I’d like to know what the difference is between the two following translations of the phrase: “I didn’t ask you to stay.”

  1. No te pedí a quedarte.

  2. No te pedí que te quedes.

Both convey the same literal message as far as I can discern. Furthermore, to my knowledge (which is, granted, very little), both are grammatically acceptable; I assume one is more colloquially “correct” than the other due to stylistic conventions? If not too taxing, I would appreciate it greatly if someone could provide word-for-word direct translations as well, so that I may see the grammatical structure of each sentence.

Thank you in advance!

3 Answers 3


#1 "No te pedí a quedarte." is just wrong. It could work like "No te pedí quedarte", and while correct, you would most likely never hear it in that way. The failure in this case is that "a", which would apply to what in spanish is "complemento indirecto", which targets the action to someone else, but not to "you". Example: "No pedí a Carlos que se quedara.

Spanish language is more subtle when it comes to tenses. Depending a bit on the context, these both might fit:

  • "No te pedí que te quedaras": most likely the one you would hear
  • "No te he pedido que te quedes": while that would translate more like "I haven't asked you to stay" as past perfect, this is the tense I would personally use most of the times.

“I didn’t ask you to stay.”

Yo no te pedí que te quedaras”.

"I didn't ask you to stay"

  • I = Yo

  • didn´t = no (negative particle for past)

  • ask = preguntar, pedir, solicitar (past)

  • you = a ti

  • stay = quedar(te)

Sin embargo, lo más habitual es utilizar el "Imperfecto de subjuntivo del verbo quedar"

"Yo no te pedí que te quedaras

However, the most common is to use the "Imperfect subjunctive of the verb to stay" "quedaras"

"Yo no te pedí que te quedaras


Like every phrase to be translated, the correct thing depends on the context. Read it alone, "I didn't ask you to stay" is:

  • No pedí que te quedes

It's not necessary to include the pronoun (I/yo) since it's defined by the conjugation: "pedí" only corresponds to the first person of the preterite indefinite.

"Te pedí que te..." is not incorrect, but the repetition of the indirect pronoun is unnecessary. It's often used to emphasize the request.

To stay = quedar, always depending on the context, in isolation, it goes in the present subjunctive: quedes.

  • Sorry to disagree, but in "Te pedí que te quedes" both "te" are necessary, because "quedarSE" is a pronominal verb. You cannot say: Te pedí que quedes, and if you say: Pedí que te quedes, it might be the case that you asked somebody else for you to stay.
    – Gustavson
    Commented Oct 30, 2022 at 14:41

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