second in time expressions pasado tends to mean last. La semana pasada is Last week and Él año pasado is Last year. It cannot be used to mean ago. Hace time expressions are by far the most common and because of the syntax shift compared to English can be confusing. For this reason practicing them is important. But you will sometimes hear Algunos años atrás or Unos cuantos años atrás, which is Some years back.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/uncano

"Unos cuantos años atrás" was the proposed solution para mi

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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My guess is that is because you tried Unos cuantos años pasados Or some other answer which imitated English syntax better. Duo's algorithm for coming up with suggested answers based on yours is horrible and can have ridiculous results, but this one does work. It is like people saying some years back instead of some years ago. But Hace followed by the time period is the construction you will hear, and should say, the vast majority of the time.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JudyK.Pearlstein

I wrote hace años pasado. Cuantos seems unnecessary to me. Explica, por favor.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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To be honest from my understanding you are correct. I have always thought that and I did learn it was acceptable. But to be fair native speakers that I have heard always seem to say unis cuantos. So you can report it, but this does seem to be more standard. Spanish has an affinity for redundancy. But you should get used to hearing it and probably adopting it will help you sound more fluent.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavidMoore622957

I came here to get smacked down for using "pasados" and started reading through the comments for guidance. As usual, you provided that in spades. In fact, I started wondering why you don't just copy and paste some of your answers. But, selfishly, I'm glad that you do not, because I learn more by reading your somewhat different answers to more or less the same question/issue. Perhaps, you add different insights just to entertain yourself. I hope that's the case.

So, it's a bit unfair of me to say that your answer fell short this time. Given all of the truly great information you offered in other comments, it's clear you had a temporary lapse. At the same time, I'm sure you wouldn't want it to stand.

"Hace años pasado" has unos cuantos problems as a translation. First, it's missing "some." Regardless of one's feelings about "unos" or "cuantos" insert smiley face here the Spanish sentence has to have something there. Second, "pasado" does not agree in number with "años." It would be "pasados" if it was the right word to use. Now I know it isn't. Third, putting "hace" and "pasados" in the same sentence is redundant, but in a bad way. One would definitely not come off as fluent using that combination. So, even if JudyK inadvertently left out the "unos" between "hace" and "años" when she transcribed her answer, there's still the problem of "pasado."

Again, this is not meant to be a cheap shot at an obvious "oops."

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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You are correct. I actually don't copy and paste answers because I really enjoy responding to questions. But sometimes I do so in the middle of the night or get interrupted and hurry too much. And I am always on my phone. My SwiftKey keyboard makes suggestions in several languages, but it will pick the center prediction which sometimes changes the correct word that I wrote. So I will have errors, even some that are because I missed a usage. I can even sometimes mix up the names of parts of speech like direct object and definite article if I am tired enough. So I never mind intelligent corrections.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/acmeres

Why can't I use unos anos passados?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Unos (cuantos) años pasados would actually mean something like some last years. La semana pasada is Last week. El año pasado is Last year. You can say Unos (cuantos) años atrás which means some years back. But to be clear this wouldn't be the native speakers choice most of the time. I also used to always say just say Unos and not Unos cuantos, but now I am trying to learn Unos cuantos because that is so common

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/acmeres

Ah...thanks so much.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/drmorts

I wrote "Unos años hace," answer given "Unos años atrás."

Hace unos cuantos años. ???

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Hace comes from the verb hacer. So the common way to say this is essentially It makes some years. So that's why the hace comes first. Since you put hace after the unos años, Duo showed you a correct answer using a similar construction. As for unos cuantos años, that is normally translated as a few, but it is more than Unos pocos, so in translating non-specific quantity amounts I suppose some leeway is warranted. Of course, at least when I use/hear Some years ago, it often is used to mean more like many than a few. But actually I think I first learned that unos and unos cuantos meant basically the same, so I always wondered why include it, but I did tend to hear it more.

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Patricia460976

Can I use "muchos años atras" as well?

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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No. Muchos años is many years which is more than some, although it is obviously somewhat subjective. But no matter what the individual scale would be which would tip some into many, any individual speaker would use some as less than many. It is also interesting that so many people want to frame this statement in a more English like way as opposed to learning what a native Spanish speaker would say 9 times out of 10.

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ewura-amaQ

It said ago was hace so that's what I put and it says it was supposed to be atras. How was I supposed to know?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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If they suggested atrás, that probably means that you used hace with the incorrect syntax. Using hace in time expressions is as standard in Spanish as ago is in English. But the problem with equating hace with ago in these expressions is that the syntax is different. In these time expressions, hace MUST precede the amount of time mentioned.

Hace cinco minutos Five minutes ago

Hace pocas horas A few hours ago

Hace veinte años Twenty years ago

Hace unos/algunos años Some years ago

If you put unos/algunos años hace, then Duo tends to suggest atrás. This is not nearly as common a way to express this on Spanish, but it does use the same syntax as ago.

Hace unos años and unos años atrás are both grammatically correct Unos años hace is wrong

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/irene121212

How do you get a tilde on n in a english keyboard?

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/psprague19

Why wasn't "Unos cuantos años hace" accepted?

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/psprague19

nm, I forgot that "hacer" always comes before a time period.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Duo translates hace as ago which I have oftrn found deceptive, although I do understand it is hard to translate any other way. Hace here comes from the verb HACER. There is an expression I have heard from time to in English It makes a year (or whatever time period) but that is both uncommon and not quite parrellel because it is generally followed by since, but it does help me remember that hace always come BEFORE the time period no matter what it is. Hace unos minutos, hace dos semanas, hace años, etc. You will also often see durante hace and a time period. This means during that whole time period, the equivalent of our for. But this is to some degree a sign of Spanish's love for redundancy as you can also just say durante or por in that case.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larsstberg

What is wrong with "Algunos anos antes" ? (not counting national characters)

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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You don't use antes without an event or something that is has to be done under discussion. It isn't used to simply mean before now. Hace algunas años is the way this is said the vast majority of the time. Of course as in any language there are other ways of expressing it, but this is the expression you will hear time in and time out. You could specifically mention antes de hoy, but that would be sort of awkward like it's English translation Some years before now. Basically English has two ways we express time past. With ago and with back. Spanish has the same with hace and atrás, with probably a relatively similar frequency of use between the two.

2 months ago