Sefig, entrar is to go in or go into something. Entrar a la casa. Subir connotes getting into, going up, stepping into the car. Subir al segundo piso. Both take the preposition "a" to denote movement.
I found this to be useful: "Para subir o bajar de un medio de transporte, las preposiciones que usamos dependen del tipo de vehículo:"
With car and taxi:<pre>
Get in/into Subir Get out of Bajar</pre>
With train, bus, bicycle, motorbyke, plane, etc.:<pre>
Get on/onto Subir Get off Bajar</pre>
I (think I) understand the nuance between entrar and subir, but why would the English sentence "They can enter the car." incorrect?
Felipe. My understanding is that subir expresses the idea of stepping upwards into something; while entrar, simply means going into/entering a place. Most people wouldn't have difficulty getting into a car. But if the group was elderly, they might have more difficulty getting UP into a car than they do simply entering a building, hence the can clause
Subir is the common word for getting into a car. They don't express it as entrar normally, although it might be used if the speaker were already in the car, although I am not certain. The can phrase may represent that the people have potential difficulties getting into the car, but may also just indicate that it is time and/or they have permission to do so. You can read a little too much (or sometimes not enough) into a sentence if you bring your English word associations into Spanish. The rule number one of learning a new language is that each language has its own way of expressing things.
And since subir means to go up, it does seem reasonable to make such an assumption about its meaning in the sentence without making the error of reading too much into why this is preferred to entrar in this instance. Rule number two of language learning perhaps: use what you know of etymology and apply associations where you can to help you deal with the nuances of the language you are learning.
Etymology is both interesting and historically informative, but not always currently helpful. Subir absolutely means to go up or to climb, and that is probably why it was used to talk about getting on to buses, trains and planes. Early cars involved more climbing into (which we do sometimes use for cars) and thus subir became the word used to indicate entering a vehicle, as noted in definition 5
But if the term did not already mean to enter a vehicle and the modern sports car was the first car invented, bajar al coche would probably be more descriptive. But they still say subir. So the etymology of a word tells us the origin and reason, but once a word or phrase comes into being, it often loses some elements of its connection to its origen. Just think of the expression Down on the farm. What is down about the farm? Perhaps it is because many farms are in valleys, but no one really thinks about it. It is just an expression.
FelipeSuizo, I think it's a matter of the automobile evolving faster than the English language. You wouldn't enter an elevated (horse-drawn) chair (on wheels), you would get in(to) it or climb in(to) it.
It is not technically incorrect, but "enter" is not a verb that would be used by a person whose mother tongue is English. Think of it this way: they can get IN a car (action) as soon as they go TO the car (location). We shorten it up by saying, "They can get INTO the car" (action + location).
Incidentally, this sentence is not about giving permission. Rather, it is a simple declarative statement.
I would agree that it is more likely that this sentence is about ability than permission, but without context you cannot say that categorically. It might be said by a border patrol agent after having searched a car crossing the border, for example. Poder is both about ability and permission, as permission is considered a prerequisite.
Thanks for the heads up about poder. I should have said that English makes the distinction that "can" is about ability and "may" is about permission. Now that you say it, it actually makes sense when I put my Spanish-speaking head on because "poder" can be translated as either "can" or "may."
"Entered the car" is in fact used by native speakers (I am a native speaker). It was the word i used because it was easier to type. but it is common in legalese, e.g., (2) the officer's inability to state which of the two defendants had entered the car. In the meantime the driver had re-entered the car and was frantically Minutes later, defendant came out, entered the car, Ventresca entered the car driven by Garry Rudd approached, carrying a gym bag, and entered the car.
Carrillo entered his car, and drove to and the informant's undergarments were not searched before she entered his car
- Just a few of the many found using Google n-grams
Yes those are examples of a strange dichotomy we seen to have in English. Even though most native speakers are not consciously aware of the etymology of words, those that have French/Latin roots are often preferred in formal settings and in writing. So where I think most Americans would say get in or into the car (although there may be regional differences), news and other formal reports and discourse would use enter.
I don't know that "enter the car" would be incorrect, but I would say that it is far less common than "get in the car" or "get into the car."
My guess is the logic of this translation goes back to the days of the horse drawn carriages. You would have to climb up steps to get into a carriage, hence "subir".
I was just about to say the same thing about the derivation of subir al coche as deriving from the days when the coach/carriage was something you had to climb up yo get into. I agree so much I gave you a lingot.
How would you say: "They can go up to the car" as if the car is parked just up on the hill?
I agree with you. It should be accepted if "go up to" (the bed) is used in another sentence this lesson.
Go up to bed often means to go upstairs as bedrooms are often on the second floor of homes. Subir a is not for approaching something unless you have to climb something to get there. I think since subir al coche means to get in the car, that some more information would be given. Tengo que subir esa colina para llegar a mi coche.
Subir often comes along with the preposition "a" to indicate motion in a certain direction (the oppositie of "subir a" is "bajar de")
a + el = al
subir a el = subir al
Thank you. That helps me make sense of it. So "al" in this case translates to "into the" car.
Generally, "al" translates into "to the." (and I would say that's how it translates in this question as well)
Is there a way to specify if they can get "in" or "on" something if it isn't obvious? This is not a great example, but say you wanted them to get on top of the car.
"Encima de" is a good word for "on top of," but keep in mind that in english, on and in aren't actually always used in logical ways (you get on a bus but in a car, in trouble but on alert, on a team but in the game), so be careful directly translating.
I didn't know that "en" literally meant "at." Thanks for the information. No disrespect, but when you say "normal," do you mean "normal in English?"
En means many different things in Spanish. http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=en
.. pero no pueden conducir porque son mujeres y se encuentran en Arabia Saudí.
Does this mean that something can stick to the car ("They can get on the car" is accepted)? It seems misguiding to accept a phrase that has 4 hits on Google and only for a different context but not "They can enter the car" if that's what it really means.
This is the standard way to say get in the car. So I guess you can compare it to get on the bus or train. While theoretically they might mean get ontop of the train or bus, for practices purposes one would have to say on top to distinguish that from the standard meaning of into. I am surprised that Duo accepted it, but you have to remember Duo is a computer program and it is complex to program subiir a to be only in for car while it is on train. Yt? But stick on would be more like pegarse.
I think it would be better to compare "get on the bus or train" to "get onto the bus or train." Then, what would be remembered is that "to" is added to "in" in order to show action + location.
The word "to" is short for "toward," and one of the meanings of the word "in" is "inside," so I think of it as TO/toward and IN/inside. In other words, I think of it as "going TOward the INside." "Going toward" is the action, and "the inside" is the location. In English, however, we change the order to be IN/inside, TO/toward, that is, "into."
I used the word "going" to make the second paragraph easier to understand. However, rather than being in present progressive tense, this Spanish sentence and its English translation are both in declarative mood and simple present tense, so I wanted to add that the word "get" is used instead of "go" because it is colloquial English usage to use "get into" instead of "go into," even though both are technically correct.
En Chile, para este caso: "ellos pueden subir al auto" = "ellos pueden entrar al auto". Yo subo al auto = Yo entro al auto. Tù subes al auto = Tù entras al auto. Èl sube al auto = Èl entra al auto. Nosotros subimos al auto = Nosotros entramos al auto Ellos suben al auto = Ellos entran al auto.
used both go up by and get on per translation examples but both were wrong ?????????
I think technically this sentence could mean they "get on the car" but usually people get INTO cars, not on them.
"go up by" is also a very unlikely occurrence.
Use context to help you figure out what preposition should be used
I have seen "bajar" del carro. Now you say we get "up" into the car. Very confusing.
Doesn't this sentence say they can RAISE the car (like a wrecker)(tho it should be Ellas pueden subir el coche). Or maybe what you have is idiomatic somewhere for getting INTO? But I think it's clearer (and I thought it more correct) that if you want those Ellas to get INTO the car, you need to make it reflexive: Ellas pueden subirse al coche !!!
No. Subir does not mean raise at all. Levantar means raise as in me levanto la mano. Subir means to climb, to go up, to get on or get in. It is used for climbing stairs and mountains and for getting on or in various vehicles like cars or trains. There is a verb subirse, but like many reflexive forms of verbs it has a somewhat surprising meaning. It means to get into someone's head. Many verbs do have predictable meanings for their reflexive forms, but quite a few do not, so it can be dangerous to assume you can make one reflexive without altering the meaning.
I would recommend Spanishdict.com as a good Spanish English dictionary. They are online and also have apps. They provide detailed translations with examples and conjugations for verbs. For phrases they show three different translation engines which is necessary since the translation of phrases and sentences can be very bad, but when you see three attempts you can tell better what is right. Here is their definition of Subir.
SpanishDict.com also lists 'subirse a' as a phrase that means 'to get into a (vehicle)'. I had also learned that using Brainscape. From what I can tell, the use of subir in getting into a vehicle seems to be expressed both reflexively and non-reflexively in the language. Doesn't mean both are right, but both forms are in the lexicon.
Considering that the definitions that come much earlier for subirse are to get in someone's head or to get drunk you probably don't get it a lot, but many verbs are ocasionally used reflexively to indicate voluntary action.
Can't "They can come into the car." be a valid translation?
Was marked wrong.
No. Subir has many translations in different situations, but in terms of vehicles it means to get on (for bus or train) or to get in for car. Come into the car is a somewhat unusual thing to say, but to say it you would use the verb entrar and the preposition en. In English come into assumes that the person speaking was already in the car. Entrar, like our verb enter, can mean either go in or come in. I don't know if Entrar is ever used to say go into the car, but the al indicates motion toward the car, not just into.
Subir is also translated as to board (although one does not generally say board for a car) But there are a couple of other cognate verbs that can be used: embarcarse and abordar. The verb abordar has an interesting noun form which is used frequently (although the infinitive can always be used as well). It is abordaje. Apparently this is one of the words affected by Arabic during the Moorish period.
This is the question I hate the most in all of Duolingo. I ALWAYS get it wrong, every single time I strenghten this lesson. And I know exactly what I mean but I keep having to guess what wording, in English, the system will allow. I try get in, but I forget it's get into, even though get in works FINE (as replacement for get into, it's the same f*cking thing, god damn it!) and then I remember at times the system suggested climb, but when I tried climb into the car, or climb up to the car, it's still wrong!!! Jesus I hate hate hate this horrendous annoyance of a question.
You should report, and continue to report, They can get in the car as a correct answer. Duo often misses slight variations in English which have no grammatical or meaning significance. As for climb, that is given as a hint mostly due to the use of subir with stairs and mountains. Climb into the car is said in English, but not routinely as subir al coche, so it doesn't meet Duo's common for common convention. Actually if I were trying to translate a situation where I said some people climbed into the car I would be looking for something to add to the Spanish set phrase to give the same subtle difference in meaning that I intended with climb into vs get into. Personally I don't have too much problem with in and into in this stricter sense, but that comes from my knowledge of German. I remember my teacher at the Goethe Institut in Orient saying that the Man had to slip into his slippers before he slipped in his slippers. In German the preposition in, spelled like ours, takes an accusative object if movement is implied (into). Otherwise it takes a dative object. Of course in English the diference is no longer significant.
Al is a+el. Subir a is used to say to get into/on/ or to board most forms of transportation But you do need either a definite or indefinite article to follow. So if the sentence were They got into A car it would be Ellas pueden subir a un coche, but since the sentence says the, which would be the most common expression, it is al coche. You should become accustomed to al in these expressions because all the modes of transportation that I can thing of are masculine (el coche/carro/auto, el tren, el autobús, el avión, el barco, etc) There is, of course several verbs which can be used in the more formal sense of to board like embarcarse and abordar, but some form of subir is the most common/casual way of saying to get in/on. But sometimes you will hear subir as reflexive and also subir a bordo.
How can subir be the correct verb? Not according to my verb book of 535 verbs. Please exlain your choice.
Your verb book is a great resource for conjugation, but not as good a substitute for a good dictionary. Spanishdict.com is both an excellent dictionary and also has complete conjugation of all verbs. And while this use is not listed as one of the first uses of the word, it is the standard way to say you get into a car, and is also commonly used to get on a bus, train, or airplane, along with abordar.
Another excellent resource which you should begin to use early is the RAE. Using an all Spanish dictionary is harder, but once you are proficient at it, it is a good sign that you can jump that fluency wall and learn Spanish in a totally Spanish speaking environment.