I'm confused about the possible difference between English and Spanish in one example.

Mags

Kwiziq community member

14 October 2017

2 replies

I'm confused about the possible difference between English and Spanish in one example.

Encuentro las gafas de Adriana, means I find Adriana's glasses. But what does "No encuentro las gafas de Adriana" mean? I don't find the glasses? Or I can't find the glasses? I believe it's the former, but I lost a point in my test because I wrote "No puedo encontrar las gafas de Adriana".

This relates to:
Forming negative sentences using no (negation) -

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

15 October 2017

15/10/17

Hi Mags, thanks for pointing this out. We're missing an explanation here. I've accepted as partially correct "no puedo encontrar" now since it isn't wrong, but in a simple sentence like this "no encuentro" is the usual way to express the same thing.

We will to expand on this in the lesson and compare with how the modal verb poder is used - possibly in another lesson. This is just an idiomatic difference between English and Spanish since, if you think about, "I don't find X", "I'm not finding X" and "I can't find X" all really amount to same thing, semantically in the case of 'glasses' anyway. It sounds odd in English, but it's not in Spanish.

Hope that helps!

Mags

Kwiziq community member

15 October 2017

15/10/17

Thanks for that. Yes, I accept that we have different ways of expressing meaning in our languages. It keeps me on my toes! (Haha)

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