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"¿Podemos irnos al cine?" vs "¿Podemos ir al cine?"

Are there any differences in connotation? Which usage would be more common in Spain?

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It depends. I would say that the second form is mostly used, if you are trying to find out whether such is a possible program or not

¿podemos ir al cine?

Now the other

¿podemos irnos al cine? [se nos va a hacer tarde para el comienzo de la película]

has the nuanced connotation of questioning whether we are ready to go. That program (already decided) could be risked or getting delayed; worried about not arriving on time for the movie you would then ask.your partner in such a way, to (finally) leave.

PS: Lastly, don't forget to use the opening question mark, —something important in Spanish as it preemptively sets the asking tone for reading and understanding it right

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  • 1
    I agree, and in fact the way I'd expect to see the version with irnos would be ¿podemos irnos ya, (name-of-person-eg-Mamá)? I guess this is about added emphasis. See the canonical question All about datives, or: What's that funny “le” or “me” doing in there?. – aparente001 Dec 28 '19 at 16:54
  • @aparente001 is this one of those datives? Which one? I had understood it as a reflexive verb, "irse" (to leave) vs "ir" (to go). – wimi Dec 28 '19 at 22:05
  • @wimi - I was thinking it would be the Aspectual Dative, with emphasis, but I am not the expert on datives. However, Pablo did say that it "looks like a reflexive verb or a regular pronominal verb, but it's not truly reflexive and it differs from the pronominal verbs in that the pronoun is not compulsory." – aparente001 Dec 29 '19 at 5:14
  • I agree. And I think "podemos irnos ya" is like "can we leave now". It's about where you are going from (here) vs where we are going (al cine). – Walter Mitty Dec 30 '19 at 0:27
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I don't agree with that and I am Spanish, I would say that the first one Podemos irnos al cine is in case that you want a fast answer. The movie may not be decided yet, but somehow you want a fast answer and now. The second one is more of asking permission without rushing things.

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