HomeQ&A"peude servirse" means "can be served" but in another sentence "que puede ser de limon" which means "that can be lemon" I know that ser means "to be" but why is it not used in the first instance and is used used in the second instance. thanks for the help

"peude servirse" means "can be served" but in another sentence "que puede ser de limon" which means "that can be lemon" I know that ser means "to be" but why is it not used in the first instance and is used used in the second instance. thanks for the help

1
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Hi thanks for the help "peude servirse" means "can be served" but in another sentence "que puede ser de limon" which means "that can be lemon" I know that ser means "to be" but why is it not used in the first instance and is used used in the second instance. thanks for the help

2633 views
updated JUL 9, 2010
posted by alanreen

3 Answers

1
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One cannot (in general) take a word out of one translation and assume that any occurrence of that word will always be translated the same way (by the same word [in some other language]).

The word "be" (and its various forms) can be translated in many different ways (because, even in English, it has many different meanings/uses). e.g. "I am an American.", "I am going to the store." and "I am wounded." In the first case "am" is similar to the "=" sign in mathematics (equating one thing with another), in the second, "am" is an element in the construction of the present progressive tense (and has no meaning of its own) and in the third it is a component in a "passive construction" (again, by itself, no real meaning).

updated JUL 9, 2010
posted by samdie
1
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Your translation of puede servirse might be a little off.

I would translate it as "you may serve yourself".

updated JUL 9, 2010
posted by petersenkid2
0
votes

I may be totally wrong; but, I'm wondering if your confusion is coming from the similarity of the verbs ser and servirse in the fact that servirse contains the word ser.

servirse = to serve oneself

servir = to serve

ser = to be

poder = to be able, can

Puede servirse. = You (or he/she/it) can/are able to serve yourself.

Puede ser. = It (or he/she/you) can be.

updated JUL 9, 2010
edited by Pajaro44
posted by Pajaro44
I forgot to say: "Welcome to the forum!", alanreen. - Pajaro44, JUL 9, 2010
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