"¿Cierro la botella?"
Translation:Should I close the bottle?
Good question, DaveHarris. I think there you have the right idea. But I am getting the idea that this would be the more relaxed way to express such a question. I personally hate learning something in a language and then finding out later the hard way that I sound super formal and stuffy. You know?
Yes, I do! Actually, only a few more phrases though this section I appreciated that it's just Duo's way of teaching us that very thing.
In English we express politeness with modal words. We also quite happily mix up our present tense(s) with the future, the past and so on, just as Spanish does (only slightly differently). I'm sure there's a Linguistics MA in there somewhere but for now I absorb it all and just revel in the delights of both the similarities and the differences.
Close is an awkward way to say stopper or seal or cap or cork.
Besides, even in Spanish "tapar" is more appropriate!
Does anyone know where the "should" comes from here? I thought should would be "the conditional", but looking it up online it says it's "the preterite". Yet this conjugation is "the present". Confused.
Apparently, it is common in simple Spanish requests to ignore the need for "deber" and "poder". ¿For simplicity? ¿Because of simplicity? ¿Or sheer laziness?
I get it. I don't particularly like it but I get it.
It might be best to think of it as just the way the language developed, rather than as "laziness."