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"¡Yo no encuentro mi libro de español!"

Translation:I can't find my Spanish book!

February 25, 2018

23 Comments


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

Wouldn't this be - Yo no puedo encontrar mi libro de espanol-? As the sentence is written in the present tense, shouldn't -I do not find my Spanish book- be acceptable. I was marked wrong.

February 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmmaMitche89062

The "puedo" is not needed here, or rather you don't need to translate the "can't" into Spanish. It literally translates as "I am not finding my Spanish book" and so it's self-explanatory that you "can't" find it. It's the same as when you say "I can't/don't see any books on the table" - "no veo ningún libro en la mesa". "yo no nado "-" I can't /don't swim" etc.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nEjh0qr4

Thanks, Emma. You seem to be correct, but Duo sometimes requires poder with some verbs, even when physical ability isn't an issue. Are there some verbs that need poder when "can" or "can't" would be appropriate in English but physical ability isn't involved?

Hope this question makes sense--it's a little bit difficult to formulate!

May 31, 2019

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

Most verbs do that. Outside of questions (where English loves using additional modal verbs when it comes to requests or suggestions), the only group of verbs that comes to mind that doesn't use poder when English normally uses "can" are verbs of perception - ver, oír, encontrar, comprender, etc. Verbs of perception describe actions of one or more senses with the goal of receiving a specific piece of information about the outside world. (That is, if my definition game is up to par. :´)

Other verbs behave just like in English:

  • Yo bailo. - I am dancing. | Yo puedo bailar. - I can dance.
  • ¿No nadas? - Won't you swim? | ¿No puedes nadar? - Can´t you swim?
  • ¿Lees esa frase? - Are you reading that sentence? | ¿Puedes leer esa frase? - Can you read that sentence?

Compare with:

  • No veo la tele. - I don't/can't see the TV.
  • ¿Entiendes a Wally? - Do/can you find Waldo?
  • Simplemente no lo entiendes. - You just can't/don't understand.

If you have more questions or want to challenge my definition, you're welcome to respond. Verbs of perception are a tough group to stake off.

May 31, 2019

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

Why not -I do not find - or -I am not finding -?

March 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/z423x5c6

Same question here, reported.

June 3, 2018

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

I do not find...accepted 12-26-2018

December 26, 2018

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

Inability is implied in the Spanish sentence. In general, one would not say "Yo no puedo encontrar mi libro," but would probably say "No encuentro mi libro." You would be understood by saying either or, however, the second sentence is more idiomatically correct.

June 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fedor-A-learner

this is another example where the translation doesn't have to be literal, so the correct sentence is "i can't find my spanish book" even though "no encuentro" means "i don't find".

July 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swanee11

Agreed. "Can't" doesn't appear and isn't implied.

June 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/isabellacu507425

I put I cannot find my Spanish book and I got it wrong which is the same thing as I can't find my spainish book!

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gatoblanco26

Is there any significance to the exclamation marks that would make the translation the more desperate "I can't find my book!" rather than the more casual: "I am not finding my book" or "I don't find my book."

July 18, 2018

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

Would you even say "I am not finding my book" in English?

The exclamation marks seem to add some desperation, but they don't change the meaning.

March 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/isabellacu507425

and I reported it

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scott31461

"¡Yo no encuentro mi libro de español!"

Why is this a correct translation when it doesn't have "can't" as the sentence below does with "no puedo"?

"¡Yo no puedo encontrar mi libro de español!"

October 2, 2018

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

English prefers using "can" with verbs of perception - especially in questions and negative statements. Spanish is fine with just the full verb.

  • No te oí. - I couldn't hear you.
  • ¿Ves aquel hombre? - Can you see that man?
  • No encuentro mis calcetines. - I cannot find my socks.
March 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nEjh0qr4

Scott, I don't know about all verbs of perception, per Ryagon's explanation, but Duo does indicate that encontrar doesnt' need a form of poder to mean "can't find." See https://www.duolingo.com/skill/es/School-4/tips

May 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rafael721666

In an earlier exercise, "I didn't find the credit card" was correct. But in this exercise i must say "I can't find my Spanish book." Duolingo REALLY needs to work on consistency!!!!!

June 10, 2019

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

It's understandable, though. "I didn't find" is a much likelier statement than "I don't find". In the former case, you finished looking so you can make a statement like that about the result of the entire process. In the latter, the process of looking is still ongoing, so making such an encompassing statement is a bit odd.

June 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rafael721666

In both cases the construction "no encuentro" was used. In the first case my answer, "I can't find," was rejected. In the second case, I chose my answer, "I didn't find" because of my experience with the first case, but THAT answer was rejected this time. This, to me, is not just an issue of consistency from exercise to exercise. It seems to me that Duolingo is just flat out wrong in some circumstances. If "I can't find" something, then the construction, "no puedo encontrar" should be used.

June 10, 2019

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

Okay, if both sentences were in present tense in Spanish, it's a bit odd to accept a past-tense translation. That shouldn't be the case.

But "I can't find" as a translation for "no encuentro" is pretty fine. English prefers to use "can" with verbs of perception when asking whether your perception is successful, or in negative statement when your perception is unsuccessful. Spanish is fine with the main verb on its own.

  • ¿Ves la pantalla? - Can you see the screen?
  • ¡No te oigo! - I can't hear you!
  • ¿No encuentras el libro? - Can't you find the book?
June 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rafael721666

Thanks, RyagonIV, for sticking with me on this. I know you are not responsible for my complaints about Duolingo or the Spanish language.

But how am I, or anyone for that matter, supposed to know what you mean when you say "no encuentro?" If it can mean "I can't find" or "I didn't find" then Duolingo should accept both answers in both of the examples I cited above. Instead, it accepts only one of the two possible answers, and it goes a different way for each exercise. I have enough trouble with the inconsistencies within the language itself, without Duolingo adding its own inconsistencies.

June 10, 2019

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

If I say "No encuentro [algo]", it means "I can't find [something]". I'm still searching or have just ended the search.

"I didn't find [something]" would imply that the search has ended a while ago, right? You don't expect to find the object anymore. That would likewise use the preterite tense in Spanish: "No encontré [algo]."

June 11, 2019
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