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  5. "¿Sabes nadar?"

"¿Sabes nadar?"

Translation:Can you swim?

February 2, 2013

58 Comments


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

I really like how sometimes in Spanish all it takes is two words to convey so much.


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

then your imagination has to kick in.


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

I really want to say "Can you swim" since saber is the verb to use for "can" in such a context, but I have lost so many hearts using the normal English that I wonder when the programme can be adjusted to accept this fact.


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

I think Duo is trying to distinguish between the uses of "saber" and "poder." I was taught that saber is "to know how to do something" and poder is "the ability to do something." "Puedes nadar" = Are you able to swim? Can you swim?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rocko2012

Do you know how to swim? "Yes, I was a life guard for a year." Can you swim? "No, I get ear aches if I swim."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eesan2

You would be in trouble if the questioner were to add "one word answer only". But that usually never happens, so you are free to give the answer you gave above.


[deactivated user]

    Thanks rspreng and rocko2012!! :D


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

    That was very helpful. Thank you.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Claudia52199

    That was helpful!


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

    Yes, and I wrote "Can you swim?" as a shorter and more common translation and that was accepted as a correct answer.

    There is a difference in the kind of expression between English and Spanish. For an ability, you have learned, you use in Spanish "saber" and in English preferentially "can". That corresponds the definitions of the Cambridge dictionary:

    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/can?q=Can%3A+uses

    Short copy:

    Ability

    We often use can to talk about ability to do something in the present or future:

    I can sing one song in Polish.


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

    In my first comment i was talking about normal English. If someone wanted to hire a canoe, he might be asked "Can you swim?" This would not be a question about his arthritis or intoxication, but whether at some stage in life he had learned to swim. I suspect that in Spain he would be asked "¿Sabes nadar? and if he asked "please say in English" it would be "Can you swim?"


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

    And he might be asked "Do you know how to swim?" All I am sure of is that my two good, thick Spanish/English dictionaries have many entries for "saber," but neither uses the word "can" in any way, shape,or form in defining "saber." When I look up "can" it says "poder, be able to" and "saber, know how to." I am not trying to argue, just saying what I see.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rocko2012

    I think most of time "can you swim" = "do you know how to swim". I have no idea if duolingo will accept it here. I will test it if I get the sentence in the practice in the future and report back the results.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rocko2012

    Wow, I just got this sentence but forgot to test "can you swim" :( I did write down an example I saw in the practise session. "Mi padre sabe nadar" = "My father can swim". So I conclude duolingo probably will accept "can"="know" in the relation to swimming.


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

    Thanks rocko2012, it looks as though Duolingo has heeded our feedback.


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

    Sad. It is a shame that Duo nuckles under to such malarkey. The verb in use is not poder which is what is needed for, "Can you swiim?"


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

    I know how to swim.

    But I can't. I'm allergic to water.(or chlorine)

    Or, if at the ocean. I'm afraid of all the creatures luking under the surface.

    Just a couple of examples of the difference between

    "Know how to"

    and "can"


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

    What I have actually been asked in the past was, "Do you know how to swim?"


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

    Why is "Do you know to swim?" incorrect? Am I making a mistake in English?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amy452254

    yes, it's "do you know HOW to swim"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NicholasM.15

    At first, I thought it said, "do you know nothing?".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tom167492

    Can I say ; sabes hablar inglés?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sonia433009

    Do you know to swim? is also accepted in the English language


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

    That's very incorrect grammar. It needs the "how" because it is a question.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NF.NightFury

    Doesn't it mean Do you know how to swim?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bill941333

    It seems like a bit of a stretch to use how in this example but I suppose that if you translate "Sabes" as you know and "nadar" as to swim, the most logical word to connect those ideas is how.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterAlder6

    Why not, "Do you swim?". The "know how" is implied.


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

    A native English speaker would not use "Do you swim?" in a question to determine if someone had mastered the skill of swimming (sorry that is very long winded sentence but I don't want to get into the argument about "can" verses "able to"). Depending on the context the answer to "Do you swim?" could be something like " Oh yes, I go to the pool on Mondays and Thursdays".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shivampand286001

    What's wrong with "do you know swimming?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve55407

    How would you say do you swim?


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

    "Estás nadando" for "Are you swimming" or simply "Nadas?" for "Do you swim?".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shar76178

    This also means do you know how to swim.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/liam4am

    Just excepted Do you know how to swim


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LoveLeeJenny13

    In every other practice sentence I've gotten Duo says "saber" is "know how to". I get a type what you hear (¿Sabes nadar?) and then I am informed the translation is "can you...". I read the comments to see if there is an explanation to the change, and everyone else wants to use "can you..." :O lol


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrewHopp481725

    Why not ¿Puedes nadar?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stuart506453

    Wouldn't this transition be do you know to swim


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/heena751055

    Can is puede and saber mean to know. So why can is used for sabes?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardArc497495

    I said so you know how to swim. Why is that wrong?


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

    You know to swim = DO you know HOW to swim?? The question marks are the only clue that leads me to add DO and HOW. Other than that I'm stumped.


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

    Oddly, the pull down list shows the two complete answers Duo is using.


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

    Can "Sabes cómo nadar" be correct? I don't understand why "how" is omitted in the Spanish translation.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amble2lingo

    No, Mega_Bobby, "cómo" is not needed in this sentence and it is incorrect to use it in that way. "Saber" means "to know" and "to know HOW TO" (among other things), so "sabes nadar" says it all.


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

    You won't say "Can you how to swim?" in English, too, it's just "Can you swim?". "How" isn't omitted, it wasn't there in the first place in this particular situation.


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

    The translation is not "Can you swim?", but rather "Do you know how to swim?", in which you would definitely use "how" in English. "Can you swim?" would be "¿Puedes nadar?" because "sabes" means "[do] you know" and not "can you".


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

    Yes, you're right. I wasn't specific enough, my point was that different languages may use different constructions in the same situation or similar construction in different situations. "Can you swim?" is similar (of course not 100% but similar nonetheless) in meaning to "Do you know how to swim?" and you use "how" in one and not in the other. In Spanish the structure "verb + infinitive" is used with "saber" and "poder", comparing to English "can" only. Cheers :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/W38uVaQu

    For some reason, I thought about "you no nothing" LoL


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AliT.Firefly

    How come you accepted 'she can't swim' for the first sentence and not 'Can you swim?' for this one? Just askin'..


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

    In the listening practice, how do you tell whether it is "¿Sabes nadar?" or "¿Sabes nada?"


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

    wouldn't it have to have como in the middle?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adriano732737

    ¿Sabes nadar? is definitely a question, so why is "you know how to swim ?" not accepted? Why is the "Do you" needed ? I am always stuck when i have a "Do You.." question and i am trying to train myself to forget the English DO YOU and go straight to the Spanish verb conjugation., Come on Duolingo, in learning Spanish from English we need to think Spanish, since we do not need to be taught an English expression,


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adriano732737

    i have discovered that according to Duolingo the English phrase DO YOU is a substitute for a question mark since Duolingo ignores punctuation!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DivingPro380218

    Silent 'd'? Sounds more like narar


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RajivSriva4

    do you know swimming? what is wrong with this translation as nadar can mean swimming also "nadar en la piscina"

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