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"Ellas comían tomate."

Translation:They were eating tomato.

-2
4 years ago

54 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/wismec
wismec
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If the sentence said, "They were eating tomatoes" it would make sense but to to say "They were eating tomato" makes no sense.

56
Reply24 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GregAngeli

I agree, I wrote, "They used to eat tomatoes," and was marked wrong. I don't think they used to eat tomato is common English.

18
Reply4 years ago

[deactivated user]

    Tambien.

    4
    Reply3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/redbrickhouse
    redbrickhouse
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    "They used to eat tomato." This sentence is useful to express the idea that they used to eat tomato products, not necessarily whole tomatoes. I assumed the Spanish was using "tomato" in the abstract.

    3
    Reply2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/ngarrang
    ngarrang
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    You just did it..."tomato products". This is a case where what you would say in English is entirely different than in Spanish. Maybe in Mexico it sounds logical to refer to entire group of fruit products by a singular name, but in English, normal American English, this sentence is awkward at best..and plain wrong at worst.

    3
    Reply2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
    Talca
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    They ate tomato. (aceptó 29 enero 2016) Better sentence: They ate tomato with their salads. (Ellas comían tomate con sus ensaladas.)

    3
    Reply2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

    I've always been hazy about when the Spanish present tense can be equally understood as the Spanish past tense. Is it just context? I get that it's a natural way for a native Spanish speaker to think, but as a student of Spanish, I feel at a loss. The only way that I can even start to translate it, let alone think it, is to remind myself to see if the past tense will work, as you have done here. Can anyone think of a clue to help me automatically start thinking that something is referring to the past, or does this only come naturally with practice?

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    Reply2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/BenYoung84
    BenYoung84
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    Yes but "They ate tomato with their salads" doesn't really imply the imperfect aspect does it.

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    Reply1 year ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/jennabbiss

    How do we know they were feminine?

    1
    Reply3 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

    Women eat tomatoes, too.

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    Reply2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
    MexicoMadness
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    Wismec, I agree, and yet it seems many students in this discussion are offering ways to make it acceptable. For students of English, it should be understood that we would not normally say this. Changing it to plural or adding a noun such as "products" sounds natural as others have suggested.

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    Reply2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Eloise23
    Eloise23
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    Stretching a bit, but how about "They were eating tomato last year, but the doctor told them not to." This would be all tomato, not just individual fruits. However, I will concede that 'tomatoes' is much more common. Cheers!

    0
    Reply4 years ago

    [deactivated user]

      Nope, still doesn't work in English.

      1
      Reply3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
      rogercchristie
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      Ever had a BLT? That's a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. (Not tomatoes) It works fine in my local sandwich shop.

      -1
      Reply11 months ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/homefire

      It's a stretch, but some people do talk that way. however...still not a common usage, and thus inappropriate for this platform.

      -2
      Reply3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/Washington874187
      Washington874187
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      what were they eating? They were eating tomato

      0
      Reply3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/wismec
      wismec
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      In English we would have an article in this sentence, either "a" tomato, or "the" tomato. It does not make any sense to say, "They were eating tomato".

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      Reply4 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/abemore

      You guys are being ridiculous. They were eating pizza. They were eating cheese. They were eating tomato. These are all correct. You do not need to say "a" or "the" or make it plural. Imagine an unknown quantity of tomatoes diced or pureed. If you eat that, you're not eating one TOMATO or two TOMATOES, you're just eating tomato. Tomato in the morning, tomato in the evening, tomato at supper time. When tomato is on a bagel, you can eat tomato any time. :-)

      13
      Reply13 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/abemore

      In other words, saying "a", "the", or making tomato plural suggests we know the number of tomatoes they are eating. And we don't.

      -2
      Reply3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
      MexicoMadness
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      Abemore, I have to politely disagree with you for those who are learning English, which is confusing enough anyway.

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      Reply2 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/wismec
      wismec
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      Tomate in Spanish is singular, so if we were to use correct English we would define it by using an "a" or "the". Sorry that you think this is ridiculous but, that is just the way it would be in English.

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      Reply3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/abemore

      I thought I was clear with the examples I gave, but since you are unconvinced I decided to look it up for you. https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/nouns-countable-un.htm explains the concept of "uncountable nouns". While the noun "tomate" is singular, the lack of an article ("un" or "el") makes it an uncountable noun. What I find ridiculous is that everyone who's posted agrees that it's improper English. This is why I don't trust democracy :-)

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      Reply3 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/ngarrang
      ngarrang
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      Your examples do not mesh with the reality of speaking English. He was eating a tomato. He was eating tomatoes. Your examples of Cheese and Pizza are entirely different. Just as Spanish has its oddities, so does English. At no point will you be clearly understand if you say "he was eating tomato"...the listener will be waiting for another word...tomato paste? tomato sauce? tomato what?

      This sentence is clearly WRONG when it comes to speaking proper English.

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      Reply2 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/redbrickhouse
      redbrickhouse
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      I believe it is perfectly fine to use "tomato" or any other food product in the abstract. Details are sometimes uncertain or unavailable. By the way, does anybody have a problem with "They were eating squash, okra, watermelon, pumpkin....."?

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      2 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/ngarrang
      ngarrang
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      Roar, you need to accept that English as its oddities. In this case....you are not going to ever say 'I used to eat tomato' and not get a weird look from a native English speaker. It is simply wrong.

      Your reference to okra and squash are examples of more oddities. Get used to it. Languages are filled with all sorts of dumb oddities.

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      2 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
      MexicoMadness
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      ngarrang and mlolliff, thank you for your intelligent comments.

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      2 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

      It's not that one especially trusts democracy, it's just that one mistrusts it less than the alternatives. BTW, I, too, think it's uncountable. ;^b

      1
      Reply2 years ago

      https://www.duolingo.com/mlolliff

      i think technically this sentence is grammatically correct, but it is not how people speak...and that is the whole point of learning another language in this way...so we can speak it...

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      Reply4 years ago

      [deactivated user]

        It (the "correct" translation) sounds like something from Saturday Night Live!

        2
        Reply3 years ago

        [deactivated user]

          Agreed. The "correct" translation is not anything that you would ever hear a native English speaker say.

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          Reply3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/skibo21776
          skibo21776
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          You say tomatoes duo says tomato

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          Reply23 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

          You say tomatoes, duo says tomato.

          You say "a tomato," I say "you ought not to."

          Tomatoes! Tomato!

          A tomato! The tomatoesl

          Let's count the whole thing not!

          Your comment inspired me to write a poem. Lingot to you.

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          Reply2 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/rikaglewis
          rikaglewis
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          The only way I see this translation working is as an answer with an implied qualifier. e.g. "What kind of pizza were rhey eating?" "They were eating tomato."

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          Reply3 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/joatmoo
          joatmoo
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          If a tomato weighed 6 pounds, the common English translation would agree with the duo translation :-)

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          Reply2 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/lhaasmanley

          Is this correct? Would we say "They were eating tomato" without the article "a"?

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          Reply4 years ago

          https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

          Both can be correct depending on the context. You can say "Ellas comían tomate" (in general) or "Ellas comían un tomate" (if they were eaten one single piece).

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          Reply14 years ago

          [deactivated user]

            It works in Spanish but the required translation absolutely does not work in English.

            -2
            Reply3 years ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

            Never say never.

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            Reply2 years ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/Muyil
            Muyil
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            Not anyone who speaks native English

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            Reply7 months ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/LaMesillera

            Wouldn't it also be correct to translate "ellas" as "the girls"? (Result: The girls were eating tomatoes.)

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            Reply4 years ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/april13
            april13
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            I don't think so because "ellas" could mean a group of women or girls. "The girls" would be "las niñas".

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            Reply4 years ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

            "Ellas" is a feminine declension.

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            Reply2 years ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/Marco-Gringo
            Marco-Gringo
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            Sounds like Ellos at slow speed. But surprise....its Ellas. And I got it wrong.

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            Reply1 year ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/Alejandra697417

            Wouldn't "They ate tomatoes" be a valid answer

            1
            Reply1 year ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/MsMoneyCPA

            The audio clearly says "Ellos"

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            Reply11 months ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/DianeGreen8

            the slowed down version of this is ellos, the regular is ellas

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            Reply9 months ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/SuzetteTho2

            In slow mo it sounds like they say ellos. Regular speed ellas. Who knew?

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            Reply9 months ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/Muyil
            Muyil
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            They were eating a tomato. They were eating tomatoes. I was eating a tomato.

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            Reply6 months ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/wismec
            wismec
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            I agree with many of the comments, this translation does not work in English. IF the sentence had a noun at the end, such as; They were eating tomato sandwiches, then it would make more sense but, without a noun then the sentence needs an article before the word "tomato".

            0
            Reply3 years ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

            You are using the noun as an uncountable adjective, and that's all right.

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            Reply2 years ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/RobertKinzie

            10/20/17 tomatoes is accepted. I had spelt it incorrectly and DL suggested 'motocross' 'They ate it at the motocross?"

            0
            Reply9 months ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/Kim228988

            Despite all the comments about needing or not needing a defining article 'a' or 'the' in this sentence, no one has addressed my question regarding how to know when does Spanish require an article for the noun that English might not. There are many instances in which Spanish requires an article but English doesn't. How do we as learners know an article is required before a noun?

            0
            Reply6 months ago

            https://www.duolingo.com/StephenStanish

            No matter what logic applied "tomato" just sounds strange in the context of the phrase presented. Anyway we are studing Spanish, not English. So, how do you say "whatever" in Spanish?

            0
            Reply4 months ago