"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...

March 23, 2013


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.

January 13, 2017


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!

January 16, 2019


It should be accepted.

January 9, 2015


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

December 28, 2014


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..

January 13, 2017


"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.

April 20, 2015


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].

January 13, 2017


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.

May 24, 2018


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.

May 24, 2018


I wrote You have little water. It was accepted.

March 10, 2013


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?

December 5, 2013


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'

October 16, 2016


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?

July 21, 2014

  • 1759

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

November 11, 2014


Thanks :)

November 12, 2014


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

October 23, 2013


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.

October 29, 2013


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

March 29, 2014


Ah, thanks a bunch!

October 29, 2013


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

January 4, 2014


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.

January 5, 2014


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.

January 27, 2014


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.

January 5, 2015


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

January 5, 2014


hey .. we have the same picture. :D

January 29, 2014


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.

January 5, 2014


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

May 1, 2014


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

May 1, 2014


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?

June 5, 2015


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

October 10, 2016


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

July 26, 2015


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

October 24, 2013


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

December 22, 2014


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?

December 18, 2012


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.

January 17, 2014


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.

December 19, 2014


I agree!

December 20, 2014


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

December 29, 2013


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.]
January 13, 2017


why is apenas not used?

January 16, 2013


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.

July 8, 2013


Because apenas means "hardly".

July 1, 2018


why "some" is not accepted?

July 23, 2013


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.

July 23, 2013


thanks :D

July 24, 2013


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

April 3, 2014


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

July 22, 2014

  • 1759

Because agua is not masculine. See great explanations above.

November 11, 2014


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

September 21, 2014


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

January 11, 2015


● 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.

January 13, 2017


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

October 23, 2015


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

January 28, 2016


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

February 4, 2016


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

February 17, 2016


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

June 3, 2016


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]

January 13, 2017


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

July 15, 2016


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.

July 16, 2016


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.

October 10, 2016


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

February 28, 2017


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.

March 9, 2017


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

May 13, 2017


Whats wrong with "you have a little water"?

June 4, 2017


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

June 12, 2017


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

October 10, 2017


The word 'got' is not needed!

April 29, 2018


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

May 13, 2018
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