"Veo a la policía."

Translation:I see the police.

5 years ago

63 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Saxdictator2010

The personal a is necessary when the subject and the direct object of a verb can do the action to each other. The police officer can see, therefore the a is necessary

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smilewithagiggle

Thank you so much! Your reply is really helpful =)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/feanoRfelagunD

The police can never see me. But that aside, what matters is that he can see because he has eyes, not whether he can or cannot see me at that specific moment, right? Just to be sure.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RomeoVertieri

Run!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rachyb638

Read my mind, dude! :-D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dtucker

i translated it "i see the police officer" because of the personal a (which it flagged as incorrect).

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThanKwee
ThanKwee
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"I see a policeman or police officer" is not the same as "I see the police".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dtucker

Agreed. However, if we're talking about the police in abstract (not multiple officers, but the concept) then why does it need personal a? Would it be needed to translate "I see the government", an abstraction representing many people?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Markwalk
Markwalk
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I also chose "I see the police officer" because of the personal "a" and a desire to be gender inclusive. I thought this allowed me to avoid the impersonal institution (the police force) and policeman or policewoman. I'm here to learn, but somehow I still feel as if my translation works this time.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Check out jrikhal's comment above. It explains this well.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EugeneTiffany

When one might say, "I see the government," what would one be looking at, exactly? I do understand that you were reaching for an abstraction, but this one went too far in my estimation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cinu
Cinu
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So if we translate "I see the government" do we use a personal a or not?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EugeneTiffany

You would say," Veo el gobierno," as government is not a profession. It is a thing and whether an abstraction or not. On the other hand, you would say, "Veo a Dios," where being God is a true profession, albeit an abstract one.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/campellomerrily

I did the same thing, as police officer was one of the suggested answers and I was surprised when it got a big fat X. However, what I do find is that, when this happens, it serves as a aide memoire (sorry I know that's French), so that I don't ever make that mistake again. So even though it is a little disheartening to lose a lingot over something you feel isn't your fault, see it as a positive and use it to your advantage.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joshua554630

You lost a Lingot? For what?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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It could not be an officer, no?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smcbride2

I did the same

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AviMarc

Why is the "a"? Is it the "personal a"? As much as i know, policia as an institution does not require "a". Am I wrong?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tampanews

It is being explained to me that the "a" is used to differentiate the police as an individual officer instead of a group. With the "a" the sentence indicates seeing an individual cop rather than a multitude.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Casiquire
CasiquirePlus
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You see though, DL doesn't accept "police officer" as an individual. It only accepts "police" as a group.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
PERCE_NEIGE
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Persons and institutions, they are assimilated to persons.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/richsp51

Institutions (and corporations?) are people too! ...post "citizens united" ruling! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sharrondemaris

why is the a included in the sentence ?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jlhmackenzie

i see the policewoman should be accepted no?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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I learned:

  • the police [institution] <-> la policía
  • the policeman <-> el policía
  • the policewoman <-> la mujer policía (probably exactly not to confuse)
5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EugeneTiffany

My translation app declares that DL's translation shown at the top of this page is correct, and, "I see a policeman" as being, "Veo la policia." Wish I had a handle on this.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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SpanishDict shows:

I see the police - veo a la policía

I see the policeman - veo al policía

I see the policewoman - veo a la policía, veo a la mujer policía

Of course, these are just apps. I'd love to hear a native Spanish speaker's explanation on this.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EugeneTiffany

Me too. But there is even a problem with that where not all natives agree as a consequence of different accepted usages of Spanish in different areas of the world. And I am, as it turns out, only interested in what the Central America natives have to say. As that is the Spanish I hope to learn.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eualb
Eualb
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I'm a native spanish speaker and you are right

http://buscon.rae.es/dpd/?key=a&origen=REDPD

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hayleywil

Why veo a la policia and not yo veo la policia?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Asked by AviMarc and answered. Please read the comments before posting a question.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rdmiles2

Different question. Please read the question before posting.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Different how? AviMarc asked why is the "a" in there, and this seems to ask the same thing. Why "Veo A la policia" and not "Yo veo la policia". Unless you think the emphasis is on Yo veo vs. Veo.

In that case, it's because Spanish does not require an explicit subject when the conjugation of the verb makes it clear who the subject is. The only person who can "veo" es "yo" so the "yo" is optional and only used for emphasis. I see the police.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rdmiles2

I get where you're coming from, and I know now that you're trying to help. I assumed that haleywil didn't understand the explanation given (I still don't fully understand the concept of "a," and like you, would love to hear from a native), or that she had a question about "yo veo vs. veo."

Sometimes the explanations get bogged down in grammar jargon (personally, I am woefully ignorant in grammar rules), or don't even make much sense in English. I appreciate you trying to keep the comment section clean, but since you seem to have a solid understanding of Spanish, maybe you could re-explain things in a different way instead of "moderating" what could be legitimate questions?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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You're right, of course, the question could be answered more completely. It just exasperates me to see good questions and answers buried in a lot of "noise" in the sentence discussions. I get frustrated seeing the same question over and over instead of just an up vote, and I lose patience. I appreciate your civil tone, it makes a world of difference in a forum. Thank you.

It's called the "personal a" and I've heard that's a misnomer but that's how it's usually taught, and how I learned it. When a person is the direct object of a verb, then you use "a" between the verb and the person:

Busco mi libro I look for my book
Busco a mi hermana I look for my sister
Veo el coche I see the car
Veo al maestro I see the teacher

There are some verbs that use "con" (with) and they don't take the personal a. Hablo con mi madre, I speak with my mother.

There is a gray area where pets are concerned. Sometimes you'll see people say "Llamo el perro" and sometimes "Llamo al perro" when they want to say they are calling their dog.

I did some searching for "personal a" and found the following links that seem to do a good job explaining it and giving examples:
http://www.123teachme.com/learn_spanish/the_personal_a
http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/personal_a.htm
http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/persa.htm

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/807561
807561
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What is the rule for using "a"? Does it have to go in front of people or groups of people or something?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GrantByers

The personal a in this sentence caused me to think of a specific group of police officers rather than police the institution or a singular officer. Perhaps that is the reason for the a.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TageChr

I wonder whether veo translates to visit or meet?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/seraph9888

"i see the bacon" should be correct

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisWhatever

What?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nokkenbuer

A bad joke about the police being pigs. It's an old insult toward police officers.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/the_BACON_man

RUN

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cantrellsb

What is wrong with saying " I see the police officer?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hayleywil

So basically why a la and not just la?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ecashion

Why is "the policeman" wrong?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kaay17

Why is the answer not "i see the police officer"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lani_Mo
Lani_Mo
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Well i got right but all along i thought it was i see to the police because a means to usually, but that makes no gramatical sense so i removed the to

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kpucumo

Why policewoman ?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisWhatever

Not a policewoman but 'the police' which is a feminine noun.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NickMallar

I don't know. I watch the police in my neighborhood.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KateParnha

I used policeman but it was marked wrong

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yesyepyayayay

The "a" seemed kind of... Pointless?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lagatitabrava

Run, Duolingo, run! We'll hold off the cops for as long as we can!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GuillaumeM665887

Why can't we say "Veo la policía"? Basically without the "a"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jade139326

I thought a meant to?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jason39401
Jason39401
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Vamanos!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AyrtonSmith
AyrtonSmith
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Can someone let me know if veo is used as "meet with" as well as "see" (visually)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GuillaumeM665887

I believe you can just almost just as in English, but you would use more the verb "ver" in the past or future if you want to use it for "meet with". You would not say if you mean meeting with someone "Veo AyrtonSmith" (I see AyrtonSmith) or "Estoy viendo" (I am seeing) but you could say "Vi AyrtonSmith" (I saw Ayrtonsmith). You could also use the future "I am going to see x" translated "Voy a ver x". Not 100% sure though.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anbuaruvi

Lol

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamanthaJa11190

Hi Doug Tucker

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pwywigacz

I wrote "I can see the police" and Duolingo said it's wrong. Is it?

1 year ago
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