I am confused to what verb I should conjugate in this sentence. Should I translate this sentence to

¿Qué debo comer a mantenerse sano?

since "should" appears before "eat", or should I translate it to

¿Qué deber como a mantenerse sano?"

since "I" appears before the verb "eat"? If I made any extra mistakes, can you please inform me. I am very new to the Spanish language.

Thank you.

  • "Qué comer para mantenerse sano" is also correct. This formulation is more distant and general.
    – user11382
    Nov 29, 2015 at 15:58

2 Answers 2


I don't follow your two different rationales, but in any case the correct translation is: Qué debo comer para mantenerme sano?

Additional mistakes:

  1. 'To' here means 'in order to', which is translated as 'para'. 'To' in the sense of 'towards' would be translated as 'a'.

  2. Mantenerme the reflexive is in the first person.


should is used to give advice. In this case, you're giving yourself an advice an not an obligation. Debo is for a personal obligation.

So, we have

¿Qué debería comer para mantenerme sano?
¿Qué debería comer para quedarme sano? (Literal translation of the verb stay.)
¿Qué debería comer para estar sano? (Most common way to say this.)

Note that by using mantener, we require to write mantenerme in order to specify who we are talking to.

¿Qué debería comer para mantener sano? (It shows the advice for oneself but it doesn't specify which part of the body to be healthy.)
¿Qué debería comer para mantenerme sano? (It shows the advice for onself and specifies the whole body.)

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