"Él dejó caer la caja."

Translation:He let the box fall.

October 16, 2013



can anyone explain why the act of falling is said before the object that fell? it's confusing to try and translate.

January 7, 2014


Because the subject is he, not the box. As far as I know, the only way to say "drop" in Spanish is dejar caer. So the sentence shows the typical subject - verb - direct object order. He dropped the box.

November 13, 2014


Good explanation! It helps to think of "dejar caer" as a single verb. :)

December 1, 2015


Right. German and French (at least) also have no single word for 'to drop' and have to express it as by two verbs 'to let fall'.

January 27, 2019


I mean, you can actually say "He let fall the box" in English, it just sounds a little Lord of the Rings prophecy like. Most people wouldn't, but I'm guessing it's standard in Spanish?

July 13, 2014


Also nautical English, e.g. Let fall the mainsail.

June 22, 2015


Sí, es perfectamente entendible, aunque no siempre es así con DL.

July 28, 2014


Since it's been mentioned, does anyone know the prophecy of the One Ring in Spanish? I only know it in English and Mordor-ese.

February 21, 2017


un anillo para gobernarlos a todos, un anillo para encontrarlos, un anillo para traerlos a todos y en la oscuridad atarlos

I love how it still fits the meter and rhymes :)

November 4, 2017


The rhyme is good. You have to push to make the meter work though. But I would suggest that reinarlos would fit the mood a little better than gobernarlos. That is more the rule as in reign over them than simply to rule as in govern them.

November 4, 2017


My Spanish edition (©1991, Ediciones Minotauro) reads slightly differently: "Un Anillo para gobernarlos a todos. Un anillo para encontrarlos, un Anillo para atraerlos a todos y atarlos en las tinieblas en la Tierra de Mordor donde se extienden las Sombras." I personally like the German version, available with multiple other translations, at http://www.elrondslibrary.fr/RingVerse.html

July 30, 2018


It was marked wrong to me: "He let fall the box". Why? (To DL) Tnx

August 24, 2017

[deactivated user]

    Maybe because it is wrong? "He let fall the box." is not natural English. Although it might be used for dramatic purpose, it's not something people would normally say.

    August 24, 2017


    I don't think the English phrasing is really meant to match the Spanish phrasing in this particular case. (Lord of the Rings be damned.) My understanding is that "dejar caer" is used to imply intentionality as opposed to an accident (caerse).

    I believe the more typical English version would be, "He let the box fall," with the implication that he could have prevented it. A more accidentally dropped box would be described thusly, "Se le cayeron la caja."

    Of course, I could be totally wrong. I just cobbled together info from various sources in order to figure out the reason for the compound verb.

    June 2, 2017


    You have it backwards David. Dejar caer is actually the more intentional dropping. It is saying that you are choosing to let it drop (you allow it to drop) You have the construction of the other option wrong, though. It is a passive construction. La caja is actually the subject. Se le cayó la caja (a él) You chose the third person plural, but I am not sure why. If you look towards the bottom of this link, our specific question is addressed.


    June 3, 2017


    Thank you for your correction to my caerse hack. It was lifted from another example in which the subject (las llaves or keys) was obviously plural. In my haste to graft it with "the box," I completely missed that not so subtle point. Thanks also for the reference to "se" usage. One, meaning I, can (almost) never have too much information.

    As for getting it backwards, I think you misread what I wrote, which was, "'"dejar caer' is used to imply intentionality." I explicitly contrasted that with "caerse," which I indicated was more appropriate for accidental or nonintentional drops. Given my failure with the singular/plural form of caer, I'll take responsibility for leading you astray.

    FYI, I used, "http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/drop" to study up on Spanish translations of "to drop."

    June 3, 2017


    lynettemcw & David. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading this exchange between the two of you. It was the perfect mix of enthusiasm, humility, politeness, and genuine interest in learning. We would all be better people if we could dialogue like this. saludos.

    June 4, 2017


    You are correct, I misread your post. My head was a little backwards yesterday. Spanishdict is my go to resource for definitions, conjugation and grammar. Duo is great for drilling usage and coming up with random things that you need to construct a sentence for, but it doesn't do nuance really at all. So I use Spanishdict.com and then occasionally attempt to get further information from native or near native speakers as to relative weight and frequency of usage, etc.

    June 3, 2017


    ¡Gracias, backyardfarmer, eres muy amable!

    June 5, 2017


    'He let fall the box' is quite current in Britain. I enjoy Duolingo, but I am fairly often told quite wrongly that my English translations aren't acceptable.

    December 1, 2018


    You have to remember that Duo is a computer program. Each answer has to be individually programmed into the database. It is not as if Duo reads your answer and decides that it is not correct, it simply either does or does not match an answer in the database of correct answers. People seem to get their feelings hurt about it as if Duo is attacking their English skills.

    Being from Britain definitely makes it more difficult to use Duo's common for common convention. English syntax is a lot more flexible in some ways, although it is less flexible in other ways. When the most common structure of a Spanish sentence is distinctly different from the common structure of the English sentence, Duo likes to highlight the differences. Being able to translate this sentence literally does not ensure that the user will understand that this is essentially the only way to express the verb to drop in Spanish. It's interesting that, at least for me, dropping something can be either intentional or by accident, but I would only say let fall to indicate an accident. And of course Duo does like to split the components of a separatable verb phrase. Some separatable verb phrases are separated or not with about equal frequency. I would probably say I am going to pick up the kids as I am going to pick the kids up. But I would never say He let fall the box. It would always be He let the box fall or he dropped the box. It makes sense that some of that difference might be American versus British English. But the goal Duo has of trying to use only the most classic structures, that judgment will be based on American English. Duo teaches American English, Latin American Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. You might consider that overly New World heavy. It might be partially affected by Duo's American bias, but those are all the regions with the greatest number of native speakers of each language. Dialects are different and it is going to cause.confusion, but at least they confuse the fewest people.

    December 1, 2018


    You have to think how Yoda would say it. "Let fall the box, he did. A pity, it is."

    September 11, 2015


    Hopefully this helps:

    In spanish, the person does not take the blame for the drop of an item, it's the object's fault. So, instead of saying, "I dropped the box" we literally say, "the box dropped itself" which is why duolingo uses the phrase, "the box fell".

    Two English speaking siblings might argue:

    "The box fell!" "That's because YOU dropped it!"

    In Spanish it would be said:

    "The box dropped itself!" "Well, don't just stand there; pick it up!"

    November 5, 2015


    The subject of the sentence is he. He let fall the box. If we used this construction we would definitely say he let the box fall, but these verb expressions are never split up in Spanish. So if you replace the box with "it" it would be Él la dejó caer or Él dejó caerla.

    January 6, 2016


    "He let fall the box". It just sounds like poetic English. U get used to it.

    March 23, 2015


    Could it be that the two verbs cannot be separated?

    January 19, 2014


    Many expressions in different languages will be out of order in our English perspective. If you can get used to that change, it will eventually sound correct.

    July 6, 2017


    Much more poetic to say 'he let fall' and perfectly correct in my opinion

    October 14, 2014


    I agree

    February 26, 2015


    I did the exact literal translation above, " he let fall the box" and it was rejected! I know that DL wants us to use the conventional word order, but the the other is not wrong! Clearly , literary English plays with word order all the time. So we are now limited to spoken conventions? :(

    March 2, 2014


    So, I didn't risk it, but could I have said "he dropped the box"?

    July 7, 2014


    Yes, Clara. See jbauer1414's post above.

    December 19, 2014


    French also uses the construction "to let fall" for "to drop" - "laisser tomber."

    November 19, 2015


    awkward sentence

    October 16, 2013


    Awkward in English or in Spanish? The English sounds fine to me.

    October 26, 2013


    why does "la caja" not follow dejó?

    February 20, 2014


    He let fall the Box should be accepted too

    May 30, 2017


    Not really. That construction is very unusual. I don't think I ever heard it, but certainly not often. The Duo convention is common for common. In Spanish there is no other option than dejó caer. You cannot split up a verb phrase in Spanish. But this is one expression where English speakers will overwhelmingly split the phrase. So essentially one of the purposes of this exercise is to point that out.

    May 30, 2017


    Not so awkward if you say "he let the box fall"

    November 3, 2013


    Si, pero yo mejor diria EL DEJO CAER LA CAJA

    December 7, 2014


    Lol, I translated this, "He let fall the box" which I think would be technically right but it sounds so pretentious. Anyway, it was marked wrong.

    January 27, 2016


    It is the word for word translation but not good English. The closest good English would be He let the box fall, but I think they really want drop.

    January 27, 2016


    I agree with you, lynettemcw!

    January 28, 2016


    "He dropped the cash register" was marked wrong. Why?

    May 12, 2016


    It is just a box!

    May 13, 2016


    why past tense "dropped"?

    November 13, 2013


    Think you are correct Venellope-13. I wrote "he dropped the box" and it was accepted.

    November 14, 2013


    I think Venellope was asking why the verb is in the past tense.

    December 19, 2014


    Why is there no object pronoun in this case?

    December 1, 2013


    Not sure what you mean... pronouns are words that replace nouns (in English: I, you, he, she, it, we, they...), these words are not used in either the Spanish or English translation.
    Now, if there were an indirect object, you would use these in the Spanish sentence, even if not needed in the English, but this sentence does not have an indirect object.

    December 1, 2013


    OK, I obviously haven't understood pronouns. I'll have to go and read up on it.

    December 2, 2013


    Isn't it "He lets the box fall" ? I thought in english 3. person singular adds that extra "s". Or is this supposed to be past tense? Im confused

    May 23, 2014


    Dejó is past tense, not present :)

    May 23, 2014


    Thanks a lot :-)

    May 25, 2014


    nobody seems to answer why object "the box" is not before "caer". from what I learnt so far, I would say "Él dejó la caer a la caja" or "Él dejó la caja caer" ? Any ideas?

    July 11, 2014


    "Dejó caer" is a verb phrase and you generally can't split those in Spanish.

    September 2, 2014


    He let fall the box is correct English with the same meaning as he let the box fall. It is a more precise translation of the Spanish in this case as it puts the words in the same order.

    October 1, 2016


    Why use "dejo" here? Why not use "deja" because of the conjugation with "el"

    November 28, 2016


    You have to watch the accent carefully. It is not dejo but dejó here. While dejo is the first person singular of the present tense, dejó is the third person singular in the preterite. And this accent does change the stress to the last syllable. It is difficult because of the translation using let. And let does not change between the present and the past.

    November 28, 2016


    He let fall the box is perfectly acceptable English and a correct translation

    February 10, 2017


    Join my club i sdont want to be 4eva alone WD3Z9H

    March 3, 2017


    DL marked as wrong: "He let fall the box"... why? Tnx

    August 24, 2017


    My best guess would be that it didn't occur to the admin(s) to count it as a valid translation because it sounds sort of clunky in English and definitely wouldn't be the preferred translation. It's technically correct, but you wouldn't expect to hear it in regular use, so that's probably why they didn't add it in as an acceptable answer, and since they presumably haven't fixed that since then, it's more than likely that not enough people have translated it as that to warrant a change.

    September 13, 2017


    él dejó caer la caja, it's fun to say.

    October 21, 2018


    I simply cannot hear the "d"sound in dejo.

    July 22, 2014


    I agree

    September 27, 2014


    I put "He lets the box fall" Shouldn't that be fine too? He lets it fall? It marked me wrong.

    September 16, 2015


    I believe we can either say, "he let the box fall" or "he allowed the box to fall." Can someone explain why "to" is needed with "allowed"? It sounds wrong without it but I'm not sure why?

    November 18, 2015


    why is "he lets the box fall" wrong

    January 16, 2016


    He let the box drop!!???

    January 30, 2016


    can somebody tell me why is "él la dejó caer a la caja" incorrect?

    January 31, 2016


    La is the direct object pronoun. Although the INDIRECT object pronoun is required in Spanish, whether the indirect object is specified in the sentence or not, the direct object pronoun is not. It is as wrong in Spanish to use both the pronoun and the specifed object as it would be to say in English "He dropped it the box. As in English you say Él dejo caer la caja OR Él la dejo caer.

    January 31, 2016


    Understood. Thanks a lot :-)

    January 31, 2016


    I think that "he let fall the Box" should have been accepted. Reported April 20 2016

    April 21, 2016


    I disagree. First of all let fall would be the English equivalent to a German separable verb, so the correct English expression would be He let the box fall. Secondly, the implication of that sentence in English are more that he allowed the box to fall, he made some sort of decision about it. Although that is the literal translation of the Spanish phrase, the Spanish does not have the same connotation. This is simply the way to say dropped in Spanish. It means nothing more or less.

    April 21, 2016


    So, it' s in my opinion. Larosymalara@com.it .May 22 2017. (He let fall in the box)

    May 22, 2017


    US ENGLISH SPEAKERS WOULD NEVER say or think to say "he let fall the box" It is not the correct order of speaking here. We clearly are here to learn the order of things in Español but we would never be able to translate a sentence back to English in that order. ; )

    July 21, 2016


    reading all the comments, i guess DL can't be taken too seriously...

    August 3, 2016

    [deactivated user]

      I thought "dejar" meant "to stop", so translated it as: "He stopped the box falling." which is (of course) exactly the opposite.

      Checking google translate, "dejar" DOES mean "to stop".....odd that it means both "to stop" and "to allow".

      Is there any easy way to know which one is intended? Seems like it might be a source of ongoing confusion for me.

      September 4, 2016


      The better resource for word definition in Spanishdict.com as they give in depth definitions with a lot of examples. The best way to think of dejar is as to leave, although others translations are more appropriate to specific occurrences But, at least in colloquial English, we do have expressions like leave it be, leave it alone, etc which is basically the same as to let. And you can also speak colloquially about leaving off doing something which is in effect to stop. Here is the link from Spanishdict which should help you.


      September 4, 2016

      [deactivated user]

        Gracias. Si, SpanishDict es bueno. Uso ambos, pero por lo general google primero.

        I noticed both "stop" and "allow" in Duolingo, as well. English seems to have that 'contradictory' meaning, as well. (I let it fall = allow, I let it be = stop.) Kinda/sorta, anyway.

        I point things out like this to myself, to help myself learn. Posted here, 'cuz I figured other people might face the same confusion.

        Él dejó escribir con la pluma. = He stopped writing with the pen.

        Él dejó caer la pluma. = He "allowed fall" the pen.

        Perhaps if I think of it as "non interference". If don't interfere with the pen....the writing stops. If I don't interfere with the box....it falls.

        September 4, 2016


        So I'm assuming "he let go of the box" was marked wrong because they want me to specify that the box took a fall due to his actions?

        September 13, 2017


        Yes. Dejar caer also means to intentionally drop both things and information. They have to accept let fall since it does mean that and says it literally, but dropped is probably a better translation


        September 13, 2017


        Awesome, thanks for the clarification!

        September 13, 2017


        "he let fall the box" seems to me to be the most literal way to translate this in to english, which is helpful in reinforcing Spanish grammar, but stupid Duolingo marks you wrong if you do so.

        September 26, 2017


        Let fall is not a set verb phrase in English like let in or let down. The let must actually be followed by the direct object and then fall. But actually, although Duo shows He let the box fall as the preferred translation because it is literal, the best translation is actually how it would be translated in most contexts which is He dropped the box. Spanish has no word for to drop per se. That is said with dejar caer. And actually if you are talking about accidentally letting the box fall, which is probably assumed in English, you would use caerse.


        September 26, 2017


        "He let her fall in the box" is wrong btw

        October 22, 2017


        Quite wrong. Their is neither a her nor an in. That would be Él la dejó caer en la caja.

        October 22, 2017


        This has been a Duolingo sentence for over a year. It is time to let it go

        April 21, 2018


        Many sentences have been sentences for the 4 or so years I have been using Duo. They do occasionally retire some, but more often they want the added ones to just increase the number of possible exercises. But this is not the correct forum to request program changes at any rate. We are all just users here.

        April 21, 2018


        I still can't get my head around dejar meaning to let or to stop, they seem to be opposites

        January 10, 2019


        It means to let or to leave, and leave is connected to the idea of stopping. Dejar itself doesn't mean to stop. It can mean to stop DOING SOMETHING in the construction dejar de [infinitive]. There was a construction I used to hear in English. It is definitely part of a distinct dialect, but I don't know whether it went out of style or I moved away from where it is common. But people used to talk about leaving off doing something, meaning they were going to stop. It generally was about a vice or bad habit, but it does have obvious resemblance.

        January 10, 2019


        So unlike English, which has a verb of unintentionally going to the ground, to fall, and intentionally, to drop, Spanish doesn't have a verb that is like thr English "to drop"?

        January 28, 2019


        Well, actually I would dispute that drop denotes intention, although it can. You also say drop when it was unintentional. The actual significant difference between drop and fall is that drop assumes that someone or something had some sort of possession of the item prior to it falling. But the same concept is included in the idea of LETTING something fall. There is no single word for it, but both possible meanings are essentially represented, although perhaps not as strongly.

        January 28, 2019
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