Translations are not always directly transferable. This sentence is one type of example. Directly the English equivalent would be "The birds cannot", but I think in this example to native speaker this would mean something more along the lines of "The birds are not able to". So previously someone could have said, "Hey man, why don't you invite those birds to the party and we can have some drinks?". Then you would say "The birds are not able". They are not old enough to come to the party.
"The birds are not able." is wrong but "The birds are not able to." is correct? Do these people not know that it's not good English grammar to end with a preposition? How do these meanings differ? I agree w/lago that it makes no difference what the damned birds can or cannot do but I'm finding "...not able." and "...not able to." as correct vs. incorrect a little strict.
As the little girl told her dad when he came upstairs to read her bedtime story: "Daddy, what did you bring that book that I don't want to be read to out of about down under up for?”
Hanging, stranding, dangling...Of course, a preposition is something we should never end a sentence with. Correct structure: "Mr. Cuckold cursed the milkman, away with whom his wife ran."
There are now dangling preps in some Canadian (and other) French usage, some say because of the English Canadian influence. Tut, tut. Those loose-tongued English flinging preps wherever they like. It's a plague.
Interesting that grammar "rules" such as this one, created in the 1600s (Preposition dangling: "an idiom to which our language is strongly inclined to") become intransigent pillars of grammar for some even when they interfere with clarity.
But then, the controversy makes for some good fun. :)
I have a question about the use of this verb. When you hover over it, it is translated as "cannot." Could I add to the sentence and make, "Los pájaros no pueden nadar." (The birds cannot swim). Also, at first glance it appears to be a double negative, or is that just the way the verb functions; always needing to be proceeded by "no." Or does "Los pájaros peuden" make sense? Or could it make sense in other sentences? Yo puedo vs. Yo no puedo.