"Appear" certainly makes it sound like Nearly Headless Nick talking to Harry Potter...
Because that would probably be: "Puedo hacer una aparición esta noche." Not the same sentence.
"I can make an appearance" is much better, providing that's what it means in Spanish. In American english "I can appear" sounds supernatural or futuristic i.e. I'm a ghost or I'll project a hologram of myself on the wall. It seems like they're going for I'll be there or I'll make an appearance.
I agree that this is a much more natural way to say this in English. I would report it.
I can come tonight is a small leap frog translation. That happens when you translate the sentence and retranslate it to have it somehow make more sense to you, but with no more evidence that your meaning is correct. Even if you assume that this is essentially is meant to mean put in an appearance, you first don't know whether to say I can come or I can go. That's one of the point of view distinction verb pairs that Spanish does have. And then you would have to somehow account for why the speaker didn't simply say come or go. For example if we were talking about the company Christmas party in a large company, I might say I can appear there (or make an appearance) and if you translated my subtext it would end up to be something like. I can go to the party, get seen by my boss and the higher ups and slip out in time to do something I would rather do. Obviously if you translated this sentence that way it would be a lot more leap frogs than you made, but noticing and appreciating someones word choice is an important part of communication.
Of course appear is used in specialized contexts as well. You appear in court, before congress and the Un. You appear on television shows and in your own and other people's artistic performances of various types. The point is that the missing context would probably explain the word choice. And one reason for using it is that if the person listening doesn't understand they are likely to say What do you mean? Even native speakers do that all the time. But you can be sure that what was trying to be communicated her was more than I can come.
I would distill that into "your answer might very well be correct if we could see some context"
You seem to use the same techniques in your "distilling" as you do in translating. The concept that something "might very well be correct" if we could see some context misses the point. I have listed more possibilities that suggest that it very well might not. The bottom line is that you are translating based on a set of assumptions that you have no basis for making. Whenever one sees a sentence out of context, one tends to assume some context to understand it. But when translating if your assumption assumes something that results in a different translation than would be made in other circumstances, especially those which comport better with the essential meaning of the words. This is especially true on Duo. Duo tends to avoid context to some extent because it is trying to teach vocabulary grammar and syntax. Here they are, among other things, teaching the verb aparacer which does not mean come. It means appear. Situational context has a cultural component, but not really a linguistic one. Your understanding of the situational context generally requires no "translation" so Duo doesn't need to teach you to interpret that. It just needs to teach the language.
To me, "I can show up tonight" is more idiomatic. Kudos to DL that it is getting better at recognizing idiomatic expressions.
I agree. It is sometimes quite difficult to figure how far to go, though, without avoiding Duo's point in the exercise, but some definitely need some tweaking from the literal. But true cognates are also good to recognize and remember. I say this as someone whose ability to learn and speak a new language is much greater than my ability to smoothly translate into another language. I learned German in country in an environment where most of the people I spoke to did not speak English. So I quickly got beyond learning German from English and sort of lost the connection. German is the king of compound words and it was fairly easy for me to understand many new words because they were made up of components I knew. The point is I got to a point of thinking in German really quickly. I would even be thinking in German trying to find the German word for a word that was already German without thinking about it. The point is, often the less you concentrate on the best translation for a sentence you allow yourself to absorb more of the nuances of the Spanish because that is your major frame of reference.
"Esta noche" is how you say "tonight" in Spanish. Sure it literally translates to "this night" but in English nobody says it that way. I suppose in the context of someone pointing at a specific date on a calendar might say "this night" and "esta noche" but that seems a bit contrived.
Duo doesn't like translations that appear so word for word but are uncommon for English that it doesn't seem that the student understands the actual meaning of the sentence. Esta noche means tonight. Spanish has no other way of saying tonight. If I heard someone say I can appear this night in English, I would assume they were pointing to a future date on the calendar, not saying tonight. Since esta noche means tonight in Spanish, if a Spanish speaker were in a similar situation they would probably say esa or aquella noche to indicate any other night.
I disagree. People don't say this night. The only time you might hear it would be for a sort of emphasis or for this night as opposed to that night (looking at a calendar of events) Since este noche is the only way to express tonight, I think that a Spanish speaker would add another word for emphasis in Spanish on the first example and esa and aquella in the second example. In Dickens time when this night was said somewhat regularly it would have been different.
I can COME tonight is more appropriate. Unless you are a magician or maybe a comedian or actor? Duolingo should get a native speaker to review their answers imho.
Their answer is correct. You would probably not use the sentence unless you were an entertainer or a vampire, but I can come tonight is a different sentence with a different meaning. Probably the best sentence would be, "Puedo llegar esta noche," or "Puedo venir esta noche." I think llegar might be more commonly used for this sense, but a native speaker might have better insight.
I tried "I can be there tonight" and it was not accepted (June 2017). It sounds more natural in conversation than "appear" which sounds supernatural or "make an appearance" which sounds like a court date or a performance of some type, or someone who doesn't really want to go to the party but reluctantly agrees to attend for a short time just to be seen there. Still, we don't know what this sentence really implies in Spanish, do we?
From my experience as well as all sources I have found I think that aparecer is a pretty exact cognate to appear in meaning. But in checking SpanishDict I just noticed that the first definition was under the heading of to show up. I have not seen that mentioned here, but it seems like a perfect translation for more natural English. I don't know if Duo's will accept it, but I would recommend it to them.
Thank you for checking the Spanish dictionary. Based on your finding, "I can show up tonight" or "I can be there tonight" would both be better than "I can appear tonight" or "I can make an appearance tonight." (unless one is a performer appearing in a theater production).
It didn't accept "may appear". I thought may and can were the same in Spanish, so I am reporting.
May and can are not the same in this instance. I'm not sure how to grammatically explain it, but if you say "I may appear" it implies that you may or you may not. While "can" technically means "I am able to", in this instance, it implies that you will.
Ah, so they're not the same in spanish, it works the same as it does in English. What's the word in spanish for 'may' then?
You have to remember that English LOVES the auxiliary (helping) verb. We even go so far as to use the present progressive in cases where most other languages would use the simple present. In Spanish, this may simply sets a condition or interjects doubt, Most commonly I may appear would be putting doubt on his ability or determination to appear. This means that poder would be in the conditional. Podría aparecer. There could even be subjunctive constructions that would be translated as may.
"I may turn up this nighttime" sounds better. I'm going to start saying that from now on.
Fantasma, Se Aquiler. Puedo aparecer esta noche. --- Rent A Ghost. Available at short notice !
"appear" tonight? What native user of English would ever use this sentence. I can "come" tonight. I can "be there" tonight. But, "appear" tonight? How ridiculous.
Actors and celebrities appear on television, in movies and plays. People appear on the big screen at sports events,at open mic nights and community events. Not all Duo sentence will conform to anyone's life, but Duo is not supposed to be a phrase book. You are just learning to construct random sentences correctly in Spanish. That is the reason for some of the strange sentences. It will be quite some time before many students advance beyond basic sentences to having an impromptu conversation, but if you are practicing constructing random sentences instead of memorizing set phrases you will get there faster and be more successful than the person sorting through beginning phrases like Cuánto cuesta or Dónde está el correo.
I have a very different take on learning a language. From the start, there should be some usefulness to the student or there is little incentive to push through. And things should always make some sort of sense. After all language has purpose of communicating ideas. I am finding that Duo does try to build on previous statements to demonstrate particular point. This statement, however, stands alone and makes little sense to the native English speaker.
If I wanted to surprise someone and I'm looking at a calender I could say "I could appear this night." (But I can't schedule any other night).
What are the words that share the same idea as "aparecer"? And is "dissappear" in Spanish "desaparecer"?
Most of the words which share meanings with the word aparecer also share the root part parecer. Parecer itself can be translated appear in its meaning like to look like or to seem. Aparecerse is actually what a ghost does, it is reflexive in that meaning. Comparecer means to appear in court. I was surprised to find when I looked up appear in Spanishdict.com that salir can also mean to appear in a production. The example given was a television show, so maybe the idea was that your image "goes out" over the airwaves. And yes desaparecer is to disappear.
Appear and attend really aren't synonymous. You can appear in concert, on a TV show, on Broadway, in court and quite a few other places where you would never say attend. It is dangerous to try and choose another word which sounds more natural to you because it may not be appropriate for the word at hand. Not all Duo sentences are going to ever sound natural. Attend is a particularly difficult one as one of the most common words for attend is a false friend of the English verb to assist, asistir. I don't remember if Duo teaches that at all, but, as a false friend, Duo is not likely to want to deal with it here.
One can attend a concert, a Broadway show, and a court. Your only example it won't comfortably fit is a TV show (although one can attend that too as an audience member). The thought conveyed should always be intelligible no matter the language. It's the idiosyncrasy of the idea of "appearing" like a magician's assistant I find so bothersome.
The TV show I was thinking about was the Late show. You always hear who is "appearing". I understand why it sounds a little funky to you, but aparecer is a close cognate of to appear, so the same possible connotation exists. So, before you decide to change a good cognate, you should be sure that what you are changing it to is used for the same situation in Spanish. Of course Duo has no context, so it can be hard to determine. But when it is a cognate and there are a set of circumstances when I would use that word in English, it is easier to be comfortable assuming those circumstances in Spanish. I actually do know people who use appear for things like parties, etc. But when talking about the future they generally phrase it as putting in an appearance.