"Él quería aprender a nadar."

Translation:He wanted to learn to swim.

October 6, 2013



"He used to want to learn to swim" was accepted.

I'm using DuoLingo for review, so I can't imagine how confusing it must be for many to have both the imperfect and conditional tenses introduced within the same lesson with almost no instruction. Or did I miss something?

October 6, 2013


Imagine it! The last six lessons or so seem to be an after thought. The subjunctive, imperfect, imperative, reflexive, etc are the most complex topics in Spanish and are really at the heart of being a proficient translator. I wish that DL would cut way back on the vocab specific lessons (animals, plants, science, colors, etc. and structure the course around grammar with the vocab introduced within some context. The vocab and grammar are not well integrated well at all.

November 5, 2014


They certainly could cut "Politics" to 1/10 of its present size.

December 28, 2014


I totally agree. It's as if they got tired. I don't normally complain, but there should be the same treatment given to subjunctive and idiomatic phrases (not like :It's raining cats and dogs, but rather, 'por lo tanto, por lo menos, al lo mejor, and the tons of others.

February 4, 2015


I agree, I was able to test out of most of those fluff pieces because it's like what's animal? ... animal... awesome... politicos... politics... but these grammar lessons are killing me! I wish they were more spread out because the vocab were encouraging but these grammar ones feel defeating. Also where is the information about them? I'm looking everywhere for modal verbs and I can't seem to find complete or helpful information anywhere!

October 22, 2015


The name of the grammar topic is usually the title of the lesson. Search Duolingo's forum for that grammar topic. For this lesson I would search for "imperfect."

There are several spectacular Duolingo users who have chosen to take time out of their personal lives to explain all of these concepts to the rest of us.

December 3, 2016



I've started using Babbel, even paid for the lessons.

November 5, 2014


Is it worth it? As I become more advanced in Spanish I find it's harder to find free lessons. I'm thinking of finding a paid site to learn more advanced material. Like this grammar, but with actual explanation.

October 22, 2015


News in slow spanish is paid, but excellent to test your comprehension and idioms

April 17, 2016


Are you guys in a hurry to learn? Because....it's actually possible to learn this stuff really deeply from duolingo, if you're not imagining learning as some kind of race.

December 2, 2014


It isn't about being in a hurry. Just look at the first several tiers and how many instructions/hints they give to help learners. Once you're over halfway through those instructions and hints completely disappear, which is really a shame because that's when the very difficult material starts to come into play.

April 13, 2016


extremely confusing. i had to go research the conjugation of these tenses.

October 14, 2014


I have yet to find any instruction. Apparently this site's only purpose is to test one's knowledge. When translations or answers are scored as incorrect, there is no explanation for why they are incorrect. So the only practical reason for using this site is for review. If one happens to learn something, it is only as a result of getting it incorrect.

December 20, 2014


I think it's better to think of the lessons as opportunities to practice the skills in a systematic manner, not as tests. And the practice, with corrections does help me learn.

November 22, 2015


And, learning from mistakes (or discovering a gap in your knowledge from a mistake and deciding to do outside research because of it) is bad because....???

December 20, 2014


Because the site seemed, to me, that it was going to help me learn, not just test me on things. I need information because I can apply it.

October 22, 2015


Nothing wrong learning from mistakes, but that doesn't have to be the only way to learn. It also helps to have hints/instructions that can give you a sort of baseline to start from.

April 13, 2016

  • 1106

he wanted to learn how to swim,was also accepted

January 8, 2014


he would like to learn swimming. must be accepted

September 26, 2015


I disagree. That would be the conditional tense, not the imperfect.

December 3, 2016


O.K. why is the "a" needed between the infinitive form of nadar and the verb aprender?

December 20, 2014


Because just like in English, Spanish has many verbs with mandatory prepositions...and yes, as J9Z said, it has to do with whether the verb is followed by an object or an infinitive. Unfortunately this isn't a logical rule to apply as much as it is a list of verbs to memorize...so, here's the list:


This is a list of verbs that require a preposition before the infinitive that follows them. Be sure to click the "a + object" link at the top of the list to see the list of verbs that require prepositions before the objects that follow them.

December 20, 2014


Really helpful. Thank you!

August 29, 2015


Whats wrong with "he would like to learn how to swim"

June 22, 2016


And this nonsense is exactly why I am dropping Duolingo after a 743 day streak. I'm sick of words suddenly not meaning what they have meant for the last TWO DAMN YEARS!

I'm equally sick of how Duolingo doesn't reply to emails. This app can suck it.

March 22, 2018


Can somebody please explain me when to use the imperfect tense and when to use the preterite tense? Can we use preterite tense for this sentence?

December 25, 2013



It can be a tough distinction, so don't get frustrated if you don't get it at first. Keep practicing!

December 30, 2013


He was wanting to learn to swim should be accepted, too, but wasn`t. Oct. 19, 2014.

October 19, 2014


+1 Me too, Dec 19th, 2014

December 19, 2014


I had a listening test and put querría, which makes a valid sentence, but should I have been able to detect the absence of the double r in the audio - less of a rolled r sound perhaps?

November 15, 2015


He wanted to learn swimming is not accepted ?

April 9, 2016


Um that's basically the same thing

September 1, 2016


Why I can't see this word in a table? "queria"?

December 3, 2016


Isn't this English sentence in simple past tense? Why not: "El quiso aprender a nadir"

March 2, 2017


'El quiso' would probably mean that he wanted to learn to swim at a particular point of time, but maybe now he doesn't. 'Él quería' would just be making a general comment about his wish to swim, without indicated any end point.

October 26, 2017


I translated this as "he wanted to learn swimming", understandably it came back as incorrect. (with the correct response as "He wanted to learn how to swim") Is the literal translation of each word more important than the totality of the meaning of a sentence? I would love for some advice please :D

May 10, 2017


Can't it be he wanted to learn how to swim?

August 15, 2017


I noticed that Spanish lessons are getting quite difficult in this part, that is the last one. And the tree is so confused in this part that I cannot recall which tense or mood are these verbs. Either extend it more or skip it. It is useless without any Grammar this very part. I cannot digest this material, just imitate the phrases like a monkey. :(

December 28, 2017
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