"She does not know if she comes or goes."

Translation:Ella no sabe si viene o si va.

December 30, 2012

50 Comments

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

I've only seen this sentence once and I'm being asked to translate it into Spanish. It's a new concept to me, though. Can anyone give me a tip to remember it better?

December 30, 2012

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

Ella no sabe si viene o si va:

Ella no sabe: she doesn't know (saber: sabo sabes sabe sabisteis saben)

Si viene: if she comes (venir: vengo vienes viene venimos venisteis? vienen)

O si va: or if she goes (ir is irregualr: voy vas va vamos vías van)

Also: sí=yes But si=if


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

That's helpful, but I'm seeing saber conjugated as: sé sabes sabe sabemos sabéis saben.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mitaine56

corrndog- correct, you're right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maddie.bru1

Saber is irregular in the present tense: sé. Also the vosotros form is sabéis. The vosotros form of venir is venís. The forms KICIACOLDS gave are the preterite tense of vosotros.


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

your comment really helped, gracias. I can not this in spanish yet.


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

Just translate it piece by piece. She doesn't no, ella no sabe. If she comes or goes, si viene o va"


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

The problem was, at the time I wasn't familiar with the viene o si va part.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mslade81

You didn't cover o during conjunctions and va during the first verbs lesson?


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

I was even asked to translate it from English into Spanish without seeing it before and was completely at loss :) Guess the programmers and creators didn't think of this when they made it and trying our best to remember it is our only option for now.


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

I had to translate it the same way, English to Spanish, without seeing it before. Honestly, I think one simple but huge improvement to Duolingo would be to "lump" phrases together as chunks in the drop down menu instead of showing each separate, literal word. It would make a huge difference to learners.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maddiebean12

They do that sometimes, but I agree, it would be nice if they would do it more often. Although, then, you would lose a little of the word-for-word translation ability.


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

I used "sale" instead of "va". It didn't like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/szukac05

The meaning of the verb 'salir' is closer to 'to leave' rather than 'to go' though your translation would be understood


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

I tried that too. It didn't like me either.


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

I was under the impression that the subjunctive was used when following certain conditional words ... Ella no sabe si venga o vaya ... Apparently si is not one of them. (Ojala', a menos que, espero que, and acaso are among the words that do trigger the subjunctive ... sometimes) Just in case anyone makes the same mistake I did.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Noelly24

The subjunctive would be used if the sentence was "she does NOT know THAT ... " = "Ella no sabe QUE + subjunctive" . But, the sentence was she does not know IF; therefore, the appropriate (though not absolutely correct?) answer is "Ella no sabe SI + simple present".


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

Yeah, i was going to use subjunctive, but decided against because it hasn't been taught yet in this app.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cocacola321

This is an idiom in English, so learners of English please memorize as follows : She doesn't know whether she's coming or going.


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

Evidently, the Duolingo Spanish↔︎English staff does not include a native English speaker. Mistranslating present indicative in Spanish to present indicative instead of present progressive in English for action verbs is pervasive on this site, and is one of the easiest ways to spot a non-native English-speaker among Spanish speakers, just as native English speakers often mistranslate present progressive in English to present progressive instead of present indicative in Spanish for action verbs.

The problem is that both English and Spanish distinguish between present indicative and present progressive, but draw the line in different places. In Spanish, present indicative is the default, and present progressive is only used to indicate that an action is ongoing, typically as a background activity while something else occurs in the foreground. In contrast, in English the present progressive is the default for action verbs, and the present indicative is used only for habitual or general action, or for the narrative present.

In this sentence, neither habitual action nor the narrative present is plausible.


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

Do clauses about people not require the "personal a"?


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

No, only definite animate direct objects take the accusative preposition ‘a’. A clause can't be definite.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ryan.levy.

So this is a John Mayer quote .. lol


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

I just got this sentence to translate into Spanish for the first time of having seen it and amazingly got it right, but it's a seriously tough sentence to translate if you're not familiar with it.


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

I thought so too, but I also got it right and I learned something in the process, so I'd call it a success.


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

Why does this sentence have two si's in it?


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

You gotta use "if" before both possibilities. In English this is optional.


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

I only used one si and it was marked correct.


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

They must have fixed it. It was marking people wrong for dropping the second si not too long ago.


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

With both ‘si’s, ‘Ella no sabe si viene o si va.’ ordinarily implies that she's either coming or going. Without the second ‘si’, ‘Ella no sabe si viene o va.’, would ordinarily implie that she might be doing neither.


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

Why can there not also be si ella va


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

That's also a valid translation. Please report it if it's not accepted. However, with just the first ‘ella’, ‘Ella no sabe si viene o si va.’ ordinarily implies that all three verbs have the same subject, whereas ‘Ella no sabe si ella viene o si va.’ would ordinarily imply that ‘viene’ and ‘va’ refer to a different subject; and ‘Ella no sabe si ella viene o si ella va.’ would ordinarily imply that ‘va’ has a different subject than that of ‘viene’.


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

I said the same thing


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

I think it's mainly because it's redundant. She has already been defined as the object doing something. You'd be understood, but it'd be bad practice and superfluous.


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

Can I say: "ella no sabe si viene o si va" ? just drop the second "si".


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

Would llegar (conjugated) work here? I used it, and the recognition software thought I said viene, so I still got it right. I was just wondering if "No sabe si llega o si va" is an appropriate sentence in spanish.


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

I tried and it said no :(


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

I forget for sure, but i think aunque is although


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

I thought the first verb was conjugated and the rest infinitive. Or is it because she is doing them all?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maddiebean12

Infinitive = to ____. The infinitive (base verb) for "she goes" would be "to go" (ir). If only the first verb was conjugated and the rest infinitive, it would read something like, "she does not know if to come or to go," which doesn't make sense grammatically. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PitchPine1

why did you think that?


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

i heard it in a song is that cheating


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

I put sabes instead of sabe :- got the rest right ugh


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ryan.levy.

So this is a John Mayer quote .. lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusannaEDavis420

I wonder when we use the infinitive or don't use an infinitive form of the verb. Sometimes when there is one subject and one verb you congregate the first and not the second, for example, voy a bailar. Other times such as in the sentence above, we don't. Can someone help with this?


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

It's the same as in English: “does [not know]”, “comes | is [coming]”, “goes | is [going]” are conjugated, so ‘sabe’, ‘viene’, and ‘va’ are conjugated in the translation. Each of these has the same subject: “she does [not know]” = ‘ella [no] sabe’, “she {comes | is [coming]}” = ‘[ella] viene’, “[she] {goes | is [going]}” = ‘[ella] va’.

In “I am going to dance.” = ‘Yo voy a bailar.’, only one verb “am [going]” = ‘voy’ is conjugated. You can't say *“I am I go I dance.” any more than you can say ‘Yo voy yo bailo’.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SusannaEDavis420

Thanks, AndreasWitnstein. I sort of thought this, but I wan't sure. This seems to be a case where you can actually translate directly from English.


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

How so we know if the phrase is about 1 woman or 2? Also, 'she goes' could be reflexive, which is what I tried. Difficult one to translate.


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

For whether it's the same woman, see the reply to barrynelson.

How do you mean “reflexive”?

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