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  5. "Tienes poca agua."

"Tienes poca agua."

Translation:You have little water.

December 18, 2012



Is this a distinct sentence from "You have a little water"? "un poco de agua" would be more like "A little bit of water," methinks...


Youthinks correctly - there is a distinction. :)

● The meaning of《tener poco/poca | to have little》is having something So little/few amountwise that it's:

  • running low/ there's pretty much next to nothing (so to speak);

  • not enough for what ever that something is used or needed for.

  • E.g. -"¿Vamos al restaurante por la noche?"; -"No puedo... Tengo poco dinero." || -"Shall we go to the restaurant tonight?"; -"I can't... I don't have enough money (I have little money)."

● The phrase《UN poco DE》stands for《A little (bit) OF》, e.g:

  • Tienes un poco de agua. | You have a little bit of water.

  • Hablo un poco de español. | I speak a little bit of Spanish.

  • Tenemos on poco de dinero. | We have a little bit of money.

  • Él toma un poco de leche. | He takes/drinks a little bit of milk.


Hacu since you have answered a lot of questions about "un poco de," could you please clarify why "poco" does not change to agree with gender?

I have encountered "un poco de agua" and don't understand why it isn't "una poca de agua," since there aren't any stressed As that can run into each other as with "la agua." Any insight? Thank you!


It should be accepted.


So why is "You have a little water" not the correct translation particularly when poco/poca also means "a little"?


Having "little" water (poco agua) is emphasis on "not very much", as if you are in danger of running out. Having "a little" water (un poco de agua) is more optimistic or neutral - simply a statement of how much water you have..


"Tienes poca agua" would normally be expressed in American English as "you have a little water" (emphasis on what you do have) or "you have very little water"/"you have just a little water" (emphasis on your paucity of water). It may be correct to say "You have little water," but it would rarely be used in normal conversation. I think "you have a little water" should be accepted by DL & I let them know.


That would actually be: "Tienes un poco de agua."

  • "Tener poco/poca | to have little" is running low on/ not having enough of something [emphasis on what there "isn't"]

  • The phrase "un poco de" means "a little (bit) of" [emphasis on what there is].


I understood the Spanish to mean "you don't have much water", but wasn't sure if it would be accepted. "You have little water" is not really idiomatic English, at least in America.


I have little doubt that the phrase is vernacular, at least in England. The important thing is that you understand and that you understand the Spanish usage. I can't believe how many comments this thread attracts. It keeps me subscribed.


I wrote You have little water. It was accepted.


English has different meanings of 'you have little water' and 'you have a little water', though here the sentence seems to accept both. Is there a difference between the two? If yes, how do we show it?


Seems to me that it's the difference between 'Tengo poca agua' and 'Tengo un poco de agua'. The first meaning I don't have a lot (half empty if you like) and the second meaning I do have some (half full). Don't get me wrong, I keep getting this wrong but I would probably translate 'a little' to 'un poco' and 'poco' to just 'little'


I translated this as "Have a little water", using the implied (you) for an imperative statement. Duo marked this as incorrect. Are imperative conjugations different in Spanish?

  • 2332

Yes, the imperative is different from present indicative. Tener is irregular and is conjugated as

(tú) ten; no tengas

(Ud.) tenga

(nosotros) tengamos [let's have]

(vosotros) tengáis

(Uds.) tengan


Why is it "poca agua" instead of "poco agua"? Isn't "agua" masculine?


agua is feminine. It begins with a "stressed A" making the pronunciation of la agua awkward. All (I think) feminine nouns that begin with a stressed A will use the masc. def. article el to avoid this. Plural will revert to the feminine (las aguas) and the adjectives will use the feminine form.


wow thanks for the question @Electricharp and the answer @Howard61


Ah, thanks a bunch!


But it's still a stressed A, if you say poca agua?


Sorry, but I didn't really answer your question. The 'a' in poca isn't stressed. It is a descending, unstressed 'a' followed by the stressed 'a' in agua. In terms of the stress, 'poca agua' is up, down, up, down. 'La' has an ascending 'a' making 'la agua' sound as up, up, down. Native speakers find the two stressed a's in a succession awkward.


You are correct. I'm native Spanish speaker. It is correct "poca agua", but sometimes that we say "poco agua", although this latter isn't correct.


I think the most important detail here is the sound. When you say 'la agua' it sounds awkward, you can't hear the 2 'a'. But when 'agua' as an adjective, the word 'agua' is put far from the article. In this case, it doesn't sound awkward anymore.


Howard you are all right except when you say "either way would be ok". The masculine article is ONLY used for definite articles i.e el agua. Any other way, even with "poca agua" is wrong. Im native Spanish speaker and surprisingly it only sounds awkward with la agua. Poca agua sounds fine. Like anyway, you explain great


hey .. we have the same picture. :D


I can't really hear what the difference is myself. Either way would be ok. But when I first ran into this, I looked up a lot of different explanations. Here is one:


I'm just hoping someday it makes sense and that my ear can hear the difference.

Edit------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I phrased that wrong. I meant to say that neither la agua nor el agua sound awkward to me. Thank you AlonsoBust for pointing that out. It was late.


Not that you would use it, but would you say "una agua", or "un agua"?


You might say "un agua mineral, por favor". According to the Royal Spanish Academy, the correct form would be "un agua". Referenced from http://www.rae.es/consultas/el-agua-esta-agua-mucha-agua, the definite and indefinite articles are used in the masculine form if immediately proceeding the noun. Adjectives remain feminine.
Examples to sum up their rules: el agua, el agua clara, la misma agua, un agua, esta agua, esa agua, toda el agua


Wow, that is really confusing. Gendered nouns are still hard for me to understand, and now I learn that some nouns don't even stick to the same gender article all the time?


Wow that was about as clear as "agua" mixed with "suelo"... "barro"!


Agua is feminine but in spanish there is a spelling rule that does that words that starts with the sound "A"(aguila, agua, hacha...) in singular can carry the masculine article so your answer must be correct


That´s what I thought too but I think both work.


"a little water" is wrong? In English, that means a small amount, not a small size.


I would normally say "You have hardly any water." The sentence "You hardly have any water" is debating whether or not that have any, isn't it?


No, "hardly any" would stand in for "little" here. If you have hardly any water, you have some, but not much (i.e., very little).

In English, there's a differentiation between "few" and "little": "muy poco vino" ("very little wine") and "muy pocos niños" ("very few children"). "Poco" works for both these meanings.

"Hardly" however, behaves like a negative, which gets us into arcane grammatical territory beyond this discussion. Someone who knows more about Spanish might know why "hardly any" should or shouldn't be accepted here by Duolingo.


I was thinking to use "You don't have much water" because that is the way we would tend to say it in English, even if it isn't the direct translation of the Spanish -- "You have little water" is a bit too formal for normal discourse, isn't it? Sounds like something Strider would say.


Can someone explain to me why ´a little bit of water´is incorrect?


Because it carries a different distinction, and translates to 'un poco de agua'.

● The meaning of《tener poco/poca | to have little》is having something So little/few that it's running low/ isn't enough.

  • Tengo poco dinero para comer. | I don't have enough money for food. [I have little money for food; negative having.]

● The phrase《un poco de》stands for《a little (bit) of》.

  • Tengo un poco de dinero para comer. | I have a little bit of money for food. [I have some money that can be spent for food.]


why is apenas not used?


What I found out about apenas is that its a matter of degree. In other words apenas would be the least amount and pocos may be considered to be little but it could be less. Very fine distinction so I guess context matters.


Because apenas means "hardly".


why "some" is not accepted?


Here's a link to Quantity Adjectives http://spanish.about.com/od/adjectives/a/adjectives_quantity.htm As you will see [algún, alguna, algunos, algunas ] translate to some/any. Hope this helps.


Because "some" could mean fifty million gallons; i.e., any amount more than zero.


if agua"" is masculine, how come poca is "right"and poco is "wrong?

  • 2332

Because agua is not masculine. See great explanations above.


as to def. of poca : this could read 'you have little water' or 'you have a little water' which have distinct connotations. Can anyone clarify please


I was marked wrong for "You have a little water." Will protest this date, 11Jan15.


● The meaning of 《tener poco/poca | to have little》 is having something so little (/few) that it's:

  • running low/ pretty much next to nothing (so to speak) ;

  • not enough for what ever that something is used or needed for.

  • E.g. -"¿Vamos al restaurante por la noche?"; -"No puedo... Tengo poco dinero." || -"Shall we go to the restaurant tonight?"; -"I can't... I don't have enough money (I have little money)."

● The phrase 《UN poco DE -》 stands for 《A little (bit) OF -》 e.g.

  • Tienes un poco de agua. | You have a little bit of water.

  • Hablo un poco de español. | I speak a little bit of Spanish.

  • Tenemos on poco de dinero. | We have a little bit of money.

  • Él toma un poco de leche. | He takes/drinks a little bit of milk.


Is this latinamerican spanish or spanish from Spain... I know water is el agua not la agua.#confused


In Colombia they use 'el agua', and complain how Spaniards use 'la agua'.


Accidentally typed wattet instead of watter and it didn't accept it. Is wattet an English word that I've never heard of?


How would you say "have a little water." ?


"You have a little water." is still not accepted.


If you mean it like: "You have a little [bit of] water."; the Spanish sentence would be: "Tienes un poco de agua.", which is not correct here.

  • "Tener poco/poca | to have little" is running low on/ not having enough of something. [Emphasizes what there "isn't"]

  • The phrase "un poco de (algo)" means "a little/bit of (something)". [Emphasizes what there is]


If agua is feminine, why have I seen the term "agua frio" used? I also learned it's "el agua".


Because of the stressed vowel beginning. Go to the original poster at the top and read the replies. I'm sorry about that link. At the time I posted it, it was in english. Also, agua frio isn't correct.


So why isn't this interchangeable with "You have 'a' little water". Can't the indefinite article be implied? I don't think "una" would normally be used in the Spanish here, although we can use it in English without changing the meaning.


I've tried "You have some water" but it got me wrong. Can't "poca" be used as "some" then? In any case?


Where does the "got" come from? I wrote 'You have a little water' the corrected below said" You have got a little water" the program marked mine wrong.


What's wrong with 'you have a little water'?


Whats wrong with "you have a little water"?


i wrote, "You have a little water" and it was marked wrong.


I put 'You have a little water' this was corrected to 'You have got a little water' where did 'got' come from,?


The word 'got' is not needed!


Isn't water in its singular form masculine and fem in the plural ?

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