"Quizá comamos cangrejo."

Translation:We might eat crab.

December 22, 2012

78 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?

March 20, 2013

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

Correct, subjunctive is a mood, not a tense.

June 1, 2013

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.

December 16, 2013

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

Thank you for the insight.

June 3, 2016

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

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

April 18, 2014

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

that's what I'm thinking.

April 19, 2014

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".

January 5, 2015

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.

January 23, 2019

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

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

February 21, 2019

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.

February 25, 2019

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

Who you calling pigeon?

September 26, 2017

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!!!!

April 16, 2013

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...)

July 23, 2014

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

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

March 25, 2013

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

Only the comma.

June 1, 2013

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

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

November 18, 2013

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

April 2014, "shall" is accepted

April 10, 2014

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

It's upset about the "shall"

January 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert116627

I agree

October 14, 2018

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.

March 23, 2014

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.

March 31, 2014

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

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

December 22, 2012

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.

December 23, 2012

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

Correct. ‘Quizá’ makes it hypothetical.

June 1, 2013

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

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

January 23, 2019

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

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

January 29, 2014

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

acaso and tal vez.

April 9, 2014

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

Ojalá.

April 10, 2014

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

February 8, 2013

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”.

June 1, 2013

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

What is the difference between quizas y quiza?

August 4, 2013

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

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

August 4, 2013

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.

October 25, 2013

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

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

April 26, 2014

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.

May 31, 2014

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.

July 30, 2013

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

That would be ‘Quizá podríamos comer congrejo.’.

March 31, 2014

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' )

March 31, 2014

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

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

April 25, 2018

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

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

January 29, 2014

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

March 31, 2014

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."

August 1, 2013

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"

February 26, 2014

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?

March 23, 2014

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." :–}

July 7, 2014

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."

May 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bf2010
  • 1885

@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 :-)

December 25, 2012

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.

May 4, 2013

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

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

June 1, 2013

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?

October 5, 2013

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

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

January 29, 2014

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.

October 6, 2013

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

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

November 24, 2013

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

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

December 16, 2013

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

We may eat crab is accepted. Life saved.

December 23, 2013

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

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

April 7, 2014

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.’.

April 8, 2014

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.

April 18, 2014

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.

April 26, 2014

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

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

November 23, 2014

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?

April 25, 2014

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?

April 29, 2014

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."

July 21, 2014

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

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

January 1, 2017

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.

January 6, 2017

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

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

January 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robert116627

Me too

October 14, 2018

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

March 28, 2017

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

Perhaps we're eating crab

July 16, 2017

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.

September 7, 2017

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

What's wrong with perhaps.....

June 1, 2018

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

I thought this section was the Imperative?

November 25, 2018

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

Perhaps we can eat crab

January 24, 2019

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

Perhaps not! (I am vegetarian)

March 30, 2016

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

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

April 7, 2014
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