"Ella presenta a su hombre."
For English action verbs, the present indicative form is ONLY used for the habitual tense and the narrative present, and there is no evidence that she habitually presents her man, nor that this is one event in a play-by-play narration. Otherwise, the present progressive is used in English. Thus the use of the present progressive versus present indicative in English is quite different from that in Spanish — something which the Spanish+English staff at Duolingo hasn't caught onto yet (although German+English staff clearly has). See, for example,
To me, animate means living animals but the personal 'a' is used for people only. the only exception is for beloved pets. The personal "a" is not used when the direct object is not a person or is an animal for which no personal feelings are felt. http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/persa.htm
@jfgordy: Yes, the Spanish accusative ‘a’ marker is indeed used for non-human animals as well as humans.
Not everything on the web is true. Unfortunately, the information on the "StudySpanish.com" you cite is misinformed, and their staff does not include any Spanish scholars or linguists. There is a vast scholarly literature on the animate ‘a’ in Spanish, commonly referred to as “prepositional accusative” (‘acusativo preposicional’), or “differential object marking” (‘marcado diferencial de objeto’) showing that the main factors determining the use of the accusative ‘a’ are (1) animacy, (2) definiteness, and (3) topicality. Specificity and number have also been proposed to play a role, but statistical analysis has cast doubt on these factors.
Animacy is a hierarchical concept, with humans being the most animate, and beloved pets ranking above other pets, and pets above wild animals. However, the incidence of accusative ‘a’ in Spanish is nearly identical for these categories, and even inanimate direct objects are sometimes marked with ‘a’ with verbs usually that usually take animate direct objects.
If you mean that as in its own sentence (meaning she presents herself to him) it would be se presenta a su hombre. But remove just the "a" and the meaning changes to "Her man presents himself/is presented".
If you mean as part of a sentence, as in, she presents him with a gift, it would be "A su hombre le presenta un regalo."
What you're explaining is reflexive verbs (when the subject and object of the verb are the same). My question is about how the ambiguity is dealt with when it is not clear whether a verb is transitive or not.
Perhaps a better example: "she presents to her boss." This is a common phrase in English, meaning "she gives a presentation to her boss." I would like to be able to translate this as "ella presenta a su jefe" but I suspect this would take on the meaning "she presents her boss."
Is there a way of saying "she presents to her boss" in Spanish, or must I say something like "ella da una presentación para su jefe"?
Could be because of historical reasons? Women were more often expected to be married (if not being a nun) than men, who could more easily maintain themselves in society being not married. So that could explain the dual meaning of "mujer" as woman/wife, compared to "hombre" which is only man.
that is true, I feel words in Spanish have so many more meanings then in English.. we seem to be more specific.. i guess you just have to judge it on the context of the conversation. There are other times when i have translated a sentence that made sense in English using the dictionary hints provided and it has been marked wrong (maybe the creator hadn't thought of it) so i guess its just one of those scenarios.
English is just as complicated, you're just more used to it :) Try explaining to a non-native speaker all the context-dependent possible meanings in a word like "girlfriend" (a man's partner, a lesbian woman's partner, a woman's platonic friend, a term of address from one gay man to another, also used ironically by women in phrases like "don't go there, girlfriend", and so on).
O su esposo. In English, "my man" would be more playful. Or more liberated/feminist, since it describes the sexual aspect of the relationship without describing its form (friend, regular boyfriend, fiance, husband). I would think that in Spanish culture, which seems to me more broadly patriarchal than the U.S. or U.K., it would be an even stronger statement of liberation.
Asking why can sometimes be useful with language except when dealing with exceptions which are very frequent. Asking why to the exceptions is a waste of time as the answers are lost in history. The rule with language is "What is, is." And to say something sounds funny only means you have yet to learn the language. Once you become fluent it will no longer seem funny. You heard about the two cannibals who were eating a clown? One said to the other, "Does this taste funny to you?"
It's the 'personal a' again! The verb 'presents' is acting on the person [her man] so the 'personal a' must be used. It does not translate into English but is absolutely necessary in Spanish. If something to being done to a person [or a family pet] [that is, the person is the direct object of the action] then the 'personal a' is used. I suggest you search for a better explanation than mine...
Since you have never heard it, perhaps you are from another Spanish speaking country (and there are many), that does not use this terminology. When we are studying Spanish, we have to understand that although we have not heard it ourselves, there are millions of Spanish speakers in the world. We just can't say that it is not a word or phase that we have not heard before. Just like English, accross the world there are many English speakers who use different words or phases that are not American or USA English. In alot of Spanish speaking countries, Hombre can mean a husband, or a very close love interest.
You did not understand my comment. I don't think the sentence should be translated as "introduce her man". The meaning of "hombre" in Spain would be "husband". It could also mean "boyfriend" , possibly even "fiance". Translating it as "man" is literal and does not reflect the meaning of the word. I work with students from Mexico , Central and South America. I am very aware of the diversity that exists among speakers of the language.