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"El hermano menor había muerto dos años antes."

Translation:The younger brother had died two years before.

5 years ago

30 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/tomereinhorn

why is "The younger brother had died two years AGO" wrong? I think it sounds better than "before" in that context

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Turgidtom

"ago" assumes the conversation is taking place in the present and the brother died two years prior. using "before" allows the sentence to pertain to any stretch of time. the brother could have died two years before the steam engine was invented.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tomereinhorn

Thanks for making this clear. I wanted to learn Spanish, and I ended up learning something new in English (I'm not a native English speaker). I have never noticed that nuance. :-)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Turgidtom

np np. i've enjoyed how learning spanish makes me rethink what i know about english as well. sometimes my poor little brain hurts :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jennesy
jennesy
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While I completely agree with your explanation (which is very good!) I think that ending with "before" leaves the question open to - before when or before what. It sounds more natural to say two years "ago". I don't think that you would end a sentence with "before" in this case. If it said "dos anos antes de la guerra" or something like that it would make more sense.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yerrick
Yerrick
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Sure, but in the interest of practicality, DL tends towards smaller, more manageable chunks, which are sometimes actually phrases or fragments rather than full sentences. When in doubt, translate more literally.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SGuthrie0

I agree that "before" leaves an unknown to follow. That's why I might say "previously." (Which DUO accepts)

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LFCAlex

You'd have thought we might actually get the rest of the sentence then.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eaarthman

hace = ago: ... hace dos años

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Raahiba
Raahiba
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It's more like 'two years earlier'. We're using the past perfect so we're talking about a time in the past, and 'ago' refers to the present.

When I teach this tense to my ESL students I say that the past perfect refers to an action that was completed before another event which you state in the past simple: 'He had died two years earlier, and after those two years of mourning they were ready to move on.' Awkward example - I'm trying to use DL's sentence.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fricatives
Fricatives
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I was wondering the same question. I speak Spanish because of my parents, and this is how I would have translated the sentence. :/ I guess it depends on context, as always.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndersonDean

I agree with you. I posted the same thing...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SGuthrie0

"ago" = "hace" "hace dos anos" = two years ago

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ehsan83
ehsan83
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Two years ago: hace dos años Two years before: dos años antes

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vandermonde

This can also mean "the youngest brother" right?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rojolen

That's right.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LowKey99

"The younger brother had died two years prior" was a miss. I feel robbed. Any takers on why I messed that up, or is my English just that bad?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nohaypan

I don't think it's correct, although it is common enough, because "prior" is not an adverb. For comparison, " ... died two years previously" is correct but " ... died two years previous" is not. Your sentence is the kind of thing people say when trying to sound impressive -- the kind of thing Fowler and Orwell fulminated against.

Having said all that, even if it were correct, it would probably be too big a stretch for the Owl.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Layne323107

This is a sad sentence... duo is brutal

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mickeyferguson

duolingo is brutal

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Noah242773

what is wrong with duo? this is like the fifth dark sentence in a row.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marisaaraujolima

Wouldn't "youngest" be more correct? Or are both forms correct (younger and youngest)?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

The younger brother. The youngest brother> el hermano menor. El hermano más joven

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ajfornham
ajfornham
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The given answer is poor English. ... "died two years previous" ends with an adjective - qualifying what? It's not "years" because moving it to say "two previous years" makes no sense. My rejected answer "had died two years previously" uses the adverb which qualifies the verb "had died". C'mon Owl... this is a howler (if owls can howl?)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/geneven
genevenPlus
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You are absolutely right. DL told me the same thing. DL makes a lot of pathetic mistakes. She is lucky we love her or we would laugh at her.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SGuthrie0

Still Not fixed. I reported it. (Dec., 2017)

It should be "previously" , not "previous."

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/baziafsun
baziafsun
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The word "prior" should be allowed in place of the word, "before", especially considering as it is more likely to be used in actual conversation

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DiasPoliana

'The little brother' is not the same as 'the youngest brother'?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jason336328

Muerto also means "dead."

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ForteStrength

It's not necessary, but I've put "The younger brother had died two years prior." Still makes sense, but different use of vocabulary.

3 days ago