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  5. "Quizá comamos cangrejo."

"Quizá comamos cangrejo."

Translation:We might eat crab.

December 22, 2012

81 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BraveSentry

Why must this be in the future? Can´t we now be uncertain whether we are eating crab or surimi? Wouldn´t this also require subjunctive?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

Correct, subjunctive is a mood, not a tense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Talca

The subjunctive is necessary after certain adverbs like quizá, acaso, tal vez. All of them mean "maybe". A degree of uncertainty requires the subjunctive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BerentBozkurt

Thank you for the insight.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/toggrikk

So then, "maybe we eat crab" should also be accepted, right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daniel.w

that's what I'm thinking.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElleLingo

No because that is pigeon English. You would have to say "Maybe we will eat crab" but this is still not how a native speaker would say it. "We might eat crab" or "We may eat crab" are better. Also: "We will possibly eat crab".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhody

The English isn't the problem. "maybe we eat crab" would be the same as saying "maybe we are eating crab." I don't see the problem.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MorganVar60

The simplified form of a language is called "Pidjin", not pigeon.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ampus_Questor

'Pidgin', even; I checked an online dictionary to see if "pidjin" is an alternative spelling, apparently not. "Pigeon English" should perhaps be reserved for the sort of English that merits the fate of suffering what pigeons do best.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dansmisterdans

Who you calling pigeon?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zopilotes

Wow - I have not seen "tuvieren" "hicieren" etc. in about 500 to 600 years. Yes, it exists in antique literature and some legal documents, as the link mentions, but never in real life nowadays. Future subjunctive is just telescoped into present subjuntive nowadays for anything that hasn't happened yet.
Right now, Faltan 2 minutos para que sean las 8:00 -- who knows, maybe the world will end in the next two minutes, and we'll never get to 8:00!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nosr3dna

Actually the time will continue even if the world ends. Besides, the concept of time were created by us and blablabla. (I know, I know the guy above was just kidding, but anyway...)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lark79

What's wrong with 'perhaps, we shall eat crab'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elizabeth0

Duolingo doesn't check the punctuation though (at least for the English to Spanish course).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeorgeT

April 2014, "shall" is accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SelmaPatty

Crab isn't a shallfish. : )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mrule

It's upset about the "shall"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/el-Canguro

Comamos is present subjunctive and is also used as an implied future. SO, why is " perhaps we are eating crab" incorrect? Please explain.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

“Perhaps we are eating crab.” is a valid translation of ‘Quizá comamos cangrejo.’. Please report it using the ‘Report a Problem’ button.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/perlafantastica

why is the future tense not used here? comeremos surely?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chilenaDcorazon2

I believe it's because you aren't sure whether or not you will eat it. If you were sure you were going to eat crab then you could use the future (comeremos). Anyone with more expertise please correct me if I'm wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

Correct. ‘Quizá’ makes it hypothetical.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhody

Then it would be "comiéremos" not "comamos."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GregHullender

Subjunctive is forced after quizá. There are a number of words like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Talca

acaso and tal vez.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zopilotes

I agree with bf2020 -- perhaps is the driver for subjunctive. But the standard English translation should allow we might eat crab or we may eat crab. Although, I have seen in some grammars that "might" is reserved for past tense subjunctive


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

Those are old grammars. In modern English, “may” and “might” are completely interchangeable except when “might have” is used in the counterfactual sense “could have, but didn't”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lhaasmanley

What is the difference between quizas y quiza?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

‘quizá’ and ‘quizás’ mean exactly the same thing. The choice is largely idiosyncratic, with some regional preference.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sarinaya

Yes, it's very confusing as duolingo sometimes uses quizá and other times quizás so it's difficult to know which one they are going to ding. I wish they would be consistent.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/markbooth

How can they be consistent when the language isn't consistent?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Agustin-

The original term is quizá. Quizás was later accepted because of its usage among the spanish speakers. The RAE (real academia española) incorporates terms every year and many of them are former mispellings that have been adopted by the people in everyday usage.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BLPK

perhaps we could eat crab was marked wrong but it seems to me quite equivalent, talking about what we might eat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

That would be ‘Quizá podríamos comer congrejo.’.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GregHullender

But they're not equivalent; consider these two examples:

Example 1: "What do you think we'll eat tonight?" A good answer would be "Perhaps we will eat crab." To answer with "Perhaps we could eat crab" sounds rather strange.

Example 2: "Shall we eat steak tonight?" Now "Perhaps we could eat crab" is a response, but "Perhaps we will eat crab" is a highly unnatural answer.

The key difference is that when you add "could" you imply that you think the other person has control of the result. The first example sounds strange because the person asking "what do you think we'll eat tonight" does not appear to be in control (unless he/she is playing games with you). The second is strange for the opposite reason.

So Duolingo is correct not to accept "Perhaps we could eat crab." It does not mean the same thing as "Perhaps we will eat crab" nor is it a reasonable translation for "Quizás comamos cangrejo."

I recommend reading "A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish: Fifth Edition" (Butt and Benjamin, 2011, section 26.3.2 "The Subjunctive after words meaning 'perhaps', 'possibly', 'probably' )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Madix99

Greg - this looks like an excellent book - just ordered one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GregHullender

That would be conditional, not subjunctive, except that you're forced to use subjunctive after quizá.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BLPK

Well I think both these answers fail to understand the nature of "could" in English, which has very little real subjunctive at all and uses may, might, could, would and other such words to indicate the subjective or causative or otherwise non-declarative meaning of a statement. So "could" does not have to translate "poder" and may indicate a subjunctive as well as a conditional meaning. IMO


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ahailey08

the thing about subjunctive is that it can also mean future. so if you wanted to say, "tomorrow, maybe we will eat some crab" could be translated as "manana, quizas comamos congrejo."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ndevvy

"Perhaps we eat crab" was not accepted. I know this is a somewhat awkward English sentence, but I think it is still a grammatically correct equivalent to "Quiza comamos cangrejo"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nohaypan

For me "Perhaps we eat crab" tries unsuccessfully to straddle the line between awkward and just plain wrong. It's the kind of thing that sounds charming from a second-language speaker, but would never be said by a native speaker. It's either "Perhaps we are eating crab" or "Perhaps we will eat crab."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/el-Canguro

Agree, but " perhaps we are eating crab" is more acceptable... not to DUO though. So Duo.... tell us how would we write "perhaps we are eating crab" in Spanish?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnGrunewald

I agree. "they said it was chicken but perhaps we are eating crab" would be a good example. "all I know for sure is that is isn't rabbit, because that would be conejo." :–}


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bf2010
  • 2213

@perlafantastica; as chilenaDcorazon2 mentioned already "comamos" is a form used when you are not sure of something (grammatically speaking it is the "subjunctive"); the problem is that the English language has only very few subjunctive forms (as in the sentence: if I WERE you....(expressing uncertainty) instead of "if I was you" (expressing certainty), so you use a work-around, which of course is not really a one-on-one translation.

I understand that you do not like "Maybe we will eat crab" which Duolingo considers correct. The translation I got was "we might eat crab", which to my mind should be translated as "Podríamos comer cangrejo". I suggested "perhaps we may eat crab", but Duolingo did not like it either :-(, never mind; I hope my explanations help :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/da.big.fella

The future subjunctive doesn't exist anymore. The present subjunctive is used for both present and future. That's why here it's translated as a future, although I believe you can also translate it as present: "Maybe we eat crab", but it didn't accept that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

“eat” is an action verb, so the present progressive would be used: “Maybe we're eating crab”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fluent2B

When you say that the future subjunctive doesn't exist anymore, do you mean that it simply faded from common usage or that the official keepers of the language have formally discontinued its use, so that schoolchildren are no longer taught it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GregHullender

Think expressions like "thou goest" in English. That's what obsolete means.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

The future subjunctive form still exists in a few old adages, in some flowery literature, in legal documents, and in golden-age plays; it's just antiquated.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nolandh1

what is wrong with ......lets eat crab perhaps...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Talca

It's weird syntax. I think that's one problem with it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MThoriqMalano

We may eat crab is accepted. Life saved.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jerrymack

I said, possibly we are eating crab. not accepted why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreasWitnstein

That's also a valid translation, but a better translation of “Possibly we are eating crab.” would be ‘Posiblemente comamos cangrejo.’.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jgray72010

Please remove this sentence, it is totally valid to wonder whether the foodstuff you are currently consuming is of the crab variety. Further, I agree.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/markbooth

They shouldn't remove the sentence, I'm learning a lot from all the comments people have made on it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jgray72010

No. You haven't learned a single thing from this sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mangledmatt

I am royally confused about the subjunctive when referring to tenses other than the present. Can someone help to explain how one would say the following?

Maybe we are eating crab? Maybe we ate crab?

Also, the present and future tense of the subjunctive is the same? So we can only tell which one is being used by the context?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drockalgzemoser

This is a sentence that doesn't translate very well into English because of the very limited scope of our subjunctive tense. To me, an okay one would be, "Perhaps, let's eat crab!" Reported, but do people here agree?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nohaypan

It's a good try to square the circle, but I don't think you will often find "perhaps let's ... " in speech or writing. The uncertainty of "perhaps" accords better with "we will/should/might/could" rather than "let us."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesN910689

Isn't it comemos based on what the voice says?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnaKerie

It helps to pay attention to your English when typing translations. The correct answer is not "We might eat crap." Oops.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanComyns

They marked me wrong for "perhaps we should eat crab"... I thought that was ok


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlWinter1

So many people with much better foundation in grammar !!! So how would I discuss a possible choice for dinner-- "Perhaps we should eat crab." Is that simply 'comeremos' or 'comamos' ???????????????? Thanks Al


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ladderdog

Perhaps we're eating crab


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Muddogging1

That's not how you use "maybe" in Spanish, with a subjunctive; it's a double "perhaps".

In Spanish, you can either have one or the other, but not both. "Quizás comemos" or "Comamos" are both correct, but "Quizá comemos" is literally "Maybe we'll probably eat", and that's not something people say in Spanish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ScotRobert1

What's wrong with perhaps.....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/norma0044

I thought this section was the Imperative?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mgbryant

Perhaps we can eat crab


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nglsigns

'we could eat crab' Is that OK?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hijag

Perhaps not! (I am vegetarian)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jerrymack

I said, possibly we are eating crab. not accepted why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diego617377

Because that would be translated as: "Posiblemente comeremos cangrejo".

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