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"¿Acerca de qué es el libro?"

Translation:What is the book about?

5 years ago

160 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/kibermiaf

My spanish gf says that in Spain "Sobre qué va el libro ?" or "de qué va el libro ?" is used much more

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lukesterdude11

My Central American said that that is only in Spain. But it is interesting.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/diegodsm
diegodsm
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That forms are more common in Spain but not in Latin America.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Loonatic777

What does "va" mean here?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewILO

"To be on." So, "Of what is on the book? " is a direct translation of "¿De qué va el libro?"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nyme11

Interesting.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lholman

i can translate this - but i find it difficult to translate sentences like this from english to spanish..... i need some kind of easy to understand rule on where to place the words?! help! (essentially if i were translating from english to spanish i would probably say que es el libro acerca? which im guessing is wrong :( cant get my head around this sentence format

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/miacamillle

Part of the reason that you want to translate it that way (que es el libro acerca?) is because most of the time we ignore our own English grammatical rules. For example, the rule in English is not to end a sentence with a preposition. So in English, it isn't really proper to say, What is the book near... because near is a preposition. Near what, is the book? Sounds very proper right? Because it is... even though we don't usually say it. If we did, ¿Acerca de qué es el libro? makes complete sense...yes? ☺

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel-in-BC

Not ending a sentence with a preposition (in English) is a "rule" that never was; it was made up by people trying to force English to be Latin (because Latin was perceived to be more "civilized"). The "rule" is that it's OK as long as there is no confusion in meaning.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AliKapadia1

Thanks for clearing this up, so now I understand the spanish rule and re-affirmed a pesky english rule.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lholman

i thought 'acerca' translates to about? i guess your right in that we do not often use formal english - but i am aware of it and it helps sometimes but not with this..... i cant even imagine anyone using 'near what, is the book'!!! i fear i will never get/learn this :(

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurenMurd

Acerca de = about

Acerca = bring closer

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KoraBaker

This is helpful, thanks! I was confused by the individual term translation that Duolingo provided... I incorrectly translated this as being "Will he bring the book closer?", due to the "bring ... closer" translation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LittleWing1

@LaurenMurd - Acerca de vs Acerca

¡Hola LaurenMurd! There it is. The translation of the prepositional phrase that duo didn't include.

Rspreng pointed out something very simular about "cerca" and "cerca de".

Is it safe to assume when "acerca de" precedes a noun phrase that starts with "el" then the phrases inflects to "acerca del"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

Yes, de + el is always contracted "del"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnieT762

Many thanks! I was also confused by Duolingo definition.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chyanss

This makes much more sense

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/stevebungay

This turned into a great exchange folks. Thank you both for taking the trouble to post your opinions. My partner says that along with rules, language should flow nicely, and some sentences may be correct, but sound far less elegant than the incorrect version.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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Is your partner a native Spanish speaker? This sentence sounds really strange to me. Is it "legitimate" Spanish?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LittleWing1

Muchas gracias. I was thinking about all this syntax kinda stuff and scrambling word order. But the answer was right there in the good olde proper English that I was taught in grade school.

I suspect that I'll be getting a lot more of these correct the next time around.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielHind1

Well it wouldn't be near,but rather about

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EdwinDanie5
EdwinDanie5
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Awww, ur totally right! Ever thought about teaching?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CassiaSmith624

Yes! Thank you

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dgatchell

Ending a sentence in a preposition is a false rule. When I read about how the "rule" started, I was dismayed because I, too, always followed this ingrained gramatical "rule."

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/imtonie

that's true, but acerca means about not near ..

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bnstutz

Wow thanks! I fell like an idiot but in a good way lol that helps!!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurenMurd

Have you ever seen Star Wars? I find it helps to imagine Yoda saying it because he also phrases sentences backwards to how most English speakers would say it.

When in doubt think WWYS!! What would Yoda say!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AveryHD

Yeah. I think more in terms like shakespeare, romeo and juliet.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GillianneQ
GillianneQ
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With any language the grammar is going to be different, it would be much easier if we learned the grammar first.

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dttech88

The best advice I can give after taking a spanish conversation class in college is when I asked my professor the same question and she said, stop trying to translate everything literally. What she was saying is with every language that is not your first, you must have a flexible mind and accept how the language is structured. Spanish in my experience is 80% expressions. When you translate them to english you have to either fill in context or take out context to make sense of it. Just like the word Tener (to have) is also used in an expression for "I have to"(do this or that) "Tener que" but when you say I am 29 years old, you dont say Yo soy(enter age), you say I have, etc. Don't try to make sense of it all literally and accept how the words are used and then remember the expressions or structures.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mloclm

I understand that "acerca de" translates to "about" but if you peek under "acerca" the expression "brings close" is indicated. Can anyone please enlighten me as to why.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hucklebeary

I'm pretty sure it's just one of those words that means different things and spelled the same. What is that? Homonym?

Like the word "bear". Someone learning English would hover over that word and see that it means the animal, to carry something and to support something. Right now because we're learning this new language, our brains try to put each word into its own little box of "this means this" and when it means something else it messes with us at first. But that's simply because we're so used to our own language that we don't even think about those things... we simply listen and our brain puts it into context and it's instantly recognized what it means because of the words around it.

We don't hear the sentence "I simply cannot bear this any longer!" and stop to think "he can't animal this? whaaaaa? oh wait, no it also means the other thing" lol.

So yeah, we just gotta get used to learning these words in proper context to understand how they function in their various definitions.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

There is a verb "acercar", and one of its common translations is "to bring near/close", so, conjugating it in the present tense third person singular "acerca" = "brings close" . . .

"Acercar", "acerca de", and "cerca" are all related, but sometimes you will run into a word that means two totally different things depending on what part of speech it is. Hucklebeary's example is good one in English, and how about this Spanish one: "nada". Yes, it means "nothing", but, yes also, it means "(he/she/it/usted) swims".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elissaf1
elissaf1
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'Acerca de' is a preposition meaning 'about' (looks like it has a Latin root for 'encircle'). Acercar is the verb 'to approach, to bring close'. Acerca is just the third person singular form (él/ella/usted acerca).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/seelian
seelian
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acerca is it attach with de? acerca de? like por qué?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

Yes.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lovens

Why "What is this book about?" is not correct? I thought that "the" means something similar to "this" in english.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rae.F
Rae.F
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Yes, "the" and "this" can be used in similar contexts, just like "este/esta" and "el/la" can be used in similar contexts, but they don't mean the same thing, and DL wants close translations, not creative interpretations.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TerniBlood

I am just confused about "acerca" because it says the translation of that is "brings... Closer" so how does that relate to the answer "what is the book about" help I'm so frustrated trying to understand this!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hucklebeary

It's not that hard bro, breathe lol.

There are many instances of words, verbs and such, that mean one thing when by themselves, and a whole other thing when combined with something else.

Acerca is one of those words.

Acerca all by its lonesome is the 3rd person conjugation of Acercar. Which means "to bring closer"

Verb: Acercar - To bring closer, to bring/move nearer, to be coming closer/approaching

  • yo - acerco - I bring ... closer
  • tú - acercas - you bring ... closer
  • él/ella/ud - acerca - he/she/it/you brings ... closer
  • nosotros - acercamos - we bring ... closer
  • ellos/ellas/uds - acercan - they/y'all bring ... closer

BUT ... "acerca + de" has a whole other meaning which means "about" as in about a topic or subject.

acerca la mesa a la pared- bring/move the table closer to the wall

¿sabes acerca de la mesa - Do you know about the table?

2 more

se acerca la navidad - Christmas is coming (*approaching/coming closer/is nearer)

Acerca de qué es la navidad - What is Christmas about? (literally "about what is Christmas?")

There are a lot of these "word + word + word = totally different meaning than all 3 would mean separately" instances in Spanish. Just get used to it, make note of each one as you come across them, accept them, and you'll be fine lol.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tessbee

Wow, THANK YOU so much for these tips and very clear explanation! I'm having great fun learning these things! :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JacintaLithgow

Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hucklebeary

You betcha :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BlackDove4

Yaas.. That helped the word+ word+ word explantion. Still I struggle with sentence structure in Spanish. Research time.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/autkin

Is "de" a mandatory addition to acerca when used in the context of "about"? Would acerca ever be used without de?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/armantihardesty

This translation of acerca (bring...closer) really throws me off.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

It comes from the verb "acercar" which means "to bring closer" or "to bring near", so it means "(he/she/usted) brings closer" when "acerca" is the conjugated verb in the sentence. For example:

"Se acerca el libro a la nariz" = "(He) brings the book close(r) to his nose."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/armantihardesty

But how does it translate to "What is this book about?" if acercar/acercar means to bring closer? That is where my confusion lies.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

It doesn't. You're quite right that "Brings closer of what is the book?" makes no sense whatsoever; however, "About what is the book" does make sense.

The dictionary hints provide valid translations of a word, but not all are always applicable in every single context. In this sentence, "acerca" is not a conjugated verb, so it doesn't mean "brings closer", but rather "about". In a different context, however, it could be the other way around. The key thing here is to look at the part of speech. Also note that "acerca", when used with the meaning "about" is used with "de" (acerca de).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jakaranter

Huh? "Bring closer"?? From that we are to extrapolate "about?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

Acerca" can mean two different things. "Acerca de" means "about". The verb "acercar", one conjugation of which is "acerca", means "to bring closer". You should be able to tell which is which by looking at what part of speech "acerca" is in any given sentence. If "brings closer" is the only translation listed, you should report an error.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jakaranter

I believe "bring closer" was the only translation listed, but I would have to go back to the particular question to know for sure. Thank you for the explanation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

Looking at the dictionary hints at the top of this page, I see that only "brings closer" is listed. That sure explains why a number people have been asking about this just recently! Anyway, I just reported it via the "Support" tab on the left side of the page. Hopefully they will fix it.

Ticket is #225611, whatever that means.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/itopal63

Why does it suggest closer, as an alternative meaning.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hucklebeary

because the word acerca by itself is the 3rd person singular (he/she/it/you(formal)) conjugation of the verb acercar which means "to bring closer"

Acercar - To Bring Closer

  • Yo - Acerco
  • Tú - Acercas
  • Él/Ella/Ud - Acerca
  • Nosotros - Acercamos
  • Ellos-as/Uds - Acercan

BUT ... using "acerca de" together means "about".

It's one of those things in Spanish that just "is". When those two words are used together, it takes on a different meaning.

Like "tengo" means "I have", as in you posses something. Tengo una camisa. I have a shirt.

But when you add "que" after tengo... "Tengo que" it now means "I have to" as in "I must do ....the verb that follows"

Tengo que ... cocinar la cena - I have to... cook dinner

Tengo que ... ir a la tienda - I have to ... go to the store

:)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chimmydogg

How are you expected to get that? It seems like an idiom or something. I want to know the rule.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hucklebeary

lol that's not an idiom. It's just one of the many many examples of spanish word combinations that give you an entirely different meaning than what the 2 words separately would mean. Get used to that and get excited. It's fun stuff.

And you're not expected to get it if it's the first time you encountered it. But, now you know the rule that you want to know.

Acerca + de = about (a topic or subject).

Acerca de means about. Sobre means about too... so sobre and acerca de are interchangeable. Woohoo. Something new you've learned through the power of duolingo's "curveball" method lol.

Enjoy :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StarLiteSkyGazer

I see below that "Acerca" should be translated to "about," however, when I roll over the word, it tells me that it means, "bring...closer." "About" makes so much more sense, but I do not under stand why it is telling me "bring...closer." Please help! =)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

The problem is that the verb "acercar" means "to bring closer", so under some circumstances, "acerca" does mean "brings ... closer". Obviously "about" needs to be added to the list of definitions in the dictionary hints. If you ever run across this sentence again, please report an error! In the mean time, you can send a message using the "Support" tab on the side . . . but I did that a while ago, and the problem still remains . . . In any case, it's worth a try.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StarLiteSkyGazer

Thank you so much!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeoMurphy5

The drop down says Acerca means "bring ... closer" Where does "about" come from ?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

This question has already been addressed multiple times in this thread, so you can find many other good answers above and below. To avoid clutter I highly recommend reading the whole thread before posting. In any case, I will answer for the nth time . . .

Basically, the problem is that "acerca" can mean two different things, depending on what part of speech it is.

As a verb,

acercar = infinitive = to bring (something) closer

yo acerco, tú acercas, el/ella/usted acerca. . .

Aha! So that's where the meaning "bring .... closer" comes from! For example,

El acerca el libro a su nariz. = He brings the book closer to his nose.

Se acercan los truenos. = The thunder is getting closer.

As a preposition

acerca de = about. It's that simple.

Hablan acerca de los libros mejores. = They are talking about the best books.

¿Acerca de qué es el libro? = What is the book about?

Duolingo's dictionary hints clearly need to be updated to include both meanings. If you get a chance, please report an error!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jakaranter

Your explanation really makes it clear. Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tessbee

THANK YOU SO MUCH, Laruthell, for answering here for the nth time! I didn't see this answer above (maybe I'm reading here late and the older posts were removed or whatever). Anyway, this is very clear to me now, thanks again.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EntNinja

How would you say "what is it about the book?" I know it is a strange sentence, I am just wondering how it would be said in Spanish.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Snoue

que es acerca del libro

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EntNinja

Thanks! That makes sense.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ardymusgame

Would it be acceptable if we omit the "es" so it's just "Acerca de que el libro?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel-in-BC

No, you need a verb, just as in English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rilianxi
rilianxi
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What is the book near??

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

No, it cannot mean that.

acerca de = about

cerca = near

¿Acerca de que es el libro? = What is the book about?

¿Cerca de que está el libro? = What is the book near?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thejoemotion

"De qué trata el libro" is a much better translation i think

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/quangomangoman

Would "El libro es acerca de qué?" or "Qué es el libro acerca de?" mean the same?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jjbear1103
jjbear1103
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In Spanish it's never ok to end a sentence w/a preposition, so the 2nd one doesn't work.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/freyfrey

i put "what is the book close to?" does this not make sense?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jacobson.aaron

'Cerca' means 'near'. 'Acerca' means 'about' and is wholly different. Judging by your level, you may have already figured that out. :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nbrannon92

It seems like this one ought to be removed from the curriculum and replaced with one of the other, better ways to talk about the subject matter of a book.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rif_M

Anyone know why they put Acerca de at the front and not the back?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dwelfje

why is "what about is the book" not right? i know it's a strange sentence in english, but most correct awnsers are anyway...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/miacamillle

It's not "what about is the book"... It's "about what is the book". It IS a strange sentence, but that's just how the English language is!! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Snoue

sighs............this is a tricky one, i was thinking more like que es el libro de acerca?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

That would be something on the order of, "what is the nearby book?" (vrs. the far-away book).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hucklebeary

nah bro, acerca de is "about" whereas cerca de (no A in the beginning) is "near".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

Yes, that is why I said, "that would be something on the order of." The sentence is not entirely grammatically correct. I only meant to provide an idea of what that sort of construction would do to the meaning of the sentence, or rather, what someone would assume Snoue was trying to say. In real-life conversations a typical language speaker is used to the language learner making all kinds of mistakes, and easily auto-corrects them, just extracting the meaning.

In this case, the most similar construction is the one which allows you to say things like, "What is the book on the left?" "The one on the left is a dictionary, and the one on the right is an encyclopedia." = "¿Qué es el libro de la izquierda?" "El de la izquierda es un diccionario, y el de la derecha es un enciclopedia."

For this reason, Snoue's sentence would most likely be understood as a not-quite-right attempt at "what is the near book?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hucklebeary

I hadn't seen this reply until now but yeah I get what you mean now though since, at the time, I was still having trouble myself with the whole construct of the sentences vs. the actual meaning of the words once combined with de.

doh!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

I don't think I was very clear on my first comment, so it needed some clarification anyway. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/becausewecamp

"What is the book about?" worked

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Snoue

yeah, like a direct word for word translation

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lilicana
lilicana
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I wrote "what about is this book?" I feel like it should have been accepted even though it sounds better the other way around

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel-in-BC

to me that sounds like unnatural "Yoda-speak" in English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LittleWing1

Yoda-speach unnatural sound to YOU it does! But sound it like NATURAL Yoda-speach to ME it does... wait... what? I had it there for a sec. Now I just confused the crap out of myself.

Are we saying that mythical "proper" English sounds ridiculously stilted when spoken conversationally?

If that's the case, I agree. But if we used this syntax for speaking Spanish conversationally, would it be right more often than wrong?

I mean, I do have a somewhat high tolerance for making a fool out of myself. However, it would be way cooler if there was a greater chance that I could be understood by my Spanish speaking friends and family by just using a simple mnemonic crutch. Especially one as simple as, "don't dangle prepositions while speaking in Spanish."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

Yes, prepositions are never dangled in Spanish. lilicana's sentence would be correct if the "about" and the "what" were in reverse order. "What about is this book" is as strange as "que acerca de es el libro". They should instead be, "about what is the book" and "acerca de que es el libro", respectively.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tanataviele

"what about is the book" would have been accepted. It's the 'this' part that's not present in the spanish sentence.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jacksen1

Stop the clutter! Please do not report mistakes here and read the comments below before posting. :) Come on, someone find this humorous and give me a lingot.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tappie369

I'm really confused right now!:-(

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tinto616

"about what is the book" is nto really aceptable

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexcooper6

"what's beside the book" is incorrect? How do we know if they're asking about the book itself, or the book's surroundings?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tanataviele

well, not sure, but I suppose 'acerca de que es el libro' would in that case mean "the book is around what?" which is a bit, let's say, unusual. It would be not about the book's surroundings but about what the book surrounds. Not very common. If you wanted to ask about the book's surroundings, you would maybe ask 'que es acerca del libro?' Maybe some native will confirm or deny.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

"¿Cerca de qué está el libro?" would mean "what is the book near?". For asking about the book's surroundings there are many possibilities, for example you could say, "¿Qué hay al lado del libro?" o "¿Qué rodea el libro?" o "¿Qué queda cerca del libro?" etc.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ispaniya

ahh could someone please explain when to use "de"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

"De" is used here because it is a part of the phrase "acerca de". There are many words that always use the same preposition after them; for example, here is a list of what prepositions go after what verbs: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/courses/VRBSPREP.HTM In such cases, it is easiest just memorize the verb with its preposition as a phrase.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ispaniya

thank you so much!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jardak

A classic example of having to rearrange words when translating. Spanish is apparently a much more formal and elegant language than English is. "About what is the book?" = What's the book about?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ilovebrooks

I have to get used to thinking of everything in spanish as if i were saying it backwards in English anyone understand what I mean?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/preciouspraise

Yeah i do. I really cant understand y d sentence waa translated dat wat

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SPEOQHBLO

What is the "de" for, why not just "acerca qué"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

"Acerca de" is a set phrase; the two words are always used together. For an English example, why do we say "far from there" instead of "far there"? Here we have the same situation. Saying "acerca que" sounds just as wrong in Spanish as saying "far there" does in English, no matter how strange it would be to say "about of" in English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Almila12

I can't understand it please help me guyssss :(

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

I believe you will find ample answers to most questions elsewhere in this thread. This is a long thread! If there is something else that you are still confused about, I am happy to help, but you will have to be more specific.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Almila12

okay then thank you so much :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RichardSims

doulingo does a horrible job of explaining things

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

For the most part, Duolingo doesn't try; it leaves you to just absorb whatever you can from the sentences, and for everything else . . . well, that's why Duolingo has discussion pages! Whenever you are confused, ask away!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Carlacdb

Im confused to about this too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

What precisely are you confused about? I (or anyone else, for that matter) can't even begin to answer your question without first knowing what it is.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RichardSims

I'm confused that they didn't even explain anything in the question

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marty_195

I honestly just don't understand this sentence at all hahaha

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/edgarallendoh

When I tapped acerca, it told me it meant "(he/she/it) brings closer".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/msoni395

What is the sense of bring.... Closer???

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

acercar (verb) = to bring (something) closer.

acerca de = about

El acerca el libro a su nariz. = He brings the book closer to his nose

¿Acerca de qué es el libro? = What is the book about?

The dictionary hints really ought to have both meanings listed. I hope you reported an error.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elvis.Lee

really a tongue twister.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/m7200

it says that "acerca" means "bring closer" - then how the f do they expect me to translate this correctly?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

The problem is that although acerca de as a phrase means "about", acerca can also be a conjugation of the verb acercar which means "to bring (something) closer".

El acerca el libro a su nariz. = He brings the book closer to his nose.

¿Acerca de qué es su libro? = What is his book about?

So duolingo really needs to update the dictionary hints to give the definition of "acerca de" instead of just "acerca". If you haven't done so yet, please report an error!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/m7200

Thank you.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hope_29

What does bring closer have to do with this sentence? I am rather confused :(

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

I believe you will find that your question has already been answered many times in this thread, but I will summarize: It has nothing to do with this sentence. "Acerca" means "(he/she/usted) brings ... (something) ... closer" as a VERB, a conjugation of "acercar". Here we are not dealing with a verb, but the phrase "acerca de" which just means "about". The dictionary hints really need to be fixed to include BOTH possible meanings. Please report an error if you haven't already done so and get a chance.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jimalerie
jimalerie
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This is really confusing to remember what order everything in Spanish goes. This sentence directly translates to: 'About of what is the book?'

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hucklebeary

But that's not what it translates to lol. The words a, que, de, por and a couple of others, when combined with verbs, pretty much make a whole new meaning and lose their original meaning.

in this example "acerca de" together MEANS "about". Those two words, in combination, make the "de" no longer translate to "of". Another example sf "tener que" which means "to have to" sooo... in that example, que actually loses its normal definition of that/than/which, etc.. and now translates to "to" lol. so "I have to(do something)" translates to "tengo que + verb" so "I have to go to the store" would be "tengo que ir a la tienda".

It is the act of the combination that defines changes the word. A lot of these examples exist in Spanish and if you ask me they're pretty damn cool. Here are some links. They're called linked verbs.

Linked Verbs

Verbs folloed by the preposition a

Now, whether acerca de qualifies as a linked verb since, as you'll notice, linked verbs actually retain their "verbiness"(lol) whereas acerca de takes a verb (acercar) and a preposition(de) and when together they make a preposition. So I'm not sure what this is actually called. But still, Spanish is full of a bunch of little "combos" like this. Get used to it :)

As for remembering the order? Well, I'm not very grammatically proper in my education (I couldn't diagram a sentence to save my life) but I find that, for myself, it helps if I imagine how a stuck up old (think Betty White old ) English teacher would say something. You know, old fashioned stuck up and stogy "olde english" type talk.

ahem ..."young man, about what (subject) is the book you are currently engaged in reading?"

Then the order starts to make a bit more sense lol.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hzlbrc

In the answer it says acerca means bring closer but I couldn't associate usage of the acerca with the sentence

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaRose078
DianaRose078
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Thank you guys for the tips <3

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dianaschwan

Why does it say the translation is "bring"??

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hucklebeary

This sentence's discussion is getting tiresome

Look, this may come off as rude, but believe, it's not as harsh as it could be... Anyway, that exact question has been asked approximately 45 times in this very thread and answered about 50 times. Probably 10 of those answer have been from me and I'm tired of repeating myself. Laruthell can most likely sympathize unless he's just possessing a previously unthinkable amount of patience.

Notice that this discussion has 154 replies?? Do you really think no one has talked about that very thing which you are confused about?? Please... for the love of all that's holy... actually READ the discussions. That's what they're here for. People ask, others answer, people in the future don't have to ask, they can simply read. This question however seems to create some weird tear in the fabric of reality whereby it has slipped into an alternate universe where no one can read and only questions can be asked.

If 154 replies seems daunting to you and you get that annoying feeling of "ugh, I'm not reading all of this" well, 1) that's just selfish and 2) there's a nifty little function on your browser, no matter which browser you're using called "Find". The command for "find" is **CTRL+F**. What you do is press CTRL, hold it, press F while you're still holding CTRL and then a text field will appear. If it's Chrome® it's top right, if it's Firefox® it's bottom left, if you're using I.E. you're doing things wrong anyway. I kid, I kid.

Once that box appears, type in the word "bring" and just hit the down arrow. You will note that the word bring appears 51 times on this page alone. It will jump you from the very first instance of that word on the page to the last, moving sequentially as they appear. Within the first 3 jumps I was able to find the answer to your question. A couple more jumps and another. Before long, every single jump will provide you with a new answer... well, it's the SAME answer really, just repeated yet again to another person that chooses not to read through the wealth of information given because it's "too much" (thereby creating more of the problem that prevented them from reading in the first place -- another reply) or isn't able to understand the complexities of the CTRL+F command.

To you and everyone else with this same question, you're welcome :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jakaranter

Guilty as charged on this one. I do, however, now read through all posts before I comment or ask a question. Your explanation certainly deserves a Lingot!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

Speaking practically, something that would help future people be less likely to give up half way down the thread and just post their question would be . . . if this question weren't half way down the thread. To that end, if everyone who had this question could pick one of the answers (it doesn't matter which) and UPVOTE the comment of the person who ASKED the question, we could get the discussion of this question to the top. Right now Hucklebeary's first answer has 14 upvotes, but that doesn't help, because the question it answers has only 4 upvotes, which is why it is below the discussion of Spanish word order (I mean, argument about English grammar), which has 40 upvotes. My most recent answer has 5 upvotes, but the question it answers has only 2.

As regards my patience, I don't mind repeating myself too badly, because I get better at saying it each time. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cianm768
cianm768
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The hint said "brings...closer" which really confused me

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

Report it!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Si_Robertson

does "acerca de" translate to about?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

Yes, that is exactly right.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lonewolf969

Acerca is really misleading. do we really have to use it ?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

Using "acerca de" is perfectly normal. It is only Duolingo's dictionary hints that are misleading. (See many comments above for further explanation.) You don't, however, strictly "have to" use it; there are alternatives. Mavry and kibermiaf mentioned three of them right at the top of this thread:

"My spanish gf says that in Spain "Sobre qué va el libro ?" or "de qué va el libro ?" is used much more" --kibermiaf

"here, de qué se trata el libro would be the most common form." --Mavry (where "here" is Chile)

I lived in Chile for a couple years, so I can confirm that, indeed, "tratarse de" is used much more frequently than "acerca de" there. Depending on where you are using your Spanish, you may find some words or phrases are preferred over others, but in any case, just using "acerca de" should do fine for now.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/clintpitts

Why isn't this Spanish sentence accepted as the translation for the corresponding sentence in English. Either acerca de is right or it is wrong.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

Why isn't what sentence accepted as the translation for the corresponding English sentence? I'm guessing you meant to reply to one of the comments at the top of the thread. In any case, "acerca de" is right, along with other possibilities.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MeuserHailey

This is so confessing...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sanityscraps

I learned that acerca had to do with physical proximity?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/estefanknowsit

wtf?!! acerca de que es el libro...de que trata please !!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fabyo78
fabyo78
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Why "What's that book about?" is uncorrect?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KLHarris

I see from the comments that almost everyone else got this from a translate question. I got this one from a transcribe, and Duo's tone did NOT sound like she was asking a question.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KS58442

about what is the book. lol

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CintheaMar

Why can't you make some of the speaking things to were you have to tre

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SairaChaud

What is the book about?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AliciaB2

What is the difference between "What is the book about?" and "Near what, is the book?" in Spanish? Can you only use context to decipher?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Loonatic777

I think in the second one we would use "estar"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

Correct, the second sentence would use "estar" (or perhaps "quedar"). Also, it would use "cerca" instead of "acerca".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gmbotello13

how come it doesn't translate to "what is the book near?"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laruthell

I typed "what is the book near" into a search box (on a computer, ctrl/cmd + f should make one appear) and quickly found a former answer to quote to you. (Hint, next time do this yourself before posting. On long threads like these, your question will often have already been asked and answered multiple times.) Other search terms could be used for different results.

acerca de = about

cerca = near

¿Acerca de que es el libro? = What is the book about?

¿Cerca de que está el libro? = What is the book near?

Or the following:

"¿Cerca de qué está el libro?" would mean "what is the book near?". For asking about the book's surroundings there are many possibilities, for example you could say, "¿Qué hay al lado del libro?" o "¿Qué rodea el libro?" o "¿Qué queda cerca del libro?" etc.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kim139082

This is an odd saying. "About what is the book?"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sun-Wukong
Sun-Wukong
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"Eating babies."

"What?"

"Baby back ribs, DRIPPING with sauce!"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kittenlove415091

lol she says it to fast

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brooke738563

Its hard to spell things in spanish and i keep messing up

6 months ago