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  5. "They are going to put their …

"They are going to put their hand here."

Translation:Ellos van a poner su mano aquí.

December 24, 2012



If more then one person puts their hand in (ellas) then there should be more than one hand... thus "sus manos"


I am spanish and for me the phrase is correct.

If you say "su mano" I understand that each one is going to put one hand there. If you say "sus manos" then it can be a bit confusing because can means the same that the precedent sentence and it can means that each one is going to put both hands there.

I think that the same happens in English and the original phrase has hand in singular, so must be translated in singular.


Actually, I would normally say, "They are going to put their hands here," and not, "They are going to put their hand here." The people are not sharing a single hand that they will put "here". If I wanted to be explicit about a one-person-one-hand situation, I would say, "Each person is going to put a hand here."

But to me, "They ... put their hand here" is just plain WEIRD. (Unless they had co-ownership of a hand, or something.)


Naaaah. Think about and introduction to a job at a security station of some kind. Some area where each person gets their hand scanned by something. Someone is showing you all the things you need to do in your new job... He says "They are going to walk up to here, they are going to put their hand here, you scan the hand, they move along."

It does make sense if only for this strange hypothetical situation.


I dunno. Maybe I'm too literal-minded, but I would still say, "They are each going to walk up to here, they are each going to put their (presumably) right hand here. You scan the hand. They move along."

The use of "each" is imperative in determining the distinction between an item shared among the group versus each individual's own example of that item.

If you changed the item from "hand" (which - barring total losses of hands - everyone has at least one of) to "debit card" (which not everyone has, not everyone would choose to use, but which can be shared), then making the distinction between the three following sentences is imperative:

1) "They are going to put their debit card here." (Multiple people, one shared card.)

2) "They are going to put their debit cards here." (Multiple people, multiple cards, presumably no shared cards.)

3) "They are each going to put their debit card here." (Multiple people, one card per person.)

But, then again, I may be too literal-minded. Still, presuming "common sense" - which is what caiser is effectively proposing above - can actually get you into trouble if the assumption your common sense tells you to hold is fundamentally untrue. (If, for example, the hand in question is an object that is shared by multiple people.)


I think part of the confusion (as someone else mentioned in this thread) is that, in English, "they" can be singular or plural depending on the context.

For instance (keeping with the security guard training reference from earlier):

"If a PERSON comes to the door, THEY will put their HAND here to gain access."

"When PEOPLE come to the door THEY will put their HANDS here to gain access."

My second example is slightly ambiguous because, as you pointed out, it could either mean each person must put one hand "here" or each person must put BOTH hands "here." Without knowing the context of where "here" is or what precisely is needed to gain access we can't be sure.


This "they/their" to me is in place of his/her.


thats because the word "they" refers to a single indefinite person there.

in English "they" can be used both as a third person plural pronoun and a third person singular pronoun if it is referring to a vague or indefinite person, especially when their gender is not known.


Agreed. I posted a similar comment about this issue previously. I wanted to know if this sounds normal to a native speaker because to a native English speaker this does sound like this group is putting a collectively shared hand somewhere and that sounds...iffy.


Yes, English speakers commonly use singular hand and it is a result of sloppy thinking and speech. Most people will understand if you say "their hand": people who listen with more precision will analyze to decide what it is you really mean.


is it okay to say "Van a ponerse la mano aquí"?

(or "se van a poner etc."?)


If "aquí" refers to their own body yes.

Imagine you are discussing the location of a clip on a rucksack or some gear you carry on you. If you say something like: it's not a good idea to place the clip there because when sitting, they will put their hands there (on that spot from their body, clothes or gear they carry) and release the clip without noticing.

Van a ponerse la mano aquí y soltar el cierre

That would do, but if the location "aquí" is for instance a lift button, it won't work


Interesting, thanks very much :)


I don't know about Spanish but in English "they" can be used as a singular pronoun i.e. referring to only one person as a gender-neutral pronoun.


I put "la mano" instead of "su mano" here due to the usage of the definite article instead of the possessive pronoun in Spanish in a lot of cases. Maybe it doesn't apply here though.


"la mano" is correct...


So why isn't it "la mano"?


In English we would never attribute a singular hand to multiple people. Even though the Spanish is singular, the English translation should be plural - "They are going to put their hands here."


They only have ONE hand between them?


¿Porque no "ellos van a poner SUS manos aquí? Ayudarme


Obviously, if it’s they, then it must be more than one hand involved.

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