Verbs may and might, basic conjugation and Spanish translation

4
votes

Gracias por sus opiniones. Sé que la traducción puede variar dentro de una oración, pero cómo sería la traducción en una simple conjugación, sin oración ni más.

¿Qué opinan?

  • I may - Puede que yo
  • you may- puede que tú / usted
  • he may - puede que él
  • she may puede que ella
  • it may - puede que...

  • we may - puede que nosotros

  • you may -puede que ustedes
  • they may- puede que ellos(as)

¿Y qué hay en cuanto a might? ¿Igual?

  • I might - Puede que yo
  • etc.
7593 views
updated FEB 6, 2012
posted by AntMexico
Might and May are not verbs - they are Modals and do not exist in Spanish
If you would like some learning mateial about Modals send me a PM

6 Answers

1
vote

Bumping again

Might and May are not verbs - they are Modals and do not exist in Spanish.

Therefore they cannot be conjugated - they are always the same "may" - "might"

As are the other 9 modals.

Can - could

Will - would

Shall - should

Ought to - used to

and must

updated FEB 6, 2012
edited by ian-hill
posted by ian-hill
You're right, they're not verbs; but the translations given using "poder" are pretty equivalent in meaning and usage. See this link: http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/9523/might-indicating-possibility-not-strength
Or, I guess I should say "puede que + subjunctive" can be used as an alternative.
This is the number one problem for Spanish speakers who are learning English - nearly the first they learn is "I can" = "puedo" but Puedo is a verb and "can" is not. The correcty verb in English is "to be able to"
0
votes

Old English had only two tenses: present and past. An alternative to the many inflectional forms that other languages have is representing the tenses and moods by adding auxiliary verbs. Spanish uses this approach with the progressive and perfect tenses. Traditionally, modals are considered defective auxiliary verbs that indicate certain conditions such as permission, necessity, obligation, suggestion, and prohibition. The future auxiliary (not the modal auxiliary) 'will' has no distinct Spanish counterpart either: Spanish simply has a future conjugation. Another modal verb that we see mostly in older writing and very formal contexts is 'need', as in "With her great talents, Luz need not graduate to find a good job." A quote from grammar.about.com:

"The most important syntactic developments which distinguish [modals] from other verbs are the following:

(1) they lost their non-finite forms and their ability to take non-verbal objects;

(2) the preterite forms came to be used in the present, future or timeless contexts;

(3) they did not develop the to- link with an infinitive (in the Southern standard);

(4) they became more and more uncommon in contexts where they were not followed by an infinitive."

(Richard M. Hogg, et al., The Cambridge History of the English Language: 1476-1776. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999)

updated FEB 6, 2012
edited by ian-hill
posted by jlupine
Modals are never followed by an infinitve - never
Need (to) is also a regular verb
Look at Hoag's point (3): he's calling the base form of the verb, e.g. 'be', an infinitive.
0
votes

This is the number one problem for Spanish speakers who are learning English - nearly the first thing they learn is "I can" = "puedo" but puedo (poder) is a verb and "can" is not.

The correct verb in English for poder is "to be able to"

updated FEB 6, 2012
edited by ian-hill
posted by ian-hill
0
votes

I've seen some conjugation guides in English and translated into Spanish, just like this:

To buy - Comprar

  • I buy / Yo compro
  • you buy / tú compras, usted compra
  • he buys / él compra

and so on... so I just wondered if there were any way to do the same guide into Spanish using the verbs might and may.

updated FEB 6, 2012
posted by AntMexico
Might and May are not verbs - they are Modals and do not exist in Spanish
0
votes

I'm so glad you asked this question. It was a big help to me.

Bumping for los demás who could benefit from this wink

updated FEB 6, 2012
posted by Goldie_Miel
0
votes

Your constructions are all possible but, If you mean to suggest that they are the only way to phrase something, you are mistaken. a form of "poder" is not always followed by "que". "¿Puedes entenderme?" (no "que") is entirely reasonable as a translation of "Can you understand me?" "No puedo nadar." is also entirely acceptable.

Your suggestion that you want answers of "simple conjugation" without sentences (context) is unreasonable. What is correct/understandable in one context may be nonsense in a different context.

updated MAY 25, 2010
posted by samdie
Thanks! I don't want to suggest that they are the only way... :)