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  5. "Quiero poder hablar español."

"Quiero poder hablar español."

Translation:I want to be able to speak Spanish.

May 26, 2018



Triple verb combo!


Si estás viajando a Mexico pronto, estás por tener que querer poder hablar español

  • 1213

Finally! First time seeing a double infinitive on DL. So this is how you do it: poder + hablar


I noticed that also. I have seen it a couple times, but it is rare.

The other two times I recorded also involve "poder"


As a wise Jedi once said... "that's....why i'm here"

  • 1213

I must admit I originally thought of "I want to can to speak Spanish." first time I saw this sentence.


Why is talk Spanish not correct?


"Speak spanish" is correct since it would mean "to know spanish" (saber español). "Talk" goes more for "talk IN spanish" (hablar en español). In this case, the sentence represents the desire to know spanish.


I believe that, actually, the sentence is about being able to "speak Spanish."

In addition, I know Spanish when I hear it, even if I don't understand it.
I can read Spanish (and "know" Spanish in that respect), but am not very good at talking in Spanish (speaking Spanish).

I would like to be more able to speak Spanish, as my ability is weak.

Many people "know" something in theory, without being able to perform it.


All interesting stuff but readers beware, don't be put off learning your second language. Most folk do not have this level of understanding of their own native tongue yet they are still able to communicate and enjoy life. Keep going you're doing just fine.


Is 'I want to try to speak Spanish' also correct?

  • 1942

I'd say no. Poder (literally power in Spanish) is all about having the power to do something---similar to lograr.

It's different than just trying, which would be intentar or tratar de.


Two different verbs, in fact you are misusing the word ''try'' (though this is very common, possibly because it is much simpler to say than ''be able to''). In Spanish, French and other languages, the concepts are more defined. Poder relates to ability and possibility and as duggg said, power, just as pouvoir does in French and both are irregular (it's a Latin thing). It's a good word for translating ''might'', as in ''that might happen'' - ''eso podría pasar''. Whereas to try really means to attempt, to test, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. You wouldn't use ''poder'' to translate it into Spanish.


Why cant I say talk insead of speak?

  • 1213

Yes, you can. You can say "talk in Spanish" but not "talk Spanish".


so what's the limit to stacking all these verbs? this is the first time I see it stack up to three

  • 1213

There is no limit, grammatically, but the sentence would usually end up hard to understand with more than 3 stacked infinitives, though it would still be valid. Solo tienes que querer tratar de aprender a necesitar ir a hablar con gente confusa. You just have to want to try to learn to need to go to talk to confusing people.


Talk and speak are synonyms. That shouldn't be a mistake.


The phrase “talk Spanish” sounds awkward in English.


"I want to be able to speak in Spanish" is wrong. Can anyone tell me why ? I think it's very similar to the correct solution


You and me both ;)


I wish i could speak Spanish, this is how i would say that in English

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