¿ Infinitive or subjunctive or both ?

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schnaz
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¿ Infinitive or subjunctive or both ?

Postby schnaz » 2018-05-20, 12:33

Saludos,

I found an add in the newspaper «Hoy en Delaware» which said «¿ Quieres comprar vivienda, pero no crees poder hacerlo?»
Then I went to Google Translate and asked how to translate the following sentence into Spanish. “ Do you want to buy a residence but don't think you can do it?” GT said «¿Quieres comprar una residencia pero no crees que puedas hacerlo?» Which translation do you prefer? Thank you.
"What a revoltin´ development this is." Daffy Duck

Linguaphile
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Re: ¿ Infinitive or subjunctive or both ?

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-06-01, 6:21

schnaz wrote:Saludos,

I found an add in the newspaper «Hoy en Delaware» which said «¿ Quieres comprar vivienda, pero no crees poder hacerlo?»
Then I went to Google Translate and asked how to translate the following sentence into Spanish. “ Do you want to buy a residence but don't think you can do it?” GT said «¿Quieres comprar una residencia pero no crees que puedas hacerlo?» Which translation do you prefer? Thank you.


Both "no crees poder hacerlo" and "no crees que puedas hacerlo" are correct. "¿Quieres comprar una residencia?" sounds unnatural to me. There's not really anything grammatically wrong with it, but I'd use "vivienda" (or even "casa"). And you can say it with or without the indefinite article.
I'd probably say "¿Quieres comprar una vivienda, pero no crees que puedas hacerlo?"

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schnaz
Posts: 224
Joined: 2008-01-04, 3:28
Real Name: john viarengo
Gender: male
Location: Wilmington, actually Elsmere, Delaware, U.S.A.
Country: US United States (United States)
Contact:

Re: ¿ Infinitive or subjunctive or both ?

Postby schnaz » 2018-06-02, 8:44

Thank you Linguaphile,
“No crees poder hacerlo” seems the more alien of the two to my English speaking mind. So I will practice sentences like:»¿Quieres ganar los Juegos Olímpicos pero no crees poder hacerlo?» 😉
"What a revoltin´ development this is." Daffy Duck

Linguaphile
Posts: 1333
Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: ¿ Infinitive or subjunctive or both ?

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-06-02, 15:48

schnaz wrote:Thank you Linguaphile,
“No crees poder hacerlo” seems the more alien of the two to my English speaking mind. So I will practice sentences like:»¿Quieres ganar los Juegos Olímpicos pero no crees poder hacerlo?» 😉

It's less common in my experience compared to the use of the subjunctive, but it's correct. One thing to know about using the infinitive in these constructions is that you can only use the infinitive if there is no change of subject:

no crees que puedas hacerlo = no crees poder hacerlo = you don't think/believe you can do it

no creo que pueda hacerlo = no creo poder hacerlo = I don't think/believe I can do it

but

no creo que puedas hacerlo = I don't think/believe you can do it (here you could not use "poder" because there is a change of subject from "I" to "you"; one person is doing the thinking, another is doing the "doing")


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