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https://www.duolingo.com/Adina_atl

A verb tense challenge

My family has always enjoyed word play. A sentence that I heard fairly often growing up is "I would if I could but I can't so I won't." It's not a tongue twister so much as a grammar twister. ("I would do it etc." is implied in the sentence but not included.)

The challenge is to identify the four verb tenses used in the English sentence and then translate it into the correct Spanish. I'll give 5 lingots to the first person to correctly translate it. Please identify each verb tense used, if only so I know you're not using machine translation.

3 years ago

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Conditional, Subjunctive, Present, Future.

Yo haría si yo podría pero no puedo así que no haré.

Ah...I have the urge to check the endings, c'est la vie. How did I do?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eey91
Eey91Plus
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Actually you used two conditionals for the first two instead of the subjunctive =P

I woud recommend to keep object pronouns since in spanish it is not implied the same way.

My attempt:

  • Yo lo haría si pudiera / pudiese, pero no puedo así que no lo haré.
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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I knew something was off, I'm always forgetting exactly how that subjunctive ending happens. :P Thanks.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
Samsta
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Just remember that "would" (conditional statements) always go with "if" statements that use the past subjunctive—even if it's not actually written, it's implied.

If I were a millionaire, I would buy a car = Si yo fuera millonario, compraría un coche

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Gracias. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eey91
Eey91Plus
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Haha but you were very close =P You're welcome.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adina_atl

Looks right to me!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/supainanoko
supainanoko
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grrr you are using 'yo' at the beginning. (sorry, this just bothers me. I feel like it is emphasizing that you would do such and such, and other people wouldn't. I don't think that is technically a thing. It just seems more natural to leave out the subject when the verb shows it. I'm sorry for being nitpicky.)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kevinguy19
Kevinguy19
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In this case, the verb does not necessarily show the subject of the sentence. Past and present subjunctive, conditional, imperfect, and some other complex tenses have the same "yo" form as the "el, ella, Ud." form (sorry, I can't type accents or italicize). Therefore, the pronoun "yo" is commonly used when using these tenses.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adina_atl

Almost, but I'm going to give Eey91 the lingots (besides I think you're probably as awash with the things as I am!). Congrats on identifying them in English, however; I think only those of us who have studied foreign languages know our native grammatical terms that well.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eey91
Eey91Plus
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Thanks! I'll share 3 lingots with Alexis since she did most of it, also, as I'm a native speaker I could say I cheated =P

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Ha ha, thanks, Emanuel. :P

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Why the "however"? That's throwing me off, ha ha. I have/am studying different languages....

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adina_atl

Sorry, I meant congratulations on identifying the tenses correctly in English despite not (quite!) getting them right in Spanish. I've given you five lingot as well. My experience has been that even educated English speakers do not know the subjunctive by name even if they use it in speech and writing. Most people only learn what it's called when they have to learn how to say it in another language. I've learned almost all of my formal English grammar as a way of understanding Russian, Japanese, or Spanish grammar. (Thanks to Duolingo I'm a lot better in Spanish than I ever was in Russian or Japanese.)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Clarification is key, ha ha. Same here, though. It's much easier explaining the "why" behind grammar decisions now.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adina_atl

I certainly wasn't implying that you weren't part of the "those of us who have studied foreign languages"! Sorry.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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No worries, I was just confused about your response in general, LOL. I didn't know what you meant because of the "however". One word means a lot. ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adina_atl

I swear my ability to form a coherent English sentence disappears the more I study Spanish.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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That's an excuse, of course. ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Therapon
Therapon
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Lo haría si pudiera pero no lo puedo, así que no lo haré.
haría - Potencial simple;
pudiera - Imperfecto de subjuntivo;
puedo - Presente de indicativo;
haré - Futuro

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adina_atl

Sounds good!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/casmeeeth

Too late, but I'll do it anyway :P Condicional, Subjuntivo, Presente, Futuro. Yo lo haría si pudiera pero no puedo así que no lo haré.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adina_atl

Well done!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/supainanoko
supainanoko
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Lo haría si pudiera, pero no lo puedo entonces no lo haré. No tengo ni idea de los verbos; aprendí hace unos años que mis instintos son mejores que las lecciónes de gramática. Si tengo que adivinar: subjuntivo para la 1ª y 2ª, presente, y uno de los futuros (supongo que hay demasiados, y nunca los he podido recordar). Pero tal vez mi respuesta ¿no cuenta porqué soy más o menos bilingual? Esta frase es verdad con relación de esta discusión: te diría cuáles tensos usé si lo pudiera hacer, pero no lo puedo entonces adivino.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adina_atl

No estoy segura sobre "entonces". En íngles "I can't so I won't" significa lo mismo que "I won't because I can't". Sé que entonces significa "despues de algo". Tambien puede significar "por lo tanto" o "así que"?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/supainanoko
supainanoko
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Hmm. I've always heard "entonces" as a sort of arrow showing cause and effect as well as sequentialness. Perhaps that's just me though.

3 years ago