"Yo toqué al gato."

Translation:I touched the cat.

August 16, 2013

This discussion is locked.


why is it "al" gato, instead of "el"? :o)

August 16, 2013


You use the personal "a" before animals as well people, if you like the animal. People the untranslated a before them if they are direct objects. A + el = al

August 17, 2013


People animals? Does that include ex husbands and ex wives?

September 16, 2013


Does that mean you have had both?

May 15, 2014



June 16, 2014


But if we do not know the context 'el gato' should be correct too, shouldn't be?

January 28, 2015


Yes it should.

April 2, 2015



April 3, 2015


What is the difference between a direct object and an indirect object?

June 18, 2014


John threw the ball to Mary.

John is performing the action, so it's the subject. The ball is being thrown, so it's the d. object. Mary is receiving the ball, so it's the I.O. I.O.s are often preceded by to or for.

August 29, 2014


My teacher taught us the direct object is the noun that gets "verbed"

July 27, 2015


Here's a great, quick video on direct vs indirect objects. Hope it helps! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-8hwsOgp7Y

April 4, 2015


This may help some to clarify direct and indirect objects, and there are examples at the end of each that you can try with the answers following so you can see if you get it https://painlessspanish.com

May 4, 2016


That actually makes since. I've been wondering about this for a while now. Thanks for explaining :)

October 14, 2013


I'd forgotten that. Thanks for the reminder.

January 28, 2014


Is this true in the present tense as well?

March 22, 2015



March 22, 2015


The personal a is needed when the direct object is a person or pet.

February 20, 2014


What about tamagotchi?

February 5, 2015


If you consider tamagotchi a person or pet, it is still true. But if the person you are speaking to does not consider them people or pets, you are likely going to sound odd.

November 25, 2015


...and I liked it :D

June 10, 2014


Touching birds no longer does anything for me...

April 15, 2015


Show me where the bad owl touched you.

September 29, 2015


I see what you did there Duolingo.

March 24, 2015


I'm wondering if this is a euphemism...

July 22, 2014


And that's why my arms and face are covered in scratches.

May 30, 2015


Should "stroked the cat" be acceptable here? It seems a more natural thing to be doing to one.

January 18, 2014


I know what you mean andrew, but somebody here seems happy to do unnatural things to a cat.

January 28, 2014


Tocque = touched and "acariciar" is to stroke. Tocque is general action that comes in different forms and acariciar is more specific. To say translate toque as stroked is to make an assumption unjustified by the word actually used.

January 19, 2014


So that would go for "pet" or "petted" as well? Acariciar not tocar? (Can you tell I lost a heart?)

January 28, 2014


The strict translation of tocar is touch. Also in Spanish you don't play a musical instument you "touch" it. If you are not translating, you have a broad choice of ways to intereact with a cat. Loosing a heart is not really a loss, it is a learning opportunity.

January 28, 2014


Tocar is the verb used to 'pet' and animal. When people in Mexico tell me not to pet their dog, they use 'tocar.' Tocar is also used to knock on a door.

January 28, 2015


”I played the cat" didn't work. And cat was in tune, too!

June 25, 2015


The heart comment you made is so true. Getting them, losing them, the ability to give and receive those hearts, count them at the end of the day, spend them in the store is one of the many things that DL does that is so super.

February 8, 2014


Interesting. I use the DL phone app, and there is none of that. You just get three hearts per lesson, and when the lesson is over they are gone and you get three new hearts in the next lesson.

February 26, 2014


Oh I know, not to worry, I love duolingo.

January 28, 2014


Maybe if a person was getting ready to prepare food, and then thinks, "I'd better wash my hands; I recently touched the cat."

May 31, 2014


Or 'pet.' I responded with 'I pet the cat' and was dinged.

May 4, 2016


Oh My God! I wrote "I smelled the cat!" and I am very weirded out by that!

January 6, 2015


Tiene un gran sentido del humor. es importante en vida.

March 9, 2016


thanks- now WE"RE all weirded out too. : )

March 9, 2016


Do you need award for that now

August 16, 2014


"I petted the cat" should be acceptable in the context. 12/22/15.

December 22, 2015


I agree. It seems obvious from the context. Still wrong 1/6/16.

January 6, 2016


"Petted" is not the past tense of "to pet". Just like "costed" is not the past tense of "to cost". Edit: it is the technically correct past tense, but colloquially, in modern day English, it is fast being replaced. Sorry for the confusion.

May 4, 2016


"Petted" is actually the correct past tense form of the verb "pet" and has been for 500 years. "Pet" as a past tense conjugation is apparently gaining popularity. http://grammarist.com/usage/pet-petted/ http://www.verbix.com/webverbix/English/pet.html

May 4, 2016



May 5, 2016


Ok, I should have stated that, since languages evolve over time, in the US the common simple past is pet. The examples listed on your link are either from over 60 years ago (and many over 100 years ago) or they are using it as a past participle.

May 5, 2016


Then you didn't fully read the first, or my comment. "Petted" is still the primary choice in formal writing and journalism, but as both I and the first link state, "pet" is gaining use.

May 5, 2016


Why is it not "yo le toque al gato"?

October 25, 2013


The "cat" is a direct object. I wager that the personal "a" before it made you think it was an indirect object. Now, to answer your question: Rule #1: one doesn't use a clitic pronoun ("le," for example) if the direct object (here, cat) is a noun. Rule #2: You need a clitic pronoun, if you have an indirect object noun or pronoun. Examples: Le habló a Carlo. [Carlos is an "indirect" object noun. I talked "TO" Carlos.] Nuestra tía nos regaló a nosotros muchos jugetes. [nosotros is an indirect object pronoun; Our aunt gives a lot of toys TO us.] Le pedí al dependiente una pregunta. [dependiente is an indirect object noun; I asked a question TO the clerk] Esta mujer le dio leche a su bebé. [bebé is an indirect object noun; The woman gave milk TO her baby.] My confusion always comes when you have a verb that uses a preposition, e.g. "observar a." In a sentence like "El observa a su hija" Here no clitic pronoun is needed. It's a lot to remember...Buena suerte.

February 20, 2014


I am confused about the difference between direct object and indirect object. Un poquito.

July 7, 2014


"I threw Dean the ball." Direct object is the thing acted upon: the ball (it was thrown). Indirect object gets the result of the action: Dean (he got the thrown ball). Indirect object is generally easier to remove from the sentence: "I threw the ball" works fine, but not "I threw Dean" - well not without changing the meaning :-)

July 16, 2014


Thanks Chef! Lo entiendo ahora.

July 21, 2014


That's not proper grammar. It would be "I threw the ball to Dean." Because unless your really strong you can't throw Dean.

January 5, 2015


"I threw the ball to Dean" = "I threw Dean the ball". Both are fine in English.

May 7, 2015


While both are correct, one is more correct than the other.

June 25, 2015


"Le pedi al dependiente una pregunta" is this saying I asked the clerk a question or I ask a question to the clerk. I would think its to the clerk because of the indirect object;but you did write in a way that looks more like the former" I asked the clerk a question. With that said can you also write this sentence like "le pedi una pregunta al dependiente"?

April 14, 2015


Both interpretations hold the same meaning, and both are correct. For your second question, it just depends on what part of the sentence you wish to emphasize, but both are correct.

March 29, 2016


I put "I played to the cat." as if I were practicing the piano and the cat was my audience. Why is that wrong? How would I say that in Spanish?

July 5, 2014


I made a similar mistake, although I went with 'I played with the cat'. Maybe that would be 'yo jugué con el gato' instead. Can any native speakers help?

October 10, 2014


Not native, but fluent. You are correct. Tocar is only used as "to touch" or "to play (an instrument)". Jugar should always be used when you play with something/someone.

October 13, 2014



October 13, 2014


Except one of the sentences I had to translate on here was "nosotros no toquemos bien ayer," which the system said meant: " We did not play well yesterday." Why is it we can use tocar with people, but not with the cat?

February 5, 2015


In that sentence "tocar" means "to play [an instrument]". Example context: "Band practice went much better today than yesterday. We did not play well yesterday."

February 5, 2015


... and it bit me!

July 11, 2015


giggidy :D

January 20, 2015


Toque is pronounced tock-eh not tock-eeh

January 30, 2015


This sentence is wrong in so many levels. LOL

March 14, 2015


Just another of many many DL sentences that mean totally something different.

February 13, 2016


What if you don't like the animal? What if you were say in therapy and the animal repulsed you? Then could you use el to indicate the impersonal connection to the object (animal)? Por ejemplo Yo toque el leon!!

July 8, 2014


If I touched the cat, I would sneeze because I'm allergic.

November 14, 2014


We have a rebel here :P

May 8, 2015


question about "a" here... is this a case of personal "a" or is it a case of tocar coming with an "a" usually? and if it's "personal a" then why is it necessary here - i thought we used it for animals only in cases meant to emphasize their personal significance?

April 13, 2014


Great question. It is the personal a. Tocar, the verb, does not hook up with any prepositions the way some other verbs have to do. Why is it necessary? Apparently, the cat must be a pet.

January 19, 2015


If the direct object is a person or an animal normally considered to be a pet (domestic), you use a in front of it.

May 4, 2016


Omg it is I touched to the cat in Spanish! Wierd but guess I have to remember this...

May 26, 2015


Blah. I put 'pet the cat' instead of touched lol. I was being general.

October 2, 2015


i've petted today a gray cat in the city, it meowed at me first, and then rubbed on my leg as i pet it :D had to clean all the hairz after. :D

November 23, 2015


"Touch Not the Cat"

November 30, 2015


NancyBlake1 are you thinking of the Macpherson motto: "Touch not the cat bot a glove"? That is what came to mind for me, so here's my try at a translation. " No tocar el (or al) gato sin un guante."

April 3, 2016


It's not pronounced to key it's pronounced to que

May 29, 2014


Why not "I played for the cat"? How would you say that?

June 2, 2014


If you played an instrument for someone or something , the instrument would become the direct object. Which would render the cat the indirect object. We know that indirect object pronouns must always be used when they are stated or implied.

Thus: (yo) le toqué (la guitarra) (al gato). Which means "I played for him/her". Where all in parenthesis is optional or for clarification. If I've made a mistake in interpreting the question, please let me know. Here the le =el gato

May 4, 2016


I thought "toco en la guitarra" means "I play the guitar", at least that's what I learned in high school Español, (even though I know "tocar" means "to touch" why is it different here?

June 14, 2015


Think of it as to strum or to touch the chords. Even tapping (for a piano). Toco la puerta is to knock on/rap/tap/touch the door.

May 4, 2016


Je fe. X cdnn NB g b TV news b

February 2, 2016


why didn't they just say "yo toqué el gato"?

February 7, 2016


I typed in "I touched the gat" at first

Starting to mix up the languages, haha

April 29, 2016


Al gato, mr roboto.

May 24, 2016


I don’t touch cats, what do you think I am some kind of pervert!

June 10, 2016


I never touched that cat after that.

July 20, 2016


I pet the cat is equivalent. Its colloquial. If I asked my friends they would say "pet" that should be allowed.

February 19, 2016


Not in a bad/disqusting way I hope...

February 23, 2016


Why " I touched the ❤❤❤❤❤" not accepted ?

July 2, 2016


yeah you like touching that ❤❤❤❤❤

May 16, 2016


he touched the butt!

May 22, 2016


i touched that puzzy

September 29, 2015


I fingered the ❤❤❤❤❤ anyone?

October 31, 2015


I bet you did...

September 3, 2013


lol -5

September 6, 2015


Who are you talking to? Me or someone else?

January 7, 2015
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