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  5. "Él no quiso comer."

"Él no quiso comer."

Translation:He did not want to eat.

July 29, 2013



"Querer" in the preterite with "no" in front of it means REFUSED to do something, not "did not want" ...to say "did not want" it should be in the imperfect -- "él no quería comer"


No, sorry. I'm Mexican and I can assure you that the sentence is correct as Duolingo puts it. But you're right that "él no quería comer" to that.... So, both sentences translate to the exact same thing :)


Mexican or not, you are incorrect. I am fluent and have taught Spanish for 35 years. It means refused. However, it is sometimes used as wanted when the sense of want is a completed action, event, or feeling.


Not at all, when somebody refuses to do something means that, for instance: pepe didn't do whatever he was going to do, as pepe didn't want to do it means that pepe eventually did what he didn't want.


There are no implications being made on whether or not the person did it.


Actually there is. Querer is a verb which changes meanings in the preterite. It does not mean he didn't want to. It means he refused to.


And refused to would mean he did not, except as altered by subsequent information like you convinced him. Or forced feed him.


Hi Lynette, I posted some examples in another message, so I won't repeat them here. However, I think that querer in the preterite can sometimes mean "refused" but not always.


I have also learned that the preterit of querer means to refuse. I absolutely agree with kimlarge


"He refused to eat." Still marked wrong. I reported it.


24/Aug/2015 reported it again.


And again 21/12/2015. Please fix it!


Usamos ambos en el español nativo. De hecho yo lo diría como duolingo. We use both in native Spanish. In fact I'd use the duolingo phrase. And if I analyze it a bit, I can say that your sentence would mean that in the end he did eat, and in the duolingo one he didn't.


I can't quite tell what comment exactly you are responding to. I am assuming it is the one comparing no quiso comer and no quería comer. Just to clarify from what I understand no quiso definitely means that he did not end up eating and no quería could be used if he didn't end up eating or if he did. I think English speakers get caught up in the negative or at least emphatic connotations of the word refused. To refuse an offer can be simply saying no, but to refuse to do something definitely tends to imply some sort of defiance. My understanding of querer in the preterite is that it simply means that whatever wasn't wanted didn't happen.


You are right, I just meant to explain how would I use both of them in a native situation. But I think they are almost the same, and for a duolingo answer it should be the same. And I am pretty sure most natives don't even know if there could ever be a difference between both of them.


nosotros lo décimos de ambas formas, asi que both answers are correct :)


Yup totally agree. This is how I learned it too.


I agree with kimlarge. "No quiso" means refused, it is definite - he didn't want to and so it didn't happen. If you say "no quería", the possibility of change is left open - he didn't want to but he did it anyway, he didn't want to but I talked him into it, etc.


Reading this, and thinking about it... maybe "refused" can be a tad strong translation of quiso (sometimes). In English, if someone didn't want to eat, and no one tried to talk them into it, you would say, "he didn't want to eat" and I think this would still be translated into Spanish as "no quiso comer".
Anyone have any thoughts on the matter?


Well , how would you know what he wanted unless someone asked or tried to get him to eat. That is how we know he didn't want to eat and so he probably did refuse to eat. That is how in some places it came to mean "he refused to eat".


Well, what wazzie is saying, I think, is that we usually only refuse to do something when somebody is trying to make/force/convince us to do it.
It could be just a simple question and a simple answer: "Do yo want to eat?" "No, thank you." "OK, fine."
I would not call it "He refused to eat." He just did not want to eat, and he ended up not eating. So, you don't have to refuse something for it not to happen. There is a difference between refuse and decline.
So, the question is: how is this distinction handled in Spanish?


What about "he did not want" or "would not want" to?


He did not want to is the accepted answer shown. But it is misleading to English speakers as it doesn't reflect a difference between quería and quiso. Querer is a meaning changing verb which is most comfortable in the imperfect and changes meaning subtly in the past. As for would not want to, that would be the conditional. Él no querría comer


I agree with Kim. I believe the difference is Spanish Spanish and Mexican Spanish. In Spain, the past imperfect is used much much much more often to describe situations. And in this particular example, the translation would absolutely be "refused." I've noticed that duolingo appears to teach primarily Mexican Spanish.


We're here to learn Spanish, not just Mexican Spanish


I want to learn Ecuadorian Spanish!!


I know Colombian Spanish, it's actually my favorite because there is so much variety.


Mexican Spanish is as much Spanish as any other dialect. DL can't teach you all of them!


No that is what you are here for. :D I primarily want to learn Latin American Spanish, then when I'm fluent I will learn Spanish from Spain.


I think that the problem with teaching Spanish is that even within Spain there are significant dialects. When it comes to "Latin American" Spanish, you highlight some differences between Spanish from Spain and what is spoken in Latin America, but it still is not exactly what is spoken anywhere, since most countries have some variation. But learning any Spanish on this level will get you speaking and understanding enough to start communicating, and then you can perfect your Spanish based on how it is used by the people you speak to, wherever they are from. The only thing that might get you in real trouble is trying the slang from one country on another, because there you might definitely be miscommunicating. But any American who has heard a British guy saying he was going to knock up his sister the next day would understand that concept.


In chilean spanish it means refuse as well.


I was taught that quiso means "tried" - NOT "wanted". Even though querer means to want. Was I mis-taught?


According to http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/pretimp4.htm, "quiso" means "tried" whereas "no quiso" means "refused." The difference, then, is whether you're using the verb in the affirmative or in the negative.


This is not usually true. Quiso usually is still just wanted but in some situation where the wanting ended.


Yes there is a distinct difference in tone between saying tried or refused and saying wanted with an implication that it didn't happen or didn't want with the implication that the opportunity had been available. But we don't have a way of expressing that as easily with one word, so words that convey a similar outcome but with much greater impact are suggested.


Reported it again today. No quiso = refused


Any recommended online sources on modal verbs? I'm not getting this at all


I remember that this skill seems out of place on the tree because in some of the lessons in this skill on 'modal verbs' Duo uses the past Subjunctive with the 'modal' verbs to show politeness and the past subjunctive has not been introduced at this skill level on the tree. That might be some of the confusion. This particular sentence is in the past indicative and not past subjunctive.

I found the following comment on Duo, which might help you, it is written by another Duo user.


edit to reword in order to make more sense.


I don't know why you think this is the present subjunctive. The conguated verb querer is in the preterite which is quite irregular. The present subjunctive would be quiera.


oops! yeah it is in the past indicative (preterite) . My wording was way off. thanks.


Why does everyone in this lesson not eat?


What is the difference using: want and wanted?


They are different tenses: one is present and the other past (either preterite or imperfect).


Time " Present - Past " . Que quieres o que querías


he refused to eat may be ok?


Ok.. this may be a stupid question but why is it 'did not' instead of 'does not'? I don't think I understand modal.


"Does not" is present tense. It would be "no quiere". "Did not" is preterite.


the main verbe is past, so must be preserve as in the past.


This sentence is confusing to me because in English we wouldn't translate it literally as He didn't wanted to eat. But if we say "He had not wanted to eat" (as in, some time ago, he had no desire to eat) then we're using the perfect, which it doesn't like. Right..?

Could anyone clarify this for me?


In this case the confusion seems to be more with our English construction than with the Spanish. English has these strange constructions with the verb to do. In an affirmative statement adding do justs adds emphasis. But this do becomes required in both negation and in questions. Consider the present tense. He wants to eat. To ask if he wants to eat, you use the auxiliary verb to do. Does he want to eat? This is also true in the negative. He does not want to eat. In the past these become He wanted to eat. Did he want to eat? He did not want to eat. It is always the auxiliary verb that is conguated. This structure with do only happens in the present and past tense as every other tense in English uses a different auxiliary verb so the do is not required. Of course many more English sentences are in either the present or past progressive which also uses an auxiliary verb. The Spanish structure here is actually more common among languages and more "sensible" to the extent you can use that word about language.


Quiso vs queso... Oh well.


Él no quiso comer queso. You might get confused from time to time,but the context hint is that comer is in the infinitive so that you are looking for another verb to be conjugated like querer.


Maybe he was anorexic


Thank you to whoever is teavhing us this. We could have a lesson on weather rain snow dsleet ccyclones hurricanes lightening thunder showers thaw norther lights ninos earthquakes. Etc


Rain does come up from time to time (and not just mainly in the plain). Weather, however, does not seem to be a subject covered more generally. If you're looking for vocabulary practice, flashcards are a great tool. Are you familiar with Ankiweb? They have a great free program that works well.


This lesson is the hardest one


Here is why I think DLs teanslation is grammatically incorrect. -no quiso- is preterite and signifies refused. -did not want- should be said as - no queria. because there is no clear beginning or end to -not wanting- unless something comes in to change that. A refusal is an action that happens and stops. It may happen, again, upon more information. But the action in and of itself is not ongoing it has a clear beginning and end.


Unfortunately, English is not that clear cut. There isn't anything in the simple phrase "did not want" to indicate unequivocally whether something definitively began and ended in the past, was continued into the present, was about force feeding, etc. We understand all of that nuance and context solely via the verb conjugation in Spanish.

Programming Duo to reject "did not want" in favor of "refused" is an interesting approach to teaching the modal nature of querer in this context. However, it would be wrong to do this in the name of grammar correctness. A less passive aggressive approach would be to change the preferred or official translation given at the top of this page.


Is "quizo" even a word? I misspelled it by trying to put "quiso".


No quizo is not a word. Probably the closest Spanish word is quizá (alternate form quizás) meaning maybe. If you were marked wrong then it just didn't fit into their typo algorithm. Those are quite complex. That Duo's said you used the wrong word means nothing more than it was not among the accepted responses.


Okay, saying "He refused to eat" us technically correct. But keeping the verb querer solely in the standards of meaning "to want" means that it would translate to "He did not want to eat.". Either way is technically correct, though. Just saying.


This device has no accents.


What is your device. If foreign characters aren't included with some keystroke combinations, there should be third party software utilities for that.


I literally speak Spanish and am only doing this because I am bored, "quiso" and "quería" are interchangeable; both mean wanted. Maybe in the past they weren't but I assure you both are used the same way, here at least.


Where is here? In my experience I have found very few cases where someone used either the imperfect or the preterite which does not conform to the rules that are taught. Using quiso here means you are talking about a single occurrence of not wanting to eat (like dinner last night) Quería would be discussing longer term.


Rechazado is refused there are many words that can mean the same or similiar i.e refused,denied,withheld,did not want.


I agree with many people that Querer in the Preterite with No does mean "refused"

Meaning they were given the option and they decided to say NO.

With that said, one can ALSO say they did NOT WANT whatever they "refused"

Stop and Think about it. No lo Quería hacer. No lo Quise hacer.

They practically mean the exact same thing. Idk why people are being nit-picky. Just use one as in general and use the other when at a Certain Moment in the past, you refused to do something.

I wanted candy. You can say you refused Candy. But im talking habitually or just in general.


I did not want to take the MCAT, I refused to take the MCAT. Now I'm on the right path.


I definitely learned that the negative preterite of querer meant to refuse. But my actual language experience makes the difference less dramatic. The difference is that when we hear él no quería comer, we know that the person didn't want to eat, but we do not know whether he actually ate. If you hear él no quise comer we know he didn't want to eat and he didn't eat. But they both certainly can be translated as he didn't want to eat. We just don't have a parrellel way to provide that extra information in English. But refusé is rather stronger than is needed.


I was taught that the preterite means "refuse"-- he refused to eat.


The affirmative preterite of querer is often translated as tried to and the negative as refused to, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Unlike saber and conocer which would make no sense in their present tense meaning in a tense which requires a clear beginning and ending point in the past, we do have quite fleeting wants. The preterite of querer tends to imply that what was wanted did not happen. That is where tried to or refused come in. But these fleeting wants or not wants don't always get to the point where an attempt or a refusal is made. In fact I don't think that English really has an equivalent expression that really covers its use, although with context it will make sense. But you have to recognize the finite meaning of the preterite here.


When one says no comment when one was not asked for a comment, they are actually making a comment.


Refused is the same as would not


That doesn't make any sense. If I said I would not get wet if I used an umbrella, it would not mean that I refused to get wet. He would not eat would translate using the conditional. English does have a subtle relationship between the verbs to want and will that comes from the German roots. But in terms of English and Spanish, would has been basically reserved for the conditional. The other uses are more connotational.


I am not sure I agree.
"I asked him, I pleaded with him, but he would not eat."
That is, he was not willing to eat. He would not eat. He just wouldn't.
This is a perfectly normal/reasonable/usual use of "would". Granted, it needs the proper context.


No, I actually do agree with you. Will comes from a Germanic root meaning to want. All that I was saying was that since the context is required to understand it as such while the conditional use of would is pretty universal. My point is only that some of these translations which might be confusing if suggested as an answer should not be accepted. Remember any accepted answer might be offered as a suggested answer. Since Duo users have varying levels of sophistication in their English. From the comments I read on Duo I always favor fairly literal translations when possible. I favor adding translation options mostly when it is difficult to figure out what Duo would want.


OK, then we are in agreement. Thanks for the clarification. :)


the speaker clearly says "en lo quiz comer." Are spanish speakers really that sloppy in pronunciation? (No doubt they would have the same complaints about American English speakers)


I clearly hear "Él no quiso comer.". And I think it's a machine voice. Maybe a bit sloppy but still clear. Not even close to American English sloppyness. :)


I also hear the sentence correctly and relatively clearly. I do remember thinking that one Spanish accent I heard a lot from Mexico sounded a little people speaking with pebbles in their mouths. I never hear that any more. But Spanish is spoken very quickly and there is a fair amount of subtle blending of sounds between words. But as languages go, Spanish is pronounced pretty consistently. Of course different regions have their easiest and most difficult dialects. In Latin America, I find Caribbean accents, especially Cuban, quite difficult. They really do omit consonant sounds at the end of words, especially s. But most of the issue with hearing Spanish correctly just happens eventually, but it takes time and exposure


I play it repeatedly and still hear 'en lo' instead of 'el no.' I guess if you get fluent enough you hear what makes sense, rather than just sounds. That's certainly true for 'mericans.' no wuddah mean?


That's definitely part of it. If you're anything like me if you mishear something it is more likely that you a different crazy sentence than just gobbly guck. The brain works hard to try to turn the sounds into words and will likely hear the wrong word rather than no word. Now in this case it's difficult because I can't hear it as you do, so I don't know if there is another particular thing going on. What you hear is a sound transposition. If I remember correctly that has a whole set of linguistic circumstances surrounding it, but I haven't looked at that in too many years to remember. But if you alternative between saying en lo and él no you will find there is little difference in what your mouth does to make those sounds. Since both the Spanish n sound and the Spanish l sound is formed with the tongue in a slightly different position than English, and that might be part of the issue. The difference is subtle, especially the l one. English has two l sounds while Spanish has just one. Most English speakers think of él as sounding like bell, but the l sound in bell is not the Spanish l sound.

https://www.thoughtco.com/pronouncing-the-spanish-l-3079544 I don't know if that is the issue here, but a similar issue was at play with the Spanish b and v for me when I was learning.

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