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  5. "Ellas presentan a su familia…

"Ellas presentan a su familia."

Translation:They present their family.

December 28, 2012



Then how would you say: "They present TO your family."


I'm guessing it would be something like "Ellas le presentan a su familia" ("familia" would be the indirect object, and the direct object would be implied).


But I learned that the direct object pronoun is 'lo' or 'la' / 'los' or 'las' and the indirect one is 'le' or 'les'.

And there is a special 'se' that is used instead of 'le' / 'les'. The reason is not grammatical but phonetic one. It is just that Spanish does not like two L syllables in close proximity. So 'le lo', 'les lo', 'le la', 'les la' -these pairs are not likened by Spanish, so they use 'se' instead of 'le' / 'les'.

So a valid sentence may be: Se lo presentan a su familia. which may be translated as: 'They present him (or formal you masc.) to their family / to his or her family / your (of formal you) family.'

PS: One more thing I've just recalled and which I consider is important to the Duo's sentence discussion: An indirect object pronoun always precedes (and direct object pronoun, if any) the verb and then the indirect object is repeated with a like 'a él' , 'a ella' , 'a ellos' , 'a ellas' , 'a mi' , 'a ti' , 'a usted' etc. for clarity or for emphasis. In this pattern, clearly the repetition is optional but 'le' , 'les' or 'se' to which the repetition points to is essential.

Quite a characteristic Spanish pattern, is not it !

Looking again at Duo's sentence, it is now quite clear 'a su familia' is not the repetition I've just discussed - but the direct object with personal 'a' !


There is some the ing called the "personal a" used in certain situations before people or animals but not objects. Maybe you can find something that can describe it in more detail?


•They present their family How does that work with SU being singular? Shouldn't it be they introduce your family?


it depends on the relationship between 'ellas' if the family is the same for everyone in the subject, them family is singular, if the women in the subject have diferent families then the correct form is 'sus'. In your example You are sayint that they are introducing the family of another person.


One family, means that ellas are related/share the same 1 family. If not it would be "sus familias". That said, "they introduce your family" should be valid as well I guess.


I think, lacking another context, that the possessive pronoun ("su" in this case) is assumed to refer to the subject ("ellas" in this case). If clarification is necessary, then "de ____" can be added after the noun ("familia" in this case). We sometimes run into the same problem in English.


Yes, I agree with your explanation. This possessive thing in Spanish made me crazy. But how do we run into the same problem in English?


I just meant that sometimes it can be difficult to understand/express the intended meaning of the pronoun or possessive adjective. For example, you're telling a story about two (or more people) and at some point you use "his", but then you have to clarify.

But, of course, context is everything and those situations don't come up all that often. And, for all the confusion it causes us (learners), native Spanish speakers (that I've talked to) say it's really not a big deal for them, even though su can mean so many things.


i think in that situation, the context makes it clear. But yes, I suppose it can be confusing in English sometimes. I think it's worse in Spanish because sometimes a word can mean more than one thing, like "su".. his, her, or even your! ps - I think "we" is just called a pronoun, as I recall. Or personal pronoun? I forget. Possessive adjective, i think, is like "his".


@SabrinaJerome: Ah, of course! I think I hadn't had my coffee yet when I wrote that. I edited to make it clearer, I hope, but maybe I just made it worse. :-)


Give him his book, she took her coat, '......


This is one of the most interesting 'translations actually. It allows for discussions of the reflexive, presentarse as well as the need for 'a' as stated below with 'veo' when object is a person or people. And ambiguity in reality is present (oops) in language in real use. I think the feelings of 'hard done by' are not that serious, it is free and it is so easy to run through again, indeed it is good practice to practise the practice, it just gets a tad frustrating when on the last question and your favourite programme is about to start on TV!


I translated as "present" but did so with the understanding that the family was being introduced, as translations are rather literal in this program.


The male voice has terrible diction


I put "they present to their family" and it was correct. But how would one distinguish "they present to their family" (as in, they make a presentation to their family) and "they present their family")?


My guess would be 'ellos hacen una presentación a su familia'.


they show their family should be acceptable


people are talking about hearts and i dont know how that works and ive been using duo for months....can someone please explain this to me???


When you take "test out" option instead of just normally starting a course u have 3 hearts (like 3 mistakes that You can make before the test is failed)


I thought the "a" represented to.


In this case it is a personal "a"


In Spanish, a direct object is marked with the preposition ‘a’ if it's definite and animate. In this sentence, ‘familia’ is the direct object of ‘presentan’; and the determiner ‘su’ makes it definite; and, being composed of animate beings, it's animate.

Since the preposition ‘a’ is also used to mark the indirect object in Spanish, this this prepositional accusative (=‘acusativo preposicional’) can cause confusion between the direct object and an indirect object; however, because of the relatively free word order in Spanish, it preserves the more-important distinction between the direct object and the subject, and analogous direct-object marking has developed in many free-word-order languages.

The prepositional accusative is also called by other names, including differential object marking and, for Spanish, by the misleading term personal ‘a’ — misleading because it's used for all animate definite direct objects, not just for ‘persons’.


okay, sounds... complicated - can you give examples of verbs for any of these cases? And the prepositions used for each?


The preposition is always ‘a’ in Spanish. It is used with all transitive verbs, such as ‘perseguir’=“to chase”.

Examples with a definite animate direct object, where the accusative preposition ‘a’ is used: singular human: ‘Persigo al ladrón.’ = “I'm chasing the thief.”, ‘Persigo a mi hermano.’ = “I'm chasing my brother.”, ‘Persigo a Juan.’ = “I'm chasing Juan.”; plural human: ‘Persigo a los ladrones.’ = “I'm chasing the thieves.”; non-human animal: ‘Persigo a la mariposa.’ = “I'm chasing the butterfly.”; human group: ‘Persigo al equipo.’ = “I'm chasing the team.”; non-human group of animals: ‘Persigo al rebaño.’ = “I'm chasing the flock.”.

Indefinite animate direct object, where the accusative preposition ‘a’ is not used: ‘Persigo un ladrón.’ = “I'm chasing a thief.”.

Definite inanimate direct object, where the accusative preposition ‘a’ is not used: ‘Persigo una idea.’ = “I'm chasing an idea.”.

Definite animate non direct object, where the accusative preposition ‘a’ is not used: ‘Lo persigo con mi hermano.’ = “I'm chasing it with my brother.”.


Hi Sabrina - AndreasWitnstein gives good examples but Duolingo also uses similar sentences to explain the verbs used. El ayuda a la familia = he helps the family. Since the family is a specific it has the a before it. Also when speaking about a specific man or woman you say El ayuda al hombre (a + el) or el ayuda a la mujer. Indicating that the the He who is helping is familiar with the person he is helping.

Or in talking el habla a la mujer. he is talking to the woman (the woman is someone he knows.)



Thank you AndreaW for comprehensive list of examples but if i've followed you correctly, should the one with chasing an idea not be INdefinite inanimate?


Yes, I am a tad confused. Does it mean "they present their family", or could it be used with a direct complement: as in 'they present US to their family' as well?


To say the latter you'd throw in a "nos" before the verb. But since this essentially means to introduce, does it matter whether you're introducing Johnny to Sally or introducing Sally to Johnny? It's the same in the end.


The translation I used (and it was marked correct) was "They introduce their family" so I think it's understood that they are introducing their family to other people without implying the introduction was reciprocated. (Imagine the family being presented/introduced on stage without anyone else necessarily being introduced to the family in return.)


How can I indicate in the translation that Ellas is feminine plural. I said ladies but it was marked wrong!


It is information lost, and that is okay. In English, we don't specify gender when we use the word 'they'. By translating it to 'ladies', you are adding information that may not be true. All we know is that it is a group of females. It could be girls (niñas) or women/ladies (mujeres). It is always better to exclude information than to add information that maybe incorrect.


You don't need to. "Ellas" just means "They".


Then why is it not "Ellos"?


Because they are female. In English we don't have masculine and feminine words for every pronoun so both "ellos" and "ellas" just translate as "they".


what a strange English sentence


I wrote "They introuduce themselves to his family". Is this wrong?


I added a "d" at the end of introduce by accident. Got it wrong :(


Why is "su" so hard for the microphone to hear. Omg


What is it about the ending of "tan"? Why is it "tan" vice "táis"? Please help. Thank you. Shalom.


Where this "a" is used? Please help me.


Doesn't make sense. They present what?


English translation should be, They introduce their family.


Why is "The girls introduce their family" not correct? -


The subject is "they" not "the girls." We know from the Spanish that the "they" is a group of females of indeterminate age, but that's not something that English can convey. It is entirely possible that the "they" are women who would be greatly offended by being called "girls."


this makes no sense. can you help


Why is it presentan not presenta?


Why is the "a" necessary in this sentence?


See AndreasWitnstein's reply just below.


the english sentence of this isnt right...


What English sentence?


In English we would say "They are introducing your family". "Presenting" is normally used for talks, displays, inanimate objects, not people.


Duo hasn't been giving examples of "ing"words (continuous)...just word like eat, eats...no "was eating " or "is eating " or "has eaten"...doesn't Spanish provide for such?


Patience. You must learn to walk before....

Seriously, you can examine the topical modules and select ones that drill on progressive tenses and participles.


What of they are presenting their family?


I can also say they introduce to her family. Iya not a mistake


I don't think so. Presentar is a transitive verb and you're missing the direct object. "They introduce to her family" is not grammatically correct in English or Spanish.


Doesn't make sense. No-one presents their family.


why is a there if they aren't actually presenting to anyone


The verb presentar is a transitive verb and requires a direct object. That direct object is "(someone's) family." Because it's a specific group of people, the direct object must be indicated by the preposition a. This is often referred to as the "personal a."

I think the best, but by no means only, translation of this one is, "They are introducing their family."

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