Spanish verb Poder (Can): Spanish Lesson 52

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In this topic we are going to learn how to use the Spanish verb Poder. In English, Poder translates to Can or Be able to.

The Spanish verb Poder is one of the most commonly used of all Spanish verbs, so it is a good idea to get accustomed to using it as soon as possible. Poder is used to discuss capabilities, abilities, and probabilities.

Spanish verb Poder (Can)

Poder is an Irregular Verb in Present Tense so we can’t follow the conjugation pattern we know for Regular Verbs. We need to learn its specific conjugation.

How to conjugate the Spanish verb Poder (Can):

(Yo) Puedo: I can
(Tú) Puedes: You can (informal)
(Usted) Puede: You can (formal)
(Él/ella) Puede: He/She can
(Nosotros/as) Podemos: We can
(Vosotros/as) Podéis: You can (group/informal)
(Ustedes) Pueden: You can (group/formal)
(Ellos/as) Pueden: They can

spanish verb poder bar

Example sentences with the Spanish verb Poder:

¿Quieres ir al bar esta noche?: Would you like to go to the bar 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
¿Quieres 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

Example conversation using Poder

Next let’s see a typical conversation in Spanish using Poder:

Hola Rafa. ¿Puedes ayudarme con mis deberes de matemáticas?: Hi Rafa. Can you help me with my Maths homework?
Lo siento Silvia. No puedo ahora. Tengo que ir al hospital: Sorry Silvia. I can’t now. I have to go to the hospital.
¿Qué te pasa? ¿Estás bien?: What’s the matter? Are you OK?
No te preocupes. Estoy bien. Tengo una infección de oído. No puedo oir bien y me duele un poco: Don’t worry. I am fine. I have an ear infection. I can’t hear well and it hurts a little.
Vale. ¿Puedes ayudarme luego? OK. Can you help me later?
¿Perdón?: Pardon?
¿Puedes oirme? Can you hear me?
Sí. Te oigo. ¿Puedes repetir, por favor? Yes. I can hear you. Can you repeat please?
Por supuesto. ¿Puedes ayudarme luego?: Of course. Can you help me later?
Lo siento Silvia. No puedo. Tengo que ir a la casa de mi abuela esta noche. No ¿Puedes pedir ayuda a tu hermano?: I’m sorry Silvia. I can’t. I have to go to my grandmother’s house tonight. Can’t you ask your brother for help?
Él no puede ayudarme. No sabe nada de matemáticas. Es bueno en arte y en informática. Pero es muy malo en matemáticas: He can’t help me. He doesn’t know anything about maths. He is good at art and computers. But he is very bad at maths.
Lo siento Silvia. Debo irme: I am sorry Silvia. I must go.

We hope you enjoyed this lesson and feel confident now using the very useful Spanish verb Poder. As always, the best plan of action is to practice with any new verb as much as you can by writing your own practice sentences or by using it in conversation.

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