Él escribe varios libros. = "He writes several books"
Just like in English, múltiple is both a larger and less exact number than "several", in the rae the word múltiple is suggested as a synonym for many, where vario is merely some or different.
So what is implied here is that he is writing multiple books; meaning that there are many books he writes simultaneously. Think of an academic who contributes to textbooks, and updates them for each edition. He would be writing multiple books. Or maybe an author like James Patterson, who has many books all in print at the same time.
PS: During my grade school education we had it drilled into us that several meant three, but usage seems to put it at more than two, but less than five.
I don't remember ever having a definition of several. According to Dictionary.com several is more than two and less than many, which is about what I would have described it. I think the upper level of several is somewhat proportional to how big the pool. The larger the group, the larger several may be. If you are talking about cases of chicken pox (don't ask me why that popped into my head) in a class, it isn't likely to be more than 3 or 4, but for cases of chicken pox in the country several might be larger.
yeah, you have a point. also, dictionary.com defines few as "not many but more than one" but "a few" has always seemed to refer to 3 (or 4, but generally 3) and while I have never actually had a definition of it, it has always seemed in context that several handles up to a half dozen, 6 , and the phrase "a half dozen or more" is fairly common so that seems fair up to a dozen 12, or a bakers dozen 13, at which point "many" or "a lot" seem more fitting than several. but your context of " several cases of chicken pox in the country" does sound like more than 4 or 5, in my head with the context of a disease number I think something along the line of "a case, a couple cases, a few cases, several cases, many cases, a lot of cases, an outbreak" although in all fairness you could throw in those other terms as well, it depends on how vague the context seems to make the number or just how exact the person is trying to be (in which case it would be in everyones best interest to just say the number..) and since I mentioned "a lot" it's a good idea to point out that there are multiple (several? various?) kinds of lots, the first kind being what we are talking about, as in many items, the second being a sales lot, which is a group of items, but I have seen "lots" of items that only had 2 or 3 items in them, and I would hardly call that a lot of anything. all that being said, I'm not saying that my way is the only way or that I'm right, just that it's the way that the people that I know seem to generally use these words .. a non native speaker wouldn't be expected to understand or know all these terms (even native speakers differ in opinion with such vague words) and can probably get by with "a few, some, and a lot, if they have the right context working with them. I'm not sure if this is even that much on topic with the original post anymore but I guess that's what happens over time.. Good luck and Happy learning! (=
"He is writing multiple books.", should be accepted. Please report it.
You are right in thinking that the Spanish simple present tense is often translated into English as the English present progressive. Of course ,this is because the English present tense is used for habitual actions and facts. Habitual action: I always wake up at 6 am. Fact: The sun rises in the east.
Our buddies at DL often force us to translate the Spanish present tense as the English present tense, but you can see that is not usually a good, meaning preserving, translation.
Multiple is not larger or more inexact than several. In fact the starting point for an amount being "multiple" is smaller than for "several." In English, "multiple" simply means "more than one," but does not imply a huge number. "Several" means "more than two," but again, does not suggest a huge number. To suggest a huge number, one might say a "multitude," not multiple or several. So why should "several" not work here, since "multiple" does, and they have roughly the same meaning?
I disagree with your assessment of the parallel nature of several and multiple to some extent. Both Dictionary.com and Merriam Webster specifically define several as more than two but less than many. These same sources define multiple as including many and manifold. So multiple is absolutely à more inexact word with the potential for greater magnitude.
The DLE also has muchos as part of the definition of múltiple.
This clearly makes multiple à better translation. In many circumstances the two may be interchangeable, but in some they are not. Beyond this, if you are secure in your understanding of the word múltiples, Duo has done its job. Especially when you are dealing with a cognate, the chances are part of your impression of what words should be accepted comes from your knowledge of the English word. That should make the addition of more synonymous words unnecessary. Only when the definition of the cognates varies are more information and synonyms required.
To the extent that that is true, I think it is true because one might be expected to know the exact number of books, but not necessarily of times, cases, etc. As I say, personally I tend to say multiple when I know there are more than two, but don't really know how many (even between several or many).
There is actually nothing wrong with the construction. It is a simple declarative sentence with no unusual elements to make it different from any other. It might be somewhat more common to hear it in the past tense, but for prolific writers who are turning out books regularly, the present might well be used. Duo translates múltiples as many. I actually use the direct cognate multiple in cases like this sometimes. When I use it it means that I know there are more than two bit I don't know whether it is 4 or 40. In other words when I don't know the real number and I don't want to commit to a quantifying phrase like a few, several or many/a lot.
I do not know the answer. It is shown as "mútiple" in the dictionary, but I have not been able to think of any way to use it in the singular. "espectáculo múltiple." from this site "http://www.wordreference.com/definicion/m%C3%BAltiple" Does it mean a "variety show" I am not sure and Google is no help.
Not all adjectives go after the noun in Spanish. Adjectives that regularly go before the noun include number adjectives (mucho, poco, dos, tres...), possessives (mi, tu, su...), and some others that can go in either place but changing their meaning slightly (grande, alto, antiguo).
Take a look at this article: http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/100027/adjective-placement
Why is numerous given as a hint for múltiples yet He writes numerous books is rejected as a translation? Naturally multiple comes to mind for múltiples however with the hint and the fact that He writes numerous books sounds so much better than He writes multiple books it seems the hint is just to make me fail... lol
It's not particularly common in American English either. I think I would say multiple books in terms of several books on the same narrow subject. But it is a perfect cognate and as such was probably the first word that popped into your mind. Since Duo's goal here is not to provide the best translation for what would be commonly said (especially in British English since American English is their standard) , but to demonstrate vocabulary and usage in Spanish, once you got to multiple books, their job is done. How you might phrase it differently as a native speaker is a whole other course. The text translation on Duo does encourage more eloquent or smooth translation and they are peer reviewed not computer graded. Different system, different goal.
Does the word "múltiple" (as adjective) exist? I was thinking we can follow it with a plural as here but then in Spanish it has to be pluralized to múltiples. 'Multiple choice (test)' is the only single noun i can think of after multiple in English and that's a odd. Secondly, is it a noun as used mathematically?
In UK 'multiple books' would never be used. Lots of, many, several, loads of, masses of, a large number of maybe, but not 'multiple'. The only time I ever hear it is with 'multiple choice questions' ie choose one answer from a number of alternative answers offered in an exam.
He writes multiple books. Your answer on the section says 'he writes a variety of books'????It gives 'many' as a choice. Why was my answer 'He writes a lot of books' not accepted? Would be much more used in English than 'he writes many books' and certainly doesn't mean the same as 'he writes a variety of books. He might have only written 3 and it may be called a variety but only if they are all very different.
I think the issue is that múltiple is a vague word but does seem to mean something less than many or a lot. I think múltiples is a good cognate of multiple, which is the issue here. In any case when I say multiple in English it is exactly because I don't to use a word that makes a judgment about the amount like a few or a lot. That is often because the exact number is unknown, at least to the speaker. I think the best synonym is several/varios. I agree a variety of is wrong, almost opposite. Multiple is used to talk about more than one or two of the same thing while variety assumes more variety
I think so. But reading the comments, it appears to me that many people seldom use the word multiple in English. Consequently I have recently been hyperaware when I use it recently. Personally, I use multiple when one would have been the norm, or when I don't feel comfortable using a more defined, non specific word like a few, several or many. Spanishdict defines it as follows
I think that it is mostly just increasing your vocabulary with another cognate. Múltiples has the same large range of meaning that can range from just 2 to many. Personally I tend to us multiple when I am not quite sure where on the spectrum between a couple and very many the actual number might be, but where my impression tends more toward many.