"to get on" (subir) or "to ride" (montar)
If I am in the land and I want to "subir" or "montar" a horse, what should I say:
Can I get on the horse?
Can I ride the horse?
I would say, "May I ride the horse?" But "May I get on the horse?" means the same thing, unless you just get on it and it stands still!
"Can" means the physical ability to do something. "May" is the polite way of asking permission to do something. In common speech, the two words are used interchangeably.
In addition to what Lisbeth60 has already said, we say, "standing on the ground" in this situation. "Standing on land" means you are not in a ship on the ocean, or in other bodies of water.
No, no. I was not looking for a translation into Spanish. I am waiting for a confirmation about if these sentences are possible and in which contexts. Please.
That is. The horse stands still and I want to get on it.
But if the horse is running, then it would be: Can I ride it?.
Very good answer.
If you say "can I get on the horse?" it really sounds like you just want to get on and not go anywhere.
Also, if someone asks "can you get on the horse?", it probably means, "are you physically capable of getting up on the horse?" (In my case, NO!)
Leaving aside fanciful cases in which the horse is galloping by, the usual sense of "mount" is "to sit astride" (with some exception for the [old fashioned cases when women rode side-saddle]). Thus, one can mount a horse, bicycle, motorcycle, etc. but not an automobile, plane, ship, etc.
In all cases, the assumption is that the animal/vehicle would be stationary.
If the horse is running then I wouldn't suggest getting on it right then anyway. I would still have to say, "May/Can I ride the horse?" In the case of using the word "may" you should probably say, "Me permite a montar el caballo?" I know you weren't looking for a translation I just wanted to try one!!
I would go with "¿Puedo a montar el caballo?" in my humble opinion.