1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "He eats tons of fish."

"He eats tons of fish."

Translation:Él come toneladas de pescado.

December 29, 2012



Why is pescado not plural here?


The reason is simply because pescado by itself is a noun. De pescado is an adjectival phrase, but we don't make a whole phrase agree in number with the noun it is modifying. Other examples:
Some bottles of wine. Unas botellas de vino.
Many slices of cheese. Muchas partes de queso.


but "vino" and "queso" are mass nouns.


Yes vino and queso are mass or uncountable nouns as is pescado. The previous explanation could probably be enhanced by saying that when talking about the quantity of an uncountable noun, the only word that would be put into the plural is the unit of measure you are using to count. With countable nouns, the countable noun is probably already in the plural once you introduce the unit of measure. Consider the following

A box of wine, two boxes of wine but

A box of cookies, two boxes of cookies

A ton of fish, two tons of fish

A ton of books, two tons of books.

This is a property of uncountable nouns and will apply to any language that has them.


Unless the tons of fish were in the form of one whale then tons of fish must be multiple fish, so why pescado and not pescados?


Figuratively it should be montón.


I was thinking that "mucho/muchísimo" might work too, but Duo didn't accept it..


We do say "tons of" in English and toneladas means tons. Therefore the direct translation is best. Mountains of fish is also said but we are not here to judge word choice, just demonstrate our knowledge.


tons here is figurative meaning a lot . So toneladas doesn't make sense. Think about it no one can eat a literal ton of fish.


It is also figurative in Spanish. These quantity exaggerations are highly translatable just because they are so absurd that no one tries to take them literally. Ella tiene un millón de zapatos. She has a million shoes. Even Imelda Marcos had no where near that. We can also say in English I ate a mountain of fish (and drank an ocean or a river of beer).


I thought we JUST learned to say "él se come ---"? Why wasn't "se" used here?


I wondered this too. Though all through the se lesson, I was also wonderinf why I'd been allowed to translate sentences like that without se in all the preceeding lessons. I think theres a nuance to se etc. that I'm not grasping.


I looked up "comer" and "comerse" in Wordreference. "Comerse" means to eat up or use up. Or figuratively it can be used for things like blowing through money. So, I think it would be like this: if I eat the last half of the 1/2 gallon carton of ice cream and there's none left for anyone else, that's "comerse." If I eat a 1/2 cup serving of the ice cream, that's "comer." I suppose if someone gobbled down a ton of fish leaving nothing, that would be comerse. If someone likes fish and eats it three or four times a week, but always in moderation, that would be comer--but might seem like eating a lot of fish to the majority of us.

Anyone else have thoughts on this? Any native speakers out there?


The se is for added emphasis here not be confused with pronimal se which can change someone meaning of verbs for example Acordar to agree and acordarse to remember the reflexive and reciporcal se and the passive se.


To me it seems that since the word "fish" is both singular and plural in English, we could translate it either way in Spanish. Any thoughts about this out there? (Perhaps a native speaker?)


Nobody literally says "tons" in spanish in this context. It would be mucho or Monton.


I assume this idiom is actually used in spanish? I'm a little suspicious of a literal translation of an english idiom. (Unless we're talking about a walrus who literally eats tons of fish.)


It is not used in Latin America (I realize this is Spanish from Spain though), it would be "un montón" or "montones."


Toneladas always sounds to me like Tony Lard Ass. Makes me picture a fat (therefore heavy) mafia boss and I never forget what it means :)


I wonder if the Spanish speaking population would take this literaly and believe that He eats tons of fish, for reals!


No. Except if the he was an elephant and you are talking longer terms, Spanish speaking people use exaggeration just like we do.


Mucho pescado is the same as un monton, why does it correct it?


I put tonelados, thinking that it would have a gender. I guess not!


Tonelada is a noun and it is always feminine.


in english fish is plural and singular when refering to the same types of fish eg haddock fish. is there a different on spanish


In the reflexive verbs lesson i was faulted for not writing "Ella se come una manzana." I tried the reflexive here and it was not accepted. Why? Seems inconsistent


I am Spanish speaker and the traslate: Él come montones de pescado should be correct. (Excuse me for my English. It is bad)


It is what it is, just accept it. Stop trying to rationalise your mistakes.


Why can't i use se, as in "el se come toneladas de pescado"? im really confused


why can't you say 'él come un chorro de pescado' ?


Is it idiomatic the "un toneladas" is wrong. Is there not supposed to be an article with toneladas


I use pez instead of pescado and it is marked wrong shouldn't it be correct?


No. That is wrong. It's the equivalent of saying he eats tons of cow. Pez is the name of the animal swimming around. Pescado is what you eat. An easy way to remember that is to look at the word pescado. Pez is the animal. Pescar is the verb to fish. Which means that pescado is derived from the past participle of the verb to fish. It essentially means fished, or that which is fished.


pez or peces??


That would be a difficult thing for English speakers to get right, except that the fish you eat in Spanish is called pescado, not pez or peces. Pescado is the past participle of the verb pescar - to fish. But it's used as an uncountable noun, so it's in the singular. If you were saying there were tons of fish in the sea (still alive and "unfished", the Spanish would be peces.

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.