This sentence seems to be ambiguous. Am I incorrect in thinking that this could mean either "I had no idea where he/she/it was." or "I had no idea where I was."?
No, you are not incorrect, this is why, when speaking in tenses that don´t make that differentiation, like imperfect (both subjunctive and indicative, and in perfect forms (había hecho, hubiera hecho etc) native speakers will use the pronouns a bit more often to distinguish the speaker, adding a yo, él, ella, usted etc. You´ve got it just right.
If I were to include a pronoun to help distinguish, where would I put it? Before or after estaba?
Tony R, I spoke with a native speaker. She told me you would never use a prounoun in this sentence, or at the end. Instead if you wanted to clarify you would put an object at the end, e.g. el perro.
In this sentence "donde" must carry an accent because there is not certainty.
"Yo no sabía dónde estaba"
I typed it with an accent on the "donde" but it said the correct answer was "donde" without an accent...?
"Dónde" with an accent is used in questions. There is no question in this case, and there should not be an accent. The same goes with other question words: "que", "cuando", "como", etc.
What uncertainty? I (certainly) did not know where it was. If I said I did not "think" that I knew where it was, then there would have been uncertainty.
Sometimes, a question can be indirect. For example, "I don't know what I should say." There's no doubt that I don't know what to say. However, it could also, perhaps, be an indirect way of asking , "What do you think I should say?"
IF you interpret this as a back-handed way of saying "Do you know where I/he/it/whatever was?" there is a case for the accented "donde." However, without that context, you can't really assume it's an indirect question - or that there's any uncertainty at all. Police officer says about a gun, "You knew where it was!" You respond, "I did not know where it was!" No uncertainty at all. :)
I agree, it should be, Yo no sabía dónde estaba. There is clearly an indirect question here, "where is it?" And if dónde actually shouldn't have the accent here, then I have no idea why.
The English is a little bit awkward that way. I would think that a better phrasing would be "I used to not know where I was."
Note the distinction between:
"I used not to know..."
"I used to not know..."
They may appear to be the same but the first sounds more natural than the second. I think this is because the infinitive is split in the second and, even though it's now well established that this practice is permissible, the English just sounds more "elegant".
As an American English speaker, the second sounds much more natural to me. I’d venture to say you’d never hear the first construction in the U.S., unless some Brits were visiting. :-)
I have had the same problem and it is correct in english. Other translation programs accept that.
That's a strange wording. It also includes a grammatical error, you can't use "didn't" and "used" together.
Why my answer'I wouldn't know where he was' was marked incorrect? Any insight will be appreciated. Thanks.
Because in your sentence 'would' isn't in past tense like the imperfect always (or nearly always) is. You could still not know where he was at this very moment, whether he was still there or not. In this case the conditional would be used instead, so that sentence would translate into something more like 'Yo no sabría donde estaba.'
Helpful links: WordReference's Spanish translations of 'would,' with examples: http://www.wordreference.com/es/translation.asp?tranword=would WordReference's conjugation table for 'saber' (look for 'condicional'; saber is one of those verbs that is irregular in that tense): http://www.wordreference.com/conj/ESverbs.aspx?v=saber
"I knew not where I/he/she/it was", maybe considered archaic but IMHO "did not know" and "knew not" mean the same thing. It does not work with "you" though as "were" is necessary with "you".
Isn't it a doubt sentence? Shouldn't we use subjunctive = no sabía donde estuviera?
Not necessarily. :) DL likes short sentences with no context, but, if you heard, "I didn't used to know where I was - but now I have a map!" it doesn't express any doubt at all. "I didn't used to know where I was." is, imho, a pretty good translation of ""Yo no sabía donde estaba." Better than the clumsy DL one anyway. :)
You're not expressing doubt about the location, just saying that you don't know the location. So you don't use subjunctive.
why was this marked wrong ..........iI did not know where you were staying?
I wrote " I didn't know where it was" and it was marked wrong. What's Up???
I think the accent mark could be used on the word "dónde". The sentence -- "I did not know where it was." -- could be an answer to the question: Did you know where it was?
My vote is for "dónde" with the accent over the "o". The statement: "I did not know where it was" is an answer to the implied question: "Did you know where it was?".