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

"They were not able to sleep."

Translation:Ellos no pudieron dormir.

5 years ago

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/oldcedars

why not no podian dormir [with accent on i]

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

Stand alone statements in the past usually use the preterite. Use the imperfect to 'set the scene' if you want to add more info. Last night I slept 12 hours = preterite. Last night, while I was sleeping for 12 hours, my dog ran off. slept = imperfect, dog ran off = preterite

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eshewan

You're right of course, but DL very rarely gives us such complete sentences. This exact sentence could show up in the Imperfect section too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kassandra8286
kassandra8286
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 5
  • 3

Exactly. Since Duolingo sentences have no context, they need to be more generous with what they accept as correct answers. A case can be argued for either preterite or imperfect in this sentence.

Reported.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
  • 25
  • 16

Duolingo needs more sentences that have two verb tenses in them. Why? That is the way Spanish is spoken. Pudieron: preterito, correcto?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kassandra8286
kassandra8286
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 5
  • 3

It's the preterite (also known as simple past) tense. http://www.spanishdict.com/conjugate/poder

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jamesw0906

Thanks for the explanation because I had also answered with no podían dormir.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rickydito

I think "podían" could be correct because they weren't able to sleep covers an unknown amount of time, therefore, use imperfect, but because we do not know the context of the statement we cannot know for sure which to use, preterite or imperfect. I reported this to Duo. Everyone should always report to Duo, not just complain on this discussion. That way, they get the message and may accept other versions in the future.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jamesw0906

Good advice.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/krizia.roh

I beliece the reason "podían" is not accepted is because it would translate to "they couldn't sleep" which means essentially the same thing yet it is not the same

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelenWende1

"Could not sleep" is synonymous with "Were not able to sleep". If not, then what is the difference?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kassandra8286
kassandra8286
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 5
  • 3

Duolingo usually accepts both preterite and imperfect, since it's impossible to tell the difference without context. I wrote the same as you, and I'm reporting it as an error.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulalock

Podían still not accepted on 30.11.14 so I have reported it. Edit 9.4.16 Just got an email to say podían is now accepted.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mnovack

This section is so damn confusing to me

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Noah.Sulfridge

Why not "Ellos no lograban dormir"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/erikos45
erikos45
  • 18
  • 17
  • 11

Would 'Ellos fueron logrado dormir' be correct too?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Matias750308

Nope

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tomas.Janik
Tomas.Janik
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 17
  • 17
  • 17
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 915

I miss an answer as whether you can use lograr here?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Theodossios

The <<podian>> with accent on i i thnk is the correct.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/krizia.roh

Podían translates to could not.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kassandra8286
kassandra8286
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 5
  • 3

Or were not able to.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GonzaloFer736379

Why not podrían? I think both translations are right.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AutumnAkin1
AutumnAkin1
  • 19
  • 16
  • 15
  • 15
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 375

Instead of could not in the sense of be able in the past you would have could not in the condotional sense.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MexicoMadness
MexicoMadness
  • 19
  • 14
  • 10
  • 9
  • 6
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 16

You probably wrote this a long time ago, but could someone explain what "condotional" means? Gracias.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johnelsworth
johnelsworth
  • 22
  • 19
  • 2
  • 2
  • 14

I agree with podian... past continuous

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pedro.Ronaldo

Why are the dropdowns so unrelated and misleading?

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brian845704

I agree. I have been trying to stick with the main verbs that I have learned in the lessons and from Spanishdict.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sunny76678

I agree that this section is very confusing to me also. I understand the preterit tense, but one does not know the context, so I also used imperfect often.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brian845704

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe we are using the preterite form of poder because this was an action completed in the past. I got this question wrong because I answered 'podrían.' I think that the take-home lesson from this example is to distinguish the preterite from the conditional form, no?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Katzenperson
Katzenperson
  • 20
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2

It is not clear to me why the conditional is not accepted here, while the imperfect and the preterite are. Is there anyone who can explain it to me?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MauroEzequ6

Add me on hellotalk, I am a native Spanish speaker, no matter your level because I have a good English level. @ni_mauroezequielm_19810

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Theodossios

I protest loudly, because my right solutins you find them wrong and later you send me imail as feedback saying, excuse me you (you mean me) was right!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rickydito

Huh!?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AutumnAkin1
AutumnAkin1
  • 19
  • 16
  • 15
  • 15
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 375

You neede to put that under the flagged section not the discuss section. They dont look at these. Check the box that saus other problems with this exercise and then put your rant in the space there.

3 years ago