"Toda su familia está muy bien."

Translation:All of his family is very well.

December 31, 2012

42 Comments


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

All of his family is very well? A better translation would be 'All of his family ARE very well'? I am a native English speaker, and find sometimes to pass these tests i have to compromise my lifelong spoken English for such phrases.

December 31, 2012

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

family is a singular word, even though it refers to a group of people, it is still singular, the plural of which is families.

January 2, 2013

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

you got it, and thanks for replying, but i am referring to the 'is' and 'are', 'are' in english would be more commonly used than 'is'. What my concern is, is that when i fail the question solely because of a single word, which i consider is grammatically wrong, and i am just pointing this out.

January 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/peterA1967

Isn't "is" or "are" referring to "All"? If we would say "A few of your family..." would it still be is? The same with "Some in your family...". I am a native swedish speaker and in my language we say "är" in both cases and have it easier...

January 11, 2013

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

It should be "A few are" and "All are". "Is" is wrong in both cases.

January 16, 2013

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

Since I have been down-voted above, and given that I am both a native English speaker and that this matter is not controversial, I will go into more detail.

First, to avoid confusion, my comment above refers specifically to the phrases used in the comment I was replying to.

"All" when used as a determiner can function in two ways. It can mean "the whole of something" or "every member of a group, all at once". E.g. "All the world's a stage" and "All of the puddles are deep" respectively. When the noun it is applied to is countable, it could mean either. Applied to a mass noun, I think it could only mean the former.

Family is a countable noun, so it comes down to whether you are considering "family" as a group or as a thing in itself. A family, as a thing in itself, is not something that I would generally think of as being well or ill - that seems much more likely to be said of an individual member of a family. So the second sense of "all" is the one being applied here.

So "All of his family" refers to a group of several individuals. It is, therefore, plural, and must be followed by "are".

February 25, 2013

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

I am not, and never have been, talking about whether a collective noun such as "team" or "family" should, by itself, be considered to be plural. Whether they should or not depends on the sense of the rest of the sentence; in particular, it depends on whether the group is being considered in itself or as a collection of individuals. Sometimes it will be clear cut; sometimes - as in your examples - it could be acceptable either way. In the latter case I can well believe that UK English and US English differ in their handing of the situation.

I am, and always have been, talking about whether the noun-phrase "all of his family" in the sentence "All of his family is/are well." should be considered to be plural.

The phrase "all of the X" (where X refers to a group of individuals and 'the' could be any definite determiner) means "all the members of the X". The noun-phrase "all of the X" refers, then, to a plurality of members. Please note that examples such as "All of the water is..." and "all of the sand is..." are not relevant here; in these contexts, "water" and "sand" are mass-nouns, not collective nouns, and thus do not refer to a group of individuals.

But even if none of this were the case, the sentence would still be wrong. Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that "All of the X is Y", where X is a collective noun and Y is an adjective, were syntactically correct. This would mean that "the X" would be being considered as an entity in itself, acting in much the same way as a non-collective noun would function in that phrase. Now, a family can be numerous or few; it can be close-knit or far-flung; it can be well-adjusted or dysfunctional. Individuals can be short or tall, well or ill, fat or thin. A family (in itself, not the people in it) cannot be short or tall; it cannot be fat or thin; and it cannot be well or ill.

To conclude, I would consider "All of his family is very well" to be syntactically incorrect, but even if it weren't it would still be semantically incorrect. Either way, the given translation is bad English.

February 28, 2013

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

This is hardly an open-and-shut case. I'm very familiar with this issue and it turns out, like many other things, both sides are equally right and wrong. To get a good idea of what I mean, watch a North American sports broadcast... Any sport you like. Gridiron football, ice hockey, baseball, whatever. When referring to the whole team the announcers will commonly use either the plural or the singular depending. E.g. if the Vancouver Canucks are playing a hockey game: "The Canucks ARE floundering out there." But, "Vancouver IS moving the puck upward.", "The team IS playing well today."

In the UK it's a bit different. Watch a Premiership match and you'll often hear things like "Chelsea ARE having a rough day of it" or "The team ARE doing just awful."

It's not cut-and-dry, it's not black-and-white. Both are acceptable depending on who and where you are.

February 27, 2013

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

I see your point there, but answer me this:

What if the English phrasing was "His whole family" rather than "All (of) his family"? Would it still be "are" then? What is the semantic difference between the former phrasing and the latter?

March 2, 2013

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

Ben, you are spot on with this and the analysis below.

July 19, 2014

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

what i tried to say is a singular noun -- is, a plural noun -- are

February 24, 2013

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

Y'all... When someone wants to tell you that your parents, grandparents, five kids and dog have arrived in the building... "Your family is here" is what an American would say. "Your family are here" is what a Brit would say. I don't know which is used in other anglophone countries, but this is not a grammar issue. It's just how people talk.

May 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert695274

It is not an english course, it is a spanish course. English grammar does not apply, and the point is to learn another culture and idiom.

Why are you concerned with failing the question? One learns nothing by being right - Think of failing forward.

July 17, 2017

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

"Family" is a collective noun that can take either the singular or the plural, depending on the context: "The family is going to Disney World" (working as a unit) "The family are divided on this, to the point where they are going to court," (individual members of the family are fighting.)

June 27, 2013

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

Except the subject noun in the sentence is "All" not "family" Family is a prepositional object. You should be able to remove the prepositional phrase and still have a syntactically correct sentence. So, would you say "All are very well" or "All is very well"?

In addition, as Ben said in his longer explanation, the All is referring to the individual members of the group as a set. When we say "All of the family are very well" We are saying that each individual member of the family are very well. When we say "The family is very well" We are talking about the family as a unit; the family could be well even though some individual member is not well.

October 2, 2014

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

I suspect the confusion here is due to whether or not you add the unspoken/understood word. "All of his family" is well (because "family" is a collective noun. However, you can have the unspoken word "members". "All of his family [members] are well" Conceptually, the difference is whether you're referring to the family as a whole or the individuals within it. This does make a bit of a difference, since the group can be doing well while the individuals within it are doing poorly (or vice versa)..

Unspoken/understood words are the same reason why both "You know better than me" and "You know better than I [do]" are grammatically correct.

I don't know of any proscriptive English grammar than includes Understood words, but they definitely occur naturally. Just saying "Bacon?" won't make you friends with your grade school English teacher, but it still carries the clear meaning "do you want bacon?" (or "does this contain bacon", etc, depending on context).

December 8, 2015

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

But the subject of the sentence is ALL and not FAMILY....So in English we would say, "All ARE well."

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vetikke22

They used “all of his family” like “the whole of his family”. Not everyone of his family. There is only one family, so “is” is correct

November 20, 2017

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

The not correct. First of all familia actually IS the Subject of the sentence. Toda here is not a pronoun but an adverb modifying the possessive adjective su. Familia is the only noun in the sentence. Secondly, all can, and does, use either is or are depending on what it is representing, especially if you understand that what people actually say is what's important.

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/203384/correct-usage-for-all-you-need-is-are

November 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vetikke22

I understand, according to the link, if you mean “all” like “everyone”, then “are” is correct. If you mean “all of his family” like “his entire family”, then “is” is correct.

November 20, 2017

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

I am an English teacher--u r absolutely correct--the word family is most likely considered one group here. However, if the word family is talking about indivodual members of the family (not the most common scenario ), then family is plural & would take a plural verb (are in this case).

January 9, 2018

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

This is UK English versus American English.

January 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/b3hr057

You are correct, and I would also like to correct the person who believes this is some sort of fluid "...not an open and shut case..". There are actually some pretty clear and finite rules that can help someone speak proper English. This is not to say there are not native English speakers who speak improper English and say things like: "I is well and I is fixin to be done gone to the store." The examples given where an announcer refers to a team with both plural forms and singular forms does not break these rules. When I say, "The team is floundering..." or "The Canucks are floundering...", I am observing these rules by refering to the team as a single unit or "The Canucks" as a group of individuals. In the Duolingo example, the rules are not followed, because "All of his family" is a group of individuals and therefore should be paired with the plural "are".

You can say: "Is your family well? Yes, thank you, they are well." But to say: "Are your family well? Yes, thank you, they is well." is asking about the group as individuals rather than asking about the individuals as a group. The response is pairing the plural "they" erroneously with the singular "is".

I am a native English speaker with a degree in English. It is understandable that many people, even native English speakers can get confused about the finer points of the language, especially with some of the examples of sports announcers as given. It is not going to keep you from having your intention and meaning understood, but it is a bit frustrating to put in a correct answer and have it marked wrong.

June 9, 2015

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

Agree with comments below "all your family" is more than one. Therefore you use are not is. The answer is gramitically incorrect.

January 8, 2013

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

I think "muy" could be "really" also.

July 24, 2014

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

The translation contains a grammar error. "All" can take either the singular or the plural, depending upon what it is referring to. "All of the milk" = singular, because milk is singular. "All of the cats" = plural, because cats are plural.

"Family" is a collective noun which can take either the singular (when referring to the family as a singular unit acting together) or the plural (when referring to the individual members of the group.)

In this case the reference is to the individual family members, who are all well. Thus, "family" is plural, and "all" is plural. The translation should read: All of her family are very well.

June 27, 2013

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

Shouldn't it be "Her whole family is very good" over "very well"? In the given context "bien" looks like an adjective rather than an adverb.

August 12, 2014

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

That would be ‘Toda su familia es buena.’, using the verb ‘ser’ instead of ‘estar’, and the adjectival form ‘buen-’=“good”; ‘bien’ is always an adverb, except in the expression ‘la gente bien’=“the rich [people]”.

August 12, 2014

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

Does anybody really say it like this 'is very well'?

December 31, 2012

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

I was wondering the same thing. 'All of his family are very well'. Ok, so you are assuming you know all of his family, and that you know they are not only well, but VERY well. How do you know the health condition of every one of his family members?

I put "All of his family are very nice" and was marked wrong - which I understand, but it is a more reasonable statement than the actual translation. You might have an opinion on the behavior of the guy's whole family, say if you met them at a birthday party or something... and they all treated you nicely. You still wouldn't have the foggiest idea of their health condition, even if you were a doctor. There are perhaps a very few people in the world who would ever be able to use that phrase, and all of them would be family practitioners.

There is a chance you are saying 'All of his family are very good.' which may be more likely to say... if you were implying a specific task or challenge. All of them may be good at croquette, perhaps... or badmitton... or bowling. Still, without knowing the circumstance, it doesn't make sense.

It's a silly sentence.

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wonderboy6

so it is esta not estan because it is the singular form 'familia'?

June 15, 2013

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

Yes, in Spanish, ‘la familia’ is always treated as singular, as are collective nouns in general, unlike in English, where the singular versus plural treatment depends on whether the collective noun is viewed as a single unit or a group of individuals.

June 16, 2013

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

I typed in "fine" and I got in incorrect because I didn't type in "good". Fine and good are practically the same word.

February 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/khalil3x6

I answered:" All of your family is very fine." Why is my answer unacceptable?

June 24, 2016

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

Does su = you in the formal sense? Like when using usted? Or is it simply for he/she?

July 7, 2016

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

Are very well

July 15, 2016

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

Really well should be accepted !!

September 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/crazykidcraig94

I typed in "all his family is great" because muy bien translated to great. I dont understand how I got it wrong.

January 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SethHolt1

You guys should really think about joining my club! The club code is 3BHFHT! We'd be delighted to have you!

August 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sparkle1027

I put (her whole family is very nice) Marked incorrect...? But i feel like "all of his family" would be more like (todas de su familia)

December 17, 2018

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

Actually all of his family is the literal translation. Todas de su familia would be more like Everyone in his family. But I do agree that his whole family should be accepted. It would be a somewhat more common way to say it in English, but the direct translation of that (su familia completa/entera) would not be very common in Spanish.

December 17, 2018

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

Why is "everyone in your family is very well" wrong?

January 21, 2019
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