I can say in English

Go in and take what you want

If I was to translate this to Spanish, what would be the correct verb tense to use? I feel that is is not a command, but instead an offer.

  • 1
    What have you thought about it? Share your impressions :) Oct 27 '16 at 11:41
  • @fedorqui I understood that he wanted to use the imperative, but then he realised that the sentence was not an order but an offer, so he went stuck with no clues at all.
    – Charlie
    Oct 27 '16 at 11:46
  • @fedorqui My impressions are that I have no clue as to what conjugation to use. That's why I am asking! :D
    – Peter M
    Oct 27 '16 at 11:50
  • A bartender could say "Entre y sirvase", if its food add "algo de comida".
    – AlexBcn
    Oct 27 '16 at 14:04

When you want to do these kind of offers, you can use the Imperative:

Entra y coge lo que quieras

Even though it is imperative, its connotation is not hard and it is understood as an offer, not as something you have to do.

If you want to make it more formal, you can use Present Indicative by adding a Puedes... (like in You can go in and take what you want) and say:

Puedes entrar y coger lo que quieras

It is also possible to use the Simple Conditional:

¿Querrías entrar y coger lo que quieras?

Even though this makes the sentence very, very formal and we do not use it in daily conversations.

  • 3
    Esto me ha recordado el japonés, que distingue entre el verbo "poder" como "capacidad para hacer algo" y como "permiso para hacer algo". En tu ejemplo "puedes entrar y coger lo que quieras", sería de esta segunda forma: te doy permiso para que entres y cojas. Por cierto, con tanto "coger" muchos hispanoaméricanos se tienen que estar partiendo de risa.
    – Charlie
    Oct 27 '16 at 13:05
  • Eso es bueno, ¡que cojan y rían mucho!.
    – Rafa
    Oct 27 '16 at 13:14
  • 1
    The @CarlosAlejo example is what I would use: Puedes entrar y coger lo que quieras and is not imperative (or is it?)
    – DGaleano
    Oct 27 '16 at 13:34
  • @DGaleano you are absolutely right and I am a bit sleepy. Corrected, thanks! Oct 27 '16 at 13:36

Command or offer, we use here the same tense:

Ve y coge lo que quieras.

Ve is the imperative.

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