I tried" which is the better" and still think it should be accepted, I'll try reporting...
la mejor = the best, because Spanish don't have superlative, la mejor implies the best already
I tried "which is the better technique" which should be accepted in english if there are TWO options. More than two options would be best. Common error in english such as when only two men are in competition the expression should be "Let the better man win". Reported
"la mejor" means "the best" though, so I don't agree that your answer should be accepted.
Just to clarify, I did abbreviate my posted comment. I wrote" which is the better technique". My point was that better should be accepted as well as best.
Ok, it wasn't clear.
But isn't the comparative form used only to compare exactly two things ? And so here only the superlative form best would be accurate ?
With the definite article el/la mejor means best. Without it, it is taken as better. http://spanish.about.com/od/adjectives/a/comparatives-superlatives.htm
And no, shemp, I really didn't think that you had missed técnica. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk ... :D
Are you suggesting that shemp's phrase "which is the better technique" should be translated to "cual es mejor tecnica"? :-P
If not. Show me a phrase in spanish that means "which is the better technique". The only one I can find is "cual es la mejor tecnica"
¿Cuál es la técnica mejor?
Placing the adjective "mejor" before the noun it modifies and using the definite article are what give it the meaning "best". Placing it after the noun will give you "better".
If 'la mejor' means 'the best', how would you translate 'Which is the better technique'? I don't have any idea at the moment....
"What is the best technique" = "Cuál es la mejor técnica"
Notice "la mejor is written before the noun. If you want to say better, you write mejor after the noun.
" Cuál es la técnica mejor" = "What is the better technique"
Maybe something like "Cuál de las técnicas es mejor?" or "Qué técnica es mejor?" could remove the ambiguity, but I'd still like a native to advise us on what he/she would choose, and why.
I'm new to this spelling, Bill. In which part of the world is 'technic' commonly used?
Yes except one would then use quien rather than cual at the beginning of the question.
- La mejor = superlative.
- mejor, to go before the noun "técnica", as would the standard form "buen".
Why can't it be "skill"? Technica was accepted as such in a prior example - how are we to know whether they want the best skill, technique, etc. when they are all definitions of that word?
Why is it not cuále? Is it because cuál is followed by a verb and not a noun?
Obviously it means the same thing so it is probably fussiness over word order.
Why is the program defining técnica as "trainer" and then not accepting "trainer" as a translation?
because if they were asking about a person, the question would begin with "quien" not "cual"
hmmm, could someone please translate for me good, better, best. And then old, older, oldest.. I seem to remember some rules about these superlatives from way back when.. Gracias!!
Bueno(a) is good. Mejor is better, el mejor (masculine) or la mejor (feminine) is the best. Also más mejor would work for better. Old is viejo(a). Mayor is older (as in mi mayor hermano). One possible translation for oldest is más antiguo.
Sorry, I had blanked out on the old one. I have included a link to the difference between el mejor and lo mejor, but probably should have presented el. http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/169109/lo-mejor-vs-el-mejor
I did notice your second post and thought I should mention that el viejo or la vieja are often used simple to mean the old man or old woman. You could use viejo instead of antiguo with el más though
I though from a previous lesson in this group, that técnica meant technician. I am confused.
This is one of those times when there is an exception to a Spanish rule that you may have come to depend on messes you up a little. Técnico and técnica are different words, at least as nouns. Técnica means technique or technology etc. Here is the definition from Spanishdict
Técnico of course can be an adjective, which means that it would also exist as técnica when modifying a feminine noun. But when técnico is a noun it is defined as a "masculine or feminine noun" which means it is one of those professional designations that does not vary with gender in itself but takes its gender from the article. La téchnico or el técnico. This is rather unusual for professions that end in o. Most of those that do not change end in a, often ista like periodista or artista. Here is the definition of técnico.
Although adjectives that end in an o will change to an a to modify a feminine noun, there are many cases where two separate nouns exist which vary only by their gender and the o or a ending. It can be as simple as La puerta being the door and el puerto being the port, which are somewhat related terms. On the other hand, although gato and gata refer to male and female cats, caballo is a horse and caballa is a mackerel.
Technician is técnico. It is onebof those job designations that changes gender for the professional only by changing the article El técnico or la técnico. Although there are many.of these,.most keep an a ending.like artista. But this one at.least keeps its.o ending I can't think of another but there.may be Técnica means technoligy.or technique
Just to make things difficult, my HarperCollins electronic dictionary (7th ed., 2009) shows "técnica" can also mean a female technician. Another word that used to be differentiated by el or la is "piloto" (el piloto/la piloto), but "pilota" is slowly creeping into the vocabulary in some regions. The world is changing. "Soldado," on the other hand, still uses el/la and because "soldada" already means pay, it is unlikely that this will change.
That makes sense. One of the forces of change for language is for things to become more regular or consistent. Of course there are often conflicting forces and many other factors. As for soldada, it is not inconceivable that it will come to mean both since they aren't likely to be confused in context. Of course it will take more time of having women integrated evenly into the military.
technique , definitely but I expect it could also be a female tecnician. El tecnico being the male technician
I haven't found a good answer to that. I have seen it as not changing at all, as changing just the article or changing like other professions that end in an o. I suspect there is regional variation here. It may be a relatively new problem. Normally, I find answers just by googling the question. But no.luck here. A couple of translators made no changes to un técnico for ella.
Would Que also work, in lieu of Cuál? Also, are the comments available on iOS? I only seem to be able to access these comments and tips on the Duolingo Android App
If this question was asked with qué, it would be a slightly different question. Qué asks for a definition or description. Cuál asks which one of a selection. If you asked Qué es la mejor técnica You would be probably be asking for someone to describe the technique in detail. You would be sort of throwing away the issue of the best because it would not be as part of a discussion of multiple techniques. But if you had been discussing multiple techniques and then wanted to know which was the best, you would have to use Cuál. Here is a link discussing the difference.
As for the iOS, I cannot answer that. I am an Android person myself.
Another hint: "Cuál" is usually followed by a verb while "qué" is usually followed by a noun. if you wanted to use "qué" you would probably change the sentence to "¿Qué técnica es la mejor?" Although I agree that "cuál" is a better choice here.
That is a question that is not easy to definitively answer. In broad strokes you can consider cuál closer to which and qué closer to what, but there are a lot of places where that doesn't work or is unclear. When used before a form of the verb ser, qué is used to ask for a definition. When not asking for a definition, cuál is used. Qué is used more commonly before a noun, but cuál is not necessarily incorrect. Here is a link with more explanation and examples.
which is the better technique should have been accepted. Mejor also means better no ???
It is not that Spanish does not have a difference between the comparative and the superlative. It is that the same word is used, but the word la before the comparative makes it the superlative. Esta técnica es mejor que la otra. Esta técnica es mejor. In both these sentences mejor means better but not best. Pero esa técnica es la mejor. When you add the la in front of mejor it becomes best and not better.
I can't be the only one who thought it said, "Cual es la mujer technica?", for a second there ;D
I am English, which is the best or which is the better technique are both correct as is what is the best, There are more than one way to say anything in any language duo you cannot keep telling people they are wrong when they are not.
While both translations are applicable in this circumstance, one important thing to learn in Spanish is that they don't have superlatives per se at all. The only way to say the best, the biggest, the strongest, etc is to put the article before the comparative form, whether that form is a clear compartí è or simply uses la más grande etc. In English the comparative is used to compare two things. Once you are choosing among more than two things, the superlative is used. So, since we can't assume that the person is looking for the better of two technologies, the best is indeed la mejor opción.
While that is true, it does not mean that you cannot distinguish between when it means better and when it means best. Mejor means better when you have a clearly comparative statement. You will always have a mejor que in the statement. Oro es mejor que plata. Gold is better than silver. When mejor means best, it always is preceded by what is essentially the direct object pronoun. and it doesn't have a que. So while mejor is part of both expressions, its meaning is actually conveyed by the word it is with. Mejor que is better, Lo/la mejor is the best, although you will sometimes see el mejor instead of lo mejor. La obviously is both the definite and the direct object pronoun.
as in which is the best book? Which would be the preferred english I believe. Just a guess but sounds good to me
Most people are taught that qué means what and cuál means which, but that is an oversimplification. Sometimes qué can be translated as which and cuál as what. The bottom line is simply that the rules for choosing which word to use are different between English and Spanish. The highlights of the differences are that, before the verb Ser, qué asks for a definition and cuál asks which of the possible options. But we don't routinely asks which is the major technology, we more commonly use what. Conversely, qué is almost always used before a noun, even when it is more common for us to say which. Here is a link with more information
Alright that was a mouth full lol I'll take a look at this as well, thank you very much
It is correct, but it doesn't really match Duo's common for common convention. In English, which can be used as it is in Spanish, but more commonly when you which it is a selection between a known, limited selection, often that which is present where you are. So while it would never be incorrect to say Which is the best technique/technology, but most people would just ask what, unless they were assuming that the answer was among the techniques/technologies you had just been discussing. In Spanish it is different. When you use Qué before ser, you are asking for a definition of the term that follows. So Qué would not create the same question here. Conversely, cuál is not used before a noun at all in Spain and not frequently in Latin America, although you will hear it from time to time. So questions like Which glass is yours is translated as Qué vaso es tuyo. Qué and cuál can each be translated as either which or what as the rules are different between the languages. So in translating them you ask yourself which sounds best in English, not which word is in the Spanish. As I said, both are possible here, so if which seems more logical to you report it. But never translate into what or which simply based on Qué or cuál.