Because "ellas" means "they," not "the girls." They could be referring to older women, or babies, for instance.
@Darmok you just described age, we're talking about gender. why would you choose to say Ellas escriben if there were men, or even men and women doing the writing? only the masculine form encompasses both genders I thought?
Because this is practice. This statement is talking about a group (they), all of which are female (ellas) with no knowledge of ages. Using mujer, ninas, ninos, etc. is putting more detail than is known from the statement. What IS known is that there are femailes in this group so why not address it that way (Ellas)? If you said Ellos there are or could be men in the group. We know that is not true using Ellas.
But just earlier I had question where "ellas" referred to a singular girl. Specifically "she". When do i know it's plural?
Ella is singular and ellas is plural. What you describe is a mistake either in duolinguo or your memory.
The masculine form does encompass both genders when there is both genders in the group you are describing is when you would leave it in its masculine form even though there are women in the group
@aterburn1 - I wrote "The girls write." Why is this wrong?
Hola arterburn1. You have a valid question here. A lot of our fellow duo users have left a bunch of comments.
However, I still feel like there is just a little more that could still be added to this discussion. In particular, the I want to mention two ideas that I think are very important and took me awhile to get my head around.
The first concept that I feel that needs to be addressed is that Spanish is a Heavily Inflected Noun Class language while English is not.
What does that mean? For starters the heavily inflected part means that the pronunciation and spelling for many word change when their grammatical rolls change.
Like the inflection of the Spanish verb meaning "to be" changes through declension as in the following examples: Yo son...
What's the difference between the different uses? Escribe, escribes, etc.?
I write=yo escribo, you write=tú escribes, él/ella escribe, nosotros escribimos, vosotros escribís, ellos/ellas escriben
"Vosotros" is informal 2nd person plural. I know, it's a mouthful. I think of it as the spanish version of "y'all". Verbs used with it do have a different conjugation, and it is used in some, but not all, hispanohablantes countries.
if you scroll to the the word "escriben", it gives you the option to conjugate, which then shows you a table of the verb conjugated with different pronouns.
Escriben means (they/you/plural) write, escribo means (I) write, escribes means (you) write, escribimos means (we) write or wrote, and escribe means (he/she/it) writes, (you-formal) write. Hope this helps!
So this has been done to death a bit! Sorry but another "Ellas" question. I'm happy with this just translating into "they write" in english BUT would a spanish speaker using this sentence in conversation expect to covey the gender of the person writing?
If not is "Ellas" chosen over "Ellos" for any reason such as the verb escribir being feminine itself? or would either be acceptable with neither conveying any gender information?
The verb has no gender at all. However, the Spanish 'they' must be according to the gender of the actual agent.
Out of context, if you have to translate 'they write' to Spanish, all 'Ellos escriben', 'Ellas escriben' and 'Escriben' are correct.
Does this answer your question?
escriben sounds like "scribe", and in biblical times, they had scribes. the scribes would write a lot and that is how I remember! *:)
I would have spelled 'Ellas' wrong if I had forgotten that 2 l's make the 'y' sound.
I now know what Ellas is .... I have always been mistaken this as Ella hahaha :) Well now I know Ellas is They is famine and Ella is She
Because 'nosotros' means 'we', and the part of the verb to use is 'escribimos'. 'Escriben' is the verb ending for 'ellos/ellas/ustedes'.
Im loving spanish so far but why do men have to be masculine and women feminine?
All of our comments are the same, however, as ELLOS is boys or they, and ELLAS has to be girls only.
dear "Darmok" actually it is basically saying "the girl writes" but "arterburn1" I guess they don't accept that cause they want people to know how to talk proper Spanish I guess
It's actually saying 'they write'. If you are reading the Spanish you know that 'they' are all females, whereas in English you don't.
Words ending in 's' will generally be plural. 'Ella' is 'she', whereas 'ellas' is 'they'.
I wish they would teach us how to say present tense things such as "They are writing" or "I am reading the newspaper". Cuz really when would you ever say "They drink" in a normal conversation..
Maybe someone can help me for to go along with the word "Ellas" I chose "escriben" instead of "escribe". I understood that escribe is used for "él/ella/usted (singular) and "escriben" is used for "ellos/ellas/ustedes". It dinged me wrong. Am I wrong?
I looked it up at dummies.com and it is telling me I'm write. Is this Duoligo's mistake? Should I report it? Or am I wrong for choosing "escriben" to go with "ellas"?
Escriben is the right answer for ellas, are you sure about your spelling? If the answer is positive, you can report it.
'Ella' is singular and translates as the singular 'she'. As English does not differentiate between male and female in the plural, 'ellas' can only mean 'they'.
As 'ellas' is plural, it needs the plural form of the verb, which is 'escriben'.
'Ella' is singular and means 'she'. 'Ellas' is plural. The plural of 'he/she' in English is 'they'
Since "ellas" means girls can it mean a group of girls since it has an "a"
'Ellas' doesn't mean girls. It is a plural pronoun, not a plural noun, and means 'they'
I wrote 'They write' but it said it was incorrect and then told me it was exactly that! Why does thus app keep telling me i am wring when i have written exactly what they say is the answer?!?! So frustrating