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  5. "No puedo dejar de escribir."

"No puedo dejar de escribir."

Translation:I cannot stop writing.

December 25, 2012



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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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! :-)



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.


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


'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.


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


wow! are you Spanish?


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


When is dejar used vs parar


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.


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."


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"


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


Wouldn't it be "escribiendo?"


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)


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


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.


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.


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


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.).


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


That's what I'm thinking.


Yea that should be


Sounds like a blessing for a writer!


This sentence is literally my life


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


Alexander Hamilton probably said this.


I was looking for a Hamilton reference! Lol


you do not offer this word in your own translation


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


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).


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


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!


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


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


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


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


"I cannot give up writing" should be accepted.


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


Shouldn't it be escribiendo?


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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.


What happened to escribiendo?


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.


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


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


Can parar = to stop be used here?


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.


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


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


I use 'give up' and it was wrong.


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


does not sound like dejar


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


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


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


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.


lucky, i just get writer's block


Isn't parer to stop?


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.



No puedo acabar de escribir.

No puedo terminar de escribir.

No puedo dejar de escribir.

Are these all equivalent?


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.


They don't mean the same thing.


I cannot stop from writing - REJECTED


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.

  • 1550

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


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.


You're always so patient and knowledgeable!

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