Translation:Could he tell me?
I'm not sure I can explain why, but "¿Podría decirme?" just doesn't mean "Would you be able to tell me?". I know it is a perfect grammatical translation, but the conditional here is expressing a polite request, not doubt, so the meaning is not translated correctly at all.
Could you tell me (please)? = ¿Podría decirme, (por favor)?
Would you be able to tell me (if such and such a thing happened) = ¿Sería capaz de decirme (si pasara tal cosa)?
Will you be able to tell me? = ¿Podrá decirme?
Wrong Laruthell. "Would you be able to ..." is simply a polite way to ask something in English. There is no doubt intended.
We might also say "Can you..." or "Could you..", where "Will you..." or simply "Tell me..." would be considered too blunt.
It's not only Spanish that has confusing vernacular constructions.
how about just " would you tell me..." - .how would it be translated if not "podria...." or "podrias...."? Thanks. And why does "me gustaria..." ie conditional tense, mean "I would like...." ( at least I think it does) when it too is just a polite request and not doubt ie "me gustaria..." doesn't mean "I could like..." does it? Thanks.
Would you tell me? = ¿Me diría usted? / ¿Me dirías?
me gustaría = I would like
That is a very literal translation of the grammatical tense, and you're right, it does not express doubt in either language. Why do both languages use the conditional here for a polite request? I think it is because of the implied "if, then" statement.
Me gustaría una limonada. = I would like a lemonade.
The implication is:
Me gustaría si usted me diera una limonada. = I would like it if you gave me a lemonade. (So please be a kind sir and do so.)
As for how you say, "I could like", that's "me podría gustar".
ok thanks, that makes sense ( me dirias, etc.). So...does podria, podia, pudo ALL mean "could"? but in different situations? Thanks.
It's saying you had to use could. I'm not sure why. I also tried your sentence and was rejected.
The closest literal translation of "poder" is "to can." Since that is unacceptable in English, eaarthman, the closest correct translation becomes "to be able to." As a translation, "to be able to" has the advantage of also being a verb phrase that starts with "to." Sometimes, this is very useful when you are translating a Spanish infinitive into English.
The imperfect tense of "poder" is "podía," which means "could" or "was able to." When you use "podía," you are saying that you had the ability to do something, and the choice was yours to decide. The conditional tense of "poder" is "podría," which means "you would be able to." When you use "podría," you are saying that you had the choice and the ability to do something as long as some other condition was met. Although English has no conditional tense, English does have a potential mood and a subjunctive mood, both of which cover aspects of the Spanish conditional tense.
The English potential mood uses the modal verbs "may," "might," "can," "could," and "must" and comes in active and passive voice.
Which tense/verb form is podría? Wiktionary tells me it's the conditional, but we haven't learned that, so surely it's something else.
The difference between Spanish and English is that Spanish has a conditional tense, and English has a conditional mood. What this means is that you can conjugate a Spanish verb to be conditional, and it will be inflected the same way for every verb. Conversely, the English Conditional Mood uses the modal helping verbs "can," "may," "could," "might," or "must." The other way that English indicates the conditional is to use subjunctive conditional statements in an "If x, then y" format, with x = ( ___ "be/were"); i.e., the word "if" is followed by the variable x + the present participle verb "be" or by the past participle verb "were." In short, each language treats "conditionals" differently.
Could he tell me is incorrect. The correct answer is Would he be able to tell me because "poder" means "to be able".
See my answer above about how to translate "could" and "would be able to."
To say (something) to someone - the verb for "to say" usually requires an indirect object (I said it to her)
To tell, I think implies that someone is listening. You can say anything, but that doesn't mean anyone can hear you or is listening, it's describing the act of saying something. But to tell someone something, implies there is a listener, it's more interactive.
There are probably a lot of contexts in which either word could be used. Lots of room for interpretation.
So, according to your answer, I could have used both words interchangeable in this case. I wrote: "Could he say it to me?".
No, because then you would need to add the direct object pronoun "it"
Lo podría decirme?
I want to complain that the voice Duolingo uses is not clear. I could not tell she was saying "decirme."
The voice Duolingo uses is a lot clearer than most native speakers, frankly, although it is not perfect. In any case, even if the audio were really far off, this would not be the right place to complain about it. Errors in the audio should be reported through the "report an error" tab in the lesson.
I used "would he tell me?", meaning is he willing to tell me? Is that not so? "Could he tell me" means "is he able or capable of telling me?" That is a completely different meaning. If he can talk at all, he is definitely capable of telling me. I should be able to see if he is able to talk and would not need to ask him if he can talk. Of course, if we are in a restaurant, he may not be able to tell me for fear of being overheard. Not so?
A lot of folks are having discussion as 'poder' meaning 'be able to..' This is correct. Perhaps one should also remember that 'poder' also means 'power to...' hence 'can, could'
Remember 'poder' and 'power' begin with 'PO"
The translation to this is confusing. Why is podrias expressed as she or he instead of "you"? Ie: Could you tell me?
You should report it because "podrías" only means "you would be able to." However, it is true that English speakers will choose to say or interpret it as "could" because that is a shorter way to say it and conveys the same meaning in English.
Formal 2nd person singular. Somebody asking someone, but the sentence is weird, as the verb "decir" needs a direct object in Spanish.
I see no difference between Can you, and could you. Not in true spoken english.
"Can you" is English Present Tense Potential Mood, and "could you" is English Imperfect (AKA Past) Tense Potential Mood. However, either is used colloquially by native English speakers when they are asking if another person will oblige them.
What person is this? I half-jokingly tried "Could I tell me?" and it was accepted, but obviously that is a rather silly translation... I hope.