"¿Abres eso, por favor?"
Translation:Can you open that, please?
"Could you open that, please?" is accepted. "Open that, please?" is not. The Spanish almost appears to be more of command than a request but it's not. I wondered why didn't they use the imperative "abre eso" or "abra eso"? The following answered my question and was very helpful.
You can drop poder and still be polite as long as you add por favor.
"One major difference between English and Spanish is that the latter ... doesn't need auxiliary verbs to construct tenses, as English does (in this case, "would"). Now, this conditional form, omitting the verb "poder"...is ...the preferred usage. Still, the form preceded by the verb poder is not uncommon, as a way to emphasize politeness.
"¿Me da una servilleta?" The approximate English correspondance would be: "Do you give me a napkin?", which would not be used in that situation. Now, in Spanish, this option is used at least as much as the conditional..., if not more. This one sounds closer to the imperative form, but it's not ...(which would be "Deme una servilleta").
A slight and curious difference between the usage of the conditional and non-conditional form for making a request:
"¿Me da una servilleta, por favor?" and "¿Me daría una servilleta?" sound similarly polite. If you omit "por favor" (please) in the first case, you risk sounding a bit impolite (obviously, depending on your general attitude and tone)."
The new tree has several sentences where the present tense is translated "Can I ...?" or "Can you ...?" Its like "No encuentro mis llaves" I can't find my keys.
"Open that" is a command. Duo would express that as "Abre eso" or "Abra Ud. eso" probably.
Duo knows Spanish perfectly. Duo seems not to know English perfectly. I would not say, "Can you --- please?" Some people do, but it has the impression of not wanting to really say what you mean - a sort of suppressed guilt. I would say, "Will you - - - please?"
In my English,"Can you" really asks "Are you able".
The answer could then be ,"Yes, I can." and nothing more. or even "Yes I can, but I am not willing, or " Yes I can, but won"t - - -"
I have noticed other times where the answer does not correspond to the normal English we use here. (Brisbane, Queensland.)
Duo tends more toward American English. In American English, it's very common to end the sentence with "please" (and doesnt detract from the sincerity at all).
Nachotime had a good explanation of how to make requests using poder (although poder has been dropped from the Duolingo sentence):
"I recommend reserving podría (conditional, usted) for very polite requests (or for asking favors that make you feel slightly guilty), and making puedes (present, tú) your default, since it sits somewhere in the middle of the politeness ladder:"
—¿Le podría decir a su hijo que deje de tirarme patatas fritas? “(conditional, usted): Could you tell your son to stop throwing (at) me French fries?”
—¿Le puede decir a su hijo que deje de tirarme patatas fritas? “(present, usted): Can you…”
—¿Le puedes decir a tu hijo que deje de tirarme patatas fritas? “(present, tú): Can you…”
—Dígale a su hijo que deje de tirarme patatas fritas. “(imperative, usted): Tell your son…“
—Dile a tu hijo que deje de tirarme patatas fritas. “(imperative, tú): Tell your son…“
"We sometimes use can you and will you to make requests but they are more informal"
Just looks like "you open that" I don't see any way there is a "can" antplace
I don't understand "can". If it were not a question, it would be "you open that", correct? Does the question mark imply ability as in "are you able to open that" or does the question mark imply a request as in "are you willing to open that" or is it merely a plea "could you please open that". In English, "can you open that" is a very unclear way of speaking.