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  5. "El estudiante desea una comp…

"El estudiante desea una computadora."

Translation:The student wishes for a computer.

October 1, 2013



can't I say "the student wishes a computer"?


Not proper English. A better answer is "The student desires a computer."


Wish is an intransitive verb, so it cannot take an object (such as a computer). You could say "The student wants a computer" or "The student wishes for a computer."


Your're right that "The student wishes a computer" needs the word "for" to make it grammatically correct; however, although "wish" in the sense of "to want" is indeed intransitive, this verb can also be transitive. "Let me wish you good luck with your studies." (That's transitive there for you)


You need to add "for" after the verb so it's proper English: "The student wishes for a computer".


En el español de Latinoamérica, se prefiere en general la palabra 'la computadora', mientras que en España, se prefiere la palabra 'el ordenador'.

In Latin American Spanish, there's a preference, in general, for the word "la computadora", while in Spain, there's a preference for the word "el ordenador".


Computer is ordinateur in French, so that makes sense.


Is "desear" mostly interchangeable with "querer" or are their subtleties that we should be aware of when choosing whether to use one word or the other?


If "desear" means "to wish" and "querer" means "to want" then i can answer this easily. To want means to want something with the possibility of getting it, however to wish is to want something but to doubt that you will ever get it. They are often interchangeable, but "to wish" is used for those things you know you will likely never have. If the 2 spanish verbs mean the exact same then that is it.


I have two answers. One based is on listening to how Spanish speakers use these words and another is based on translation and monolingual dictionaries.

desear = want, desire, wish

Technically, desear seems to be similar to the English "wish" in that it's a strong desire/want/wish but may be difficult or even impossible to get. "El deseo en sentido estricto implica el darse cuenta de que lo deseado es relativo o absolutamente imposible."

  • Querer o aspirar a algo con vehemencia y anhelo = Want or aspire to something with a passion, longing , or yearning

  • Sentir atracción sexual = Feel attraction

  • dejar mucho que desear. Defraudar, ser inferior a las expectativas = leaves a lot to be desired

  • vérselas y deseárselas. Tener dificultad y requerir esfuerzo lo que se desea. = Want what you see but have difficulty getting it.

However, I hear many Spanish speaker use desear in a more casual way that means more or less the same as querer but a bit more emphatic. People use it in a hyperbolic way all the time.

Quiero/deseo ir a la playa = I want to go to the beach vs. I really want to go to the beach.

querer = want

  • Desear, apetecer = to desire or crave

  • Amar, tener cariño, voluntad o inclinación a una persona o cosa = Love/care about a person or thing

  • Tener voluntad o determinación de ejecutar una acción = Be willing/determined to do something

  • Pedir una cantidad por algo = ask for an amount in exchange for something

  • Aceptar una apuesta = accept a bet?

  • Dar motivo una persona con sus acciones o palabras a que suceda algo que puede perjudicarla = Claim a person has ulterior motives

  • Ser algo conveniente = Be something that would work or fit

  • Pretender, intentar, procurar: try or try to get

  • Conformarse o avenirse uno al intento o deseo de otro= Willing to go along with what someone else wants

  • Estar próxima a ser o verificarse una cosa = Close to being something or verifying something?

  • como quiera= whatever you want, however you want

  • cuando quiera = whenever you want

  • donde quiera = wherever you want

  • sin querer (Sin intención) = without intending to, unintentionally, inadvertently


I tend to translate literally, as duolingo is quite inconsistent with accepting answers. Sometimes if you add a word like "for" it rejects it. This is why I wrote "wishes a computer" and it was rejected. You have to guess.


when you see that, you should report it so that you can help DL to become more consistent


My experience is that Duolingo nearly always translates desear as "to wish for." https://www.wordreference.com/es/translation.asp?tranword=wish%20for

"Wishes a computer" doesn't sound correct in English to me (although it could be regional). "Desires/wants a computer" would be better.


Why is'for' added in this particular translation while the previous one (mi hija desea un caballo) translates as 'my daughter wishes_a horse'? Do you in english wish just living creatures and wish for some things? I find it confusing


Actually, "wishes a horse" is not the correct way to say it in English. It should be "wishes for a horse". If Duolngo gave you the translation in English as "My daughter wishes a horse", then they were obviously wrong and it should've been reported.


a better translation would be the student desires a computer, as you can''t wish a computer


Could we also not say, "The student wants a computer?" In English, "want" is as often used to mean "desire", as it used to mean - you know, "want".


I have "the student wants a computer" but it's crossed out as wrong???


Duolingo please review this: You can't mark me wrong for "I desire a daughter" and say it is correct to say "I'd like a daughter" and then say I am wrong when I say that "El estudiante desea una computadora" translates to "the student would like a computer," because the "I'd" in "I'd like a daughter" is the contraction for "I would." That means that you taught me something that you later say is wrong.


Don't report it here because there wouldn't be any changes if we just tell them that in this forum. Please, report it using the report button.


Perhaps they shouldn't have allowed "I'd like a daughter" previously. As one person pointed out to me in another exercise, "would like" and "would desire" is employing a conditional verb tense whereas the Spanish sentence uses the present tense.


Yes, you're probably right. I guess I complained about the wrong wrong answer! : ) Thanks.


The problem is that the present tense indicative isn't really sufficient to convey much nuance:

  • I wish I had a daughter/computer = Ojalá tuviera una hija/computadora (imperfect subjunctive)

  • I would like to have a daughter/computer = Me gustaria tener una hija/computadora (conditional)

However, I can see why Duolingo might reject "I desire a daughter" because that might have too much nuance as it can have the double meaning of being attracted to daughters, which is obviously not appropriate. I wouldn't say it that way in either English or Spanish. However, as long as you're not creepy, people will probably know what you mean.

That being said, I still think that "I desire" should be accepted for "deseo" regardless of context.

[deactivated user]

    How can this mean two different things? Wishing and wanting are different.


    Yes they are, but they are often used interchangeably in english.


    What is wrong with "asks for a computer"?


    If all you wrote was "asks for a computer" then yes you are wrong because you did not include the subject. If you wrote "The student asks for a computer" you are also wrong. The student in question is not necessarily talking to anyone, he/she is just wishing for a new computer. "to wish" and "to ask" are totally different concepts. ¡Gracias por la pregunta mi compañero!


    Gracias. I meant to include "the student" in my original phrase.


    De nada, buena suerte en el futuro mi amigo.


    It's a different verb. "asks for" = pedir


    Sounds weird. Wouldn't it be rather " the student wants to have a computer"?


    That is a slightly different sentence: " the student wants to have a computer" = el estudiante quiere tener una computadora.

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