"Yo no sabía donde estaba."

Translation:I did not know where it was.

August 3, 2013



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."?

August 3, 2013


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.

November 21, 2013


If I were to include a pronoun to help distinguish, where would I put it? Before or after estaba?

July 7, 2014


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.

December 22, 2015


All are correct.

August 3, 2013


Except wouldn't "I had no idea..." be "No tenía idea..."?

May 28, 2014


In this sentence "donde" must carry an accent because there is not certainty.

"Yo no sabía dónde estaba"

November 22, 2013


I typed it with an accent on the "donde" but it said the correct answer was "donde" without an accent...?

April 13, 2016


same for me, dónde is the correct one - -

January 15, 2018


"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.

August 11, 2018


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.

July 13, 2015


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. :)

December 31, 2015


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.

October 24, 2017


Why couldn't this be "I didn't used to know where I was."?

May 28, 2014


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."

July 22, 2014


"I used to not know where he was" is marked wrong for some reason.

September 17, 2014


I too was just marked wrong for "I used to not know..."

May 8, 2016


UK native speaker here. I haven't tried it on this particular D/L question, but my word order for that sort of negated phrasing would be:

"I used not to know where I/he/she/it was."

That may not be how it would be done on the other side of the Atlantic, though.

August 27, 2018


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".

August 31, 2018


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. :-)

August 31, 2018


Sounds like awkward English.

December 29, 2014


I have had the same problem and it is correct in english. Other translation programs accept that.

March 2, 2015


May I ask what the other translation programs are?

January 24, 2017


That's a strange wording. It also includes a grammatical error, you can't use "didn't" and "used" together.

February 11, 2017


That was also my translation, and I don't understand why it wouldn't work.

June 24, 2014


I got two almost identical sentences, one with donde, the other is with dónde. I think that the one with dónde is correct.



December 10, 2017


yeah, the accent mark is required.

December 16, 2017


Why my answer'I wouldn't know where he was' was marked incorrect? Any insight will be appreciated. Thanks.

January 19, 2015


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

August 8, 2015


Was about to ask the same thing!

June 15, 2015


"Dónde" con tilde, needs an accent

January 11, 2018

November 16, 2017


"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".

August 31, 2018


I don't know where I was marked wrong.

July 15, 2019


I don't know where it was? Marked wrong

July 15, 2019


Isn't it a doubt sentence? Shouldn't we use subjunctive = no sabía donde estuviera?

November 12, 2015


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. :)

December 31, 2015


You're not expressing doubt about the location, just saying that you don't know the location. So you don't use subjunctive.

December 16, 2017


why was this marked wrong ..........iI did not know where you were staying?

January 28, 2016


I wrote " I didn't know where it was" and it was marked wrong. What's Up???

September 25, 2017


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?

November 2, 2017


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?".

May 14, 2018


So why is "I did not know where I was" wrong? Since no pronoun was used, why wouldn't it be assumed "I" was lost.

December 10, 2018
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