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"Puedo querer eso."

Translation:I can want that.

0
5 years ago

105 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/aalzateg
aalzateg
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"I can want that" ??? is that correct english ???

133
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jonbriden

It is a bit of a weird phrase. Why Duolingo does this, I do not know. But it is technically correct English.

Imagine being at a restaurant with a friend. Your friend has eaten a huge meal, and then orders the super-deluxe-mega-sundae. You say to him, "You can't want that", to which he replies "I can want that".

113
Reply44 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TilEulenspiegel

That's a lot of mental gymnastics to justify a nonsensical "sentence" made up of only four words. On DL, you have to reconcile yourself to learning grammatically correct "sentences" that have no use in the real world.

93
Reply24 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oface

It's not about learning sentences wholesale, it's about learning to combine words in meaningful/grammatical ways.

56
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/celso.mattheus

"I might want that" seems like a more natural phrase... Isn't it?

32
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/s-partridge
s-partridge
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That seems more reasonable. Since puedo can also translate as "I may", I may go with "I may want that" in the future.

5
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/s-partridge
s-partridge
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@lynettemcw I'm not sure why you've gone off on me over this. I never said that "I can want that" is wrong. What I said was that it was less reasonable than "I may want that", on the grounds that the former is less common and requires very specific context.

Regardless, I must disagree with your first point, as it is apparent that poder can be used in the context I suggested.

Note the definitions given here. There are several which are equivalent to "might", some which use present tense and others which use the conditional: http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/poder

3
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lawlesslawman

Thanks, this actually really helped me!

0
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kathakali
kathakali
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Sometimes they aren't grammatically correct, either. I wonder how useful it is to learn stuff that is plainly wrong.

3
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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This one is totally gramatically correct. It is even one that I may have heard or said. My scenario is a little different though. You are at a job interview. The interviewer says "This job pays extraordinarily well, but you have to want to work long hours doing exacting work" You respond I can want that. The point is not the scenario, the point is that Duo doesn't teach a lot of vocabulary but does teach grammar and structure and optimizes the ways you can use your vocabulary.

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Doloresanto

The sentence makes perfect sense in Spanish, whether you can understand the concept or not.

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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OK. Good information, but can you give an example? In English you seldom refer to the ability to want.

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mateomijo
Mateomijo
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Very well thought out response

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flavia_santo

then why is it that "I may want what" is not correct?

11
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jfwixted

xtempore ... Ha ha! - that's a great example! I thought the same as most other people - that that sounds really strange English ... but having read through the whole script of this conversation - actually Xtempmore's explanation is great! It definitely makes sense of this expression I think!

5
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/circumbendibus
circumbendibus
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For the nay-sayers: I've used this phrase, and others like it, frequently for exactly the kind of situation xtempore gives. I can't even think of another way to say it!

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Youmeanthatguy
Youmeanthatguy
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Your personal use doesn't constitute a majority of the English-speaking world. The fact is that this phrase sounds unusual. Not bad. Not wrong. Just unusual.

4
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ender.che.

To which you reply, "You have clearly had too much to drink."

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fulltimer

I would reply "I do want that" maybe it is American English?

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LenFriedman

I disagree as you're bringing up a sarcastic remark which may fit the vernacular but hardly represents common practice.

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrandenSpe
BrandenSpe
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normally people in that situation would not say "i can want that" or "you can want that" Maybe "You dont want that" and he replies "i do want that

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bdickson123

"I can want that" is not only grammatically correct English, there are also many situations in which it would make sense. For example:

(1) Bob (husband): "I hope that our son Frank makes it into Harvard. He certainly deserves it a lot more than most of his friends." Lucy (wife): "Bob! How unfeeling of you to say that!" Bob: "What? I just wish that my son be successful in life. He has worked hard at his education; he deserves the best the world has to offer. I can want that."

(2) Jack: "Fred is such a jerk! He sits behind me in history, and the whole time we were taking the test, he was looking over my shoulder and copying off me! It's so unfair! I studied for three hours last night, and he probably didn't do any work at all, but he still did as well as me! I hope the teacher gives him an F and he gets expelled." Jill: "Jack, I think you're jumping to conclusions. Maybe it was just your imagination, or maybe he was in love with the girl in front of you and couldn't take his eyes off her. He could have even been admiring your backpack! You shouldn't give him such a hard time." Jack: "What? Yeah, right. You don't just sit staring at a backpack for eighty minutes. He was definitely cheating. He was breaking the rules and looking at my paper! The teacher should flunk him and give him detention for the rest of the month. I can want that."

Out of context, "I can want that" sounds kind of awkward. However, these examples are just two of many that prove that the sentence makes sense in regular conversation.

Also, remember, the people who contribute to the Spanish language are almost definitely not native English speakers. It is very easy to miss such a subtle thing as this when you have only acquired English as a second language.

Please upvote if you found these examples helpful. I'd like to know whether I need to clarify this more.

30
Reply23 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LewisH65
LewisH65
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I don't think anyone is debating that it's possible to combine the english words in that way. But look at the length of examples you have to give just to justify using it. Not to mention something like "I'm allowed to want that" would sound more natural. The point is that it's an unusual phrase that you wouldn't really hear. Which, IMO, is a moot point anyway since Duo is not always about learning a useful sentence but the underlying grammar and syntax of the language.

7
Reply12 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bilbybog

The lady protesteth too much.

3
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fulltimer

bdickson123.......American sense?

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CecileElam
CecileElam
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I truly did like your examples; however, the pull-down menu did list the word "may" as well as "can" so either should be correct but mine was marked wrong when I used "may".

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/susiseller

I thought she was saying "Puedo creer eso" because "querer" just didn't make sense

6
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jamesw0906

Very strange sentence,which unfortunately we see once in a while here in DL.

4
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MelissaMil981126

You can't want that! I can want that.

3
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LawrenceHa12

this one makes me cringe everytime I see it

3
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/el-Canguro

not really ---- I could want or could love "podria" would be better, but the present of poder was used.

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HossKash

Not at all

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/beantorrent

I can love that

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jindr004
jindr004
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Jumping in here because this discussion has gone WAY off the mark.

When some random phrase seems weird, like this one, it is often a good idea to go looking for how it is used. As you might expect, the problem here is a lack of appropriate context that suggests the correct translation.

In my experience this is more often a phrase of negation, and a quick internet search suggests this is generally true. It is not often that one says that "I can want that" in English or Spanish, but in Spanish it is reasonably common to say no puedo querer eso ("I cannot want that" is the literal translation, but the meaning is closer to "I don't want that").

  • Yo no puedo querer eso, ni soñarlo. (I can neither want that, nor dream it.)

  • Por q me responde feo q no puedo querer eso. (Why did she snub me, I don't want that)

  • Lo siento, pero no puedo querer eso. (I am sorry, but I don't want that)

and a variation on the idea that mixes it up.

  • Ya no te puedo querer, eso no puedo, porque tu me mentiste.

Hope this helps.

26
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amber.henr

Are there any examples of this used in the positive? I can understand it in the negative but still don't understand how this would be used as a positive. "I don't want that" makes more sense than "I can want that". It is much more common to use the phrase "I don't want that". All the other posts using "I can want that" seem like a stretch, they work but they are not common.

3
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jindr004
jindr004
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There are many examples of positive phrases with puedo querer, a very common one in song is cómo la puedo querer tanto (How can I desire/love her so much?). What is at issue here is the addition of the eso, which pretty much excludes this very common construction, and makes it a phrase of wanting something.

The most usual example of a positive eso usage that comes to mind is someone arguing a hypothetical point; Me gustaría que mis alumnos disfrutar de hablar de Borges. Puedo quiero eso; pero es muy raro. Because of its construction I have trouble imagining a common situation where it would not be immediately negated since the eso is to some degree unnecessary, and its inclusion is an emphatic repetition that stresses what it is that you want (I can want THAT). That construction is only common when you are about to emphasize that what it is you want isn't going to happen.

Another example that immediately comes to mind is someone muttering to themselves in a doorway while rocking back and forth Sí, puedo quiero eso...

5
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amber.henr

Thanks! Most helpful :)

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kazmax1

Many thanks for that, jindr004.

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fulltimer

Jindr004.......graçias this helps

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neet
neet
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Is "I may want that" a correct translation for this?

9
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jonbriden

I think that is correct, and makes a lot more sense that "I can want that".

3
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/circumbendibus
circumbendibus
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Since folks are getting technical, my guess is that you and neet mean "I might want that", in the sense that it is possible. "I may want that", in the sense of "I am allowed", gets even weirder. I agree with ElCanguro that "I could want that" is a little more likely to pop up.

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kazmax1

I don't understand how you can interpret "I may want that" as meaning "I am allowed". Huh? I think "I may want that" could very easily be used if, for example, one were making something and another person went to take one of your tools. You could say, "Leave it! I may want that, later."

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tecalai

I agree with you, Kazmax1. I see it as "perhaps' rather than permission.

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/espy84

that is definitely the better translation for this sentence but DL has marked it wrong

3
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CrisBoc

It's still marked wrong as of January 21th 2014. I just reported it.

3
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KalmanKovari

still marked wrong on the 13th Feb. one more report.

3
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kazmax1

Still marked wrong on 13 Oct 2014.

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/metakemoto

Still marked wrong on 28 April 2015.

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/andreleana
andreleana
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Still marked wrong on 16 Sept 2015 :/

2
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tecalai

That is more natural and should be accepted.

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/virharding

I went with "I can love that". "Love" and "want" were both given as translations for "querer". It was marked wrong with this advice: 'Be careful not to confuse "want" and "love"!' In English we "love" inanimate objects like cars and pie and shoes. In Spanish do you "love" only people?

6
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hunter18288

I believe "Me encanta _" would be used to say you really like or you love an inanimate object.

8
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/virharding

Ah, now that I think about it, I think I've seen that on McDonald's billboards.

5
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ph516503
ph516503
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i think i heard that in a Pixies song somewhere

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheSupernatural

Not sure if this is still relevant to you (Duolingo needs to make timestamps public on comments), but "querer" is used to mean the type of way that you love a family member or close friend.

Quiero a mi hija muchísimo -> I love my daughter a whole lot

8
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DasShadyLilOvO

I agree. (Yes, I know that the app lacks the richer features of the full website, such as time stamps for comments.)

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kazmax1

Virharding, no, Spanish-speakers love inanimate objects, also, but they use "me encanta", not "quiero" to express themselves.. For example, "Me encanta este libro."

3
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lechuza-chouette
Lechuza-chouette
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"I can love that" is now accepted.

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kalakatsounas

i think it would sound better if it was: I COULD love/want that. to me is more sensible like that

6
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jonbriden

Yeah, but "puedo" is "I can", not "I could". For that you'd need the conditional, "Podría".

3
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kalakatsounas

ok, you are right! thanks

2
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JimVahl

But in your defense, the example is a very atypical example in English, and, like you, I have the urge to change it to make it more natural.

6
Reply5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/filipmc
filipmc
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I thought about typing, "I can want that", but it sounded ridiculous, so instead I typed "I may want that". I think this is a pedagogical flaw in duoLingo's use of weird sentences. They want us to translate blindly word-for-word, and this type of rather nonsensical sentence punishes us if we try to translate meaning.

4
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SusannaEDavis420

I can want that if I want to want it.

3
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Noah.Sulfridge

Look into how Duo works before whining about a free app that teaches you almost every language under the sun. For God's sake, bunch of libs.. let the above posts be a testament to the fact that people can't even accept free stuff without whining about it.

3
Reply11 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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I am glad someone else is saying this. Some users even seem to get personally offended if their answer is not accepted. It is one thing if it were a human teacher perhaps, but it's a lot to expect from a computer.

0
Reply11 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/david.godfrey

"I can want that." 0_o

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/romegio

I see the commentary here and agree...The question that I have is WHY bother making sentences that are useless. This is very frustrating.. I am constantly running into totally worthless sentences.

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vessiecakes
vessiecakes
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The point of the exercise is to teach you the rules of grammar and sentence structure. The exact example sentence may not be practical for you to use, but you now know how to make your own sentences with different vocabulary using these same rules. If you want to focus on vocabulary and solely "practical" sentences, Duolingo probably isn't the best tool for you to use.

4
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jar30pma23

To teach rules of grammar in any language using nonsense sentences might work for Lewis Carrol, but not so in the real world. I do laugh at some of the twisted English constructs here, but " ha, ha, ha" goes just so far!! Especially when Duo says.......Nein!!!!!!!

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jar30pma23

See dictionary,- querer also means "accept" My response "I can accept that" marked wrong!!

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HarpoChico

This turn of phrase reminds me of a schmaltzy pop song of the late 60s. Baby I'm a want you... Who can remember Bread?

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ClaudioCos1

Why "I may want that" is not accepted?

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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If 130 people vote this sentence down, there is a possibility a moderator may flag it.

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ndreon

I asked them to follow it with "but I choose not to".

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PeterLukac2

"I may want" is better

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cruisinlight

"Puedo querer" means I can want. "Podría querer" is I could want. "Posiblemente quiera" or "Puede que yo quiera" would be more like I may want.

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tecalai

I agree with PeterLukac2. It carries the sense of "perhaps."

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HarpoChico

I recall an old pop song from the seventies that ran 'Baby I'm a want you' (Bread). Those words were a lot worse than this, but similar.

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HobbesCaleb42

Someone from the Duolingo staff needs to get on here and explain themselves. Poder usually means either may or can and I need to know why only can was accepted in this instance.

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HobbesCaleb42

January 23, 2015.

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alvares_21

"Puedo querer eso" doesn't pass an idea of likelyhood too? That would make "I may/might want that" correct

1
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mojavejeeper

I can WISH that. I can wish that wish would be accepted. I thought that was an accepted translation of querer. Why not?

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TriciaMuir

Obviously English is not Duolingo's first language, shall we say?

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lynettemcw
lynettemcw
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Actually it is. There is absolutely nothing grammatically wrong with this sentence. That you may have never.heard or said this is not surprising. There are two basic.concepts behind the sentences Duo models. It models the correct way to express many of the common things you say, especially things that don't quite translate well. That is your basic phrasebook concept. But if you are going to end up really using Spanish in real life situations, you are going to need to say things that you might never expect to say. So Duo models unusual sentences where you are not able to rely on your memory from when you.may have heard such a sentence. You only rely on what you know. Duo doesn't teach a lot of vocabulary, but it does teach those words well.

3
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SveinGystad

They have so many crazy expressions I've never heard used in daily conversations it's unbelievable!

1
Reply2 years ago