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"It cannot be true."

Translation:No puede ser verdad.

5 years ago

25 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/hesolomon

Is "la verdad" wrong?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brianhaddad

Yes, that would mean "the truth," which is not what it wants here.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joshbrant

why no 'lo'?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brianhaddad

"Lo" only works as "it" when "it" is the indirect object or direct object of the sentence (receiving the action). In this sentence, the English "it" is the subject (doing the action).

If the sentence were "He couldn't believe it," then it'd be "No lo pudo creer." There the "lo" refers to what "he" couldn't believe.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/trojax1
trojax1
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that means because there is "ser" it means it doesnt need it?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brianhaddad

No. I am saying that "lo" doesn't mean "it" and can't just be plugged in any time you would say "it" in English.

"Lo" means "to it," or any other case where "it" is receiving the action (and even then "lo" isn't always the right word).

English to Spanish translation isn't plug and play. You can't just take an English sentence and start substituting directly translated words in. Grammatical context is super important.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/trojax1
trojax1
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:< I'm trying the plug and play style. Language isn't seeming to be my forte. xD

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brianhaddad

Don't give up! The more you work at it the better you'll get at it. Try a variety of tools and methods until you start to get comfortable.

Remember that learning a language can expand the way that your brain works precisely because your brain has to function a little differently to properly use and understand another language.

If you put a lot of effort into Spanish and it still isn't working, try studying formal music theory. If that doesn't work, try getting into computer programming (you can start with a graphical programming environment at scratch.mit.edu).

Music, programming, and language all work parts of your brain that nothing else can. It's an awesome experience, and once you master a small part of just one of those fields you'll be better prepared to take on another.

Good luck!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TarjSahota

Why can't I write "no se puede..." it's in the passive voice, right? Brian, Ay├║dame!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brianhaddad

Looking into reflexive verbs you'll find that "poderse" means "to be possible," more or less (depending on context). So "No se puede" means "it can't be done," or, "it's not possible." In a situation in which you might chant, "you can do it!" at someone, they would say, "Si se puede," meaning, "yes, it can be done!"

The reflexive form of "poder" doesn't work here unless you can make it abundantly clear (with context) that you are using it for passive voice, which, as far as I'm concerned, nobody would do here. It's much more straightforward to use "poder" alone rather than in its reflexive form.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/assafvol
assafvol
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why do we use "ser" here instead of "estar"?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brianhaddad

We are generally told to think of "estar" as being only for conditions/states that can change and thinking of "ser" as being for permanent traits. This is a good general rule, but it doesn't always hold and it shouldn't be thought of in the context of English.

Think of ser/estar like this: Generally, ser has to do with what it is at the core and its rather permanent attributes and traits. "Human Being" is "ser humano," with "ser" meaning "being." These are things that just are. Estar seems to have the same latin roots as the English word, "state," meaning a condition or state of being. (To understand its link to the English "State", think of English verbs that end it -ate, like estimate--many of them can be translated to spanish by replacing the -ate with -ar, estimar. Now remember that words beginning with st, like study, require an e at the beginning in Spanish--estudio. Estar = State.)

So if I say "Ella esta muy bonita," I'm saying "she looks especially pretty right now." She might be wearing something that's pretty, or her hair is done up really nice, but I'm only making a statement about her current state of beauty. I'm not saying I usually think she's ugly, nor am I saying that she's always this pretty. But if I say "Ella es muy bonita," then I'm saying "she is an all around pretty person." In that way I am saying that prettiness is one of her traits. It doesn't even have to be physical prettiness in this case, I might just be saying she's a beautiful human being, with a kind heart and a lovely personality.

But if you are always thinking of these in an English context, you'll be tempted to think that temporary traits should always use "estar" and permanent conditions would always be "ser." But this isn't true.

Think of a substitute teacher. He comes into the room and says "I am the substitute teacher today." Even if he isn't a certified substutute teacher (it's not what he generally or permanently does for a living), his role IS what he is in that moment. It might be temporary (which we generally associate with "estar"), but it defines his role and establishes his entire being and relationship with the students in that moment. "Ser" is used here (Soy el profesor sustituto).

Now think of being sick. You wake up and call in to work and say "I'm sick today. I can't come in to work." This doesn't define you or your role. It doesn't even define your relationship with your employer. It is a state of being, in the most literal sense. "Estar" is used here (Estoy enfermo).

Let's take it one step further. Let's say this person gets AIDS and is always in a state of being sick. Now the illness is permenent. Do you start saying "soy enfermo?" No. "Soy enfermo" does not mean that you are always in a state of being physically sick. It attempts to modify the very meaning of "enfermo." Enfermo in the sense of physical illness needs to always be used with "estar" in order to maintain its meaning.

I hope that helps you make future decisions about when and how to use "ser" vs "estar."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TarjSahota

I vote Brian the real MVP of the thread!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/starrkittyface

This was super helpful! Thank you!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RyanBoleary

I followed this discussion to understand verdad v cierto.. Why does this guy have no lingot rewards? thanks for your time your the most helpful yet

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/craig.zar210

isn't verdad 'truth' and cierto 'true'?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brianhaddad

Most literally, cierto translates to correct or certain, which can be used in the same context as "true" sometimes. In Spanish, saying "that can't be truth" is about the same as saying "that can't be true," wheras using "cierto" here could mean "that can't be correct," or even "that can't be certain," but it really wouldn't be the best translation for "that can't be true."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hesolomon

I thought "verdadero" meant "true."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brianhaddad

It does, as an adjective. But contextually, if you're saying "it can't be true" you can use either "no puede ser verdad," or "no puede ser verdadero." Given the choice between the two words (one short and easy to say, and the other longer and a little more awkward), many people go with "verdad." Cierto just doesn't mean the same thing here.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/janabutler
janabutler
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Why can't you use no puede ser DE verdad...?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marcomero
Marcomero
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why not? "eso" no puede ser verdad??

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brianhaddad

That would mean, "That can't be true." There really isn't an exact word in Spanish that means "it." The best you can do is approximate "it" contextually. In this case, the best contextual approximation for "it" is to use a vague third person conjugation for the verb "ser." This construction includes the idea of "it" without becoming too specific and saying "that."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marcomero
Marcomero
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Thanks brianhaddad, good luck!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/linburnlane

What if i left off the "ser" - no puede verdad? Would it still be recognised as "it can't be true"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dakota_Marz

Well let's look at that in english "That cannot true" and tell me if that makes sense. English has been slowly getting rid of unneccesary copulas especially in more colloquial settings (think to be, to stay), but they are still here to stay for now and as far as i know they are widely prominent in spanish.

2 years ago