"Could anybody else answer?"

Translation:Ĉu iu alia povus respondi?

September 1, 2015

This discussion is locked.


I translated "Could anybody else answer?" to "Ĉu iu alia povis respondi?" and it was rejected because DuoLingo wanted "povus" instead of "povis."

But I think "povis" should be allowed, because in English "could" can be the past tense of "can." Therefore "povis" should be an acceptable translation of "could" in this case.

Your thoughts?


Yes. Report it so that it can be added.


I already did.

Thanks for your response!


Although "could" in English is the past tense indicative of "can", in this situation "could" is in the subjunctive case, which in Esperanto takes the '-us' suffix.


Eh? How can you tell that in this situation "could" must be conditional?

Both interpretations make sense to me.

"Today the maths teacher had a really difficult question! I didn't know the answer! - Ah, and could anyone else answer?"


> Ah, and could anyone else answer?"

Simply asking a question or using a negative isn't enough trigger the conditional. Notice that the answer to that question would take the plain past form.

Here's a better example:

> Today the maths teacher had a really difficult question! She should have given more hints!

> Ah, and could anyone else have answered?


We seem to be talking at cross purposes.

I do not deny that "could" can be conditional.

I merely wanted to point out that "could" can be simple past, non-conditional.

You said,

Although "could" in English is the past tense indicative of "can", in this situation "could" is in the subjunctive case

and I interpreted this situation to be Duolingo's sentence Could anybody else answer?

So I tried to come up with a context where this sentence could be used with a simple past meaning.

My point being that I disagree with your assessment that in this situation "could" is in the subjunctive case.

It can be in the subjunctive case, given the appropriate context, but it does not have to be.

So I think both povis and povus are reasonable translations into Esperanto, depending on the context.

Or are you trying to say that my "non-conditional, simple past" interpretation of "Could anybody else answer?" is impossible?


I agree that "povus" is possible.

However, "ĉu ... povus" would be used to ask a question about a hypothetical situation. Asking about what actually happened must be "povis."

This is different from English, which uses "could" for both.

Also, I should correct myself to "subjunctive mood" - not "case".


The problem (and one that I hope the new tree will address) is that -us really isn't a translation for the English looks-like-past-form subjunctive.

> I was hoping that you wouldn't notice.

> Mi esperis ke vi ne rimarkos.

And, likewise, an English future tense might be better translated to the conditional or volitional.

> I can't give a good explanation now, but I'll know it if I see it, and I'll let you know.

> Mi ne povas bone ekspliki nun, sed mi rekonus ĝin kiam vidi, kaj mi tuj sciigu vin.


Same thing happened to me today (2015-12-23), reported it again for good measure.


Eh... Since it's a question, the could couldn't be the past tense of can.


Why not?

"The teacher asked the class a question but I didn't know the answer."
"Could anybody else answer?"
"Yes, Paul could. He knows everything."


I answered "Ĉu iu ajn alia povus respondi?" and not only was it rejected, but DL said the correct answer was "Ĉu iu ajn alia povus respondu?"

That isn't correct Esperanto grammar, is it??

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