1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "¿Me puedes despertar a las s…

"¿Me puedes despertar a las siete?"

Translation:Can you wake me up at seven?

May 26, 2013

110 Comments


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

Can you arouse me at 7?

August 4, 2014

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

Both "arouse" and "rouse" are now included in the accepted translations. (Although in US English, "arouse" has enough other connotations that it probably isn't the best translation of "despertar"......)

January 30, 2016

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

Should be allowed! Flagged!

March 31, 2015

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

´can you wake me at seven´ should also be acceptable

May 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Manhattan95

It is now accepted!

October 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nuala.mcen

No it is not on dec. 8th 2014

December 8, 2014

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

Correct. Report it.

May 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jj64012

I used this also, it obviously hasn't been fixed

June 11, 2013

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

I used it also, still not fixed on July 8th.

July 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jem38

the verb despertar means to wake up

July 9, 2013

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

In English "wake me" and "wake me up" is the same thing.

July 29, 2013

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

Yes, and “to wake up” generally means “to wake”.

July 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

same here on July 31st

July 31, 2013

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

Accepted March 29, 2015

March 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Manhattan95

Can you also say "Puedes despertarme a las siete?

October 15, 2013

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

Yes. Clitic pronouns can go either before or after an infinitive.

October 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sanmiguel82

Looks to me like there is a "por favor "missing :-) :-)

November 6, 2013

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

Por favor is not used that often by native speakers (except e.g. to get the attention of a waiter) as politeness is implied in the tone or question. This is true in Spain but may be different in other Spanish speaking regions and cultures.

December 14, 2013

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

That's an interesting observation. Are you saying that as a comparison to speakers of other languages or just as a social observation. I am an American and of all the great and wonderful things Americans are known for saying please is not one. We also probably not known for saying Thank you, but certainly in social settings most people say thank you a lot more often than please. Almost all of the Spanish I hear spoken is Latin American (especially now when I live in San Diego, 20 miles from the Mexican border) Thinking about it now my impression is that there are a lot more thank yous than pleases but I will have to ask some of my local friends whether they see a difference that way. One exception is if I were offered something to drink I would never just say yes or no. If declining I would always say no thank you but if accepting I would tend to drop the yes and just say Please. I just thought of it now but if I just replied Thank you that would also be interpreted as acceptance.

December 19, 2015

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

Those are interesting observations. In one of my Spanish classes we talked about the opposite: how in the eyes of some Spanish speakers Americans say "please" and "thank you" far too much. Some examples that came up were saying "thank you" every time a server refills your water, and asking for things in an overly polite way. "Would it be possible for me to have a coffee, please?" The prof, who was Latino, seemed to think that Americans pretty much never said anything outright.

On the other hand I think I recall watching a video on buying fruit in Spain where the learner was instructed to say, basically, "Give me a kilo of apples." In America we would be more likely to say (or maybe I should say I would say) "Could I have a pound of apples, please?"

I bet this is highly regional. I am from the South where politeness is enforced harshly.

January 30, 2016

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

suggests "can you arouse me at 7?" and then marks it wrong and says only "wake me up" is acceptable. Tsk, you're such a tease, Duo.

May 6, 2015

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

why is it "a las siete" and not "a la siete" are numbers always considered to be plural?

October 3, 2014

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

Times have an implied "hour" or "hours".

  • at 1 o'clock = a la una
  • at 2 o'clock = a las dos
  • at 3 o'clock = a las tres
  • ... etc

Notice that for one o'clock it is singular and feminine because "hora" is feminine.

October 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

Not numbers in general, this is just an idiomatic thing for times. It's like "o'clock" in English... just something you need to learn.

October 3, 2014

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

Does anyone else see "can you arouse" me in the suggestions?

February 24, 2015

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

Why it's not "Puedes me despertar a..."? Me should not come just before Puedes?

July 29, 2017

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

All object pronouns must go either before the entire verb phrase or attached to the end of an infinitive, present participle or imperative form. Me puedes despertar or Puedes despertarme are the only correct options.

July 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aly.vidal11

Despiértame a las siete! (imperative)

¿Me puedes despertar?

¿Puedes despertarme?

¿Me podrías despertar?

¿Podrías despertarme?

July 29, 2017

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

Aly you seem to be responding to my comment. If you look to the comment I was responding to, you will see that I was directing my answer to someone who did not know why the object pronoun couldn't be between the two verbs. When I said there were only two correct options, I was referring to the placement of the object pronoun, which you have also demonstrated. I would argue that the other options you presented have a significant enough difference in tone to not really be translations of the same sentence. They would be Wake me up at seven Can you wake me and Could you wake me. {two forms for each}

There are of course other correct translations

Me puede despertar Puede despertarme Me pueden (ustedes) despertar Pueden (ustedes) despertarme

Plus vos and vosotros forms not taught on Duo.

July 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aly.vidal11

Hello, lynettemcw

Thank you for the explanation!!

Greetings.

September 6, 2017

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

aly.vidal11, In your (imperative) example, you are not using poder. Continuing to use poder to express the same idea as the interrogative forms given, wouldn't "Puede despertarme a las siete." be an acceptable way of giving permission to be awakened without drastically altering the polite tone of the interrogative? Thanks lynettemcw for your explanation. I still struggle with poder in various conjugations.

January 6, 2019

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

I would still find Por favor, despértame a las seis better. To be honest I don't think you can use the imperative with a modal verb like poder. So your sentence would assume that you are addressing the person with usted in an indicative construction. Personally I would find it more polite to either be asked or told with please than granted permission to do something for someone.

January 6, 2019

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

You may be correct as to the degree of courtesy expressed, but I was curious as to aly.vidal11 's example using the imperative. I can envision an occasion in English where I might tell someone who was attempting to ascertain when I wished to be aroused by stating "You can wake me up at seven." I am, however, intrigued by your comment about not being able to use the imperative with a modal verb like poder. I will look into that further. Thanks for the comeback.

January 8, 2019

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

Spanish Dictionary lists the imperative form of poder "tú puede"

January 8, 2019

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

Google translates "Tu puede despertarme" as "You can wake me up"

January 8, 2019

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

You will find constructions made according to the rules whether or not it is a meaningful use. I have attached a link that discusses the imperative, conditional and subjunctive forms of poder. After telling you how to create the imperative form, it goes on to say that it is very rarely used and then only in the nosotros form podamos to encourage people to do something. The issue is a logical one more than a grammatical one. You can't command, tell, request or ask someone to "can".

https://study.com/academy/lesson/poder-conjugation-imperative-subjunctive-conditional-moods.html

The same thing is true in English. Your English sentence is not imperative, nor can you construct one. English modal verbs are more mutant than Spanish modal verbs. The imperative is formed in English using the infinitive root (the infinitive without to) and NO subject pronoun. English modal verbs don't really have infinitives and you can never use can without a subject or subject pronoun.

January 8, 2019

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

Yes, you can wake me up. Spanish uses sentence syntax for questions quite a bit. Maybe that's why they start questions with ¿. If course the other issue that exacerbates it is that when you omit the subject pronoun you don't know whether it was inverted when it was there.

January 8, 2019

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

Yo: "Can you awaken me at seven?" Pero incorrecto otra vez!

July 19, 2013

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

You cannot "awaken" someone else. You can wake them, or you can wake them up. "Awaken" and its related forms only apply to oneself. E.g.

"He awoke at seven"

... but ...

"He woke me at seven"

EDIT: Looks like this usage has changed (more so in some parts of the world). I think that's a shame, because originally "awaken" was like the reflexive version of "wake". So instead of having two words with distinct meanings we now have two words which just mean the same thing. I.e. we have lost meaning.

May 2, 2014

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

Perhaps not in your dialect or idiolect. But the first usage example of the word “awaken” in the Oxford American English dictionary is “Anna was awakened by the telephone.”.

May 2, 2014

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

Then it should be accepted. Though I have to admit it still sounds weird and wrong to me.

August 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

It sounds fine to me. There's a line in the Blur song "Parklife" that goes..."...except on Wednesdays when I get rudely awakened by the dustmen".

I'm not proposing that "Blur" are an authority on English grammar, but it demonstrates that it's something that's in common usage.

August 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flint72

I think things like lyrics are more open to poetic licence.

Anyway, in British-English (before I saw the Blur line) I find “Anna was awakened by the telephone.” to be very strange indeed.

August 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flint72

Thinking about it a little further, I think the reason that this sounds so strange to me is the way that it has been conjugated in the past tense; "awakened" doesn't sounds correct to me, but

"Anna was awoke by the telephone" or "Anna had been awoken by the telephone in the middle of the night" sounds fine. I think this is the difference. Are you sure that they conjugated it that way?

August 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flint72

And at this point I've said "awake", "awaken", "awoke" and "awoken" too many times such that they have lost all meaning"

There is a subtle difference between "to awake" and "to awaken", but I can't quite express it.

Furthermore, I belive that "awoke" and "awoken" are the correct past participles, which explains why "Anna was awakened ..." sounds so strange. It doesn't sound quite so bad as "Anna was awoken ...".

August 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JesseRyan10

@flint72, I absolutely concur with you on this one. There is indeed a distinct difference between "to awake" and "to awaken" -- the difference, however, may not be in the strict literal meaning, but rather in the connotation. In the United States, particularly in the northeast and on the west coast, "to awake" has the connotation of waking up, physically coming out of a state of sleep and into a state of wakefulness. On the other hand, "to awaken" actually has a connotation of spiritual enlightenment rather than physically being woken up. For example, "He awoke from a long nap (or a deep slumber)" versus "She awakened into a more conscious state of being." Albeit the differences are subtle, there are always exceptions, and in common usage, you'll hear it all sorts of different (and often incorrect) ways, but overall it is an important distinction. Of course, in the United States, you'll hear some conjugated version of "to wake up" far more often than either of the other two. Diatribe concluded. :)

July 16, 2015

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

It's now an accepted translation.

January 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jack.george

how can awaken not be acceptable!

March 9, 2014

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

I said: "Can you wake me at 7:00?" and it marked me wrong =( I think that's right.

September 3, 2014

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

That would be «¿Me puedes despertar a las 7?». In both English and Spanish, the time can be expressed either with words or with numerals. A good translation translates the style, not just the content.

September 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StefanStan5

Why is 7:00 considered to be incorrect?

February 9, 2015

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

See the reply to kingjars.

February 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kitsune.yo

Perhaps "arouse" isn't the best English pairing for this term, as it generally is taken to mean someone is horny and looking for sex. When I was first constructing the sentence, I thought, "who schedules their sexy time like that?"

June 25, 2015

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

Wake me up before you go go. Can some translate :D ?

April 13, 2016

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

Well there are of course a few options. Wake me up is actually in the imperative in English. Assuming that you use tú for the person who you want to wake you up, you might say Despierteme antes de ir, which literally means Wake me up before going. If you were unsure of whether the person was going to leave or not (say some possible midnight mission) you might say Despierteme antes de que vayas which uses the subjunctive and therefore puts the going into question.

April 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexanderG584284

It is more polite to say, ¿Podrías despertar me a las siete? (Could you wake me up at 7?)

June 30, 2017

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

Yes, I think it is. But somewhere on Duo I have seen a native speaker presenting a sort of hierarchy of politeness for ordering food in a restaurant. It had quisiera and quería but suggested that for most situations Me da or me trae was perfectly polite. I think he even suggested that Americans said Please more then they did in his country (which I have forgotten) That would suggest that it might seem overly polite, although I am sure social conventions vary regionally.

June 30, 2017

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

Duolingo really irritates me... "Can you wake me at 7:00?". That should be correct. "A las siete" translates to "seven o'clock".

August 19, 2013

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

See the reply to kingjars.

February 24, 2015

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

poder means "can" or "to be able" but only "can" was accepted.

October 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jparadise08

I have always used levantarse when talking about waking someone up. Have I been wrong all these years? Are they interchangeable?

October 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarah527203

Levantarse is to get up, while despertarse is to wake up. They are somewhat interchangeable, but keep in mind I can "wake up" and 7, stay in bed for another hour, and then "get up" at 8.

May 12, 2016

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

The reflexive verb ‘levantarse’ means “to get [oneself] up”, and is often used, by extension to mean “to wake [oneself] up”. If you're getting (or waking) someone else up, you would use the nonreflexive transitive ‘levantar’.

November 1, 2014

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

One of the definitions for despertar is to whet me. I'm a native English speaker and I don't even know what that means

July 3, 2015

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

As a native English speaker I agree that "whet me" is nonsense, as the only things you can "whet" are an appetite or a blade (using a whetstone)... http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whet

As a translation for "despertar" it is incredibly unlikely but not completely impossible, http://www.linguee.com helpfully comes up with this example: "At present, we post the cover page, table of contents and "In this issue" in the hope that it will whet new appetites!


Actualmente, enviamos la portada, el índice y "En este número"¡con la esperanza de que despierten nuevos apetitos! "

July 4, 2015

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

It rejected the answer because I put 7:00. Was it not a reference to time?

October 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bryan.mcca1

Why should it matter if it is was " by" Either way the sentence should've made sense.

December 17, 2015

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

Both ways make sense, but they mean different things. "By seven" generally means before seven, so it would be more like "antes de las siete."

January 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/el-aitch

Rejected "can you get me up at 7" but that's what an English speaker would say

January 19, 2016

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

I've added "get me up" as an accepted translation. I think it's probably region-dependent, but in some English dialects (including mine), "get me up" is used interchangeably with "wake me up."

January 30, 2016

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

Can you get me up would use leventarse but not reflexively. Waking up and getting up are not synonymous in either Spanish or English, even though they are sometimes used interchangably.

January 19, 2016

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

Can you awaken me at 7 ?

January 19, 2016

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

You have here multiple parts of speech. (1) Despertar/despertarse e-ie stem changing verb meaning to wake up, awaken, rouse either reflexively or not. First person present indicative is despierto. (2) Despierto is also one accepted form of the present participle, although you may also find despeetado. Yo me he despierdo I have woken up. (3) Despierto/despierda- predicate adjective defining the subject's condition/status as being "awake" (therefore used with estar. ) This sentence is using the non reflexive verb as s/he is asking someone else to wake her or him up. Me - whom to wake, puedes 2nd person modal verb can you, despertar verb in the infinitive following congugated model verb (a la siete) It could also be Puedes despertarme. If the person doing the waking got too rough, the other person might reply Basta. Estoy despierdo.

January 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aly.vidal11

Thank you!! Saludos..lynettemcw

January 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aly.vidal11

"Awaken" = despierto? I am awaken. Please help!!

January 30, 2016

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

"Awaken" is a verb, and means "despertar" or "despertarme." (Examples: "I will awaken," or "Someone will awaken you.")

"Awake" is the adjective, and means "despierto." (Example: "I am awake.")

January 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aly.vidal11

Thank you!! Saludos..sainio

January 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hunter52981

Totally off

March 8, 2016

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

Why is can i be woken up at 7 incorrect

March 21, 2016

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

Can I be woken up is passive voice. It doesn't convey who is to do the waking. This is a direct request to someone to wake you.

March 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Odinson33

What the hell is wrong with: Can you awake me at seven?

December 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Odinson33

Now i remember that i already commented on this weird Duolingo answer ha ha. They said this is wrong: Can you awake me at seven?

January 13, 2017

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

It is wrong. The English verb is to awaken. After you are awoken then you are awake. Awake is the state of being. Duo didn't used to accept awaken, but I believe it does now.

January 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Odinson33

Allright, thanks.

January 13, 2017

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

Can you say "Puedes despetarme..." ?

March 7, 2017

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

Yes. Whenever you have an infinitive, and imperative or a present participle (ando/iendo form) you can attach the objects to the end. If you have two objects, the indirect object pronoun comes first as Puedo dárselo or démelo. Two object pronouns will trigger an accent to keep the same stress pattern. I have been told that English speakers tend to use this method a little more than native speakers except in the imperative where it is pretty universal. But it is not in any way unusual in native speech.

March 7, 2017

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

can you wake me up inside (cant wake up) wake me up inside and save me from myself

April 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anitavs1941

a minute ago - the right word was "despertarme" - "me despertar" was wrong.

June 17, 2017

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

Me despertar is always wrong. You are not going to find a conjugated pronoun directly preceding an infinitive. With any verb phrase the object pronouns go either before the entire verb phrase or attached to the infinitive or present participle. So here your options are Me puedes despertar or Puedes despertarme. Puedes me despertar is not correct.

June 17, 2017

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

¡No se puedo despertar!

August 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mandan86

I said "can you wake me at seven" and got it wrong. Should'nt that be accepted as write?

September 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnyeCheng1

Need a lingot? Here! Meeeeeeeeeeeee too???

March 7, 2018

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

Why on earth anyone needs more lingots than you get automatically I can't imagine. There are only two outfits for the Owl and plenty of lingots before you buy the bonus sections (which it is better to do latter anyway).

March 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnyeCheng1

Please gimme lingot

March 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnyeCheng1

!!

March 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jAry6eIr

Sorry I can't find what this over all category is. I don't know what V. Inf. 1 is. It seems to be present tense again but I assume it's different in some way. Would someone please enlighten me?

May 15, 2018

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

You are studying the first unit on Verb infinitives if I remember the first unit mostly studies modal verbs with infinitives. That would be poder, querer, deber, saber, necesitar etc. These verbs don't generally use a preposition before the infinitive. In later units you will learn verb+prrposition+infinitive concepts. Most of the infinitive units focus on the present tense, but you will see these constructions in different tenses and moods.

May 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cupcake512831

Man i was hoping it wa

WAKE MEH UP!!!!!

BEFORE YA GO!!!!!!!

:3

September 13, 2018

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

Me despiertas antes de ir(se). I am not positive whether to use ir or irse. Literally it's ir (to go) but the song means it in the sense of leave (irse). We use go and leave often somewhat interchangeably, but only when the intended meaning is to leave the place where you are at. I don't know if the words are equally interchangeable in Spanish.

September 13, 2018

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

'Cause I'm not plannin' on going solo

March 27, 2019

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

Reported again on July 25, it still is not fixed

July 25, 2013

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

Come on Duolingo. "Can you awaken me at seven" sounds much better and has precisely the same sense. "Awaken" is surely more literary. Where the hell does "wake up" come from.? A Spaniard learning English would understand "awaken" but the "up" in "wake up" might be very puzzling. I do not think you can "wake down". I say" WAKE UP DUOlingo".

November 3, 2013

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

Awaken is not good English in this context (even if it makes sense to Spaniards). In English we wake up, get up, go up the road etc... it's just natural spoken English.

December 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flint72

But one may also awaken in English.

August 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph516503

But the phrase "wake me up at 7" is - in my opinon - the most common english usage, and the "best" translation. It's certainly what I would say. You're right, "wake me" and "awaken me" are both valid answers, but personally I have to say that "can you awaken me at 7" sounds a little odd. Nothing I can put my finger on... but just a general feeling that this is not an expression I would ever say. You're right, a spanish speaker learning English may struggle with the idea of the "up" in wake up, but this is what we (english-speakers) say... likewise, english speakers struggle with all manner of things in spanish - putting the object before the verb, double-negatives, even fundamental things like inanimate objects that have genders.... you accept all these things when you learn a foreign language. It's part of the fun.

November 4, 2013

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

Your points are well taken. I agree that the most common usage is wake up. At least my comment elicited your very excellent answer.

November 4, 2013

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

Although “awaken“ is commonly used, at least literarily, in the literal sense of “[cause to] stop sleeping” in the passive voice (as in “I was awakened by Duolingo's synthetic voice.”) and sometimes in the intransitive (as in “Despite the shouting, I did not awaken.”); in the active voice it's ordinarily only used in the figurative sense of “cause to first become conscious of something” or “bring to consciousness”, as in “The arbitrariness of English verb particles awakened me to the complexities of language.”, or “The contrast between Spanish verb prefixes and English verb particles awakened {me to the complexity of language | a sense of puzzlement in me}.”

December 17, 2013

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

Thanks a lot. Superb explanation and I appreciated the correction and the explanation. Sometimes I find out I am not so smart as I thought. I have purposely introduced another question for you. I am betraying my age but it used to be: "I am as smart as she" and I am not so smart as she." Perhaps the more common and often puzzling question is "which" vs. "that" and knowing those cases where either word might properly be employed vs. situations where only one or the other is clearly appropriate. Because you are a linguist, I wonder if you might direct me to an internet reference where I might find explanations equivalent in quality to your fine explication of the proper use of "awaken". ( I do believe that "as" has almost overwhelmed the word "so" which appears to be rarely used. I am 70 and I still believe in prescriptive grammar. " Impact" is a noun and in my mind will always be a noun. I shudder when I hear it used as a verb. Enough!!

December 17, 2013

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

Prescriptive grammar can be very useful for uniting and separating social groups. Prescriptively, to introduce a non-restrictive relative clause, use “which”; to introduce a restrictive relative clause, use either “that” (preferred by some American prescriptive grammarians), or “which”.

Different prescriptive rules have been invented for using “so…as…” versus “as…as…”. The one relating it to negative versus affirmative comparisons, due, I believe, to Bishop Robert Lowth, is still observed in the Queen's English.

Descriptively, “not so…as…” has lost out to “not as…as…” in British (not to mention American) literature as a whole, except in the canned expression “not so much as…”, according to Google's Ngram Viewer (https://books.google.com/ngrams/). English literature also ignored this prescription before it was invented; For example Shakespeare: “No, it's not as deep as a well, or as wide as a church door” [Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Scene 1]; “Duncan was so gentle as a man, and so strong as a king” [Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 7]; “Had women been so strong as men” [Passionate Pilgrim, Act I, Scene 19].

One of the best Internet sites for discussions of the English language is http://english.stackexchange.com .

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the English verb “impact” has been around since the early 17th century. Perhaps you're referring to the phrasal verb “impact on”, which is recent.

December 18, 2013

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

Thanks very much for the reference. I notice that my attempts to translate Spanish to English have made me much more aware of my English grammar and of my own mistakes using my native language.

December 18, 2013
Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.