"¿Podemos tocar esa moto?"

Translation:Can we touch that motorcycle?

5 years ago

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/TilEulenspiegel

Either "poder" can be translated as "allowed to/may" as well as "able to" or it cannot. My dictionaries say these are both valid translations, yet DL is completely inconsistent in allowing either translation in various exercises.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lechuza-chouette
Lechuza-chouette
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I translated "podemos" as "may" and was marked wrong.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/spade

why did they use the feminine esa in this sentence?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Iago
Iago
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Lol it's a little confusing because it "looks" masculine, just remember that moto is short for motocicleta which definitely looks feminine.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fluent2B

Yes, just as "la foto" is short for "la fotografía" and is also a feminine noun.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bonbayel
bonbayelPlus
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and there are a bunch of other masculines that end in a, pretty much all of which are of Greek origin. I found this link with a lot of the gender inconsistencies: http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/genderreversal.htm

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
rocko2012
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"Moto" is a feminine noun.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dougconnah

Congrats for the 365! Move over, Cal Ripken Jr.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knightrider2201

because moto is short for motocicleta which is feminine just like foto is short for fotografia.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/paddy01
paddy01
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Are we able to touch this motorcycle? Is not poder translated as "can" or "are able"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RMG18
RMG18
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notified 10th March 2015

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alexwazzu

Doesn't moto also mean "motor"? Is context the only way to determine whether or not the sentence is referring to a motorcycle instead of an engine?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Duomail
Duomail
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No, it doesn't. The English "engine" or "motor" are (el) "motor" in Spanish (masculine).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CharmingTiger
CharmingTiger
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I put 'scooter' instead of 'motorcycle' and was marked wrong. Why is it wrong if they have it listed as a possible word for 'moto'?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/evadpvr

The answer should be may, not can. This is a question of permission, not of ability. Can should be a wrong answer in this case.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
rocko2012
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To me both should be allowed. Since both ideas are possible. I think duolingo usually translates the verb "poder" as "can" though.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/evadpvr

In modern usage, both are allowed, but in the eyes of a purist, may is correct. I agree that the right solution is to allow both answers.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/killary45
killary45Plus
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Sorry evadpvr, but I do not agree with you.

"Can I?" does not not just mean "Am I able to...?", but also "Do I have permission to...?". Those who argue that we should not say "Can I go home now?" when asking permission are plain wrong, because more than a billion English speakers use "can" in that way.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BobTallyHo

This opens a world of debate. This is how dialects, and even separate languages, develop. I learned, in the 50s and 60s, that evadpvr is correct....'may' is for permission, 'can' is for ability to accomplish. As far as formal English, it is quite easy to imagine that a billion English speakers simply use it 'wrong'. That said, over time, it may no longer be considered wrong.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/evadpvr

I am not saying that "can" is "wrong" in contemporary English. I am saying that Duolingo should also accept "may", and emphasizing my point by noting that "may" is the more correct answer in accordance with the "older", more formal norms (which I still follow, even if more than a billion people do not).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tropicalnut
tropicalnut
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I don't think it is possible to assume from the Spanish snippet if permission is being asked or if someone just was asking if they got to the point where they can finally touch it, as when it was buried and was being dug out. It seems that can is officially part of English just like ok is, both were wrong at one time. Language is alive and evolves.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bonbayel
bonbayelPlus
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"can" in the English-teacher-accepted form would mean something like, "is it possible for me to reach it, or is it safe for me to touch it?" I agree that while most people (unfortunately) say can, thus weakening the language, certainly 'may" has to be accepted here, since it is the more correct. (I used to be an English teacher in another country, and a technical writer, where it is very important to write exactly what is meant!)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SqueezeboxSarah

A lot of people doing it doesn't make it correct. Chris's answer regarding dialects is also correct, however much it makes me shudder, especially considering how I can no longer use "literally" to mean "literally" because millions of people prefer to use it as if it means "figuratively."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pverleur
pverleur
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So the majority determines what is correct? That is a dark path toward common mediocrity

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bonbayel
bonbayelPlus
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Usage is probably a 'Majority Rules' thing, despite the hard work of English teachers (although even some of them don't know the difference beteen these or lie or lay either.) But I can cite similar problems in other languages (Danes can't distinguish 'af' (from) and 'ad' (by way of). Norwegian lumps the two together as 'å', which is how they were both being pronounced.)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan_dos

No frustrates and irritates the hell out of me. "May we touch that motorcycle" means exactly the same thing. I'll stop the clutter when the translation application stops flagging legitimate translations as wrong.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bonbayel
bonbayelPlus
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I guess we should remember that this is a new application, and our comments are here to help them get better. There are so many variations for many things. What really irritates me is when I use one of their suggestions and it's not accepted!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/emckim

Scooter should be accepted for "moto"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/57flora

So a few questions back tocar i think translated to play such as an instrument now we are back to touching does it have both meaning or am i mixing up with another verb

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RoarieG

Pregunta - ¿Es hay una palabra especial por "may" o "may I" en español? (Thought I'd try asking this in Spanish so forgive my infantile translation if it's wrong!) But, is there a specific word for "may" as in the manner word for "may I" not Mayo as in the month? Thank you :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/runninbear

Where can I find explanations of when to use 'eso, esa and ese?'

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DerekVerri

'Are we able to touch the motorcycle was marked wrong'. Seems like a valid translation

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pedro.Ronaldo

so what is it? Motor, motorcycle, motor bike, engine?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Paul260426

MAY shoulbe accepted because it is CORRECT!!

1 month ago
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