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https://www.duolingo.com/SamRLevitt

Él

SamRLevitt
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Every time I put "él" as it on Duolingo, it marks it as wrong. This is just not correct. I know as a FACT that "él" is used as "he" AND "it!" Please change this!

3 years ago

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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él is he. el is it. The emphasis or lack thereof changes the meaning of the word. You can get away with leaving off the mark for both. But I believe if you put the mark on it only accepts it for he.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamRLevitt
SamRLevitt
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Also good job on 666 streak, man! :D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

The Ultimate Spanish Review and Practice - page 249 also agrees that él (as well as ella) can mean it, although I suppose it might depend on the context.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Thanks for the info!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamRLevitt
SamRLevitt
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It may be different in some dialects, but my teacher speaks Ecuadorian Spanish, which is close to Mexican, and she taught that él is both.

According to this website, I'm correct. http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/it

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Good to know!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/crlight
crlightPlus
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The website also states that "It as subject or following a preposition is often not translated."

I've never seen or heard some say something along the lines of "Él es un taco" as opposed to "Es un taco" to mean "It is a taco."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CripticSilver

Context is necessary here. Sometimes "it" can be translated as "él", but sometimes it can't. It can be translated as eso/esa, and it depends on the context and what you're talking about.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duonks
duonks
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Please show some screenshots or share some of the phrases, I'm curious!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/beadspitter

Hm. I had thought that él was the pronoun and el was the article. WordReference.com supports this, but since they don't give an example for a grammatically masculine 'it' in either case, it's hard to tell from that.

What I've gathered from native speakers on DL is that él means he, el is the definite article, and when the subject of a verb is 'it', it's omitted. So, 'Él es bonito' means that he is beautiful, and 'Es bonito' can mean either 'it's beautiful' or 'he's beautiful', depending on context.

Meanwhile, I'm a little fuzzier about whether to use él as an object pronoun in addition to 'lo' or 'le' if the object is an it. I simply don't recall ever running into this, as the second use of the pronoun for emphasis/clarification is optional. ("Le dije a él" can also just be "Le dije," unless I'm very confused.)

I've operated this way on DL and so far I haven't had a problem that I'm aware of. Doesn't mean that the problem isn't there, and I've just either been lucky, been oblivious, or chosen the easy way out by omitting pronouns a lot of the time, just because I can.

3 years ago