1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Er könnte es machen."

"Er könnte es machen."

Translation:He could do it.

April 15, 2013

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Borracini

I answered "He could have made it" and lost a heart. What would be the german sentence for what I wrote?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fuzzy889

Word for word that comes out to "Er könnte es getan/gemacht haben", (not sure if they prefer tun or machen here) but that really doesn't make any sense in German.

They would say "Er hätte es tun/machen können" which really doesn't make any sense in English.

"hätte" = "would have"

"tun/machen" = "do/make"

"können" = "(to) be able to"

That comes out to something like "He would have be able (to) make it". Switch "be able to" to past tense "been able to" and it's functional English. I've no clue why they use present tense here, but I'm not German. 'Just go with it' is often the easiest approach.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bodo765038

"Er könnte es gemacht\getan haben." does make sense in germany. It means, that he might have done it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dghitc

Could this also translate to, "He could make it?" "Make" was in the hover.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ozgur_neo

Ich denke das auch. Es besteht eine hoche Möglichkeit.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trottoar

Is there such a difference in the translation of this sentence between "He could do that" and "He could do it"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/izo_sak

Why is it könnte and not konnte? According to the conjugation table duolingo offers to this verb, konnte is the past conjugation of the verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

"Konnte" is past tense ("Yesterday, he could do it, but today he can't"), and "könnte" is subjunctive ("He could do it if he had time"), and both of them translate to "could." You ought to be able to put in either one, though as a stand-alone sentence I would tend to favor the subjunctive "könnte." (For past tense, I would usually say "could have done it" in this particular sentence.) But if "konnte" isn't working, I'd say it certainly should.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/john376507

Subjunctive or conditional ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roman2095

Well it is the German Konjunktiv but that does not mean the same thing as the English subjunctive here so it is a bit misleading to use the English term. I would call it the conditional in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartynK

Wouldn't "Er kOnnte es machen" mean the same? It seems that lot of stuff here is in konjunktiv praeteritum, but what the heck is that? (I sort of googled the werbs)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fuzzy889

German differentiates between "He could do it" as in "He would be able to do it" (konjunktiv; könnte) and "He could do it" as in "He was able to do it" (past participle; konnte).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartynK

Thank you. You saved the good people of this library I'm sitting in a lot of swearing :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jamesjddong

How come the answer above for "Er könnte es machen" is 'He could do it' instead of he would be able to do it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fuzzy889

Because "He could do it" means "He would be able to do it".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fuzzy889

"He would be able to do it" should be a right answer here as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jhladky

You should select "My answer should be accepted" under the report problem button. They really do a good job of fixing that sort of thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/steveo6

He can make it should be acceptable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fuzzy889

Well, not really. "can" is the wrong tense. They're looking for the subjunctive usage of "could" as in "would be able to". "Könnte" in german. "He can" would be "Er kann". "He could" is "Er könnte".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/capt.cacan

I wrote "He could do that" and got it wrong is it really different?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matt-T-T

I don't see a functional difference between "He could make it" and "He can make it" but the latter is wrong.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.