Can someone please clarify the difference between debes and tienes que. Thank you.
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.
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.
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. :)
I think "deber" is much stronger than "tener que"
"deber" - to must
"tener que" - to have to
"deber de" implies a duty(should) whereas tener que implies a necessity to do something
Agree. Deber= moral duty (http://buscon.rae.es/drae/srv/search?id=iYwm4d4aXDXX2oyE3aFP) and "Tener que" = necessity (http://lema.rae.es/dpd/srv/search?id=Gy1pKuthjD6udbOEAn)
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.
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.
"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.
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."
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...
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.
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.
No, they are not. One, you have to do it, the other, you need to do it. Not the same.
Also you can exprees i need to with hace falta que. More here http://www.learn-spanish-online.de/grammar/chapter20_modal_verbs/20_12_tener_que_no_hace_falta_que.htm
If you have no close connection to these workers can you omit the "a" that precedes "los"?
we always say "Defender algo" (something) and "defender A alguien" (somebody/someone)
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...".
"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.
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/)
Duo accepted my response "You should defend the workers" however this seems very different than saying "You have to defend the workers." Thoughts?
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."
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."
- It's not wrong.
- 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.
- 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!
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?"