"Debes defender a los trabajadores."

Translation:You have to defend the workers.

October 11, 2013

60 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rajeho

Can someone please clarify the difference between debes and tienes que. Thank you.

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

While we can be confident that "have to" and "tener que" are equivalent, there are lots of words in English that have various levels of obligation - must, shall, should, ought to, need to. The problem is that there is only one word in Spanish to translate all of these - deber. So while deber can be as strong as 'must' it can also be as weak as 'ought to'. You see then that the main difference between deber and tener que is that deber is broader and it can be difficult to know what level of obligation it's referring to without context.

December 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TPOinNC

Given that deber has a breadth of meaning in Spanish I wish the Duolingo would accept a similar breadth of English translations. For instance, you must defend the workers was marked incorrect.

May 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Iris150201

Thank you. Have a lingot

September 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Barry527413

Very well explained. Thank you.

August 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MtnWolfGrl

I often think of "deber" as an "ought to do something" (i.e., moral obligation) vrs "have to do something" (a necessity) in order to use deber and tener correctly. Just a thought. :)

May 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SGuthrie0

I agree that "ought to" is correct. Unfortunately, DL did not accept it in this instance. I did report it.

May 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuevesHuevos

I think "deber" is much stronger than "tener que"

"deber" - to must

"tener que" - to have to

April 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NedWhite

"deber de" implies a duty(should) whereas tener que implies a necessity to do something

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rajeho

Thank you everyone. That makes sense to me now.

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SGuthrie0

Yes.
IN addition, it helps to realize that our word "debt" is a cognate of "deber." "Deber" means to "owe a debt". It can be moral or legal/financial.

May 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yetanothername

Both derived from the same Latin roots

May 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

If that's true in Spanish then your translations to English are poor because in English there is no difference in strength between must and have to.

December 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zach586965

This is somewhat subjective but I don't entirely agree with this. I think "must" implies more urgency/strength, or it tends to be used more in that way.

Example:

"I have to go to the bathroom." I feel like I need to pee.

"I must go to the bathroom." I am about to pee in my pants.

December 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisa13025

I'm glad I wasn't the only one to notice. This sentence is incorrect. Debes means either that "you should" or "you owe." Whereas "tienes que" would be more "you must."

April 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Iris150201

Yes!!! Please!!!

September 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Desdichado2

...from those tight-fisted capitalists!

July 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TateRasmus

We must distribute the lingots equally!

August 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dusty325699

I was always taught to use the English equivalent of "ought" for "deber" because there is a diffence between "ought to" and "have to". This was taught to me this way by 3 different professors and several native speaking neighbors of mine from places all over including Gualemala, Colombia, and Mexico. So I have to wonder why DL sometimes accepts "ought" for deber, and other times it does not. I have already complained many times, but I am wondering if there is anyone else out there that thinks this same way...

January 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rembob

Every thing I have seen regarding "deber" defines it as must, ought, or should. It seems to me that use of any of the three should be accepted.

September 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMoore622957

I agree. the modal verb deber can have different shades of meaning in English that are only clear in context.

However, in many of Duo's drills they use "should" and "must" to distinguish between tenses. So, you will encounter a lot of "must" usage with present indicative (debes, debo, etc.) and "should" when they want you to use the conditional (deberías, debería, etc.). That convention is good enough for drilling on the different tenses, but it doesn't really help our understanding of the meaning of deber in actual use.

September 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duolearner12345

Would you need to defend also be a valid translation?

October 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisagnipura

Hola Amigo duolearner12345: No. That would be: "Necesitas defender...."

November 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duolearner12345

But you have to and you need to essentially mean the same thing.

November 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamuelOrr

If it looks like a duck it's a duck not a goose

November 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisagnipura

Close enough.

November 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SGuthrie0

In other places, Duo will use "tener que" for "need to."

However, I will translate "necesitar" as "need", and "tener" as "have." I assume the writer used one word over the other for a reason, and as a translator, I should not, willy-nilly, change the word that the writer/author chose.

March 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustKirill

only have to has more external subtext.

December 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackstewart2

No, they are not. One, you have to do it, the other, you need to do it. Not the same.

October 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustKirill
December 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FLchick

If you have no close connection to these workers can you omit the "a" that precedes "los"?

May 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SandraKann1

we always say "Defender algo" (something) and "defender A alguien" (somebody/someone)

February 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NedWhite

Creo que esta explicación es correcta

April 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/inckwise

I'm very bad at grammar and am struggling to learn all the conjugations. The chart shows "debes" as a present tense form. Can someone explain why a correct answer is "Yo should defend the workers"? That seems future tense to me. I would have said "Deberias...".

September 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

"Should" started out as a conditional form of "shall" but it has almost completely overtaken "shall".

When you're using "should", if you can replace it with "be supposed to" then it's non-conditional and if you can replace it with "would be supposed to" then it's conditional.

December 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_DragunoV_

Employers is the same that workers?

January 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SandraKann1

No, "employer" is the person or company that employs (gives work to) one or more people (called employees or workers http://populo.org.uk/uncategorized/differences-between-an-employee-worker-and-self-employed-why-you-need-to-know/)

January 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_DragunoV_

Ty madam

January 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adrianauna

debes defender= you better defend, is very common in English. Is it the same?

July 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GarethViejoLento

it does sound common ... better is " you had better defend..."

May 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sydrnyc

Duo accepted my response "You should defend the workers" however this seems very different than saying "You have to defend the workers." Thoughts?

July 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zach586965

I have trouble with this as well. It seems like "deber" can mean both should and must, which in English have meaningfully different definitions. The answer seems to be in the use of different "moods." I don't know it well enough to explain myself, but I found this elsewhere and think it helps some:

"Tú debes comer". Literally means "You must eat". Present Indicative. "Tú deberías comer". Literally means "You should eat". Conditional Indicative.

So basically it sounds like the conditional mood softens the meaning a bit to make it more like the English "should."

September 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rebuuilt

You have to defend the laborers.

February 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/puffinwoman

I read the comments and am still confused.

March 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeffreyTabardin

... dijo Castro

May 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anactualeowyn

Why isn't "laborers" acceptable"?

November 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda384703

Would "employees" not be a typical translation for "trabajadores"? I feel as though, in English, workers and employees mean essentially the same thing. I know that "empleado" is maybe a more common translation for "employee," just wasn't sure why "trabajadores" couldn't also mean "employee."

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GarethViejoLento

it can

May 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pB4rba

"You should defend the workers." It is in the "hover-text" after all.

May 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/monstika

When does "deber" translate to "should" vs "must"?

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GailAvgeri

Debes can be translated, "you should"

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susan208302

So........therefore my answer of ought to should have been correct

August 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GarethViejoLento

as should any 'obligation' verb :-) Help DUO improve by reporting cases where you are confident that your construction is one that would be used by a well-spoken user of the language.

August 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kellym29

Union yes! Diga "si" al sindicato!

March 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roberta950522

I used "should" it was not accepted

March 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tancrisism

Solidaridad!

May 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cumeon

Whyyyyy is "You should..." cosnsidered wrong to "Debes"?

May 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TPOinNC
  1. It's not wrong.
  2. On some levels Duolingo translates deber with must instead of should. On other levels they translate deber with must. Then sometimes they translate it as ought.
  3. Duo is usually, but not invariably, consistent in usage within the same level.

The result is that you've got to remember "what Duo wants" for certain levels but explore online or with native speakers how it would be said in the real world -- or that part of the real spanish speaking world you want to be in. Buena suerte!

May 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesVicke5

I said, "You should defend the workers." In the dictionary, it lists "have to," "should," "Must," and "ought to," under the same portion "to be used as auxiliary verbs."

How are we to know which one it is, whether it should be "have to" or "should?"

June 2, 2019
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