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This lesson is part of the Pre-Intermediate Spanish Course
(69 Spanish video or mp3 lessons. 4 hrs 41 mins)


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In this Spanish lesson we are going to see some examples of the verb Can in Spanish el verbo Poder with typical expressions of obligation. This is the second Spanish lesson about Can in Spanish and practices a lot of the skills learned in the three previous video lessons about obligations and sugestions with the Spanish verbs Tener que, Deber and Hay que. In the previous lesson we learned how to conjugate (modify a verb from its base form) el verbo Poder for all the persons and I recommend you review that lesson and the three lessons about obligations and suggestions first before starting this new video. Poder is one of the more useful Spanish verbs that we use very often in regular, everyday conversation and therefore it merits attention and practice. It is a “modal verb”. This is a type of auxiliary/extra verb that is used to indicate modality – likelihood, ability, permission, or obligation. It functions slightly differently to regular Spanish verbs in that another verb follows it in its infinitive/base form. For example, with “I can swim” (yo puedo nadar) we have the verb can immediately followed by the verb swim. In English Can is a very easy verb to conjugate as it is the same for all persons, but in Spanish Poder changes a lot according to the person. Don’t forget, though, that the second verb always stays in the infinitive/base form – you don’t have to conjugate both verbs.

Lesson notes:

¿Quieres ir al cine esta noche?: Would you like to go to the cinema this evening?
No puedo porque tengo que estudiar: I can´t because I have to study.
No, es que tengo que estudiar: No, I have to study.
¿Queréis comer en un restaurante con nosotros? Would you like to have lunch in a restaurant with us?
No podemos porque debemos limpiar la casa: We can´t because we must clean the house.
No, es que debemos limpiar la casa: No, we must clean the house.
¿Quiere jugar al tenis conmigo mañana?: Would you like to play tennis with me tomorrow?
No puedo porque tengo que trabajar: I can´t because I have to work.
No, es que tengo que trabajar. No, I have to work.

Activity:

Answer these questions with reasons why you cannot accept the invitation…

¿Quieres ir a la playa conmigo?
¿Queréís cenar en un restaurante con nosotros esta noche?
¿Puedes hacer la compra mañana?
¿Quieren (ustedes) ir al Museo con nosotros el martes?
¿Quiere (usted) ir a Barcelona este verano?

Here are the answers to the last activity:

Podemos
Pueden
Puede
Podéis
Puede

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