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  5. "Se oyó un sonido en el dormi…

"Se oyó un sonido en el dormitorio."

Translation:A noise was heard in the dormitory.

August 10, 2013



Why is "he (she) heard a sound in the dormitory" wrong?


Because your translation is active voice and the sentence is passive voice. I was hit versus someone hit me.


I agree that he heard a sound should be accepted. The passive voice would be, " Un sonido fue oído en el dormitorio."


The grammatical form in Spanish that matches English's passive voice directly is very rarely used. Most of the time you simply make the subject disappear by moving the object into the subject position and then turning the verb reflexive.

So, for instance, you will frequently see: "Se habla español aquí." If you translated that in a stupidly-literal fashion, you'd get, "Spanish speaks itself here." But no native speaker means that, when they say those words. They mean the thing that we express as, "Spanish is spoken here [by people who speak]."

Reflexive-passive is very common. Far more common than anything like, "Español es hablado aquí [por personas quien hablan]."


Actually, IMHO, the se here indicates the sentence is a passive voice


How do you know it was a he?


So, first note that the verb is reflexive. This means that the verb is only going to be attached to one noun phrase for both the subject and object roles. So you know right there that "he heard a sound" can't be right, because "he" and "a sound" are two different things.

So then you ask yourself, is this a standard reflexive, where the object is a repeat of the subject? "A sound heard itself"? No, that makes no sense at all.

So it has to be the reflexive passive: There's only one noun phrase -- the object -- and the subject has been suppressed. "A sound was heard."

(And then there's a third distinct usage of reflexive verb forms that's semantically unlike either of these. I wrote about it at great length here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/789137 )


I am little no a lot confused. When you mouse over "se oyó" it gives the answer (he/she/it heard). I ran the phrase through the 3 translators on SpanishDict and it gave me three possibilities "a sound was heard" "One heard a sound" and "he heard a sound" So now it is clear as mud.


This is such an excellent breakdown for an English speaker. Thank you!


a sound was heard in the bedroom gets accepted


Bravo. It should be accepted. Totally legitimate translation of this.


bedroom should be accepted for dormitorio; it is listed as a translation in the dictionary and I have seen it used as such.


Could it also be "one heard a sound in the bedroom"?


"A sound was heard in the dormitory" took a heart away. Reported. (Way to sneak in the passive voice, HAL. Now, if only you'd tell us about a point of grammar before you test us on it, you'd have something.)


Grrrrrrrrrrr. I feel like being active against this "passive voice" thing


There was a sound in the bedroom didn´t cut it.


"There was" would be "hubo". (Or maybe "había", if it was something like an ongoing hum, rather than a sudden noise.)


Why not? It was heard a sound in the bedroom

Thank you.


Because that's not valid English.


"I heard a sound in the bedroom"


It could be " She heard a noise in the dormitory"

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