"Los niños quisieron caminar en la calle."
Translation:The children wanted to walk on the street.
Querer in the preterite means different things: in the affirmative it means "attempt to" in the negative it means "to refuse" so this sentence really means " The kids attempted to walk in the street. To say they wanted to walk in the street you would say, "Los niños querían caminar en la calle"
YES! Absolutely. There are some verbs that change meaning in the preterite and imperfect, and it is really important to acknowledge. Duolingo needs to get on this.
I thought this meant "The boys would like to walk on the street". How would I say that?
"A los niños les gustaría caminar en la calle."
This quite literally translates to: "to walk in the street would give pleasure to the boys." But for all practical purposes it would be translated: "the boys would like to walk in the street." Gustaría is the conditional third party conjugation of the verb gustar, and means "would give pleasure (to)"
The imperfect subjunctive forms of querer can be used to say that.
Por ejemplo: Los niños quisieran caminar en la calle. = The boys would like to walk in the street.
The spelling differs from the preterite by only one letter: quisieran vs quisieron. I know, this is where Spanish can become the most confusing. But querer is one of the most irregular verbs in the entire language, so take hope.
Note the difference "quisieron" preterit vs "quisieran" imperfect subjunctive
'Walk along the street' or 'walk down the street' would be more normal English than 'walk on' or 'in the street'. But I did not dare put either...
I have a friend in Spain who says caminar is rarely used. Normally andar, marchar , pasear or dar un paseo is spoken. Does anyone know if that is same in latin american countries?
No, we use caminar all the time, we prefer to use andar as a synonymous of estar.
- El niño está jugando = El niño anda jugando.
- Estoy con mi familia = Ando con mi familia.
- Ella está triste = Ella anda triste.
We also use it to mean there is / there are.
- Anda mucha gente en esa calle = Hay mucha gente en esa calle.
And we also use it to mean to go, this is an odd usage, it comes from the fact that vos is used a lot in Latin America and apparently there is no imperative mood for ir using that pronoun, so they have to say "andá" or "andate" to mean go, people who use tú also use it now, so if you want to tell somebody to leave, you have to use andar or ir depending on whom you're talking to, if you're using second person plural or first person plural you better use ir, but if you're using second person singular, it sounds better to use andar. For example:
- Vayan a estudiar (Ustedes)
- Vamos a estudiar (Nosotros)
- Anda a estudiar (Tú)
You can also say "ve a estudiar", but it's not as common, sorry if this is confusing.
Thank you for all these examples. Like all languages I suppose, there are always many ways to say the same thing. Even if I can't remember to use all of them , I hope that I can recognize them when spoken so I don't lose the thread of the conversation. Thanks again.