"Ella pone la mesa para la cena."
Translation:She sets the table for dinner.
I just got the last one wrong for say we use scissors instead of "the" scissors in usamos las tijerras .. Now I got this wrong for saying " the dinner" .. Shouldn't either be acceptable in both sentences ??
If it is a specific dinner, we could say "set the table for the dinner". Difficult to translate without a context.
Duolingo wants to keep simple tenses and progressive tenses apart:
- simple present: She sets the table - Ella pone la mesa
- present progressive: She is setting the table - Ella está poniendo la mesa
Sorry, I disagree. She is laying the table is an acceptable translation, in my opinion. DL has always accepted present progressive English translations and has not, as far as I know, signaled a change in policy.
It is an acceptable translation in real life, of course, but you will find down the line that Duo frequently does not accept the English progressive tense for Spanish simple tense prompts. I just want to save you a lot of trouble. :)
Spanish has a lot more verb tenses than English, and they all have their certain purpose. It's pretty hard to make meaningful and distinguishable English translations for all off them, so the course moderators have to strike a balance somehow. Not to say that I'm happy how it's being handled, but I don't have a better idea either.
First rule Would you use it in English? Perhaps. But I believe more often then not you would say it without 'the'.
I recently saw something that really hit home for me. The definite article acts like an adjective pointing to a specific noun. Is this dinner unqiue, specific or unusual? If so then add the article. But if its just a regular normal meal it is not specific and doesn't need the article.
The example you made about the scissors could have been that the context suggested they were in a desk, that then is a specific pair of scissorts.
I know that the explanations given for definite and indefinite articles is not that helpful but I believe that 90 % of the time if you would have said it in English, it will be used in spanish and vice versa. I hope this is helpful.
It cooouuuld. It basically means the same but it derives pretty far from the given sentence. I would stick to "the table for dinner".
I would also like to know why they used "la" in this instance. I know spanish and english don't need to translate word from word, but if anyone has knowledge of an actual grammar explanation, then please share.
Honestly, if I were you, I wouldn't trouble myself with those minors nuances. With my experience, I've seen that most of the Romantic Languages have a similar set up. With French in particular using definite articles to express a generalization of things as opposed to just omitting the "the's" as we do in English. If you wanted to mention a specific dinner, as you would in english by adding "the" or "that," it would require you to use other words to specify such as by saying " La cena de la familia" o " La cena para un rey." Not sure if this is correct, but as I said earlier, you shouldn't sweat it. Hay frases grammaticas mas complicadas en espanol.
We also say "lay the table for dinner" would that work here or would that be a different phrase?
I'm thinking that "She sets the table for the meal". should be okay. We use the word meal when it is not specified which time of the day you are talking about. Might be a Canadian thing. Opinions??
I think cena is specifically dinner (ie evening meal), if it were unspecified I think it would say comida.
LOLOL when i first learned "la cena" all I could imagine was the announcer saying "JOHN CENA!!!!" and then the epic music playing in the background xD
I wonder if the definite article "la" is required in this sentence because "cena" is also used as a verb to say that she/he/it dines or has dinner.
Because that is not what the sentence says. "Poner la mesa" is a fixed phrase, meaning "to set the table", to prepare the table with plates and cutlery, so dinner can be served.
We would never say, "She lays the table for the dinner." I translated it, "She set the table for the dinner" which is what we would say in the US.
That is what I put down, and it was marked wrong with the correction she lays the table for dinner.
The table is set once per meal. If set is plural then the meals need to be plural . EG She set the table for the evening meal. OR She sets the table for the evening meals.
"Set" is a verb here. Talking about singular or plural regarding a verb is.. not nonsense, but pretty misleading.
Instead of pluralised, verbs are conjugated, meaning they change their shape if applied to different subjects. In English present tense that happens with most verbs only in the 3rd-person singular, he/she/it, which simply gets an -s at the end.
I set; you set; he/she/it sets; we set; you set; they set.
I come; you come; he/she/it comes; we come; you come; they come.
And so on.
Now, in the English past tense all those forms look the same. And "set" is one of those fancy verbs that look the same in present and past tense, so ithe past-tense conjugation would be:
I set; you set; he/she/it set; we set; you set; they set.
So if you say "She set the table", you're assuming past tense. In Spanish that would be translated with "Ella puso la mesa."
In most languages, including English and Spanish, verb forms are not dependent on objects, so they don't care if you set one or more tables for one or more meals. It's always "I set" and "She sets" (if you're in present tense).
"Prepare" a table sounds a bit strange to me. Like you have to do something to the table itself before you can use it, change its height or extend it.