Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

"He was able to touch the door."

Translation:Él pudo tocar la puerta.

5 years ago

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/EdJulianAurium
EdJulianAurium
  • 14
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2

I'm failing to see why using the imperfect "podía" is wrong here. The sentence doesn't really imply either way if the event is in the imperfect past or in the "preterite" past. Also, the reason it gives as to why the imperfect is wrong is that I "used the he/she/it form 'podía' instead of pudo. This explanation could prove to be extremely confusing. Also, the translation given for the Spanish-to-English version of this question is "knock" on the door" not "touch the door," which is much closer to its likely translation in most scenarios. Just a small inconsistency that would be easy to resolve

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elizadeux
elizadeux
  • 18
  • 16
  • 15
  • 8
  • 6

When I looked up "podía tocar la puerta" it seems to be used metaphorically sometimes. “Yo no pensé que el cáncer podía tocar la puerta de mi familia, pero lo hizo y fue duro.” Or it might be more literal in other contexts "Un vecino podía tocar la puerta para pedir un favor, pero en aquella época la excusa no era una tacita de azúcar."

However, pudo would be used to translate a sentence like this "Two of the four suspects approached him before he was able to knock on the door of the address."

It seems to me that both should be accepted.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gritajay

I got this wrong several times, despite having decent Spanish! I think it is a difficult sentence for English speakers. I know that "tocar la puerta" can mean "to knock on the door." So if I say this in English, for the past tense, I would say "he could have knocked on the door." But that is an incorrect response here b/c it seems as though I am using the wrong verb tense. Saying "He could knock on the door" doesn't mean the same thing in English. I think I would have done better if I didn't know the Spanish phrase for "to knock on the door!" Not a critique - just an observation.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joseangelxi
joseangelxi
  • 14
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

I believe: "él estuvo capaz de tocar la puerta." Should also be recognized.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cdntinpusher

I don't see the difference between using "pudo" and "podría." If I understand things properly the former means "he was able to" and the latter means "he could." AFAIK, in English, those are equivalent meanings. What's different in Spanish?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fluent2B

I think the confusion arises because in English the word "could" is used to mean both a past tense of the verb "can", such as "I could see somebody approaching" and as a conditional tense of the word "can," such as "it could rain." In Spanish that does not apply. pudo and podía are both used for past tense of poder (the first one is the preterit and the second one is the imperfect), however, podría is the conditional tense of poder and is used pretty strictly in that way and not as a past tense. Also make sure you don't confuse podía and podría. I hope this helps.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elizadeux
elizadeux
  • 18
  • 16
  • 15
  • 8
  • 6

Could in English means different things depending on the context. Although "he was able to" and "could" can mean the same thing, However, "he would be able to" and "he was able to" do not.

  • pudó (preterit past tense) = was able to or managed to do something once in the past

  • podía (imperfect past tense) = could or was capable of doing something many times in the past

  • podría (conditional) = would be able to (I could in the future if certain conditions are met)

  • pudería (imperfect subjunctive) = If only I could but it's either impossible or not very likely (I could if the world was perfect but it's not)

Therefore, it could be translated a number of ways:

  • The past tense of "I can swim" is "I could swim" = Podía nadar.

  • The past tense of "I am able to get there" is "I was able to get there" = Pude llegar allí.

  • It could rain tonight (conditional) = Podría llover esta noche.

  • Si yo pudiera pescado (imperfect subjunctive) = If only I could eat fish (but I'm allergic and would end up in the hospital)

  • Si ella pudiera correr (imperfect subjunctive) = If only she could run (It would be great if she could run but she's in a wheelchair so it doesn't seem likely that it will ever happen)

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kerkeslager

Is this an idiom for knocking on the door?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PeterLukac2

????!!!!!

4 years ago