Jim9 is 100% correct. The 3rd person reflexive pronoun belonging to caer moves in front of the first verb. The sentence could also be written La escalera no va a caerse. The meaning is identical. Using the "ir + a + infinitive" is a short cut to express potential and future actions.
How is fall down more reflexive than fall? I assume this is a distinction in Spanish they are trying to express in English but the English doesn't really convey it.
It's just how the language works - "reflexive verbs have oneself as a direct object" is only an approximation. More examples of reflexiveness changing the meaning can be found here (ctrl+f for "meaning changes"): http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/85
An interesting one, I think, is that "to confess" is the reflexive form of "to accuse" - i.e., to confess is to accuse oneself.
i'm with you on this one, joe. Except for the obvious ones - levantarse, ducharse, etc. - I feel like reflexive pronouns often get inserted arbitrarily and/or without adhering to any firm rules.
I too have always been confused as to the difference between "fall" and "fall down".
How else is someone supposed to fall?
However, in Spanish, the reflexive form of this verb is generally used for people or accidents.
It is also interesting to note that, the reflexive pronouns are sometimes omitted in conversation, depending on the desired emphasis.
Here are some links that support this: http://study.com/academy/lesson/caer-vs-caerse.html https://www.thoughtco.com/caer-vs-caerse-3079885
Yes, it does. "se," here, means, "itself." So the meaning of the entire Spanish sentence is, " The ladder, itself, is not going to fall"
Note, I did not say that is the translation. I said that is the Spaniush sentence's meaning.
It is far more important to understand the meaning of the Spanish sentences mean than coming up with good translations.
What a Spanish sentence means and what it can translate to are two entirely different things, while some times they can be exactly alike with simple sentences, such as "Tu perror es naraña."
Good point Eugene, Meaning vs Translation. I often wonder how a Spanish speaker is hearing a sentence. For example Él nos quiere dar un perro. He us wants to give a dog or He wants to give us a dog. I once asked a Spanish friend of mine how a sentence like that is thought of or formed in his mind. He said they were both right which just kind of confused me.
According to this: http://spanish.about.com/od/verbs/a/caer-vs-caerse.htm,
caer and caerse are more or less interchangeable, however the reflexive form (with se) adds emphasis, and my indicate that the fall was accidental or surprising.
"Escalera" on its own is an ambiguous term, as it can refer to "Escalera de tijera" = Step ladder, "Escalera de mano" = Ladder, "Escalera mecánica" = escalator or also it can refer to various forms of stairway.
In real life you would have some context, in written form with no pictures it could be any of them, though most likely the first two!
You can use "escalera" for any type of ladder. In this sentence it's telling you that the ladder isn't going to fall so you would normally think of a step ladder.
More likely a ladder, methinks, as falling is more of a worrying issue for a regular or extension ladder than for a stepladder.
Doesn't mean a step ladder can't fall. But as I said, "escalera" can be used for any type so it doesn't matter. I should accept "ladder" alone too.
Yep. If ladders in category A are more likely to fall than ladders in category B, this does NOT mean that ladders in category B CAN'T fall. In fact, semantically, it strongly implies the reverse.
When I did the exercise, it gave a choice of words to use to make up the sentence, and the only choice was "stepladder"
Why cant we say "the stepladder is not going to fall over" doesnt that make more sense than "fall down"?
18/11/14 I wrote 'The ladder is going to fall OVER' and it is still not accepted!
October 28th 2015 - nothing changed.
Also once I did upvote laureannebt's comment, I could not see the date of the first comment anymore, so I could not tell DL when this was first reported in the discussion.
I reported this sentence and this bug.
As of the 11th of December, 2015 the above is still marking the answer incorrect. I will report it as well.
LoveForsberg, and the others talking about date format, it is not difficult to write May 5, 2016 - just sayin'! (That is a U.S. idiomatic expression that can mean, "Nobody asked for my opinion, but this is my advice, anyway! HA!) :-)
I put "the ladder is not going to fall over" - why is that not correct? I thought caer included "to fall over" as a meaning
Can someone help me explain how this sentence is translated to "The stepladder is not going to fall down.", rather than "The stepladder is not going to fall on him." or "He is not going to fall off the stepladder."?
I too am confused. I translated this as "The ladder is not going to fall on him" interpreting the «se» as a pronoun. Where did @angel194462 and I go wrong?
The translation is "The ladder is not going to fall down" because you are talking about the "ladder", not about someone else. Who is falling dawn is the ladder. I am going to separate the sentence literally trying to help you: "La escalera"(the ladder, that is the object here) "no se va a"(not - is going to) "caer"(fall down). "se", like Grytr said, is a pronoun, a reflexive pronoun, and it is referencing the ladder. It is reflexive because it is referencing the same object that you have said in first time, that in this case is the ladder.
OK. Thank you. I now understand I need to learn more English. This link explains the use of the English reflexive pronoun (RP): http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/pronouns/reflexive-pronouns (Spanish RPs are discussed here:http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/85 ). My issue is in learning when to ignore an RP, as in this case, and when an RP is an important part of the translation, as in the case here: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/179628. I will try to help myself (see my deliberate use of an RP there?) by reconstructing the translation thus: "The stepladder is not itself going to fall down". Of course, we would rarely write that in English but that translation gives me somewhere to put the RP. I can, and in most cases I will, remove such an RP before submitting the translation to her (I mean to DL) for grading.
It another translate. The stepladder will not fall = La escalera ( de mano) no se caera' (no se va a caer)
Grytr, Yes, "se" is a pronoun, but it is a refexive pronoun refering to the action of the ladder not a person (him).
In Mexico, the people use "la escalera" when they are speaking of an elevator.
La escalera = The ladder (more often than not). Likewise Las escaleras = The stairs (or staircase)
I to have realised that I need to learn more English in order to learn Spanish.... Just can't get my head around all these pronouns, reflexive, non reflexive, direct and indirect objects etc!!
Considering that "staircase" is an acceptable translation for "escalera," seems ot me that "stairway" should also be accepted
Duolingo accepts 'staircase' but not 'stairway'. Someone over there needs to learn a little English.
They shouldn't accept either as the Spanish use is "La escalera" = "The ladder" (or stepladder)". Las escaleras = "The stairs" (or staircase, stairway)
I got the impression from DL that escalera was ladder and escaleras was a step ladder. I figured it was because the step ladder was made of two sides. According to other's comments, this is wrong?
Revisiting this a year later, it is not as clear cut as I believed and had been told by native speakers (from particular regions). I have checked with several dictionaries, linguee.com, google image search etc to get an idea of usage.
Quote: "This is a case where you can't go directly from one word in English to one word in Spanish. In this case you can mix it up and still come out just fine." http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/180098/escaleras-vs.-escalera
The answers in various dictionaries and image search, suggest that escalera is ladder, staircase, stairway and escaleras are stairs and also sometimes ladders, stairways etc.
If you want to be clear you can add descriptive words to define exactly what type of escalera you are talking about. E.g.
Escalera espiral or caracol = Spiral staircase
Escalera de mano = Stepladder, ladder
Escalera de incendio = Fire escape
Escalera mecánica = Escalator
Escaleras also mean stairs, but because I said stair because it said escalera singular I thought it would make sense... It said it was staircase.. I think I was right..
2016-08-05: "The ladder is not going to fall over" is still not accepted, with the correct DL answer given as "... fall down". The definitions for "caer" in the very problem itself include "fall" and "fall over", but not "fall down". I've reported this (again, given the prior comments).
".... fall over" - should be accepted. ".... fall down." is rare, it would have to fall down from something, like a table or hillside. A person can fall down a ladder....
I said "fall over," and no dice. I do not see the difference btwn fall over and fall down. Right?
As the reflexive means to fall over or fall down i think it should figure in the translation. But it doesn't. Strange.
I think I win the prize for the funniest way to get this wrong! I had a typo in "down," so mine said, "The ladder is not going to fall dawn." HA!
I thought "no se" was, i don't know. I typed "i don't know if the ladder is going to fall"
The steps or stepladder are not going to fall would be OK but how can stairs fall? Stairs collapse, they do not fall in English. Anyone understand what DL is trying to say here?
Something wrong here!! My answer was "the stair is not going to fall" and DL came back with "stairs". Definitely something wrong!
My translation was "the stairway is not going to fall." Apparently it wanted me to say "the staircase is not going to fall." (No mention whatsoever of "stepladder). Tell me, what is the difference between a stairway and a staircase?????