"La víctima no sabía nadar."
Translation:The victim did not know how to swim.
The imperfect refers to things that happened continuously in the past. For example, the program "No sabía que estaba embarazada" is called "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" in English, which means "I used to not know I was pregnant" because knowing/not knowing how to do something is a continuous action.
Some verbs change meaning in the Preterit, and saber is one of them. Look at this link: http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/63:
saber | to know (Imperfective) | to find out (Perfective)
Imperfective Aspect- Present tense, Imperfect tense, Progressive tenses, Future tense, Conditional tense
Perfective Aspect- Preterit tense, All perfect tenses (present perfect, past perfect, etc.)
"La víctima no supo nadar" would translate "The victim didn't find out how to swim".
It says a correct solution is "The victim used not to know how to swim." Am I crazy or does that seem incorrect? The word flow does not seem structured properly. The "used not to know how" is what really confuses me and makes me think it's wrong.
why is this an acceptable answer ? the victim did not know how to swim
should it not be: the victim did not know to swim
could anyone explain please
Saber is used with abilities and skills that are learnt like Conducir (to drive), pintar (to paint) etc. To say you know how to do something, one would use Saber + Infinitive.
The use of saber in the duo sentence means 'to know how', thus: La víctima no sabía nadar=
La victima=the victim
no sabía= did not know how
nadar= to swim
Here is a reference: (look at C under saber) http://www.spanish.cl/Vocabulary/Notes/Conocer_vs_Saber.htm
thanks, but i just need a little more info. How would "the victim did not know to swim" be translated then?
What would be the context of the sentence? We have a victim who has the ability to swim but did not know that he/she could. Is that right? I would assume that the sentence would have to be reworded.
Can you give an example where one would use your sentence? I am sure it can be said. I am not an expert.
thanks for the reply, my question relates to the the statement ""La víctima no sabía nadar." which is given without context. For me (in this question) Saber more naturally translates to "know to" rather than "know how.
To give an example" the victim did not know to swim to the other side of the stream where help was waiting."
I was just trying to help out by stating the Spanish grammar rule :
To express knowledge or ignorance of a skill, or how to do something, use saber + infinitive.
María sabe conducir. Maria knows how to drive.
No sé nadar muy bien. I don't know how to swim very well.
This is all I know. Maybe someone else can translate your take on the sentence.
How about: "the victim knew not how to swim"- it is old timey and clunky english - but I think it should be correct
It's worse than "old timey and clunky" --- it is obsolete and has been for over three hundred years!
I believe that it would be better to teach both the preterite and imperfect tenses together in the same statements because they are often used together to describe past events.
Yes. It's like "the victim didn't know how to swim, so they planned to capsize the boat".
También, necesitas decir "Ella ha aprendido" porque tu frase está diciendo "she has learning". O se puede decir "ella está aprendiendo(lo)".
I had "The victim never used to know how to swim". This was considered wrong.
never = nunca
Duolingo is a bit picky about adding words that aren't there. Keep it simple.
I was marked wrong for using "used to" instead of "use to". Maybe my English is what I should be working on. Haha
Is "The victim was not knowing how to swim" right as well, even if it is not the best translation and not (yet) accepted?
In this thread "know" is a stative verb (state verb). There are 2 basic rules for stative verbs.
- Generally stative verbs are not used in the continuous form
- Some, not all, stative verbs can be used in the continuous if there is a need to show the temporary nature of the verb
Unfortunately your translation breaks both these rules thus your question itself is mute
I don't know about 'to know how' being a static verb, but the Spanish past imperfect indicative is used in several ways and one of them is setting the stage for another event such as:
Yo leía cuando entró mi papá. I was reading when my papa entered. (note that "entered" is preterite) The Duo sentence as written doesn't seem to be setting the stage, but I think it might be possible. Also the imperfect indicative is also used to describe something in the past. This sentence might fall into this category. We can translate into English the past imperfect indicative when we are describing an event which does not have a definite start time or end time. It is like a general statement, such as:
I was working in the agency during the day. Trabajaba durante el día.
Your reply may be correct but has no bearing on my comment above, which is a direct reply to soderdaen post ref. "The victim was not knowing how to swim"
In other words the sentence "The victim was not knowing how to swim" is not correct in English, thus can not be used as a translation of the Spanish.
The reason it is incorrect is that the primary verb is a stative verb and is subject to a different set of rules than action verbs such as "run"
Native English speakers, tell me, please, do you really say "know how to do something"? Why not "The victim could not swim"?
"I can not fly" = I do not have wings so I cannot fly. "I do not know how to fly" I do not have the knowledge to fly a plane. Hope this helps.
But, personally "the victim could not swim" would mean the same as "the victim did not know how to swim", but thats my thoughts.
What about "the victim had not known how to swim"? The sentence seems to imply that they used to not know but now they do.
No. In Spanish, to say "to know how to do something", you use the construction "saber + infinitive". Literally: to know to do something.
Sé leer Sabes caminar Saben descargar el documento.
etc,... It's one of those things that are just different across languages. Direct translations aren't always correct.