That sentence does not mean, "I speak English, I am a duck," actually. Go look up the word, "pato," and see what it is slang for. It's a pretty rude sentence, really.
It reminds me of the time I was waiting tables and had a table (the last table of the night) of two hispanic women. I happened to mention that I really wanted to learn to speak Spanish because it was such a beautiful language. I said, "What other language can you talk about food in and sound so sexy? Like, tortillas..." and I rolled the 'R' and said it slow and sensually.
For no reason they both just about fell out of thier seats laughing. I finally got them to explain. It turns out that, "tortilla," also has a slang meaning...
Su/sus = his, her, your (formal) or their. You would not use su to mean your after using tú, the familiar form of you. You would use su if you had used usted, but muestras would then be replaced with muestra.
You could also use su if you were trying to say: You show his/her/their belt.
Here is a context that I can imagine Manyginger. I am thinking of "You show your belt." as a simple statement of instructive fact. A person has been invited to a costume party whose host has set as a requirement that everyone who attends must wear a belt of some sort and that to actually be included in the festivities there is only one thing every invitee has to do at the doorway to this party. You show your belt. The host doesn't care what shape, color, or size it is. You just have to show it before the host will allow you in.
Ok. learned that linguistically this is not a working solution/use. Thank you ashleyrich. How about this same scenario and one person asks the other. "So, how will I get into the costume party" and the first person replies "You show your belt". Would this be ok in this non-imperative form?
These phrases and sentences are not always common sayings. It helps to remember the main purpose is to illustrate whatever the lesson is about and give us practice putting together the correct constructions.
Since we have a relatively small vocabulary so far, there aren't many word choices available, so the sentences can be goofy, awkward or odd things that no one would ever actually say, but as long as they are grammatically correct, they serve the purpose for teaching us. The good thing is, they are sometimes quite ridiculous and good for a laugh.
Compare the verb form with your proposed subject. In this case, MUESTRAS does indeed match the subject form Tú, with the accent, and does not match the 3rd person noun CINTURON.
Another clue would be, are there any ME's hanging around. It could be one of those roundabout wordings you were wondering about if the ME is in front of or possibly attached to the end of the verb.
Hope that helps!
Eugene, I misled you a bit. The nouns (and pronouns) are separated into 1st, 2nd, and 3rd persons as I said, but that's not declining nouns.
To decline nouns (and pronouns) they are listed in the different forms they take: nominative (subject), accusative (direct object), dative (indirect object), genitive (possessive), in gender, and all their plurals.
Some languages have many declensions (Latin, Hungarian, Finnish), some have hardly any (English, Spanish), and some are in between (German).
The pronouns tend to retain the declensions - you're encountering those in Spanish (yo, me, mi-, etc) , and there are a few left in English (I, me, mine,etc.)
Word order replaces declination, in general. Jan 20, 2015
In response to RKeeley and Rickydito:
In English, a sentence is active voice when the verb does not have some form of the verb "to be" as an auxiliary/helping verb in the predicate. A sentence with any form of the verb "to be" as a helping verb is in passive voice. Besides other things that it can do, the passive voice turns the direct object (DO) into the subject of the sentence. For example:
Active Voice: Juan shows his belt. Passive Voice: His belt is showing OR His belt is shown by Juan.
Active Voice: Juan throws the ball. Passive Voice: The ball is thrown OR The ball is thrown by Juan.
The passive voice has the ability to "hide" who is responsible for throwing the ball.
It probably should be. Although "muestras" is simple present tense and "showing" is present progressive, English sometimes uses the latter in cases where Spanish uses the former.
Specifically, they both use the simple present for habitual actions and generalizations. They both use the present progressive for continuous actions that are currently in progress. But for actions that are happening at the moment, Spanish tends to use simple present and English tends to use present progressive (although simple present is not incorrect for this in English). As an aside, Spanish never uses the present progressive for the near future, but English often does.
Since you ask, the present progressive in Spanish uses "estoy" along with a conjugation of the action verb that suffixes the stem with "-ando" or "-iendo." So, in this case, "Tú estás mostrando tu cinturón" would be "You are (in the process of) showing your belt."
I got this question twice, once as a "translate this text" version, and once as a multiple choice. One of the multiple choice options was "Tú mostrarías tu cinturón." (I figured muestras was correct, but also thought mostrarías would be correct so I chose that to check and see, and I got it wrong. Couldn't one say "Tú mostrarías tu cinturón." using the conditional: You would show your belt .. if your shirt was too short, for example?
Colen, I agree, the context is unclear. "You show your belt" would more likely be a command in English. However, in the Spanish sentence, " show your belt" as a command would be MUESTRE. So now we know it isn't a command.
In English, we would most likely use "You are showing your belt" rather than "you show your belt", but Spanish uses those two present tenses differently than we do. I guess we just have to get used to the slightly different ways of expressing them.
I have found Practice Makes Perfect Spanish Verb Tenses extremely helpful ( http://www.amazon.com/Practice-Perfect-Spanish-Tenses-Edition/dp/0071639306# ), even better than the very helpful Study Spanish Grammar ( http://www.studyspanish.com/tutorial.htm ).
I got dinged for submitting, "You show its belt" where the belt belongs to a doll. I reported Duolingo's error and could check the box declaring that my answer was right, but I could not check the box which allowed me enter an explanation. Though that box worked fine twenty minutes ago.
Your mention of tutu reminded me of when I was little, of how I used to make little ballerinas out of cellophane candy wrappers in different colors; a little knot of the thing, some twisting, some pressing, and I got my little colored ballerinas doing the attitude, the pirouette, and those other stuff in hard-to-pronounce French names, all lined up and stuck to a wall.
Now, I'm really cluttering up the page!
When the stingy Reply allowances run out I just move up to the first Reply button available in the string and use it. Sometimes it is necessary to name the person who wrote the commnent I am replying about. I am doing that right now. And that appears to be what you must have done, too. The trick works usually well, except for the time when the Web Master had the messages showing above each other instead of under which was really screwy.
It follows the same pattern as the -ar verbs except that you replace the "i" of the "ir" ending to "e" for ella/él/usted: (Note: "escribir" [and many others] is an irregular verb (at least, partly irregular); irregular verbs have their own 'world' :))
You may want to check out http://spanishdict.com; Click on "Menu", then select "Conjugate" and enter whatever verb you want to see a conjugation of.
So, the verb conjugations are based solely on the person doing the action of the verb, the subject of the sentence. Mostrar becomes muestras because tú is the person doing it.
The belt itself has no bearing on the verb. So you could have: tú muestras tu cinturón (one belt) or tú muestras tus cinturones (multiple belts).
This is the first time I have observed one of the "cartoon characters" used in these drills actually conveying meaning - it has a visible cinturon! Otherwise I think the cutesy cartoon characters are distractions. There is a pictographic system called Widgit http://widgit.com/products/symwriter/index.htm and it could be used with all languages. Visual learners do very well with it.
No. Although they are the same in English, in Spanish the form of the verb is different for imperatives. "Muestras" is indicative (i.e., the verb form that indicates that something is so).
As a rule, the informal (tú) imperative is the same as the formal (Ud.) indicative. So, in this case, a command would use "muestra."
Any thinking that the Duolingo sentences need to be evaluated ffor credibility is a gross mistake. Wrong, The only thing that matters is whether or whether not one is able to read and understand the sentences as they are presented.. Would a professional Translator stop the person he or she is translating for and say, "Sir, I wouldn't say that. Back home where I come from we would put it differently." No, This never happens. A real Translator translates what there is to translate while hosting no personal opinion about a sentence's quality or style, or usefulness.
Prolly! But you will learn more easily working with what Duolingo teaches in its striving to make things as simple as possible, that is, just as it teaches, instead of trying to rewrite the textbook on the fly making things much more complex. Just look at the top of the page to see the answer which is the best one to use and go with it. The way anyone likes to say things is irrelevant.
This isn't a classroom. They don't even really teach conjugations much in classrooms aside from 5 min of "here, this is how these conjugate" because there are so many irregularities. Why would you just guess if you'll be upset if you're wrong? You can obviously look all the conjugations up in a dictionary or wordreference.
There could be a case of a winner of a rodeo contest who earns the all - around cowboy award belt and they wear it proudly to show it off. There may be onlookers who recognize it and say to the winner, "You show your belt." I might add today on the end, or put it in present continuous tense for making more sense. But, at least it could happen!
Most of this discussion is many years old, but since the meaning does not appear to be settled in over 200 postings (the longest dicussion threads i have found, I might add) I'll make a suggestion. Most efforts to give this a colloquial or idiomatic meaning are two literal-karate, plumbers, etc. I suggest we (DL learners) give this a more figurative meaning. Henceforth, "You show your belt" or more appropriately, "Tu muestras tu cinturon" (sorry no accents) will be a phase said at the end of a big meal when one person in particular has eaten well. Fellow diners will say "You show your belt" in reference to the big eater's distended belly-suggesting how the full belly pushes ones belt out. Just sayin' now back to work.