Conjugation of PODAR


Hi Everyone,

I'm studying lesson 1.4 and I'm a little confused by the conjugation of the word "podar". In the lesson, it says: "¿Puedo sacar su foto?". This is obviously translated as "Can I take your photo?".

It also says "¿Puede sacar mi foto?". This is obviously translated as "Can you take my photo?". 

My question is why is it "puede" and not "puedes", when asking "Can you..."

Thanks - 


Hola stepchook,
"Puede" is the formal usage. "Puedes" is the familiar usage of poder. Which one you would use would depend on the situation, with a friend the familiar, with a stranger the formal. Hope this helps.



Hola Ricardo,

That makes perfect sense! Thank you. What you're saying is: "Usted puede" is the formal, whereas "Tú puedes" is the informal, right?

Oh, and I apologize for spelling it podar instead of poder!

Saludos -


Steve: yes, you are right.

If you are familiar with the person you could use the informal
¿Tú puedes sacar mi foto?
or just
¿Puedes sacar mi foto?
The tú is not necessary since the conjugation makes clear who is being asked.

If you are asking a stranger and want to be polite and formal, or were asking a person to whom you wanted to show deference or respect, such as an older person or a police officer, you could either ask,

¿Usted puede sacar mi foto?
or just
¿Puede sacar mi foto?
In the second case using puede implies usted.



Beat me to it, Ricardo and Dan. Sometimes it is confusing when starting out that "Usted" is sometimes omitted.


This is a completely subjective opinion, but it seems to me that usted is used more in some countries than others. For example, in Costa Rica people used it a lot.  I don't ever recall hearing it in Cuba, or with other Spanish speakers with whom I have conversed.

I would be interested in others' opinions on this.


Thanks for all your responses. ¡Es muy amableís!

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