So wait... Whoever said this was ACTUALLY seeing a man about a horse, and not just using that as a euphemism?
Can you say "Ĉu vi povas montri la ĉevalon al mi" or does the "al X" always come directly after the verb?
Having Swedish as my native language, montri is a half-way "false friend":
English to mount (that thing you're supposed to do with most of the things bought at IKEA)
[this is the false friend]
Esperanto montroŝranko, aŭ vitrino
English display case
[this is the one I should remember]
... sooo ...
"Can you mount (as in: put it together, build) this horse for me?"
'Could' is past or future tense of 'Can' depending on context. In your sentence it would be future, so: "Ĉu vi povos al mi la ĉevalon?"
I'm not a native English speaker. I understand "could" as a conditional future (or past). Does "povos" convey the same meaning?
Standard English in a lot of the translations in this course, have been, word for word and frankly some of the translations would never be spoken by a native English person. So to "complain" about "to" and omitting the "to" in this translation makes me smile. The "Can you show me the horse is correct", but OH BOY, some of the other translations into English in the course could do with some revision!
why is "al" needed here. There hasn't be one lesson taught of why al would be needed in a sentence where it doesnt belong
If you didn't have the "al" it would be more like
"Can you I show the horse?" or
"Can I you show the horse?"
which makes very little sense or makes the statement ambiguous on who is showing the horse to whom.
If you want to be technical, “horse” is the direct object, so it takes the -n ending, but “me” is the indirect object, and needs to have “al” before it in Esperanto.
Do and can wouldn't be used together that in a sentence in English. "Do" is for straight yes-or-no questions; "can" is where you're asking if the person has the ability to perform your request.
"Al" is necessary here to show the indirect object; to show to whom the horse is being shown.
The horse is the direct object here as it is the thing being shown and therefore takes the -n. "Mi" is the indirect object and so is preceded by "al" here.
Words never take the accusative after prepositions unless they are showing direction. However words never take the accusative after "al" as it already shows direction.
See here for more info on -n.
I put, "Can you show to me the horse" and it told me I was wrong. Is there a difference?
"Can you show X to me" is pretty standard English in Ireland so this one keeps catching me out...
Could "Can you show me to the horse?" Be an appropriate translation? Or is it specifically asking "hey point out the horse for me"
Can somone explain to me the reason why "montri" is "to show"? Like what language(s) is it from?