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  5. "Ellos han llamado a la polic…

"Ellos han llamado a la policía."

Translation:They have called the police.

September 27, 2013



i'm glad you two have sorted it out - I was about to call the police!!


I got this sentence immediately after being asked if i have touched an elephant. Bit worried about the next one....


Is the use of the "a" here, the personal "a" or is it used in the context of "to the police". If it is the personal "a" is it because the police would be considered a profession, thank you


Len, it is the personal a because the police are people too :-). Take a look at my serveral comments above. I still think that police is not an indirect object which would necesitate "le" before the verb as well as "a la policia". I think it is a direct object with no obligation for a preceding pronoun. Now watch the comments come rolling in.


I thought that strangers with no personal connection didn't get an "a". If I were calling a plumber would he get a personal "a"?


I really struggled with this myself. It turns out the rules for the personal "a" contain some intricacies. It doesn't matter if the person is a stranger to you or not. Its true that the "a" is not used when saying something like "I need a plumber". That's because the "a" is not used for common names for people ("comunes de persona") that are preceded by an indefinite article (e.g. a plumber) and where such names are the direct objects of verbs that mean "búsqueda, preferencia o necesidad", e.g. "necesito un plomero".

However it is used "before collective names of people whose reference is determined or well-known", e.g. "la policía". You can view the whole list in the link below, link is entirely in Spanish language though: http://lema.rae.es/dpd/srv/search?id=ctMgM8Bp2D6ELPuNfg


Thanks a lot Melita, I appreciate the help\


@Melita2 I agree with you. It would be reflexive if "they" called the police "for me".


I have read two explanations for why the "a" is there. One is that it is the personal "a" and that's it's required even if you're calling a building, such as a school or hospital, because you're not actually calling the building; instead, you're calling people in the building. When it comes to telephoning a building, I'm not sure that the "personal a" explanation is really correct.

That said, the "a" is still required (according to other people) because it clears up confusion. "Llamar" has several meanings. If you say simply "llamar el hospital," that would imply that you are calling it something, or giving it a name. If you are calling by phone, you'd say "llamar al hospital." So, in other words, when you are calling someone or someplace via telephone, you should use "llamar a" to clarify your meaning.

Whether it's the "personal a" or it's an "a" used to clarify the meaning of llamar, just remember that if you're calling someone or some place by telephone, use "llamar a." Hope this helps.


I do not believe the "a" here is a personal "a". Por ejemplo: You could say; "Ellos han llamado a un taxi or ...un taxi. It is also correct to say: Ellos han llamado a la ambulancia / a los bomberos. In all these cases there is no personal "a" but rather an urgency in the call.


Snitches get stitches


Why not: Ellos le han llamando a la policia. ? We had many lessons about those "necessary" indirect object pronouns...


Hola Amigo rspreng: Thanks for the link.


Hola Amigo Talca: I would have thought so, too.


This is not an indirect pronoun, policía is the direct object with the persona a. The use of le would be incorrect.


Hola Amiga Melita2: Yes, it certainly looks like that could be true, but unfortunately in this case it is not. In this case, "policía" is the INDIRECT object. Why? Because we are calling "TO the police". So "le" could be used, but it is not mandatory. Chau.


Hola Lisagnipura, What about this? http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=llamar I think llamar is transitive and calls for a direct object.


Hola Melita2: Thanks for the link. However, you will notice in the list of your reference, the fourth line down: the use of "llamar" as we are using it in this sentence:("telefonear"). It is is INtransitive and therefore takes no direct object.. Even the example shown is similar to our sentence: "Te llamo mañana" -- "te" is the indirect object. So.....to reiterate, in the sentence we are discussing, "le" can be used, but is not mandatory. Chau.


"They have called to the police" marked as incorrect. I'm wondering why.


That isn't English.


English is the only language I speak at all well and I was able to read and understand it, so I think it is in fact English.

I could see using something like that. You call to someone but they don't hear you. For instance, say the police were on the other side of a windy ravine from them. “They have called to the police, but the police did not hear them.” Seems like a reasonable usage. Maybe not a common phrase, but perhaps useful in noisy rescue situations, mountain sides, rapids, storms….


I hope it's not the jazz police.


Finally duolingo is teaching me the phrases I will actually need in Latin America


Thanks for helpful link which indicates that it would be optional in the sentence above, but is it more common to include it?


If policia were an indirect object, then the indirect object pronoun preceding the verb would not be optional, it would be obligatory.


Hola Amiga Melita2: That always seems to be taught in beginning Spanish classes, but it is not always the case. (In any discussion of grammar, beware of the words "always" and "never"!!) Here are some links that explain: http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/190367/redundant-use-of-indirect-object-pronouns////spanish.about.com › ... › Parts of Speech › Pronouns////http://forums.tomisimo.org/showthread.php?t=12449//////////////Chau.


Lisagnipura, gracias por no exasperarte conmigo. Es la primera vez que escucho esto, te lo agradezco. Melita


Hola Melita2: No hay de que. Me gusta mucho ayudar a los usarios de Duo. No reclamo de saber todo, pero lo que yo sepa, yo comparto. También, cada día aprendo algo. Duo no es perfecto, pero más vale que nada. Chau.


I got this question wrong like, five times. I finally got it right though!


Shouldn't "they have talked to the police" work?


i hate that i need to learn english weird grammar when i want to learn spanish -,- spanish grammar is similiar to italian polish and many others but duolingo only have "spanish-english" pfffffffff... who needs all that tenses -,-


And why not..They called the police...


"They called the police" should be accepted, as 'have' is understood, and unnecessary.


That would be preterite, not present perfect

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