"Ellos no importan."

Translation:They do not matter.

July 25, 2013



how would you tell the difference between "they do not matter" and "they do not import"

July 25, 2013


"to import" is a transitive verb (requires a direct object), and "to matter" is an intransitive verb (no direct object).

"Ellos no importan" has no direct object, so it is the intransitive verb, "matter".

"Ellos no importan comida" (with "comida" being the direct object) would use the transitive verb: They do not import food.

July 26, 2013


that makes enough sense, thank you. But for the sake of knowledge, if you were discussing a company with a friend and wanted to say "they don't import" would it make sense because it's situational? I know it wouldn't be that hard to just add "no importan cosas", but I'm picky :P thanks for your help

July 26, 2013


Yes, that would be fine since there's a context.

July 26, 2013


I think you would say "Ellos no importan nada". "nothing" could be the direct object.

May 1, 2018


"Import" is transitive, but that does not mean that the object must literally be in the sentence. "They do not import" is a perfectly grammatical sentence in English; in that case, the object is understood. (If "they" is a mattress company, the object is probably mattresses.) It's called an "implied object", and from what I've read--though I am a beginner--implied objects are used in Spanish as well. So ceaer's answer is actually irrelevant to surascoot's original question.

The answer to surascoot's question, I think, is that it's purely based on context and that "They do not import" should be an acceptable answer here. I may be wrong, and if I am, I hope someone tells me.

April 3, 2015


Got it. Thanks.

June 9, 2017


I wonder why there is no "se" in the "(don't) matter" sense of "(no) importar"

January 7, 2018


DL allowed my translation, "They are not important."

"Import" can have another meaning in English: something that is important can have import. Listen to the beginning of Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" for an example of that use of "import."

September 17, 2017


this sentence makes me sad :*(

July 30, 2013


Maybe they were talking about their lost keys, and they had another set. So they said, "Lo siento mucho, pero ellos no importan." I'm not sure if you ever refer to things as "ellos"....probably not...just thinking....

February 20, 2014


It is very strange to use the pronoun "ellos" for things. Normally it used only for people or animals.

June 23, 2015


Does this indicate that there is no plural pronoun for "things"?

August 23, 2016


They exist, but their use is not common. (Although it would be correct. Normally the name is used, or if we know what we mean, it is removed and you're done. E.g. Las manzanas son rojas. Ellas son rojas (odd). Son rojas, (regular). Yes, I know it, my English is very bad, i'm sorry.

August 25, 2016


Off topic, but your English is better then most natural speakers I know.

January 19, 2017



April 12, 2017


Wouldnt that be "son no importan" because keys are things and you would use "ellos no important" for people?

January 5, 2015


No - "son" is a verb, "ellos" is a pronoun. You can't say "son no importan" - it's like saying "(they) are not matter" - two conjugated verbs together.

If you want to leave off the pronoun since you're talking about objects, it would just be "no importan".

January 5, 2015


But you could use the present participle with son, right?

August 14, 2015


@ceaer - I had in mind "no son importantes," but from what I can tell, -ante isn't actually considered a "present participle" the way it is in Italian (or even in English when an -ing verb is used as an adjective, e.g. "The weeping angels"). I took Italian in college and expected Spanish to be just a little more like Italian than it actually is.

August 14, 2015


@GiovanniSantucci, that's just considered an adjective in Spanish AFAIK. "no son importantes" = "they are not important"

August 14, 2015


Can you give me an example?

August 14, 2015


@ceaer - So I gathered. I'm curious though: do all verbs have such adjectives in Spanish? If so, it seems to work the exact same way as in Italian except for their name. In Italian, any verb can have the -are, -ere, or -ire (equivalent to the Spanish -ar, -er, and -ir) replaced with -ante for -are or -ente for -ere and -ire, and it functions exactly like an adjective but they call it the "present participle" of the verb (as opposed to the past participle which in Spanish is just the participle--and apparently Latin has a "future participle" but I never got that far in Latin).

There are two reasons I ask this. One is that I want to know whether I can simply do that with Spanish any time I would do it with Italian (which is any time in English that I would use an -ing as an adjective, as in the running river or the weeping angel or frustrating task or the belittling remark or whatever--can be done with virtually any verb, though some are way more common than others). The other reason is that I want to know whether I can think of it the same way as I do with Italian even though we don't use the term "present participle" in Spanish.

August 14, 2015


No, I don't believe Spanish has that feature, or at least not always.

Ex: weeping = lloroso or llorando (verb llorar)

But frustrating = frustrante (verb frustrar)

I'm not sure if there's a general rule about which verbs use the -ante ending and which have different adjectival forms.

August 14, 2015


I believe you could also say "they do not care"

October 10, 2015


I don't think 'they do not care' would be correct, 'ellos no importan' means they aren't relevant or important for something. They do not care=A ellos no les importa, which means they don't consider something important.

December 20, 2015


I have found that most Spanish speakers I have encountered would reply, "No me importa" in the context of they don't care. However, using a strict interpretation, they would be saying they don't matter.

April 28, 2016


They are using the third person singular, with the implied subject. "ES no me importa", IT does not matter to me. If they were speaking of themselves they would say "no me importo", with the implied subject "yo".

April 28, 2016


The implied subject for "it" would be "ello". Otherwise, eso/esto for "that/this".

May 11, 2016


I think Duolingo should accept "they do not import". I'm in international trade and this kind of sentence is very common. I think many users of Duolingo are learning a language for business so this should be considered.

October 20, 2014


Kind of stupid situation. In the last lesson we encountered the word "importar" for the first time and now in this example it suddenly represents the meaning important, while when you hover over the word with the mouse it says that it can be "matter" or "import", it even offers the conjugation of the verb. And of course, the answer "they do not import" is wrong, while both answers shoud be correct. Why didn't they write "ellos no son importante" instead then... duolingo is cool for learning but they always give examples with stupid context so you can never know what is correct.

September 2, 2013


Ceaer really explained it well. DL is showing us that import can be distinquished by context. To do so we need to understand transitive and intransitive verbs.

September 14, 2013


Duolingo isn't perfect. A Dutch-speaking friend said that while looking at the Dutch language in DL, the phrase "I open the door" actually means "I crash through the door."

Importar might be one of those slippery words with many meanings, or it might occasionally be used wrong here.

September 17, 2017


what about: <they do not count> ?it should be right

December 13, 2014


Can "cuentan" be used here?

December 13, 2015


what i do not understand is the difference between ''they do not mind'' and ''they do not matter''. because i wrote mind i got it wrong

September 1, 2016


"They do not mind" means that they do not care. "They do not matter" means that they are not important.

December 23, 2017


Can it be they don't matter also?

June 29, 2017


Why is it not "they don't care?"

January 25, 2014


Why not 'ellos no som importan'? Why do they leave the 'son' out?

September 25, 2015


"Ellos no son importan" isn't a grammatical sentence because you have two conjugated verbs together. It would be like saying "They are not matter" instead of "They do not matter". I think you were thinking of "Ellos no son importantes" = "They are not important", where "son" is the verb and "importantes" is the adjective.

September 26, 2015


Why is wrong traslating this sentence like: "they don't care "? Because you need the object?

October 28, 2016


why would not "ellas" wrong? Maybe "they" are female.

November 4, 2016

[deactivated user]

    If you think it's wrong, you should report it.

    January 21, 2018


    There is a problem with the answer "They are not important". In English, 'important' is an adjective but in this sentence it is derived from the verb 'importar' and used as 'importan', in the original sentence. I am struggling to work out how a verb can be translated as an adjective.

    December 15, 2016


    I think there is an implied "being", So it could be They are not being important

    July 1, 2017


    Nothing really matters... to meee

    April 1, 2017


    any way the wind blows...

    September 28, 2017


    i forgot the "y" i think it does nit matter

    May 16, 2017


    I have reported an error. The audio sounds as 'ellos no /importA/; without /N/. On my PC. 10 June 2017.

    June 9, 2017


    They do not count is correct English as far as I know

    May 12, 2016


    I said "they do not mind" and it was wrong. What is the difference between "they do not matter" and "they do not mind"? As I know they are the same

    June 24, 2016


    "They do not mind" implies that there is some situation which they are indifferent to.

    "Sorry, the soup for the workers is cold"

    "They do not mind" = "The coldness of the soup is not very important to them".

    "They do not matter" means that they, the people in question, are not important.

    "Sorry, the soup for the workers is cold"

    "They do not matter" = "The workers are unimportant [and thus presumably it is not interesting to know if they like cold soup]."

    June 24, 2016


    This should also be able to be translated as "they do not mind,,". But why is this wrong?

    October 10, 2016


    I don't agree. "To mind" and "to matter (to)" are sometimes like "to like" and "to be pleasing (to)". The statement "Rachel likes Jack" is roughly equivalent to the statement "Jack is pleasing to Rachel", but it is not at all equivalent to the statement "Rachel is pleasing to Jack." Similarly, the statement "Rachel doesn't mind the snow" can be very roughly equivalent to "The snow doesn't matter to Rachel," but "The snow doesn't matter to Rachel" is never equivalent to "The snow doesn't mind Rachel."

    Even then, without the prepositional phrase "to [someone or something]", I can't think of a single example where "to matter" can ever be replaced by "to mind" (even if which object is the subject is changed).

    April 2, 2017


    Duolingo erased my progress because i tried to comment. wtf dl?!

    March 16, 2017


    the story of my life...

    April 24, 2017




    April 27, 2017


    Is "They do not care" also correct? If not, how would you say that? If "No me importa" means "I don't care", shouldn't "Ellos no importan" mean they do not care? Please and thank you.

    October 20, 2017



    October 26, 2017


    Ellos no importan should be They do not care, not They do not matter.

    November 9, 2017


    Rude! I'm offended. >:O-( rar ill kill duo)

    January 9, 2018

    January 10, 2018


    A bit harsh, don't you think?

    January 12, 2018

    [deactivated user]

      "You can do this, they don't matter". - Duolingo 2018

      January 21, 2018



      February 12, 2018


      That's just sad

      April 1, 2018


      "they matter not" should be accepted

      June 26, 2018


      "Thry don't care"?

      February 19, 2019
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