"No puedo dejar de escribir."

Translation:I cannot stop writing.

December 25, 2012


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de escribar means "to write" so of course "I cannot stop to write" is wrong.

May 29, 2013


¨Dejar de¨ means ¨to stop.¨ ¨Escribir¨ means ¨to write.¨ ¨De escribir¨ is nonsensical on its own.

June 22, 2013


Dejar - to let. Dejar de - to cease, to stop.

May 5, 2016


To judge the grammar rules of one language as nonsensical because of how it would translate into another language in some way is nonsensical in itself. Dejar de is ALWAYS followed by an infinitive. Those are the Spanish language rules. And it is a consistent translation as the ing form in English to the infinitive in Spanish is the rule in many cases, except of course the Spanish progressive tenses.

April 12, 2017


See all learn on different ways. Sometimes trying to map the Spanish onto a grammatically dodgy English sentence is quite a useful aid. We aren't all aiming for PhD level Spanish literacy.

May 25, 2017


I do understand that all people learn differently. If mapping Spanish sentences onto English ones is helping you, then more power to you. My point is that the "logic" of grammar rules can be hard to find even within one language. If one is trying to make English grammar rules work in Spanish they are definitely going to have some problems.

As for a PhD, I would just love to speak Spanish like a bright High School student. I spoke English quite well before I learned any formal grammar. It is actually just from hearing spoken language that allows us to learn the grammar without learning the rules.

May 26, 2017


I am learning spanish....it is all nonsensical, until you have a point of reference

October 9, 2015


ComicOzzie, when you say in English "I cannot stop to write" what you are saying (right?) is "I cannot (halt) IN ORDER to write. To stop(halt) is PARAR and in order to is PARA. Since they are almost the same word, that would make for a funny Spanish sentence but that's what is grammatical correct... That said, I've never come across a Real sentence like this in Spanish. You might be able to sub POR for PARA. But in no way would "No puedo dejar de escribir" mean "I cannot stop(halt) to write" It's practically obligatory to do research outside of Duo.. Hope this was helpful! :-)

May 5, 2016



Your comment is helpful. "I cannot stop to write" doesn't fit spanish logic. "I don't have time to write" does.

No tengo tiempo para escribir.

Maybe Duo chose the original sentence to show confusion or ambiguity can happen.

Actually no tengo tiempo de escribir is more proper than tiempo para escribir.

August 26, 2016


Comic- While it is dejar de meaning stop I do agree with you that to say "I cannot stop to write" is acceptable.

September 21, 2013


'I cannot stop to write' is not correct. It is a completely different sentence. 'Dejar de' is 'stop (doing something)' not just 'stop'. Stop smoking, stop driving, stop writing, etc. It is not 'stop to...' Simply 'stop' would be a different verb.

December 1, 2014


Thank you for this clarificaton, THeNeeno! Once again, your input is invaluable.

December 6, 2014


wow! are you Spanish?

December 6, 2014


None of my spanish teachers ever explained de as "to", but as "of", so "to" in this case would be a complete guess.

January 2, 2016


When is dejar used vs parar

August 11, 2018


Well the first thing that you have to understand is that dejar itself doesn't mean to stop, it means to let or to leave. But dejar de infinitive means to stop doing something (the action of the infinitive). So when you want to stop writing or stop working or stop dreaming then dejar de is the go to expression. But if you are physically just stopping or you are stopping your car, etc., then parar is works well. Terminar and acabar can also be translated as stop, but finish is more exact. But then there is detener and detenerse. Detener can mean to arrest (arrest is after all another English word for stop), it can mean detain, which implies a temporary stop, but you can also see it used for just plain old stop.

August 11, 2018


Is dejar its own antonym? It seems to mean "allow" in some constructions and "stop" in others. Perhaps the English to let is similar; it now means "allow" but used to also mean "prevent."

March 22, 2013


From what I can find out with a quick google search, it appears that dejar means "to leave" or "to allow" while dejar de means "to stop"

March 27, 2013


I found this on http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/dejar

-intransitive verb 11. (parar) dejar de hacer algo -> to stop doing something

-verb neuter Dejó de cantar -> she stopped singing No puedo dejar de fumar -> I can’t give up smoking

June 25, 2014


Wouldn't it be "escribiendo?"

December 9, 2014


No - in most cases where you would use the "ing" in English, Spanish uses the infinitive.

Especially with verbs like "dejar de + infinitive" (to stop doing something) or "tener que + infinitive" (to have to do something)

December 10, 2014



May 12, 2015


When a sentence is using more than one verb, all verbs after the first verb, are not to be conjugated.

July 29, 2015


Probably more accurate to say any simple sentence, or any clause, is constructed that way. I can say, "¡No puedo dejar de escribir, pero necesito escribir un mil más palabras antes de puedo ir a cama!

A single sentence, with multiple conjugated verbs. It would make no sense if they were all infinitives.

July 29, 2015


January 20, 2014. There's a little used, obsolete form in English, "Leave off:, which has the meaning of stop. I almost wanted to translate this as "I can't leave off writing"" I would bet that the origin of "dejar de" as stop followed a similar path.

January 20, 2014


When you add "de" after dejar plus an infinitive, it means to stop doing something.

Dejo de fumar - I quit smoking

Ella deja de cocinar - She quit cooking/She stopped cooking

December 10, 2014


I made this mistake too. Basically, it's the reflexive form that is about allowing oneself (to do something).

I think that would be "no me puedo dejar escribir" or "no puedo dejarme escribir" (grain of salt, though. I'm not a native speaker.).

December 5, 2015


shouldn't "i cannot 'quit' writing" be acceptable?

November 21, 2013


That's what I'm thinking.

March 29, 2015


Yea that should be

January 2, 2016


Sounds like a blessing for a writer!

June 28, 2015


This sentence is literally my life

November 12, 2017


Also, English is not my first language but I know that "to stop to do something" and "to stop doing something" have different meanings.

October 27, 2015


Alexander Hamilton probably said this.

July 15, 2016


I was looking for a Hamilton reference! Lol

October 16, 2017


you do not offer this word in your own translation

December 25, 2012


Dejar de means to quit, the translation uses stop however everywhere I have read the phrase means quit. Am I correct.

October 18, 2013


It is to stop (verb)-ing. As in to quit smoking, stop driving, stop singing.' It usually gets translated as 'quit' to make it clear that the Spanish verb for 'to stop' is not the same as this 'to stop -ing' something (to quit doing it).

December 1, 2014


Quit and stop have overlapping meanings. I can say Quit that or Stop that and mean the same thing.

April 3, 2014


Yo soy Steven King!

August 17, 2015


Once again the text-to-speech kills me. I listened twice and heard "dejarte escribir." Yes, I could have clicked the turtle, but it sounded so clear to me and the sentence makes sense that way! Grrrrr!

September 15, 2015


Yeah, sometimes I don't even think I need the turtle, then I get it wrong because I didn't.

September 15, 2015


"Why is I am not able to stop writing" okay?

February 10, 2013


I think you misplaced a quotation mark. ¨Poder¨ means ¨can¨ or ¨to be able to,¨ so both can be used.

June 22, 2013


Why is " I am not able to stop writing" incorrect. Surely that is the same as "I can not stop writing?

October 20, 2013


"I cannot give up writing" should be accepted.

October 27, 2015


Why is "I am not able to stop from writing" incorrect?

January 3, 2016


Shouldn't it be escribiendo?

February 9, 2016


Don't make the mistake of applying English grammar rules to Spanish phrases. Also, see klgregonis's response below and any of the responses above that have already answered this question.

February 10, 2016



June 19, 2016


The way im understanding it is that, considering that 'dejar' means to leave, its not a direct translation to english. I read it as "I cannot leave from writing" which to me translates to essentially the same thing as i can't stop writing.

Spanish has its way of saying things that doesn't always use its general grammer rules like using 'ando' at the end for the 'ing'. I don't know if this is right or if it helps but it's the way understand it. It's all in learning the language I guess lol

August 19, 2016


Tratar (de)- to try (something) Quiero tratar de aprender. I want to try to learn. Dejar (de)- to stop (doing something) Quiero dejar de fumar. I want to stop smoking.

October 15, 2016


I think a good way to think of this is to abstract language, And think of de as "of the" so it's initially wrong in English, "i cannot stop of the writing" And realize that in English we'd leave out "of the". It's how i understand it, but in a mishmash of language sort of way.

October 16, 2016


"Why do you write like you're running out of time?"

January 29, 2017


Would it be correct to say "no puedo acabar de escribir"?

March 14, 2017


Man, the man is nonstop. Gentlemen of the jury bear with me, are you aware that we're making history? This is the first murder trial of our brand new nation. The liberty behind deliberation.

April 8, 2017


What is "Escribiendo?" I was told that means "Writing" Is this ever used?

July 30, 2017


Escribiendo is the present participle. It is used in the Spanish progressive tenses, which are used much less frequently than ours. Estoy escribiendo I am writing (e.g perhaps you are interrupting me. I am in the process of writing right now) It is also used in other places where the English present participe verb form is used. Escribiéndolo fue difícil. Writing it was difficult. [It is one of the forms that attaches pronouns] But it is not a gerund in the English sense. It never can be used as a noun, nor after a preposition. That is done with the infinitive in Spanish.

July 30, 2017


What happened to escribiendo?

August 11, 2017


Escriebiebdo is the past participle of escribir, but past participles are not gerund and do not act as nouns. For this reason you will never find this form directly following a preposition. That will always be an infinitive.

August 11, 2017


Why do you write like you're running out of time?

October 5, 2017


Why does it sound like she is saying 'escribish'?

June 7, 2013


The thing is that if you wanted to say, "I cannot stop to write," that is how you would say it. That's the answer I gave and I got it wrong.

September 26, 2013


Mmm, excuse me miss, but I think that if you wanted to say, "I cannot stop to write", as in you can't stop doing something else, in order to then write, it would be more like, "no puedo parar para que puedo escribir". "No puedo parar de escribir" is more like I cannot stop from writing, or, simplified, I cannot stop writing. The grammar doesn't exactly match up here between English and Spanish - that's just the way it is.

September 30, 2013


I see it this way: the difference in the use of the word "to" between the sentence "I want to have a party for my mom" and "She is going to Paris to see her brother" is that in the first sentence the "to" is used to form the infinitive, and in the second it is standing in for the phrase "in order to." In Spanish (I believe) this use of "to" might be translated best with "para." My instinct is to translate your sentence as "No puedo dejar para escribir." Don't take my word for it, though; I have an instinct for grammar, but I am not fluent in Spanish yet.

September 15, 2015


Can parar = to stop be used here?

November 11, 2014


Maybe? Dejar + de + infinitive is the more common way to say "to stop doing something"

I quit smoking - Yo dejo de fumar.

I gave up running - Yo dejo de correr.

"Parar" for stop is more like the stopping of movement, or the stopping of an action...


People would probably understand what you meant but it would demonstrate that you don't speak the language very well/would sound like a total non-native speaker. :)

It would be like if someone said in English "I retreated home" when they meant "I went home" - both words convey that the person went home/sought refuge/found relief in going home" but there is definitely the right time and place to use each verb, and they are not used interchangably.

November 12, 2014


I cannot stop (the bus) to write! -I thought it made sense literally

January 13, 2015


Why won't they accept "quit" as an acceptable answer?

January 17, 2015


I use 'give up' and it was wrong.

February 18, 2015


Is "I can't refrain from writing acceptable"?

June 12, 2015


What purpose does the "de" serve in this sentence?

September 14, 2015


I was marked wrong for "I am not able to stop writing." No puedo=not able, yes?

December 14, 2015


Shouldn't 'I cannot stop FROM writing be acceptable' If not, why?

December 22, 2015


Dejar with "de" after it means to leave something behind like a habit or action. So "no puedo dejar de escribir" would mean that someone cannot leave behind writing. Think about it like that. And in english that would simply mean " I cannot stop writing" Spanish cannot be translated to English directly or it will confuse the heck out of us.

January 2, 2016


Escribiando (or perhaps even escritura), why would escribir be writing. Is it the de in front of it?

January 31, 2016


You should read the entire thread, this has been explained in several places. Spanish uses the infinitive where English uses the gerund. Exceptions are after words implying motion, such as seguir, andar, continuar, and after estar, when it makes a present progressive. The de is attached to dejar - it's dejar de with a verb following and not just dejar.

January 31, 2016


Why does it correct the sentence in "I cannot help writing"? Doesn't "Dejar" mean "stop/leave?

February 29, 2016


does not sound like dejar

May 17, 2016


why does j in dejar sound like an "s" and ir in escribir sound like ish

May 17, 2016


Whoa. Three verbs in one sentence! This is new.

August 23, 2016


So... No puedo parrar escribiendo ..would be wrong? ...how do i know when to use iendo/ando and when not to

February 26, 2017


Now all I need is for someone to use all these words in a sentence so I can see the difference. Parar, detengase, dejar de, deja de, parrada, which all mean stop.

February 27, 2017


lucky, i just get writer's block

November 24, 2017


Isn't parer to stop?

January 12, 2018


Yes parar de escribir should also be accepted. But when talking about one's stopping themselves or others from doing something, dejar de is much more common. You could never just use dejar to say stop, but dejar de infinitive means to stop the action. English has a colloquial expression in some parts of the US... To leave off doing something. I don't know if it is disappearing or I just haven't spoken to people who use it recently.


January 12, 2018



June 30, 2018


No puedo acabar de escribir.

No puedo terminar de escribir.

No puedo dejar de escribir.

Are these all equivalent?

July 27, 2018


Not quite. Terminar and acabar are equivalent to each other, but they both mean to finish or to end. Dejar de is like a verb you didn't mention, parar. They both mean to stop. As in English, things that stop aren't necessarily finished.

July 27, 2018


They don't mean the same thing.

September 6, 2018


I cannot stop from writing - REJECTED

December 7, 2018


That's interesting. You are of course correct in that translation, but I understand why it was rejected. There is a slight meaning difference between saying in English I can't stop writing and I can't stop from writing. The problem is they are the same in Spanish. If they were focused on one translation they may not have thought of the other. I cannot stop writing is a more common construction.

December 7, 2018


Looking at German and French equivalent expression it appears dejar and parar are interchangeable

March 26, 2019


I am not quite sure why you are bringing in German and French, but I would be glad to explain the similarities and differences between parar and dejar de. You will notice that I added the de after dejar, because dejar alone means to let or to leave. But dejar de is used in front of infinitives to mean to stop doing something. It is the equivalent of aufhören in German. Parar is normally about stopping motion or action. This makes it closer to aufhalten in German. A bus stop is call una parada de autobús, And the para in the compound words paraguas and parabrisas come from parar. The literal translation of these words would be stop waters (umbrella) and stop breezes (windshield). But the comparison with aufhören and aufhalten is not perfect. That is mostly due to the fact that dejar de has to be followed by an infinitive. So while I have to stop building today would be Tengo que dejar de construir hoy, I have to stop construction today would be Tengo que parar la construcción hoy. Both of those sentences would use aufhören in German. As for English, we have cease and halt, but even those cross meanings sometimes. You may see para a +infinitive in Spanish, but this means to stop to do something as in Pararon a comprar tortillas. They stopped to buy tortillas. This is opposed to dejaron de comprar tortillas which means they stopped buying tortillas. So the many of the similarities you find in the English don't exist in Spanish. While you may need your knowledge of other languages to understand some of what you see in Spanish, the only way to understand the differences between the two words in Spanish is to look at how they are used in Spanish.

March 26, 2019


You're always so patient and knowledgeable!

March 26, 2019
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