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"Ustedes saben escribir."

Translation:You all know how to write.

1
5 years ago

66 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/bogeszka

"you can write" SHOULD BE ok.

28
Reply15 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Iago
Iago
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That would be "Uds pueden escribir".

18
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cfriesicke

I disagree.

Saber and poder may both translate to "can" in English. "Saber" is used if you refer to a particular skill that can be acquired (I can write, he can't read, she can swim). "Poder" ist used when referring to permission (can I open the window?) or when "being able to do sth" does not depend on skill acquisition but on other factors (i cannot come because i don't have time / money or because I am sick...)

30
Reply45 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BPS-PenuelO

I disagree with the disagreer

Poder and Saber are different because you can have the knowledge on how to do something, but don't have the physical ability to do it. You may KNOW HOW to walk, but CAN'T walk because you're in a wheelchair or something.

22
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lhmckown

"Can I open the window" isn't asking permission. It means "Am I able to open the window." Asking permission is "May I open the window." Didn't your momma never teach you nothing?

0
Reply3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jabramsohn
jabramsohn
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"can + infinitive" can mean the same thing in English as "know how to + infinitive". For example, "Can you swim?" (i.e. do you know how to swim?), "At 4 years old, Sheila can already read and write". (i.e. she knows how to read and write)

15
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zariuq
zariuq
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I know how to swim well, but I can't (no practice/muscles anymore). :p

So, basically, we should just be cautious and use "how to" for saber even though "can" works in some of them. -sigh-

And, seriously, whatever "can"/"know how to" distinction you try to make for writing, can be made for other verbs. It can be done for 'read', where duolingo let us use "can" -_-

4
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zumba7

I agree

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michisjourdi
michisjourdi
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I don't see how the word how fits into this sentence?

21
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RAMOSRAUL

It's not there.

As in English, there are some subtle differences in meaning in the different variations here.

If you want to say that they can write: Ustedes saben escribir (on the meaning of, they are literates)

If you want to say that they know how to write: Ustedes saben cómo escribir (meaning they just wrote some fantastic stuff and it's amazing)

The problem is that in every day language "cómo" is generally omitted and really the full sentence would be something like Ustedes sí que saben cómo escribir. In everyday language, when everybody is in context and knows the verb (the action) the sentence could be shortened up to "ustedes si que saben"

It is becoming more and more common in Spanish to use the English expression "know how", mostly because there are a lot of people who reckons they sound way cooler if they use English words, but also partly because they do not put the effort on the language.

In Spanish you have also the verb Conocer and conocimiento , and saber y "saber cómo". The former matches to the English to know, stripped. Meaning "in a conceptual level" i.e. I know this guy, I know Riemman theories, I know my people, ... Whilst Saber should be used more in the practical sense: I know how to clean the carburettor, I know how to get there and I know how management works.

Sure it is a thin line, but now we smear it because there is something more: Saberse, reflexive which goes mostly for things you know by heart. So, in Spanish the question "Do you know how to get there?" has two possibilities: ¿Te sabes el camino para llegar allí? ¿Sabes cómo llegar allí?

My understanding is that the difference is on experience, so, if you know that the other chap has done the way as a passenger or something, you can use the first implying he has gone through it and you question whether he remembers it or not. The second can be liberally translated as "did you look up the way?" In a more general context, just if he knows any way to get there.

All that said, I would be the first to admit that the subtle differences may be omitted by native speakers and you will hear "Tenemos el know how", unfortunately

55
Reply75 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michisjourdi
michisjourdi
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Gracias for the explanation!

4
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogduo
rogduo
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Thanks for the fantastic explanation. That is the most detail I´ve ever seen on the sometimes fine line between between saber and saber cómo and sí que saber, as well as saber vs conocer. There are plenty examples published in the world when it is obvious that only saber or only conocer would fit, but not enough on the subtlties. I´m going to copy this awesome explanation onto my evernote database, and maybe share it elsewhere with some friends if you don´t mind Muchísimas gracias por su explicación y paciencia.

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RAMOSRAUL

You're welcome! glad that it's useful :). Obviously you can copy, print (not many copies... not environmentally friendly) and use it freely. You can even credit it to a random guy in internet so nobody gets hurt ;)

4
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AmmarTaraw

Gracias amigo por toda la informacion. Muy util :)

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MrHazard
MrHazard
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Increíble..Estupenda! Gracias!

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/terapeuta16

Saber + infinitive means "know how to" do something

1
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ComicOzzie

I originally wrote "you know how to write" and then deleted it because "como" is not in the sentence. :(

5
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dkat
dkat
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Me as well. 'You know to write' is a legitimate sentence (as in a mother telling her child in a indirect way to send a thank you note).

5
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jwtmarcotte

This was my thought, as well.

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/holly.k.ma
holly.k.ma
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How would someone say " you know to write, otherwise your mother will worry. "

4
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kyle_Frank

"You know to write" isn't correct. Why?

4
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patrick-not-star

Probably just Duolingo's fault.

0
Reply9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MauroQuil
MauroQuil
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Those items that make me think Duolingo wants to train us so we can replace google translator.

3
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michisjourdi
michisjourdi
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Duolingo is preparing us for world domination.

7
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonViehland

Why is it not "They know how to write"? I thought saben is the plural?

3
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bryan41154

"Ustedes" means "you all" and not "they"

0
Reply3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IraAllen

Y'all know how to write.

2
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/horsy777

It also says that for: "mi padre sabe nadar", my father can swim is a correct translation

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JeannineRN

That makes me want to report it 201507

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tomk123

The pronunciation of "escribir" definitely ends with a sound that is represented in English by "sh". I tried it on Pons online dictionary which gives a choice of European Spanish or Mexican Spanish, presumably simular in other Latin American countries. The European Spanish does not have this sound, but the Mexican Spanish does. I know that Duolingo is largely there for Americans who want to talk to their neighbours, but is it possible to have the option of a Spanish voice for us Europeans? Also, I understood that Spanish, unlike English or French, always has a one-to-one relationship between its sounds and letters. Is does not seem to be the case here.

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amble2lingo

Try the the link below. I hear the "sh" sound most clearly from the guy from Spain. http://forvo.com/word/escribir/#es

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeraldHinson

A great discussion on why the word "how" was omitted from this sentence, but the words: "when," or "why," could have fit the model equally well. To be found wrong for the lack of using "how" (when the context of the sentence is unknown) seems to be expecting a lot from beginning students. DL should consider reasonable alternatives under the circumstances or indicate in some form that "how" is the preferred choice.

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JeannineRN

a second reason to report it 201507

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ales1a
Ales1a
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Why "She can read" is correct for "Ella sabe leer", but "You can write." is not correct for "Ustedes saben escribir." ? It's a double standard.

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kai7

I wrote 'They know how to write' how is this wong for ustedes

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amble2lingo

"Ustedes" is the formal plural "you" (you all). That's why it translates to "you." "They" would be "ellos" or "ellas." However, "ustedes," "ellos," and "ellas" share the same conjugated verb form .http://www.123teachme.com/spanish_verb_conjugation/saber

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brendonsmith

I believe usted and ustedes is not just you formal. It can be they formal as well. If your talking about a group of seniors etc its ustedes.

0
Reply10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amble2lingo

Sorry, brendan, you are wrong. "Ustedes" is the formal plural "you" (also informal everywhere except in Spain) and nothing else! It NEVER means "they."
http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/ustedes
http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/ellos

"Ellos" and "ellas" are neither formal nor informal. Same with the subject pronouns "yo, él, ella," and "nosotros/as." Only the four "you"s in Spanish are designated as formal (usted, ustedes) or informal (tú, vosotros/as or ustedes).

0
Reply10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/F10W3Rr1ng

They really need to use 'you all' or in the case of a question 'all of you' for 'ustedes' instead of just 'you' because it can be a little confusing for some people since 'ustedes' is plural and English does not have a strict plural form of 'you'.

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carlhanes

I said "they know how to write" & was wrong per Duolingo. They want me to say "you". Why? Usted is 3rd person singular, Ustedes is 3rd person plural. Also Duolingo uses "saben" in their answer, which is also 3rd person plural. So, why am I wrong?

1
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fantasma_Negro82

Shouldn't this be "Uds pueden como escribir"

1
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michisjourdi
michisjourdi
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No. In Spanish it's more like, "I know (implied how) to write." Or "You know (implied how) to write."

Ustedes (Plural you) saben (know) + (implied how) escriber (to write).

Does that help?

0
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/irmacelia

why can't I say "you know writing", as in reading writing and arithmetic?

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ezattack123

why is it you know how to write and not they know how to write? because wouldn't it be they know how to write since ustedes is plural?

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amble2lingo

"Ustedes" is the formal plural "you" (you all). That's why it translates to "you." "They" would be "ellos" or "ellas."

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/t.winkler
t.winkler
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"You know writing" should work too but was rejected. Any clues why? I'm no native speaker.

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Harry456443

This is fundamental grammatical lesson: the English "can" + infinitive covers two distinct Spanish concepts of poder + infinitive (physically able to do something) and saber + infinitive (knowing how or possessing the skill to do something). The English "we can swim" translates as both "sabemos nadar" and "podemos nadar", but conversely "we know how to swim" in English implies that we might technically know how to swim, but lack the physical ability or practical knowledge to prevent ourselves from drowning...

0
Reply2 years ago