"If he wanted to eat."

Translation:Si él quisiera comer.

5 years ago

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/RamseyLinguist

Could someone please help me understand how this different from "si él quiso comer."?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ericalridley
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quiso is done and definite, ie we know for sure if he did or didn't want to. Quisiera is indefinite, ie we aren't sure if he did or didn't want to

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lisanicholas

Another way to say what ericalridley has explained is that conditional clauses like this one require the subjunctive case, because it is posing a hypothetical scenario. This is different than if you said, "If he wanted to go to the store, why didn't he tell me?" -- in this case, you know he wanted to go to the store (you're not posing a hypothetical case").

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ubernichts

But there is not enough information to say this sentence is not the case where he knows the answer.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatriciaJH
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Exactly. In Spanish, if you don't know and can't tell, you use the subjunctive.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeroen6200090
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"Si quisiera comer" was not accepted. Why is "él" necessary in this case?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LydiaSande

Apparently, Duo wants the English to Spanish translations to be more precise than the Spanish to English ones. I´ve learned to always include the specific third person noun if it´s given, just to avoid losing hearts.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/martinlus
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Same here! Top tip! If in doubt, don't leave it out!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PinkyGreen

I think it's because there is no context and if there is no context you have to be specific.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chileice

There is not enough information to say that this must be subjunctive. It is not a complete sentence in Spanish or in English. "If he wanted to eat." is not a complete sentence. It needs another phrase either before or after. "He would have gone to Mc Donalds if he wanted to eat." or "If he wanted to eat he could buy some bananas." Those are complete sentences with enough information to make a translation accurate.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jjcthorpe

quisiera also means "I WOULD/he WOULD like" though doesn't it?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LowKey99

what about "si el -queria- comer?" I can't get my head around this. Please help if you can.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Common-Wealth
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If it were known definitively that it had occured.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LowKey99

I think I am starting to get this little by little based on the posts above. Still miles away from spouting this all fluently to a native speaker, but that's beside the point. Xp

Basically, the key difference here is the word "if," or so I gather. Had the sentence simply been, "He wanted to eat," we could have used preterite (quiso) or past imperfect (queria), which would have just plainly and definitively stated that he "wanted."

Since the word "if" is there, I am starting to get that we have to state it more carefully with the subjunctive (quisiera) which gives more of a "would like" translation instead of the static "wanted."

Let me know if I'm way off or not. I am many things, but an expert in Spanish is not one of them (yet). Thanks to all who have posted so far.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Russ_Eaton
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I think in terms of "might"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
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So this is the imperfect subjunctive?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IshtarmuzI

How in a general update of skills (i.e, not in a subjunctive lesson) would you have a context to distinguish this answer from "Si él quería comer."?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mollyglot
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How is this different from "If he would like to eat"??

4 years ago
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