"Do they open on Sunday?"
Translation:¿Ellos abren los domingos?
Days of the week require an article so 'el domingo' ends up meaning on sunday.
I understand that this can be el domingo or los domingos but if I'm asking about a specific Sunday I don't expect a reply about all Sundays. So I take it that if I want to know about 'a' Sunday I would have to use 'este' to be clear.
"¿Abren en domingo?" (cualquier domingo) "¿Abren el domingo?" (este domingo)
Funny. It counted "Ellos abren en el domingo?" as incorrect with the correct answer "Ellos abren en domingo?"
This is one of the circumstances where the use of the definite article is exactly the same in English and Spanish. So. ¿Ellos abren en el domingo? would translate to Are they open on the Sunday. This would not make sense most of the time unless you were talking about something that was happening over the course of a particular weekend.
Yep. Just when you think you have the hang of "se" and you've cleverly used it to make a transitive verb intransitive ... DL tells you you're wrong. You may be aware of the following, but for those who aren't I'll attempt an explanation. A transitive verb takes an object: "I open the door." An intransitive verb does not require an object: "When does the shop open?" In English the verb remains the same, but in Spanish "se" is used to make a transitive verb intransitive. Eg. "El nino rompe la taza" (The boy breaks the cup) but "La taza se rompe" (The cup breaks). The "se" makes "breaks" intransitive and tells us that it is not directed towards an object but instead relates back to the subject. This is all well and good, provided the verb is transitive in the first place. If the verb is intransitive it may not require the use of "se" eg "El camina" not "El se camina". Which brings us back to our use of "se" here. Turns out that although "Abrir" has a number of transitive uses, it also has one intransitive use, for which it does not require "se", and that is "to open a business" http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/abrir So: "La puerta se abre" (the door opens) but "La tienda abre" (the shop opens).
Boy, why didn't I see this post before??! I've been pulling my hair trying to understand, or see a pattern, why I'd sometimes be wrong when I feel so sure about using the "se". Thank you for this explanation, Jellonz!
De nada Tessbee. General comment: I highly recommend the dictionaries on SpanishDict.com because they clearly define any transitive, intransitive and reflexive usages. Those unfamiliar with these titles may find them confusing, but once the concepts behind them are understood they really help to identify how each particular verb can behave.
I find a problem with the grammar rules you present because you are giving a false definition to the word intransitive. An intransitive verb cannot take a direct object. They are verbs like sneeze or run. Just because a sentence does not contain an object does not make the verb intransitive. Eat, for example, is a transitive verb. It doesn't become intransitive just because the object is not specified.
Of course having a discussion on Duo about ambitransient verbs, valence and clitics is probably much too technical for.most users and only interesting to linguistic wierdos like me. But it will be less confusing to those who do know a little grammar to stick to simply discussing direct objects and reflexive objects and the se passive voice.
Just because a sentence does not contain an object does not make the verb intransitive. Eat, for example, is a transitive verb. It doesn't become intransitive just because the object is not specified.
You mention ambitransitive verbs, yet your above statement seems to contradict their existence. Certain verbs (ambitransitive) can be either transitive or intransitive and it is the presence of a direct object, or lack of it, that determines which. To use your example, "Eat" does become intransitive if it is used without a direct object.
"The boy eats an apple" - Subject / Verb (transitive) / Object. "The boy eats" - Subject / Verb (intransitive). "The girl walks her dog" - Subject / Verb (transitive) / Object. "The girl walks" - Subject / Verb (intransitive). "He opens the shop" - Subject / Verb (transitive) / Object. "The shop opens" - Subject / Verb (intransitive).
This difference also exists with certain Spanish verbs. It may be confusing, but unfortunately it is necessary to discuss verb valency in order to explain why these particular Spanish verbs (such as "abren" in the above DL sentence) can be used in a seemingly reflexive way without the need for the reflexive "se."
Bluejeuls - you have changed the sentence from an active to a passive sentence. Can be done but I doubt Duo will accept a different sentence structure here.
¿Ellas abren los domingos? can also mean : " Do they open on sundays?" as well which is different from "Do they open on sunday?"
The English "Sunday" is clearly not plural so I wonder why "domingo" is not correct here?
How can I find the distinction between abren and estan abierto? It seems that "estan abierto" would mean they are open rather than they open. ?
The previous question was the 'translate Spanish to English' of the same phrase, and 'are they open on Sunday' was and accepted answer. ??
why does it accept some answers without ellos (if the ellos form of ustedes or abren is there) but this one doesn't? I wrote "abren los domingos" but they didn't accept it.
I don't know when to use ellos/ellas and when not necessary.
That's a Duo error. Report it. Duo tends to prefer the pronoun for third person forms. While they are the ones that are probably used most often for clarity, only context can actually show if they are needed for clarity or emphasis. Most of the time they will also be omitted
The English word to be translated is singular. How can it be required to translate to a plural word to be correct?
Translation, even on the basic beginning learning level, will always involve some changes to the strictly literal translation. This sentence in both languages is asking about the routine of a business. In English we can ask either way. Do they (Are they) open on Sunday or Do they open on Sundays. In Spanish the plural is the correct version. If a particular Sunday is asked for, a demonstrative pronoun (this or that) or some other indicator would be used. I call it the common for common convention. In a set situation where the same message is being communicated in both languages, often they would appear different. But translating the message is the goal, so you turn the Spanish common expression into the English common expression. Of course in beginning courses you don't want to stray too far from the literal except when the convention is just different. There are other singular plural issues as well. For example the Spanish use the plural vacaciones to refer to what we would just call a vacation.
If the correct solution is "¿Ellas abren los domingos?" What would be the difference between open on "this" sunday vs. "all sundays"?
Do they open on Sunday?
1 ¿Ellas abre los domingos? 2 ¿Ellas abren los domingo? 3 ¿Ellas abren los domingos?
Correct solution: ¿Ellas abren los domingos?
Los domingos will always mean multiple Sundays as it is plural. Obviously, unless used with a modifying phrase like los domingos en diciembre, it speaks to routine. I believe that it would be correct to say ¿Ellos abren el domingo? to ask about the next Sunday, but I think most native speakers would be more likely to say either say este domingo or el próximo domingo. The Spanish sentence is not ambiguous, where the English one is, though. So I don't know whether my impression comes from me not noticing the other usage or because it is not used commonly. Of course most stores and businesses are either open on Sunday or not, so if the question is meant to be specific it probably would have to do with a holiday weekend or other special circumstances which would likely prompt greater specificity.